If you have been following me on social media, you may know that my husband and I are on our "Get Debt Free" journey. We are definitely not perfect and learn something new every day. We have made plenty of mistakes with debt in our 10+ year marriage but we've had lots of WINS, too! I like to focus on the wins. That moves me forward.
We did a good job of saving for Christmas presents prior to the holidays, but I feel like there are always last minute expenses that come into play. For example, groceries for food (and wine, cuz duh!) you bring to holidays parties, last minute gift wrapping supplies, your hubby decides he needs a new ugly holiday sweater, those types of things.
After all that madness, I looked at my check register (that old-school thing people use to balance their check book -Yes, I still use one) and was shocked at how much I have spent at a few select stores the last two months.
I don't want to call those stores by name because they are my faves, but let's just say my bank account needs a SHOPPING CLEANSE this month.
I decided I would not go into these stores during the month of January. It wasn't something my husband encouraged me to do (surprise!), this idea was ALL me. Don't you think we're more successful at things when they are our own ideas? Yessss!
I didn't tell anyone about this challenge at first, but then I decided that people on Instagram might relate. I shared the SHOPPING CLEANSE CHALLENGE in my IG stories and got a huge response! I guess you ladies are feeling me on this.
So here's the thing, I know Brinkley has a few birthday parties coming up this month, so I WILL be ordering gifts online or just purchasing gift cards for the kiddos. I mean, I love it when Brinkley gets gift cards because she can go into a store and pick out her own present and we tell her how much she has to spend (personal finance lesson).
So other than those birthdays, I will not be shopping for the month of January (other than grocery shopping).
Because let's just be honest, every time I go into these "unnamed" stores, one in particular, I spend $100-200 on stuff. Then I get home and think "what the heck did I just buy and did I need that?"
Can you relate?
Another thing you should know is that I am decluttering my house, so shopping does not support this goal.
Anyway, that's a challenge I am giving myself this month and I'd love to have you join me. Your bank account might be thanking you in 30 days! It doesn't matter WHEN you start, just mark it on the calendar and go for it for 30 days!
Also, I keep a paper planner and document my success in the monthly calendar. Mark a smiley face 🙂 or a green check mark on the days you succeed. If you find yourself in the store on the struggle bus, you'll have to record it as a red "X" for that day.
5 Steps to Starting the Shopping Cleanse and Adopting a Fit Money Mindset:
1. Identify Your Weaknesses
Stay out of the stores that tempt you! When I go in the stores, it makes me aware of the new stuff they have. Even if I don't buy it then, it could stay on my mind until I do. Don't wanna be tempted? Don't go in the store. If you NEED something from that store, order online. Or, if online shopping is a weakness for you, just know that you can pretty much get anything you NEED at a grocery store. Do you find yourself going shopping on your lunch break because you have an hour and you're bored? Find something productive to do during that time. Example: read a book, listen to a podcast, go work out, go for a walk, start a blog, write down your goals, call your mom, etc.
2. Track Spending from Last Month
Look at your bank statement or credit card statement online and track what you spent on "wants" last month. This is eye opening! Frivolous spending is "death by a thousand cuts." People often don't buy big ticket items, it's all the little things that add up in a month that can hold us back from accomplishing our financial goals.
3. Wants vs. Needs
Do you NEED it or WANT it? Get very clear on this. Ask yourself "is this a necessity right now?" I can't tell you how many times I've asked myself this in the last month and it's probably saved me a few hundred dollars. Seriously.
4. Accountability Partner
It's always great to have an accountability partner with any goal. Do you have a girlfriend or another female in your life who "gets it"? Ask her to be your 30-day accountability partner!
5. Go After It!
Let me know how you do! I'd love to hear about your wins at the end of the month.