Thursday, September 10, 2009

End to the Shopping Ban

My 2 weeks with absolutely no shopping is quickly coming to a close. I decided that while I was able to resist the urge to shop for the last 8 weeks, 2 months is just not enough time to see a real dent in one's finances. With only 2 months to utilize my new bill paying schedule I just don't see any immediate changes. Finances are long term and not instantaneous, so the shopping ban will not stop here. Instead I will stick with it, and only purchase items that have been carefully planned out and budgeted. Budgets I don't have any problem sticking with, pre-planning my purchases I do. What can I say? I like shinny new things. We had planned on a trip to the Bronx Zoo this weekend with some friends, and with labor day sales kicking off I have been carefully planning for the end of the shopping ban. Ever since it started I have been compiling a list of items I will need for the fall. We aren't talking about a green sweater and pink scarf because I saw them in a magazine ( even though I wanted to make that list) we are talking my basic fall needs. Socks, replacing shirts that have since been stained and filling in the necessary sweater gaps. I'm proud to say that my list isn't very long, and I am determined to stick to it. Yesterday, our Bronx trip was cancelled last minute, and so the money I had planned to use for this weekend suddenly didn't have a home. I decided to spend half of it on bills, and to use the other half to start working on getting through my basic needs shopping list. While most people enjoy Spring Cleaning, I always dive in head first during the fall and tare through my closets and drawers throwing things out and donating so much more. I think it's my way of preparing for hibernation. As I was going through my closet deciding what needs to go, I realized that many of my plain shoes have seen better days. My black pumps ( necessities for all women) have lost their point and now come to a funny uneven end. My white heels have brown scuffs all along their side, and my red ones? Well they just needed to go. About 4 pairs of flats made their way into the donate bag, and a few just needed to go to the big closet in the sky.As I cleaned out old sweaters that don't fit, threw out shirts that were full of holes and sent my good shoes to a better home I realized that not all of the items needed to be replaced. Donating is not an excuse to purchase more, a mantra I once lived by. Instead it is refreshing to know that everything in your closet has a purpose, and a final goal. So much cleaning has left me feeling refreshed, and almost naked. Between my ever growing list and my suddenly empty closet I realized that I am missing many essentials. This fall I am on the hunt to purchase only absolute necessities, and in this case a few replacement pieces.

Following a good tip by Kim of Fabulous Finds under $50, ( I decided to stop by my local Goodwill. She picked up some great heels there for $3 and I was curious if mine would have the same. It was a far stretch since they all carry different items, but Target loves dropping off their 'leftovers' at the goodwill, and since hers were a brand new pair of target shoes, I thought I would try my luck. And luck was sure on my side! The shelves were full of brand new never worn Target shoes. While my Goodwill is smart and marks the new items all at $10, I still couldn't say no. In front of me were new shoes, that fit my needs and were marked at $10 a pair!

These were the one's that I went in for in the first place, and I was so excited to see them on the shelves. Kim picked them up in pink but now that I own them I love them in the beige. I think they will work with more of my closet. I only own 1 other pair of animal print shoes, and those are very subtle. I liked the neutral colors of these heels and thought that they would make a great addition to simple trousers, a winter must in this area.
These ruffled beige round-toe shoes just couldn't be left behind. We will call these a must-have neutral closet item. I have some beige heels but they are pointed, and often just don't go with some of my patterned dresses. With this pair I will be able to wear them with jeans or a skirt and let the item of clothing really do the talking.

My last two pairs were simply essentials. Since I threw out and donated so much of my standard items, I was suddenly left without simple ones like a plain pair of black heels!I've never owned a pair of brown, although there are many times I wish I did. These shoes aren't as fun as most of my collection, but I know that they will get ton's of use. They were a smart purchase and I hope to get years of use out of my new simple friends.

Having a plan and a budget really streamlined my shopping. I was in and out with-in 15 minutes and was the proud owner of 4 great shoes. And I managed to stay under my shopping budget with money left over to live. The shopping ban really taught me a few things about my spending habits. And those things have taught me that I can still be a fashion diva and a smart shopper.

1 comment:

Meli22 said...

THAT is one of the most awesome bargains I have seen in a LONG time. *envy*

I did a shopping ban like you did- 3 months! I ALSO went through those three months making a list of things I need (basics) and now that the ban is over I'm starting to get that list taken care of. As far as the "wish list" I also have items on there- trendy items I have nowhere to wear but out on the town (which I never do!).