Ah, spending bans. They seem quite popular in the blogging world, particularly with product-obsessed beauty bloggers. I myself have attempted them on numerous occasions, some I've blogged about, some I've kept quiet, one was even successful. However, there's one thing I've recently decided: they're not actually such a good idea.
One thing I've never really spoken about on here is how anti-diet I am. I really don't like diets and I think this could make up a post in itself. My issue with dieting is that it often involves depriving yourself of something you really love, meaning you end up binging on something "forbidden" or it's only temporary, so once you've finished dieting, you end up right back where you started.
I'm much more supportive of lifestyle changes, permanently adding healthier foods into your diet to create more balance and adding exercise to your routine.
Now, at the moment, I'm skint. Despite having my first full-time, graduate job (read: more money coming into my account than I've ever had), it turns out being a homeowner is pretty damn expensive, particularly when your home is a building site/money pit. As a student, I was pretty well off and didn't really need to scrimp and save as many others did, so this is the first time in my life that I genuinely have to set myself a budget and be really careful about where and how I spend my money.
Thing is, I really, really like shopping. At the moment, it's clothes I want. I want new workout clothes. I want new office clothes. I want new pretty dresses. Previously, I'd just buy them and figure out the logistics later, but obviously, I can't do it now because I've actually got some real responsibilities now. (Yeah, yeah, I've been spoilt until now, well done.)
My first thought was "I know, I'll have a spending ban until the house is finished and then I can use the money that was otherwise going on house-related necessities and go on a craaaazzyyy shopping spree."
And that's when I realised...spending bans are pretty much a restricted diet.
- If I went down the spending ban route, I wasn't going to learn anything, I was just going to go straight back to my old habits once the ban was over, so really, what's the point?
- If I restrict myself from something, I am going to end up binging. Who knows how much longer it's going to take to get my house sorted, at some point, I was going to end up hauling before my "ban" was over.
No, my problems (your problems?) couldn't be solved by an outright ban. What I need is a lifestyle change. I've decided to adopt the "everything in moderation" rule in my life. I love shopping, I always will and I doubt that's ever going to change.
What I need to learn is that I don't need everything I want, I don't need to buy everything at once, I need to remember that spending money on experiences is 99% more likely to be more valuable to me in the long-term than a new dress, I need some time to get used to having a real grown-up salary and the responsibilities that come with living away from home, without a student loan for the first time.
A spending ban was never, ever going to teach me any of this.
This is why I am boycotting spending bans. While they might work for some of you, they're just not for me. I've decided it's much more valuable for me to work out what money has to go on essentials like the mortgage, bills and renovation each month and use what's left to get me a little something nice. I'm still getting what I want, but I'm doing it responsibly.
What do you think to my new approach to spending bans?