Shopping Ban: Month 10 Review

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This month I got to buy a couple of windows for the house that needed replacing, solar screens, and pay the IRS. Who doesn’t love that, right? Kidding. The weather sucked–a couple of nasty hail storms (we were VERY lucky–some very nice people are still picking up pieces of their lives right now), LOTS of rain, and crazy temperature swings that kicked my allergies in the rear end. Pretty much like every spring in North Texas.

Even though we had a pretty big expense month, we had the cash to cover it all without dipping into savings. Yay! Some things went well, others had issues. But overall, it worked out to be mostly a wash.

Here’s how April went:

What I spent money on:

  • More Almay Oil Free eye makeup remover from the grocery store – bought 4/3 for $8.22 and the last time I bought it was on 12/6
  • It turned into a stock up month at Sephora – I needed my favorite Bumble & Bumble Hair Thickening Spray (last bought on 4/16/15), my YSL concealer (last bought on 1/27/15), and Tanning Mousse (last bought on 4/16/15) because I can’t start shorts and skirt weather looking pasty. The total came to $135.31 on April 2
  • The kids had their spring pictures taken and of course they were adorable, so I coughed up $104.94 for the proofs and digital images on 4/4
  • Bought Andrea Bocelli tickets for his concert coming up in December. Taking my grandma for her birthday and a guest because she more than deserves it. A bit of a budget buster at $910.51 but thanks to buying less stuff each month, I can still afford it without getting super stressed
  • my R+F refill came through on 4/20 at $157.51 (last order was 1/20)

10 Piece Category:

Added nothing. 1 pieces remains for my last two months.

Items Sold:

Nada. Again. At this point, I’d like to just get the stuff out of my office closet and make room for other stuff.

Closet Clear Out:

It’s getting down to the wire. I went to wear a bra this month and found out the elastic had worn out–it was way too big. So that helped make a few of my eliminations for me. The rest is just trying to weed out those final few things that need to go.

  • 1 jacket
  • 1 button down shirt
  • 1 blouse
  • 1 t shirt
  • 1 bra, 2 matching underthings

I’m down to 453 total, a 22.96% total reduction. That’s 135 things I’ve dumped over the past 10 months. That seems like a lot. I can’t believe I ever had so much when I’m never short on options now. Hell, even 450 things for my wardrobe still seems high but that’s for another project.


I really went off the deep end with lattes this month – $60 worth of reloads. I overshot it by about $10, but I still went WAY too often. Gotta get that back in line going forward. Yikes. My goal is to make do with only adding $25 to my card in May.


Our taxes came to $2492 owed which basically cut out me adding anything to my savings account in a meaningful way this month. But it was pretty awesome that I didn’t have to dig into my savings account to pay it off.

  • $150 to my Roth IRA
  • $0 for my regular savings
  • $200 from my writing gig

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $301.04 in April, $1010.64 YTD
  • 10 Items: $0 in April, $1317.12 YTD; 1 item remaining
  • Items Sold: $0 in April, $213.05 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 453 items remain, 135 removed total (7 for this month); 22.96% total reduction.
  • Starbucks: $60 in April; $376.28 YTD

Final Thoughts:

My curiosity got me last month, wondering how I looked the first few months of this year compared to last year. Definitely pleasantly surprised. Even though I’m tracking a few more things than I was this time last year, I’m WAY under what I spent. This year, including April, I’ve spent a total of $789.94 on clothes, make up, and skincare related things. Last year, I was at a whopping $2229.86. That’s $1439.92 less. Damn.

I’ll admit, when I added up this year’s total so far, I thought I could be doing better. I still think I can, but when I’m basically at one third of what I spent last year–I want to celebrate that.

The questions I now ask myself before I buy anything are:

  • Do I really need/want this or am I trying to deal with another issue through shopping?
  • Do I have anything like it already in my closet?
  • Am I going to wear/use it enough to justify the purchase?

It’s not a perfect system, and I still flub up from time to time. But I’m much more aware of it, and I can pause to consider before I emotionally react. And if that doesn’t work, I can always return it.

Next month means putting the kids in swimming lessons for summer, a few things to get my daughter ready for kindergarten in the fall, and The Cure concert. Lots to look forward to, and lots to keep me busy, so very little time to worry about shopping. Plus, I have plenty of cute shorts to get me through the warm weather transition. Bring it on.

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