The Shopping Diet



Every so often I will challenge myself to stop shopping for one full month.  In my head, this doesn’t sound like it should be all that difficult to do.  Here’s how this generally goes: I have once again way overspent my clothing/shoe budget (although that implies that I have ever actually set a budget for myself…which I have not).  I find myself reading my bank statement in disgust as I realize that my savings account has had virtually no movement in months.  I trip over a shoe box poking out from under my bed where I have begun to store my shoes for lack of space in my shoe closet.  I say to myself “That’s it!” and I vow to quit shopping for the next month.  I tell my friend Liz about my intention and become quite indignant when she rolls her eyes in disbelief.  “I’ll show her” I think to myself. 

Liz is justified in her eye rolling because I have never made it through that month.  Some months I do better than others.  Sometimes I’ll make it to mid-month before I cave.  Once I got through three weeks and then decided enough was enough of that nonsense.  But I cannot seem to get through an entire 30 days without buying something.  And like any addict, once I get that first taste I’m off and rolling again. 

This would not necessarily be an issue if it weren’t for the fact that a) my credit card balances are not in what I would call a “healthy place” and b) my husband and I want to move to a bigger apartment.  My penchant for shoes is what keeps us from attaining that dream.  I have friends, the aforementioned Liz for example, who tell me that they often don’t shop for many months at a time.  I do not understand this.  It’s like saying “Last June I didn’t breathe any air” or “I didn’t eat in 2014”.  I can’t comprehend not shopping for that extended a period of time.  However, I want to move and I’m tired of being Visa’s bitch so I am once again professing that I will not shop for the entirety of July.

My hope, dear reader, is that by making my pledge public I will be more likely to keep this promise.  I realize that a plan is needed to achieve my goal so I’ve put the following strategy into play: I’ve instructed my husband to throw all Nordstrom, J Crew and Anthropologie catalogs away before bringing them into the house.  All credit cards have been locked away in our safe to which I do not have a key.  I’ve unsubscribed myself from the majority of emails I get from various stores tempting me with promises of ‘New Arrivals!’ and warnings that ‘Items in your shopping bag are selling fast!’  I often find myself in trouble when I’m reading fashion blogs that considerately include the link to featured items. Since I’m not going to stop reading blogs for a month, I will have to exercise some willpower and ignore the links.

So wish me luck, kids.  I figure if I can get through the month sans shopping then perhaps I can adhere to a reasonable budget moving forward.  According to WhoWhatWear, we should spend 5% of our monthly take home pay on clothes and such.  Truthfully, that seems ridiculous to me but I acknowledge that my perception may have been skewed over the years so I’m willing to give it a try. Because it’s still June I’ll admit that I’ve been shopping like a bit of a lunatic lately.  Counterproductive, I know, but I am who I am.  Check out a few of my favorite buys below.