Last week, I talked about how much fun “Retail Therapy” can be – so long as you make a budget and stick to it. About once a year, I undertake a “shopping fast” – a month-long period of no shopping for anything that’s not a true necessity. In past years, I’ve approached this shopping fast as spending NOTHING on clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, books, music, etc. This year, rather than go cold turkey, I thought I would just restrict myself to a small amount of spending money per week – $20.
Let me explain WHY I do this shopping fast/ diet annually. First of all, it helps me to appreciate all of the good things I already have in my possession: plenty of clothes and accessories, books I haven’t even cracked open yet, and plenty of lotions, lip glosses and perfumes, among other things. The second reason why I do it is to keep my “inner consumer” in check. We’re all bombarded with ads via TV, magazines, the internet, even on Facebook, every single day. Online retailers and brick and mortar stores are making easier and easier to make purchases and part with our money. Case in point, I have a love/ hate relationship with Amazon One-Click! Doing a shopping fast/ diet makes me stop and think, “Do I really need this?”
Here are my personal rules for June’s shopping diet. I can spend $20 per week, for a total of $80 per month on non-necessities. If I happen to receive a rebate check in the mail or earn money on my clothing consignment, I can add that to my spending money. If I have unspent gift cards in my wallet (which I do!), those purchases do not count towards my $80 total. If I see something that I want to buy, but chose not to, I will print a copy of the item or tear the page out of the magazine and put it in a folder. On July 1st, I’ll review those items to see if I REALLY still want any of them. I have done this in past years to find that I usually end up only buying about 20% of the wanted items after my shopping fast is over.
I am currently a week and a half into my Shopping Diet, and I have spent $35. Here’s what I have purchased: “The Magic” by Rhonda Bryne for my Kindle for a group book study – $8, a black and tan dress at Strut Resale Boutique – $8 after coupon and credit for my consignment sold, Tupperware cups – $6, a beautiful green silky dress from a new website I found called JollyChic.com – $13 after $5 new customer coupon and a $10 rebate balance in my PayPal account.
What DIDN’T I buy this past week and half that I wanted to? Oh there’s definitely plenty! I have a long list of music that I want to buy on iTunes, which includes Lana Del Ray’s version of “Once Upon a Dream” and Pharell’s “Happy.” There are several pieces of jewelry that I put in “My Favorites” on the JewelMint website – an edgy 3 tiered necklace called The Starling for $25, and the Mint Julep ring set for $30. If I buy them today only I’ll get $10 off any full priced purchase… Oh, so tempting! By restraining myself on my Shopping Diet, I have saved myself at least $55 so far.
I’ll be checking in again before my Shopping Diet is over. In the meantime, let me know if you’ve ever adopted a Shopping Diet or Fast and tell me how it went.