Shopping Ban: 5th Month Report


Last day of November and in some regards I did well… in others, this was a crash and burn month. I got way ahead of the curve on my holiday shopping – only 4 presents left to buy and I’ve stayed below my budget. But my clothes shopping took a giant nose dive back into wasteful. I don’t know if I just let go because of the holiday shopping or if it was because I’d been doing so well and it was time for a slip… but I ordered over $1500 worth of stuff from Nordstrom’s this month. Ouch. I did wise up and send most of it back, but ordering in the first place is what I’m trying to squash. Ugh.

Here’s how everything unfolded:

What I spent money on:

Sephora had a 20% off weekend so I stocked up on a few things. Total, I spent $79.24 and saved $18.40. I was about to run out of my morning cleanser but was low enough on the other two things where it made sense to buy it all this month instead of wait. Bought them all on 11/13.

  • Clinique’s Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer (last purchased on 7/12)
  • Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash (last purchased on 6/27)
  • Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser Last purchased on 7/12)

10 Piece Category:

So yeah. One in store purchase and three online Nordstrom orders. Throw in one online order with Shoes of Prey (which was the one REALLY intentional purchase this month), the total damage came out to $2139.31. I returned most of it so the next out-of-pocket boils down to:

  • a blouse and skirt (in store purchase) $181.86
  • a navy and black polka dot dress $127.40 
  • a pair of black custom booties to replace a pair that broke on a work trip a while back and desperately needed to be replaced. $199
  • a Kate Spade purse I found on sale for $225.99

That leaves me with very little wiggle room for the next 7 months with only 3 items I can let myself binge on without failing my goal. But there’s no reason it can’t happen, right? It’s just going to take will power and focus.

On a side note, though, the Oxford ankle booties I ordered from Shoes of Prey are fantastic. You know those go to pair of shoes you wear with everything? I had a pair of those that broke. Nothing seemed to measure up until I found this site. I picked the heel height, the materials, and basically every detail. They made them to my exact specs and shipped them right to my door in a matter of a few weeks. I was SO impressed with the whole process and I’ve worn the shoes half a dozen times already. Now I just have to fight the urge to go nuts and buy all the shoes. It could happen.

Items Sold:

Said goodbye to a pair of shoes and a button down shirt this month. $53.60 and $9.05, respectively.

Closet Clear Out:

I went after my shoes this month. Over the years, I’ve had a weird relationship with shoes–at some point I had over 100 pairs and that’s just not practical in my life. It’s been down in numbers since then, but I still went through it all to cut out all the excess. And there were a couple of things that were random removals:

  • 2 pairs of boots
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 5 pairs of heels
  • 1 pair of wedges
  • 5 more tops/sweaters
  • 2 more pairs of earrings
  • 2 coats/jackets
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 3 under things

That puts me at 24 things total removed and my new grand total (including the new stuff) is 469. That means I’ve removed 116 things total, or a 19.83% reduction. I need to get rid of 19 more things to hit my goal.

Next month I may need to take a break before I hit my handbags. That one is going to be tough. I’m on pace to only need to get rid of 2-3 things per month for the rest of the project.

Credit Card Payoff:

I had one more insurance bill to pay this month, so I only put $100 toward the credit card this month. $900 to go.


I went overboard this month. $50.30 total spent–and while that’s way more than it should have been, the good news is I didn’t go over budget in my total miscellaneous category because of it. So while I need to keep it in check, it wasn’t a situation where I went beyond my means because of it.


I had one more big bill hit in November, so I had to be somewhat reserved in my savings. But still stashed a decent chunk away.

  • $100 to my Roth IRA
  • $750 for my regular savings plan
  • $0 from my writing gig
  • $63.40 from PoshMark sales

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $79.24 in November, $427.41 YTD
  • 10 Items: $731.55 in November, $1035.73 YTD; 3 items remaining
  • Items Sold: $62.65 in November, $193.05 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 24 items in November, 116 YTD. A 19.83% total reduction
  • Credit Card: $100 in November, $8100 YTD
  • Starbucks: $50.30 in November; $186.28 YTD

Final Thoughts:

I feel really good about the holiday shopping for friends and family. And I’m excited I got so many presents handled early. I can use all that extra time for wrapping, right? I don’t feel so good about the shopping spill over adding to my piles of stuff but I’ve made my choice and need to live with it. It’ll be a bit tougher to over the next 7 months, but I need to be committed to it. I’ve never been the new year’s resolution type–just more of the if I need to make a change, I need to do it now. December should be easier because the presents I have left to buy are nowhere near a mall. I’ll be busy wrapping presents and taking the kids ice skating and to see Santa anyway.

And this is the time of year where I sit down to think about what we want to do the next year. I have some home improvements that need to happen, and it’d be great to take the kids on a long weekend vacation. Two things to focus on instead of shopping. I want to make my money work for me in the best possible way.

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