Shopping Ban: 7th Month Review


I don’t know about you, but my January NEVER looks that pretty. I often think I’d rather enjoy living in a place with a real winter, but I’m sure it’s a grass is always greener situation and I’d be a total wimp about it once it became my reality.

January is the month of resolutions, where everyone tries to be on their best behavior. But change is difficult and many go back to the same old routine. I’ve had setbacks here and there, but I’m going to keep pushing. Forming new habits takes time and LOTS of practice along with mistakes. I’m trying to be more aware of my triggers and take control of the situation and I’m a control freak, so I maybe that helps.

Now that I’m officially on the downswing, here’s how January went:

What I spent money on:

  • Rodan + Fields – it was time to buy again and this time I went with a different regimen. My body has been reacting negatively to me lately and one of those ways is a lot more acne than usual. Here’s hoping this stuff keeps it at bay. It was $157.71, and my last purchase was 9/20/2015
  • Birthday Presents – I’m taking my step mom to a ballet and I found an adorable dress for my niece who will be turning 5 next month. $165.50 total
  • Party Supplies – my son also turns 3 next month. He’s into fire trucks right now, so themed party supplies were $44.93
  • Home Depot – my husband bought the faucets we needed so I bought the towel hangers and other matching bathroom items. One home improvement project already handled. Go us! $212.93
  • Dental Work – seriously, yuck. It’s my own fault for not getting regular cleanings and check ups. A root canal and 3 crowns. Lesson learned. $2809 total (but I’m using another credit card balance transfer with a 2% fee and 0% until March 2017–might as well game the system while I still can).

10 Piece Category:

I’m not going to lie. I bought something. I received some clothes for Christmas that didn’t fit and got a Nordstrom’s gift card when I returned them. It was burning a hole in my wallet. And then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had a cape?” I have zero, they always look so sophisticated, and I could get a less expensive one so I wouldn’t be out of pocket much.

After looking for a week, I decided on one. It was grey with a faux fur collar and it was very reasonably priced. With the gift card, I paid $7.27 out of pocket. And then it arrived and looked like a Snuggy on me because I’m 5’2″. I was bummed. I sent it back, accepting that not everything is going to work on my body. And that’s okay. I used to keep things and try to force it. Then they’d collect dust in my closet after 1 or 2 failed attempts. Such waste.

I was prepared to be down to 2 items left I could buy, but I’m still at 3. For purposes of this experiment it’s a good thing.

Items Sold:

I went through my inventory and dropped prices on a lot of stuff and added a few new things this month. Had a bunch of stuff go into someone’s bundle list but they never pulled the trigger to buy. Kind of frustrating to get all these notifications and then nothing happens.

So still nothing for January. Ugh.

Closet Clear Out:

I did it. I did the thing I’ve been avoiding for 6 months. I went through my handbags and had a real heart to heart with myself about getting rid of what I don’t use, no matter how sentimental I am about it or how much I paid for it.

  • 7 handbags – including 2 Coach, 1 kate spade, and 1 LAMB. The LAMB is a tough one. I’m going to list it for a decent price and if it doesn’t get asking price, I’ll keep it and put it back into my totals. I use it, but infrequently, and I have 2 other black bags I use more often.
  • 3 pairs of knee high socks (because it’s not the 90s and I’m not in high school). I don’t know how I missed them until now.
  • a pair of pants with a hole in a non-repairable place.

That puts me at 11 things total removed and my new grand total is 452. That means I’ve removed 133 things net, or a 22.62% reduction. I need to get rid of only 2 more things to hit my goal.

On a side note, since I’m so close to that magic number I’m going to use February to re-inventory. I’m guessing I might be off a bit from messing with a spreadsheet for 7 months.

Credit Card Payoff:

$300 paid, just $300 to go.

Next month, another balance transfer will hit from that dental work… but at least the old balance will be paid in full. *sigh* So close, but 0% for a year is silly to pass up. At least this time it doesn’t involve any insane impulse purchases.


One $35 reload on my card.


My goal is to stash away at least $13,000 this year so my savings plan is aggressive. But I think it’s doable–I’ll need to average putting away $1083.33 per month total. I’m already ahead of schedule.

  • $150 to my Roth IRA
  • $1787.83 for my regular savings plan
  • $200 from my writing gig

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $157.71 in January, $659.80 YTD
  • 10 Items: $0 in January, $1035.73 YTD; 3 items remaining
  • Items Sold: $0 in January, $193.05 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 11 items in January, 133 YTD. A 22.62% total reduction
  • Credit Card: $300 in January, $8700 YTD
  • Starbucks: $35 in January; $251.28 YTD

Final Thoughts:

Next month is my birthday, which I normally use as an excuse to shop. If I can make it through the month, I think that’s a good sign. Focus on my son’s birthday, going to see Deadpool and Zoolander 2 as my presents to myself, and maybe enjoy a nicer bottle of wine. Those all sound pretty good to me and clothes will still be there later to buy.

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