In January, I decided that come February, I was going on a strict spending ban. There were numerous reasons behind this: the first was that in March, I was meant to be going away for a weekend where huge amounts of shopping and extravagant meals were on the cards, so I wanted to save up for that. However, that has been cancelled now but I'm still seeing the value in giving up spending this month. First of all, I want to prove to myself that I can. As you can see from the photographs above, I have no qualms about dropping huge amounts of money and I do so often. I hate to admit this, but I get very stroppy when I don't get things I want and I have very little self control when it comes to seeing things and buying them imminently. By taking February off, I'm hoping to teach myself that it isn't the end of the world if I don't buy everything I want. I also hope that by not buying anything new for a month, I'll be able to get proper, real use out of everything I already do own. The backlog of products I have to review for the blog is ridiculous now, and I'm hoping to actually make a dent in that list now I'm going to refrain from purchases. I've also bought silly things recently, like two foundations, and I used one of them for a day or two before ignoring it completely for the second one I bought. Teaching myself restraint like this means I won't have 3 foundations and 2 BB creams on the go as I do now! (Side note: I realise by beauty blogger standards, this is actually pretty minimal, but I still think it's pretty stupid.)

So, what am I actually allowed to spend money on this month and what can I definitely not do? I will not be buying anything non-essential. That means no more clothes, no more makeup, no more skincare, no more haircare, no books, no ebooks, nothing that I don't need, and considering I currently live at home and the only bills I pay currently are my phone bill and my direct debit for my contact lenses, that leaves me with very little to buy that is actually essential. Of course, if I run out of something like my medication, or deodorant etc, I'm allowed to purchase this, but my point is, when I'm at work and I swatch products during quieter times or eye up what other people are buying, I will recognise I do not need these things, I just want them, and my life will not be dramatically affected if I don't buy these things. I've also decided I'm still allowed to spend money on things such as going out with friends. This is simply because I'm at a time in my life where closing myself off from the world is going to have horribly adverse effects, so I'd class spending money on a night out as essential at this time!

At the time of the decision to not spend during February, I wasn't aware that "Frugal February" was such a thing! However, since then, I've noticed other bloggers and people on Twitter referencing Frugal February and I did a quick Google search to discover that plenty of people participate in this every year. The reasons behind it being that February is the shortest month, and therefore, the most likely month in which people will succeed with their spending bans and that it's a good time of year to recover after the financially crippling time that is Christmas and New Year. It is quite heartening to know that other avid shoppers like myself are undergoing this radical behaviour change this month too.

I will admit, I did slip up yesterday. I was at work and I was eyeing up the Essie stand as it was a very slow morning, when a sparkling polish caught my eye. I'd wanted Essie's Leading Lady months ago but I thought we had sold out of it by the time I could afford it. However, lucky me, found 3 of them hiding at the back of the stand in the wrong place. Knowing they definitely weren't going to last until my spending ban was over, and knowing I have staff discount, I decided just this once, I was gonna ignore the fact that it was February. Considering the circumstances, I don't think this is as bad as a slip could have been and I'm determined not to do it again now! It'll be interesting to see where I stand by the end of February. I want to be successful and I hope it helps me change my attitude towards shopping a little bit. I already have a plan of what I'm going to purchase when March comes rolling around, but hey, maybe I won't want it so much by then, but then again, maybe I'll want it even more, we'll see!

Are you participating in Frugal February? Is this something you'd ever do?