Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shopping Ban-A Guest post from my favorite Blogger-Fabulously Frugirl

Hello, Bargain Hunting Mommy readers.  I am so excited to being doing my first guest post here.  I am Fabulously Fru-girl (aka frugirl), a 20-something blogger who writes about balancing living fabulously and frugally.  I enjoy reading about personal finance, minimalism, ogling over fashion and playing volleyball.
I am currently on a shopping ban from buying new clothes, accessories and make-up for the whole year (2011).  This was a self-imposed shopping ban for a number of reasons: to save money, to better utilize my closet, to be more creative in my outfits, to reflect on my priorities, amongst other.
I think that shopping bans are a great way to reflect on the spending and focusing on all the things that we do have.  I encourage everyone to try one - even if it is only for a month, or a few weeks.
Below are some great reasons to go on a shopping ban.

1) Save Money

I never thought of myself as a big spender, especially not on clothes.  I don't buy "designer" labels, or run out to get the latest trendy clothes.
What I realized once I started tracking my spending was that even though I didn't think I was a big spender, all those little trips to Forever 21, H&M, Jacob, Costa Blanca, Smart Set, Body Shop, Sephora, RW & Co., etc., really did add up.  Especially the sale items.
In 2009, they added up to a tune of $2,600/year.  In 2010, they added up to $1,200/year.

2) Not Having "Anything" to Wear

Despite having spent thousands of dollars on clothes (see above), some mornings, I just felt that I didn't have anything to wear.  I'd stand in front of my closet, and then end up grabbing something familiar that I knew would work. Usually, these were comfort item, and often the same few pieces.
I had shirts, sweaters, pants that remained unworn, even though I had high hopes for them when I made the (often) impulsive decision to buy them.  In fact, I read somewhere that only 20% of most closets are actually utilized.  Isn't that crazy?

3)  Forcing Creativity

I read a lot of fashion blogs and that's where I learned about the options of "re-mixing".  These ladies wore their dresses as skirts, or the skirts as dresses.  They threw on a scarf or an accessory and completely changed the look of their outfit.  It was so refreshing (and frugal!).
Instead of thinking I need to go out to buy a new dress for an occasion, or wearing the same thing I did last time, I try wearing the same items differently or see if I can borrow an item.  It was amazing.   I felt like I tricked myself into having new clothes!

4) Other Priorities

When I went on my shopping ban, I realized that I had other areas of my life that were more important to spend my money on.  For instance, I would rather spend more money on traveling and using more natural and organic products, than on more clothes.
Maybe your priorities are different.  Perhaps paying off student debts or credit cards, owning your own home, or just working less.  A shopping ban won't solve all your problems, but it made me prioritize how I wanted to spend my money (and efforts).

5) Trial Run

Before I embarked on a shopping ban for a year, I did "mini" shopping bans - for a month, for a few months  - just to test the waters.  I recommend starting small, and working your way up.
If I had started with a full year shopping ban, I'm afraid I might have slipped up and then given up altogether.  There is no shame in having a one month shopping ban, or even a few months.  I also like having (reasonable) rewards for reaching milestones.  It is all about what works for the individual, so be creative!
I update my shopping ban recap monthly and also list other bloggers who are on shopping bans, sow we keep each other motivated.  I hope that those of you who would like to try a shopping ban, just to give it try.



Jere and Cara said...

Isn't she great? said...

I'm a mix between both but ever since I started watching "Extreme Couponing" I'm making a decent change to being more of a saver. Some things I have to splurge on but for the most part you can always find it for cheaper and who doesn't like to save money? Today I got a book bag for 75cents and am going to slightly jazz it up I will have to share when I'm done because I'm so proud of myself.

Your blog is such a great concept and I'm looking forward to getting some tips. :)


Jere and Cara said...

Thanks for reading and commenting. YES! Iwant to see pics of this bag :) HOW FUN!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for having me and sharing your blog! :D

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