October 3, 2011

October Shopping Embargo

I’ll admit, I’m a recreational shopper…I shop with my mom after the Sunday ads come out, I shop with my friends for fun, I shop when I’m bored on my lunch break, I shop while I’m catching up on my TV shows......maybe recreational shopper is putting it lightly…it's more like:

Ok - I'm not THAT bad, but my debit card swiping did get a little crazy in September. So in preparation for November’s Black Friday, I’ve decided to impose a Shopping Embargo on myself for the month of October. Note: This is not a SPENDING embargo…rather a “stop buying crap I don’t need” embargo.

…not that I didn’t need the new purse or the four pairs of heels I bought in September…oh geeze, I think I have a problem…
Since I have a card swiping problem (It’s just so easy to do!), I’m taking out just enough cash to make it through the month of October, and taking my debit card out of my wallet until November 1st.

Just writing this post is stressing me out…but I can’t figure out why. It’s not like I’m renouncing worldly goods and living like a hobbit in a cave. I’m still going to buy the things I need and attend events I want to attend. So why then, is the act of NOT SHOPPING so hard to fathom? And it’s not even all shopping, just non-essential shopping!

I think the first step – after hiding my debit card – is distinguishing between a want and a need. Me…I ‘need’ everything. Example: even though I have 3,000 pairs of running shorts, I need pair 3,001 because I don’t have that exact shade of pink.

Step two – tracking my purchases. Yea, I’ll admit it – I only look at my bank statement once a month, and I tend to ignore the Target & Subway charges that appear multiple times a week…although, maybe they really are scamming me…was I really at Target 9 times last month?? Oh wait…yep…oops. In my defense, I buy groceries there. I can’t help it if something else jumps in the cart!

In all seriousness though, the idea of a shopping embargo really shouldn’t be taken so lightly. For some people, it’s a way a life – not just a silly game that a 23 year old yuppie is playing because her closet is overflowing. I’m going to try really hard to take this seriously and stick to my plan. It won’t be like my TV embargo from earlier this year that lasted all of 36 hours (ok...24 hours). So if you catch me shopping, or talking about shopping, or staring into space daydreaming about shopping – feel free to yell at me :)