This is how you do a Shopping Ban

At the risk of sounding like a frugal know-it-all, I think I figured out an excellent way to stick to a clothing/shoes/handbag shopping ban.

I’m in the third week of my clothing/shoes/handbag shopping ban and it’s both hard and easy. It’s hard because I am addicted to Pinterest. At the same time, it’s easy because i’ve set some ‘rules’ that make it more like a game. Since many people try to enact shopping bans, I thought I would share my tactic. It works best for clothing/shoes/handbag bans.

Before the ban, I donated/sold/trashed a lot of clothing that did not work for me or were beyond repair.

I did an inventory of my remaining work clothes and list it out on one sheet. I included work clothes only because that’s where I spend the most. I also don’t own a lot of clothing in other categories such as party, exercise, or casual. Note: However, I will not buy items in any clothing category until I finish the ban.

Then I made this one simple rule: I will not buy any new clothes until I wear every item listed at least 5 times.

printable-number-5-outlineWhy 5? I thought 3 times would be too easy and 5 would present enough of a challenge. I don’t have a lot of clothes but i figured it would still take me months to wear every item 5 times. After I started the ban, I read that the average women only wear their clothes seven times, so those who are more ambitious might want to wear all their clothes at least seven times.

The reason this works for me, and might work well for others, is that it does not feel like an arbitrary ban. You have it in your power to reduce the shopping ban time, depending on how quickly you wear every item you own (for your chosen number of times).

1) You’re never really done de-cluttering. After a few weeks, I realize that one dress could prevent me from ending the ban.  It was still in good condition and I had paid good money for it, making me reluctant to part with it. I made one halfhearted attempt to sell it. When it didn’t sell, I realized that I have to donate it. It’s sitting in a donation bag as of this writing.

2) There’s a “gray area” in clothing.. It should be easy to wear everything you own 5x or just get rid of it. However, I own many items that I like enough to keep but don’t get as much wear because they’re not as versatile/comfortable/stylish as my favorites.

3) You can stop wearing favorites for inexplicable reasons.  There are many reasons that you don’t wear certain clothes. Some make sense — Tastes change, sizes change. Some make no sense — like developing a sudden dislike for 3/4 sleeve shirts.

olivia-palermo-michael-dumler-pfw-ss14-valentino (1)4) My eye for style is more fashion-forward than I am. Do you know the saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”? This refers to piling more food on your plate than you can actually eat. Well, this saying applies to my fashion sense. I tend to LOVE and buy slightly quirky pieces that I see on my fashion icons and then not be able to style it right. I’ve gotten better now at judging what I will actually wear, but I still own clothes that don’t get as much wear as they should.

5) I Love Sweater Weather. I have (had) too many sweaters for a mild climate. The good news is that this ban forced me to pare down my winter clothing. The bad news is that I doubt I will wear everything 5x until late Fall or Winter 2016.

As of this writing, I foresee my shopping ban ending in late 2016 or early 2015.


Breaking Down My New Year’s Resolutions

I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in a few years. It’s not because I don’t believe in them or forget them by mid-year. In fact, I’m actually pretty good at keeping my resolutions.

Some years, I set ONE BIG GOAL. Experts say that having too many resolutions is a set-up for failure.

Most years, I set multiple goals and categorize these (money, health, work, etc…) When I have many resolutions, I have to do one or two things:

  1. Make sure my goal is not too vague. (i.e. instead of saying I will work out, say I will go to the kickboxing class every Tuesday and Thursday).
  2. Write down specific actions to achieve goals. By this, I mean if I resolve to eat vegetarian on Mondays, I also need to include actions that may help me achieve this, such as download 10 delicious-sounding veggie recipes.

Since this is a money-blog, I’ll focus on my financial and career-related resolutions.

  1. Get my house in order with a will/special needs trust, life insurance, etc.. My husband and I have been saying this for years! The first step is scheduling a meeting with a lawyer.
  2. Look into passive/side income. Research the rental market, perhaps increase funds in my peer-to-peer lending account.
  3. Focus at work.  I’ve been making too many mistakes at work and I need to get back to basics — focus on the project at hand, single task, read the fine print, etc.. — in order to get a good evaluation and rebuild my career capital.  I came up 3 concrete actions to achieve this goal.
    1. Have only 2 tabs open on my computer at one time so that I’m not clicking between 5+ different websites.
    2. Read career-related books or articles during down time.
    3. Print out important information so that I really read it instead of scanning, as I tend to do with content on screen.
    4. Limit blog reading time. I will read Grumpy Rumblings in the morning and that’s it. Note: I’m already breaking this resolution but it’s a slow day…

My other resolutions are mainly about nurturing self and relationships with loved ones.


Do you make New Year resolutions? Are you good at keeping them?






De-Clutter Project 2015 Continues

Wow. Blonde On A Budget finished her 1-year shopping ban, which included embracing minimalism and de-cluttering a huge amount of STUFF. While I didn’t join the shopping ban, her actions inspired me to de-clutter our household.

The list continues..with newer items at top in bold.

Item – cash made, if any

  • 1 bag of toddler clothes – donated
  • 1 bag of corduroy jackets, winter hats, misc – donated
  • 1 bag of casual t-shirts, exercise clothes – donated
  • Old DVDs and CDs – donated
  • A few old books – donated
  • Hand weights – donated
  • Potty training seat (1) – donated
  • 6 designer toddler clothes – $10.50
  • 1 bag of toddler clothing – donated to raise money for schools
  • 1 bag of toddler / women’s clothing – $2.15
  • 1 pair of worn-out shoes – trash
  • 2 Baby gates – $50
  • 3 – 4 bags of baby clothes – donated
  • 1 high chair – $25
  • 1 stroller frame – $10
  • 2 bags of baby toys – donated
  • 1 box of books – donated

However, new items keep coming into the house:

  • 1 pair of Athletic Shoes (returned)
  • Brita water filters
  • Cashmere sweater
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • Kid safety latches
  • 2 Toys — one is a birthday gift
  • 1 pack of waterproof bibs
  • iPad cover
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • 1 pair of shoes that I really don’t need but love.
  • 1 pair of slippers
  • 1 stuffed animal
  • gray silk blouse (that I really don’t need)
  • Lip balms (2)
  • Shower Caddy
  • 2 picture frames
  • Flashlights
  • Boy school uniforms
  • Boys Halloween costumes
  • Oster Hair Trimmer


How to Sell Your Stuff (AKA “sh*t) on FB

Awesome tips about selling on facebook

All the Sun For You

So I’ve been busy lately – so very busy.  Hottie and I contemplated a move to Kansas City and I was 90% sure we’d make the move – in my head, we were gone.  I was shopping for houses, schools, friends (you know who you are), cupcake vendors, etc.  My head was in the  moving game, which meant it was time to get rid of STUFF!  With the recent, final decision back in November that we’re done growing our family, I have been ready to sell everything baby-related.  Before the topic of the move came up, I started casually selling baby gear and clothes on FB and CL, but once the move discussion was in full-force… well… I started selling everything.

I was a novice, I had no idea what I was doing and actually had Hottie help me post my first item on CL.  It sold in an hour…

View original post 2,582 more words

2015 De-Clutter Project

I really like the idea of a no-shopping challenge, or shopping ban, but I don’t have the willpower of Budgets Are Sexy or Blonde on A Budget.

However, I’m working on de-cluttering my space and I think keeping track of this will inspire me to get rid of more things.  At the end of the day, I just want to be surrounded by fewer STUFF and more space.

The list begins…

Item – cash made, if any

  • 2 Baby gates – $50
  • 3 – 4 bags of baby clothes – donated
  • 1 high chair – $25
  • 1 stroller frame – $10
  • 2 bags of baby toys – donated
  • 1 box of books – donated

Final Thought: Having a little or a lot is also a matter of perspective. I think that I have a minimalist wardrobe but an acquaintance recently commented that I own a lot of shoes!

I do NOT own this many shoes!

I do NOT own this many shoes!