So, 5 days into August now which means: my shopping ban has ended! Back in June, I spoke about how I wanted to make little (ok, big) changes to my lifestyle and sorting out my attitudes towards money and spending was just one thing I wanted to tackle. Previously to my ban, my spending was pretty much out of control. I was abusing my overdraft, I was spending without really checking if I could afford it, I was wasting money on food all the time and I pretty much had no idea how to distinguish between want and need. I was hoping that 2 months of strict spending would help me see it's not the end of the world if I don't buy new things every week while helping me build up my savings accounts and helping me to organise my spending so that overdraft never need be used. So, how successful was I?
I am declaring this spending ban a success. Granted, I wasn't perfect during this ban. My current account always looks pretty sparse the day before pay day still and I still insist on buying food when I'm at work rather than taking food with me for my breaks and travelling. I even cracked up in the beginning of July and went shopping in Primark - but it's what I bought that made me realise that this little spending trip didn't really mean I'd failed. I bought useful, practical stuff. Alright, it wasn't stuff I needed but it was things like a water bottle, a coffee mug - these things have saved me money. I bought a pair of short pyjamas as all my other pjs were too hot. I bought hair bobbles and grips. Everything I bought, I've used and I didn't spend a fortune either. I remained in my budget for the week. Other than that, I've been good. I still haven't bought any new makeup since April bar items I've run out of which I'm feeling so proud of myself for. I've even been opting for more bargain products - when my concealer runs out I've been going back to the Collection concealer as it's much more cost effective than Benefit Boi-ing. I didn't repurchase any pressed powder until Friday and used up some of my mineral powders instead. In fact, the only reason I have bought a pressed powder rather than using all my loose powders first is because I don't like taking loose powder when I travel and I'm going to see my boyfriend soon. Overall all, I feel like a changed woman.
I no longer have a huge stash of products all over the house as I've been getting to use up products that probably would have gone unloved had I continued to allow myself to buy things in the way I was. I've enjoyed rotating all the makeup I already own and experiencing love for all my products rather than getting stuck in a rut with one. I've been forced to be creative with my outfits rather than running out and buying a new outfit every time I don't know what to wear next for an outfit post. When my spending ban did end, although I didn't go shopping I didn't go crazy like I did after my first attempt at this. I bought a new weekend bag on wheels to make my travels easier. I bought a rucksack because that too would make travel easier and having a rucksack is nice for work as I'm usually carrying lots of books and documents with me as part of my team leader training. I bought the pressed powder I mentioned above although admittedly, I was certainly not budgeting when I opted for BareMinerals. But hey, after two months of being as good as gold, I figured I deserved a treat and my skin will be thankful for mineral makeup again.
I've learnt a lot during this spending ban. I've allowed myself to let go of the stress I used to feel if something I wanted sold out before I got hold of it. I've reevaluated my wish lists and realised it's just plain silly if I did own everything on there. Most of all, I've realised how much less stressed I am when I'm not using my wage every week to pay off my overdraft. I've finally accepted that there are some things in life I just can't afford but that doesn't mean my life is worse off. When I look at my savings account and see how much I've saved in just 8 weeks I feel proud and I feel excited because the more money I save, the closer I get to my independence and moving away from my mum's for good.
In summary, I guess I've finally grown up a bit. If you're like me, you really have no responsible attitudes when it comes towards money and shopping and your possessions, I really recommend doing a long spending ban to help you reevaluate your perspectives. I feel really good about myself now!