Thursday, 16 October 2014

why i think the shopping ban is not for me: what really curbs my spending

i do not do shopping bans well. i think after doing it about three times now, with varying degrees of success, it's pretty evident that i suck at it.

this is because: i dislike not being able to shop (even when i don't want to shop; i am weird, i know). i guess i don't do well with this sort of restriction in my life.

i agree that this sounds like an excuse, and is definitely a terrible thing to write out in a blog post. but, in the rather off chance that you are like me, this is perhaps something worth pondering about. for a lot of people, the shopping ban works because it removes a choice from their lives. for me, it doesn't really work because i like having that choice to purchase if i want to.

i keep a spreadsheet of wardrobe spending, meticulously tracking this aspect of my life for the past 2 years. so far, the trends for total wardrobe spending ($) and items (no.) are falling, which is what i want. i don't keep a record of the things that i donated, but i have been donating a lot lately, which is also something i want. i cringe at the monetary value of donated items, which is something i don't want to, but do. i come to the conclusion that in terms of monetary value, rarely worn clothing is a terrible investment.

observing this spreadsheet in the past few months reveals that even in the presence of a choice to purchase, i don't always purchase. i manage to talk myself out of it. most of the time, after lusting after a particular thing, i come to the conclusion that i don't need the said thing, so why purchase. my bank account is very happy with this decision.

i think there is also a reverse psychology happening here - when you tell yourself not to do something, you end up thinking about doing it, and then actually doing it. so instead of telling me not to shop, i tell myself to pause and think about why i purchase. this pause is very important because this is the time and space to evaluate the desire to purchase, not just the item to purchase.

so, in summary this is what works for me right now: exercising a critical eye when purchasing, pausing and asking why i purchase, and once purchased, hopefully wear my clothes to death.

or in short, my goal is to be a smart and conscious consumer.

(this is one of those posts that make me feel so grown up. dont ask why.)

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