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2017- Time for a 2nd Shopping Ban

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Last year I did my first shopping ban and I lasted 3 months without shopping. I have never done anything like that ever before. I kept thinking, “I like this. I love shutting down the consumer beast within me for a while”.

But, there were also days when I felt a sense of anxiety during the Shopping Ban- Anxiety that I will see the most awesome, perfect-in-every-way dress and will not be able to buy it. Anxiety that I will NEED a piece of clothing and will not be able to buy it. The reality? That day never came. I did not miss out on any perfect dresses. Even if I did, I forgot about them very soon.

As of today, I have everything I needThat means it is time to take a break from casually browsing websites and in stores. It is time to focus on things other than a perfect wardrobe.

Rules of my Shopping Ban:

1. I cannot buy any new dresses, skirts, tops (blouses, t shirts), denim, shorts, shoes and costume jewelry. Buying New is NOT an option.

2. I should stop CASUALLY looking for clothes AND SHOES (my biggest weakness) on websites and in-stores.

3. If I slip and start ‘window shopping’, I have to make a list of everything that was tempting and analyse (for myself) why I was tempted in the first place. This is pretty much a mental exercise to re-train my brain to  STOP GETTING HIGH ON SHOPPING.

4. If I really need a piece of clothing that I don’t already have, I will have to try to borrow from a good friend.

5. Buying second-hand is my LAST option. Of course, I need to keep a track of how many such items I bought (a.k.a How I broke my ban? Why I broke my ban? Was it really worth it?)

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Exceptions:

1. I am allowed to buy underwear or nightwear, if needed. But I will keep a track of it.

2. I am allowed to buy / replenish skin care or beauty products. But, I cannot spend more than $50 per month.

3. I am on the fence about Fine Jewelry. Should I put it on the ban list too?

Other notes:

1. How long is this ban for? I am thinking until end of May 2017. Can I do longer? I don’t know. Will I fail? I don’t know. I  am definitely going to try to stay on track.

2. During this period, I want to blog about all the nice things as well as the absolute worst purchases sitting in my closet.

What do you think? Anyone interested in doing a ban along with me? It doesn’t matter if you want to do it for just 30 days or even less. I think it feels good to be a team and talk ourselves out of buying stuff we don’t really need! Please let me know in the comments section or write to me at dearbeautifulworld@gmail.com

Illustrations by Sara Lazarovic. She created a very cool illustration book about her year long Shopping ban.

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. LL #

    These are all good points. I think that it is very easy to convince yourself that a certain garment is perfect, or the end all be all. I give myself excuses to window shop, and even if I don’t buy anything, it’s still time wasted to indulging consumerism. There is a middle ground, and moderation is always the best policy, but I do feel very unhappy thinking about how much we collectively consume (especially when fast fashion is concerned).

    Like

    March 4, 2017
    • SA. #

      You nailed it!! -‘very easy to convince yourself that a certain garment is perfect, or the end all be all.’
      Everything in moderation is the best way to go. That way, you don’t feel ‘starved’, if you know what I mean.

      But, at this point, I have everything I need and want. Last year’s purchases are definitely going to see me through another 6 months comfortably. Just online browsing tempts me to whip out my card and buy clothes that I clearly don’t need. After about 3 to 4 washes, I am disappointed in my purchase. The cycle continues. So, I decided to quit cold turkey for a little while.

      Like

      March 4, 2017
  2. I am doing a no-buy this month too.
    But I live for the online browsing high! LOL!

    Like

    March 4, 2017
    • SA. #

      Oh you are? That is awesome!!
      I think I mindlessly browse looking for something all the time. That high is such a time killer for me. Furthermore, I try to ‘fix’ a bad day at work by online browsing and then suddenly I’m checking out a shopping cart at 12:30 am in the night!! 🙈

      Like

      March 4, 2017
  3. maiastras #

    I’ve been on a shopping ban (which includes skincare/beauty and eating out) since February, and plan to be on one until May, or perhaps even into July if I can manage. I like the idea of doing a wardrobe assessment!

    Like

    March 4, 2017
    • SA. #

      Wow! I really applaud you. Eating out is hard one for me. I routinely get a salad at my work place because the subsidized rates are more tempting than making lunch every day. I am going to try to keep the skin care and cosmetic purchases as minimal as possible. Thank you for inspiring!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 4, 2017
      • maiastras #

        Your earlier shopping ban is what inspired me! This is the first shopping ban I’ve ever attempted, and since my significant other is keeping me accountable, I’ve been good about sticking to my goals. Lunch is tricky, since I am currently in Tokyo where there are very few places in public where I can eat a packed lunch. This gets more difficult with the spring showers. I have to admit that on two occasions I had no choice but to eat out because I was traveling, but I’m holding myself accountable to not pop into a café to grab a tea. Regarding skin care, I had a terrible habit of trying new items, just for fun. I’m realizing that by just reading online reviews my curiosity is satisfied, and this process also allows me to re-affirm the fact that I know exactly what works for me. I’m looking forward to your updates on this new challenge!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 4, 2017
  4. “This is pretty much a mental exercise to re-train my brain to STOP GETTING HIGH ON SHOPPING.” I don’t know if I understand it correctly but this really rang a bell. When shopping or in “clothes-thinking” mode, my mind gets excited in similar way I imagine it’s when somebody’s on drugs. Similar excitement and short-term relief (or confidence boost or any other positive emotion), and similar dependency.
    I won’t join you on this Shopping Ban journey but definitely plan to in future. Before doing that, however, I’d like to learn how to approach to myself in a way that is more caring and positive rather than restrictive. When I put restrictions or bans on myself right now, the only result is that I end up rebelling against my own decisions. 🙂 Gotta learn how to deal with that. Nevertheless, good luck with your ban! I’m looking forward to updates because the earlier ban you did was very inspirative.

    Like

    March 4, 2017
    • SA. #

      Zia, you definitely understood what i meant by ‘getting high’. Furthermore, online shopping has become a favorite past time after hectic work days.

      Yes! We all need to find the method / technique that works for us. Everyone doesn’t really need to do a shopping ban. In my case, living in a western country for the past few years has made a more ‘relaxed’ about buying everything that I like. I started to exploit the freedom of having everything at my fingertips. That’s one of the reasons I need a shopping ban in my life.
      I promise to publish short dairy entries after every few weeks on how it is going.

      Like

      March 4, 2017
  5. (I hope I’m not double posting since wordpress gave me an initial error.)
    I couldn’t make myself go on a shopping fast right now. I wished I didn’t use shopping as any kind of emotional crutch, but I do. I try to reduce the damage by shopping mostly second-hand, but the root problem remains. Anyway it will be very interesting to see how you do. These exercises are good learning experiences, even for those of us just witnessing from the sidelines. Cheering you on.

    Like

    March 6, 2017
    • SA. #

      Lori, please don’t beat yourself up. I use a both food and shopping as an emotional crutch. If I am not buying for myself, I am buying for someone else! Shopping Bans seem to do the trick for me because the only thing that works is sending my body and brain into shock for a little while. I cannot do moderation. Also, I bought quite a few beautiful things last year. In a way, I feel I need to take a break and really use them so that I understand what is working and what isn’t. Thank you for always supporting my attempts!!

      Like

      March 6, 2017
  6. I think fine jewelry should definitely go on the ban list. Consider this: it can IN NO WAY be construed as a need! You don’t need ANY fine jewelry in the way you might need, say, shoes, or new pants if you change sizes.

    I think I am going on shopping ban until December, too. I did a buying binge last year because my style had totally changed, my size had totally changed, and all my everyday shoes were so worn out that I was twisting my ankle too often wearing them…but now I have everything I need. Getting shoes resoled does not count as shopping.

    Like

    March 15, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for the push! Yes, fine jewelry is most definitely on the ban list now.
      A whole year ban!! That is superb! I don’t know if I could do that. But this year will be about slowing way down on clicking the ‘place order’ button, for me
      I understand what you mean by your size totally changing. I am in the same boat and feel bad about how many things I don’t fit into anymore. So, probably getting some exercise is a little more important for me this year.

      Like

      March 15, 2017

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