Shopping ban update and 4 tools to keep motivated
I have been on my spending ban for six weeks! Six weeks of not spending money on clothes, books and beauty items (unless I am replacing necessities).
If shopping mindlessly is not an issue for you, this may not seem that significant… but as someone who loves to browse around shops… it has been a great milestone!
I am not going to lie, its been a mixture of emotions. It started out really well. I could pop in and out of shops with no compulsion to buy anything. Not even tempted! I was feeling smug and not sure I needed this break from shopping! (Not once did I question why I was in shops, while on a shopping ban!)
I then had to buy a few replacements (Who starts their shopping ban when everything is running out/falling apart?) (Me! That is who!) and this created a need for shopping. I went in for a moisturiser and wanted everything from a new face wash to the serums and perfumes . I NEEDED it all. I could not fathom how I had survived without these products. They were going to make life better…and so the purchase of one item created a need for more purchases!
Now, normally I wouldn’t be thinking about my habits. I would be shopping for what I need and want. Only to consider the implications after…most likely when I realise I already have three other face washes (!!!) , or when I finally use it and find… it’s not going to change my life. Buyers regret is such a thing, especially with items, bought on a whim.
This time though, I stepped back. I questioned the want for new; my inability to leave the shop and my need for more. I got out of there quickly (and you think I would learn the lesson here)(but no). This happened a couple of times and I realised that I needed some strategies, to make it to the end of the year. Strategies I have needed all along in my shopping journey.
Four key things to keep motivated during your shopping ban:
1 Stay out of shops
Shops are not your friend when you are trying to take control of your spending habits. They are set up to make you spend money. Repeat after me. Shops are not your friend! This includes online shopping and email lists. It creates consumer lust. Lust for things you did not know you needed.
Remember you are on a shopping ban. Why are you browsing shops or online shopping! So, step away from temptation!
* Find other things to do. Meet up in coffee shops, cook for friends, go dancing. Go for long walks. Fill your life with awesome activities. Find new interests. Have fun!
2 Reinforce your why
Remember why you have signed up for this challenge. It’s not to deprive you of everything good, but to take back control. Whether it is to get rid of excess, save money, make ethical choices or create an awesome capsule wardrobe.
For me its a combination of the above. I want the perfect capsule wardrobe. Comfortable. Practical. Stylish. Clothes that go from day to night, midweek to weekend. Effortless style. I want control over purchases, and above all I want my choices to be ethical, with minimal harm to others and the environment! Standing in the middle of Primark with 20 items , buying three books because the covers are pretty does not reflect this!
*I have found blogs, instagram and youtube a great source of inspiration. Reading and listening to others who have done the same, keeps me inspired and reinforces my motivation to keep going!3
3 Question your impulse
So, you find yourself in a shop, and you feel the NEED/WANT to splash some cash. You can barely remember your WHY anymore.
Use this quick deflection from buying and question the need/ want for the item. I have found this really works for silly impulse buys like a new dress, book or home accessory. It also takes the mindLESS out of shopping to mindFUL.
My quick run through is: Do I have this already? Do I need it? Is this a want? Will I use it?How often will I use it? Is this the best option? Ethically made? Where will I keep it? Will I love it next week/ next year? Is this the perfect item?
Step away from the shop, go for a coffee (tea, juice…anything!) Meet up with a friend. Chances are that a week from now you will not remember what it is you even wanted!
4 Use what you have at home
Since I have started my shopping ban, I am making use of what I have. I piled my books high next to my bed and I am choosing my next reads from here. This has highlighted all the books I have and is quite the reminder that I do not need any more!
I have really started to notice, the clothes I love and wear all the time. Same with makeup. I have a lot of items I am not wearing and using…. and yet a few staples are used all of the time. This really hit home the amount of money I am wasting and space these (unused) items take up!
Using these four strategies has helped my stay motivated and out of shops and I redirected my energy into other activities. I will clearly have some more wobbles along the way, but feel will cope a whole lot better with these strategies behind me.
Have you started a shopping/spending ban? What strategies did you use? Share below, as I would love to hear what others are doing!
*If you are contemplating a shopping ban, read this blogpost:
*Want to become more minimalist. Read more here: