Monday, September 10, 2012

Shop: A temporary hiatus; otherwise know as a test of willpower

They say that 'all good things must come to an end'. In my case, it's more like a temporary hiatus brought about by insufficient funds. I am referring to my shopping habits. Post-divorce, I went a little crazy with my spending habits. I indulged. A lot. I would like to say I was simply being frivolous but in reality, it was more like irresponsible.

As a result of all this excess spending, I find that my tastes have changed. I'm no longer happy with the mid range priced items like Nine West or Gap. I know that these are nice brands, but instead I have indulged myself with the more costly Kate Spade,  Marc Jacobs, etc. I realize I can't (or don't want to) afford these beauties at full retail, so I do my fair share of scavenging, but even discounted Marc Jacobs is more expensive than the average Michael Kors. My every day purses are much higher quality than they use to be, as are my gym clothes, my shoes, my make up...the list goes on. J. Crew was once a treat, but these days almost every outfit I have for work includes at least one piece from their collection. I have spoiled myself and have now set the bar too high. Not to mention the fact that I have a tendency to double up on items that I like, leaving me with 5 different bottles of toner, 3 identical shirts in different colours, etc. The thrill of a new acquisition has dulled and shopper's remorse has increased. For shame!

I know, I know...third world problems. I'm spoiled and fortunate, I know it. But this type of spending goes against everything my family instilled in me when I was growing up, and I do feel guilty. They were always afraid of unforeseen changes and sung the praises of saving every penny.  I don't subscribe to this mentality like I use to, I've seen too many people pass away over the years (with untouched nest eggs) to 'never put out the good china'. There's a great chapter on this concept in 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin which really hit home for me. But I think I need to find the right equilibrium, I lost it somewhere between eBay and Winners. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing I can't recover from but it's probably a good idea to rein it in.

Soooo, all that to say, I'm going to start a little experiment and I intend to blog about it so that I feel bad when I cheat. No shopping until after Christmas. A little over 3 months. wince...whine...sigh... I will use this time to set a budget/strategy for my future shopping habits.  I have even set some ground rules so my boyfriend doesn't mock me relentlessly when I agonize over one purchase or another.

1. No clothes, No shoes, No purses, No accessories, No Jewellery, No Make Up, Fragrance & Body Products (unless needed for hygiene purposes ex. tooth brush, deodorant, etc.)
2. No Cook Books, David's Tea (tea must only be part of grocery orders) or magazines that I am not currently subscribed to already.
3. No cute artifacts: ex. stuffed animals or otherwise useless toys that I often bring home for no other reason than 'it's CUTE!!!!!. Likely sources: Urban Outfitters, MultiMags, Chapters, etc
4. Allowed: Services such as Yoga memberships, reasonable book purchases for book clubs, golf fees, food & wine

Not sure if I'm missing anything. Any suggestions? I'm allowing myself one exception, as I am going away for a weekend and had already planned on getting a few things that I cannot normally buy in Canada. I'll try and be reasonable. *ahem* Also, spending on others for Christmas is an obvious exception although it will likely be the greatest source of temptation during my 3 month diet.

Any bets? Let's call this Day 1.

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