Friday, July 31, 2009

Shopping Ban Week 2: Lessons Learned

I would like to think that I would have started making some major headway on my shopping ban. Two weeks in to the cease to all extraneous clothing spending and I am disappointed in myself. Granted, I haven’t purchased any clothes, stopped at any stores or even felt the need to, I haven’t gotten a handle on my spending. After balancing the checkbooks and weighting the bills, I find that I haven’t yet been able to get ahead of anything just yet. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I’m sure even the Roman’s were so frustrated with how long it took. The bigger problem I face is the entire month of August. My work is switching our pay periods, which means for 1 week in August we will get 2 days worth of pay. We will start the following week on the new pay period. This will not only effect my budgeting for the month but my income as well. Luckily, knowing that I have little outside spending I am better able to plan ahead. Let me review a few lessons learned so far:

The Birthday Luau. I had originally been on the hunt for a great Hawaiian shirt and spent weeks leading up to the luau on the hunt. When the shopping ban started, I had forgotten that I hadn’t yet found an outfit! I own nothing that is even remotely tropical which meant I had to get creative. In the end a white tank top with a khaki skirt, and a well placed floral bra was the perfect ensemble. I was temporarily sad about not being able to buy a great outfit for the event, but quickly realized that my favorite thing about fashion is working with what you have. On my latest shopping binge I must have forgotten that being creative is half the battle of being fashionable!

My vacation starts in 1 week. Bathing suits and cover-ups for the beach and some nice outfits for dinner and packing is complete. Ashley and I pride ourselves on being in bed before 10. This is a vacation and we are in it to relax. My current wardrobe absolutely is ready for a relaxing week, but there were a few things I was hoping to pick up before we go. This was another event that I had not taken into account before arranging this little ban. Without the ban I probably would have invested in another bathing suit, a few books, and a few more sundresses. I have 3 bathing suits, too many books and plenty of sundresses. They don’t get worn much once we’re on the beach so they can and should be re-worn. I love the ocean. I love jumping in the waves and body surfing. These activities are not meant for ladies swimsuits however and every year like clockwork I manage to flash at least a few of the beach enjoyers. I am determined to not embarrass myself this year. That started my original bathing suit for vacation search. Now, being unable to search I think the best plan is to add a tank top to my bathing suit before I head into the water. I have plenty of A line shirts, I will be able to prevent wardrobe malfunctions and I won’t need to buy anything to get the same results. Again I discover that being creative is half of the fashion battle!

Looking back on the last two weeks, I may not have been able to make financial life-changes, but I was able to get a better grasp on where I stand. More importantly I have been able to re-evaluate my shopping habits. Do I shop for necessity or do I shop to shop? Do I spend money on things I think I need because I haven’t taken the time to get creative with my wardrobe? Has my inner Martha Stewart forgotten how to dress??

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