Shopping Ban: Month 9 Review


It seems strange that I’m in the home stretch of this thing. Month 9 done. Only 3 to go. In a weird way, I feel like I’ve come so far but at the same time like I’ve just begun. Which probably makes no sense. I’m starting to see things differently now and have much fewer regrets about what I spend my money on. I still think I have work to do, but I see a difference and that’s what I was after. It’s a good feeling.

This month brought weird weather, more soccer games, my husband’s birthday (we celebrated by taking a day off from work to see Deadpool together–aren’t we romantic?), a rare girls night out, and a few estimates for home improvement projects. I might even be getting the hang of having zone defense on the kids when my husband has to work his 2 Saturdays per month. Might.

Here’s how March went:

What I spent money on:

  • It was my daughter’s turn for new shoes. She picked out a pair of sparkly, brightly colored light up things. $46.49 – a little pricy I know, but she wears them with pride.
  • Enrolled in a James Patterson writing class online. $90 for videos, homework assignments, and questions I can submit to “office hours” to get real feedback. So far it’s very cool.
  • Easter goodies – $57.41 for fun stuff, crafts, and ZERO candy! (Because they’ll get enough of at that school.)
  • Barnes & Noble – I promised the kids they could pick out a toy and a book each on a weekend trip to the mall. When we got to the counter, I realized I left the gift cards we have at home. $66.14
  • Ran out of face powder so I bought a replacement $23.82. Last time I purchased powder was 2.21.2015.
  • And finally, we’re going to see Whitesnake in June. It’s official, we’re on an 80’s music concert tour somehow. Duran Duran, The Cure, and now this? We’re such dorks, but so excited! And exactly why I wanted to reduce the shopping to we could afford to do more things like this. $151.41

10 Piece Category:

I made a real “need” purchase this month and that was it. My old running shoes were done. 3 years old and my ankle would hurt for  a day after I ran–not good. So I got a pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. Not dirt cheap, but also not outrageous. $135.31 with tax. I’ve used them several times already and every time I’m reminded I made the right choice replacing my old shoes. Only 1 item remaining, but that’s cool by me.

Items Sold:

Nada. But I also haven’t been trying much, either. Starting to wonder if it’s a better idea to take it all to a consignment store or donate it for the tax write off instead.

Closet Clear Out:

Random stuff, but stuff that I’m really not using after my initial run through everything.

  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 2 dresses

I’m down to 460 total, a 21.77% total reduction. I know I have a few more to go and I’m kind of weeding these last few pieces out as I pick out what to wear. If I haven’t taken it off the hanger in 6 months, I really don’t think I have a reason to keep it.


A $35 reload because this was a longer month. Plus the time change. I hated the time change. Expensive coffee really did make losing an hour easier to take.


  • $150 to my Roth IRA
  • $1000 for my regular savings
  • $150 from my writing gig

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $23.82 in March, $709.60 YTD
  • 10 Items: $135.31 in March, $1317.12 YTD; 1 items remaining
  • Items Sold: $0 in March, $213.05 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 460 items remain, 128 removed total (8 for this month); 21.77% total reduction.
  • Starbucks: $35 in March; $316.28 YTD

Final Thoughts:

I’m curious to see how my YTD this year compares to last year. I might check on that this weekend just to fluff up my ego a bit. I have a feeling my spending is way down and that will make me feel really good about what I’ve been working on to improve.

Next month, I have taxes to look forward to, as well as some window replacements and solar screens that we planned on doing to help improve the energy efficiency of the house (and make the old AC system last through one or two more Texas summers). I’m beginning to understand why homeownership isn’t necessarily seen as the American dream anymore–it’s freaking expensive. And while yes, we’re gaining equity, we’re definitely not doing it at a pace that is outperforming the expenses for at least the last few years.

Bring on the warmer weather (and unpredictable spring storms with hail, lightening, and tornadoes!), bring on registering my daughter for kindergarten for the fall, bring on a long weekend trip where we get to have some fun. Oh wait, I still have to plan that last part.

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