SO it all started, I think, when I was alone, no kids, in South Edmonton Common one day about two months ago. I had to get wrist bands for some 300 kids for my husband’s grad event happening that weekend, he had taken the kids somewhere, and I had time. To shop. And that was all I could think about. Shopping. I got a chai and sat in the parking lot for a few minutes. I felt like a crack addict finally let loose in a crack house. I was tripping out and felt like I needed a fix. I wanted to BUY SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Anything as a distraction, as a pick-me-up, as a burst of light on a cloudy day. (Which it wasn’t really, the day was fine, the girls had been average, and nothing was really WRONG.)
I think that was my first ah ha moment that I had a “problem” with shopping. As I posted before, I knew that I was blowing through at least $350 a month on myself, which seemed somewhat shameful. Mark never got over $200 a month on himself, which INFURIATED me, but I could have easily spent upwards of $400 on me or random little things for the girls. What else could that money be buying me I wondered?
So here I am. It doesn’t help that I’m not working right now, as we just moved to a new city (the girls have been a bit of a disaster settling in) and I am getting my gall bladder removed in about a month, so money will be a bit tighter without me working. So it’s partly financial, but partly also the idea of all the stuff I’ve accumulated and don’t NEED. Sometimes don’t even WANT, but acquire anyways somehow.
So what does “nothing NEW” for a year include? Or exclude, I guess, would be more specific.
I have a lot of clothes. I have enough clothes to last me for a long time. Winter and summer, and spring and fall. Enough cute accessories to last me and about three other people a life time. Shoes and boots galore. Things I MIGHT need within a year? Socks and underwear. I can’t even imagine buying those from a thrift store. But that’s it. I’ve toyed with the capsule wardrobe idea, but I’ll get into that more later. I feel like I’d need to invest in some good pieces, and that involves shopping. Maybe next year:0
Clothes for the girls.
I looove buying them a dress, or a hat, or some cute shoes. But I don’t want them (Mira especially, is into shopping for the sake of shopping now) thinking that all mama ever did with them was shop, or that they “need” a specific thing to feel pretty or special, so anything they NEED is going to be from places like Goodwill or Once Upon a Child (one of my faves for toys too, I’ve found some great things there!).
House decor items.
So we will be doing some house things like new windows, doors, appliances. I consider those to be luxury items, yes, but they are things we NEED. Sort of? But decor things, or furniture, or some little knick knack, nope. When we got married, 325 people attended. We have enough fancy cutlery to feed like 16 people at a time, and enough china for 12 place settings. I counted towels. We had 12. And I’d already given some away. 5 extra frying pans, new in box. And countless amounts of serving ware. Not to mention glassware coming out the yin yang. If I even look at a new glass or wine glass, shoot me. And I’m slightly addicted (do we see a pattern here?) to throw pillows. Cheap, easy way to spruce up decor, and I have like 4 grey, 4 white, a couple of other ones thrown in too.
A friend asked on facebook if I would be including things like moisturizer. No, I’m not that hardcore, we live in Alberta, my face dries out. BUT, I’m going to use what I have until it’s all gone, then go out and buy something basically the same. Cause I could go on a shopping moratorium from clothes and spend the same amount on fancy new shampoos, makeup, foot scrubs or whatever. I cannot live without an eyebrow wax/thread to keep up with my crazy caterpillar eyebrows, and same with bikini waxes, especially as we get into swim lessons. I have short hair too, and will be keeping up with trims etc. But I’d like to get to “need”, rather than just “want” with all of this, to learn how it feels to only have “enough”.
SECOND HAND SHOPPING IS A GREY AREA. IT SCARES ME.
I will only go if I, or the girls (Mark is a non-entity, he keeps the same things for ten million years and only shops on command), NEED something. And it has to be a real need, like I ripped a hole in my only white t-shirt, or ALL my jeans are too tight (or too loose HA!)
Problems already arising: fathers day, bigger backpack for Mira for kindergarten? CHRISTMAS? Does fabric to make something count? Is a sewing machine a NEED, that legitimates a kijiji purchase? My mother thinks that tattoos are “new”, and I shouldn’t spend money on those either. But she hates tattoos.
What do you think? Are these rules fair? Is this post too long?! They won’t always be this long I promise. Did I forget anything??
Coming up next: the book that really really really truly explained my relationship with money to me!