I had seen the 100 day spending ban challenge all over twitter and blogs at the end of 2012 and although I didn't 'officially' join any spending ban lists going, I had already decided that we (read that as I) can be a bit too frivolous with the cash and had decided come 1st January 2013 I would really cut back.
My 'rules' were simple:
- Don't buy any new clothing/shoes, make-up, beauty and hair products, have takeaways, meals out, nights out, buy books/DVDs/CDs/magazines. Basically don't buy anything!
- I could get my hair cut and coloured, I could keep my Glossybox subscription (although I did use my Glossydots for two of the boxes - result!), I could accept gifts and I could buy gifts for others (as I had a number of birthdays which fell during the 100 day period). I could also replace like for like. So if I ran out of say a face powder and didn't have a spare to fall back on, I could replace with one to the same (or lesser) value.
- Essie polish £3 (a discontinued colour from The Original Factory Shop)
- Candle £1.50
- Dress £46.05 (I got this for an interview - I rejected the job, but kept the dress!)
- Necklace from Primark £2.50 (my excuse was it was half price in the sale AND it was a necklace I had been after but it had been out of stock in my local Primark so I just had to buy it!)
- Candles £21.99 (Went a bit downhill at this point and splurged on a medium jar and 4 tarts from Yankee)
- Hot Choc £1.50 (got this when we were walking around a National Trust property, but I did share it with Mr B.P.!)
- Takeout £18.95
- Another takeout £18.20 (got both takeaways in the same week - lets just say it was a bad week hey!)
- Marie Claire £3.80 (my excuse was it came with a full sized free Bee Lovely hand cream from Neal's Yard Remedies worth £10, so in my book was money well spent. In fact I saved myself money as I had run out of hand cream and I would have spent more than £3.80 buying some more)
- Essie polishes £15.98 (but they were on 3 for 2 in Boots!)
I am pretty impressed with myself, and to be honest £75.12 of that was spent in the last 3 weeks of the ban. So I give myself a pat on the back!
Aside from learning that I spend too much, the other important points that I gleaned from this little exercise is, that although it is great to get that buzz from picking up a new polish, or eyeliner or those must have boots; I really don't need that buzz to make me happy and complete. I have also loved using up my stash of samples rather than rushing out and buying a new product. I've been teaming different pieces from my wardrobe together to make new outfits, rather than buying something new to stuff in my already bulging wardrobe. I've started wearing jewellery languishing at the bottom of my jewellery box which I had forgotten I had. I downloaded loads of free books onto my Kindle and I found some great new blogs to read.
So in all honestly this spending ban came at just the right time.
And now a little over 2 months since my spending ban ended, and how am I fairing? Pretty darn good actually. OK I'm not as good as during the ban, but I have really really thought about whether I really need something before I purchase it or whether I just want it and I am amazed at how many times I have left a shop empty handed. Plus I am also still using up all the dregs from the ends of my beauty/makeup products where normally I would have ditched them as soon as they appeared empty. But by cutting off the end of the tubes you would be amazed how much product is actually still left in the tube. (Popping a snipped tube in a freezer/sandwich bag, keeps that opened product lovely and fresh so you can use every last drop!).
Would I recommend doing the spending ban? Absolutely. If you think you would struggle with 100 days, why don't you start small and gradually build up. Promise yourself a week to begin with, then a fortnight or a month and move on up from there. Also if you find you fall down on spending say during your lunch break, instead of a wander round the shops, how about reading a book, a few blogs, or going on pinterest and setting yourself up a board with all the things you'd like to buy when the ban ends. Also if you grab lunch from a shop or your favourite latte on the way to work. How about making a packed lunch the night before and at the same time putting the pennies you would have spent in a jar. Not only will you feel virtuous but at the end of your spending ban you will have some money saved to buy yourself something you really want AND need.
GO ON GIVE IT A GO!!!