At the beginning of January, I was reeling from an expensive December with holiday and car-related spending. I needed a month to take a step back and get my financial act together before heading into the rest of the year. It was a lofty challenge and I wasn’t entirely successful at curbing unnecessary purchases, falling victim to this shirt and a vase. Yet, spending just $35 on these things was still a pretty big financial win for me and I was able to get my budget back on track. I wrote about my spending freeze strategies at the beginning of the month, and the one that helped the most was wish listing everything. It’s really shocking to see how many things lose their luster after sitting on a Pinterest board for a few weeks. (Granted, this only works if you’re willing to add it to your list and then try to forget about it the rest of the month. It’ll be much harder if you keep going back to daydream about it.) Below, I’ve listed the things I thought I’d buy once February rolled around and where those things now stand.
No longer want:
- Jeffrey Campbell ‘Irina’ flats – I spotted the black version while I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and thought they were ridiculous, but in a really fun way that would play nicely off of a black dress. Now I just find them ridiculous in a juvenile way that doesn’t work with my wardrobe or my aesthetic.
- Zara mini frilled dress – I really wanted this at the beginning of the month, but I’m glad I held out. I’m tired of dark floral now that spring is nearly here.
- Madewell t-shirt – As cute as this one is, I realized that I’m just not one to wear t-shirts regularly enough to add this to my collection.
- Cult Gaia ‘Eva’ earrings – These seem expensive for what they are. I love the design, though.
- Zara mini bucket bag – Why spend money on a subpar purse when I’m saving up for the Gucci bag of my dreams?
- Sam Edelman ‘Lior’ loafer in black – These had been on my wish list for awhile, but after the sleek pointy-toe Madewell loafers came out (listed below), I no longer want this pair.
- David Yurman ring – I’ve had this on my wish list for a couple of years now. However, this month I realized that I just don’t want to save up for it and would rather spend my money on other things. I have a gold-plated Monica Vinader ring that I wear every day and I’d rather buy a no-name real gold band to replace it with than go with the David Yurman ring.
On the fence:
- LOFT shimmer tile ruffle blouse – I need to see this in person. It’ll either be adorable with jeans and I’ll reach for it over and over again on nothing-to-wear days, or it’ll be too voluminous and look sloppy. I don’t really need more bulk on my frame. Has anyone tried it?
- Cult Gaia mini ‘Cupola’ bag – Do I really need this when I already have the Ark bag? Plus, it’s hard to spend that much when I paid less than $50 for my large Ark bag before the brand became popular.
- Line & Dot ‘Adelene’ dress – Alright, I have to confess that I ordered this last night. I have another dress from Line & Dot that I’ve worn almost weekly for three summers now, and I still love it as much as I did the first time I put it on. This is such a pretty option for spring. Plus, you know how much I love loose mini dresses.
- Leigh racerback shift dress – I’m really eager to try this on in person. It seems like a versatile option that can go from work to weekend with ease.
- Gap skinny black jeans – Every few weeks I find myself wishing I owned a pair of black jeans. It’s probably time to just try a pair in person and see how I feel about them.
- Madewell ‘Francis’ loafer – I have a pair of brown Madewell loafers and they’re incredibly comfortable. I’m hoping this pair will be a good option for our trip to London when I want something nicer looking than a pair of sneakers.
- Paravel crossbody capsule bag – I’m sure I’ll own this within the next few months. It’s been on my wish list since last summer and my crush on it hasn’t waned, especially given how much I love the quality of the brand’s backpack.
- Gucci small ‘Marmont’ bag in black – Obviously this is still on my wish list. I’ve been putting aside $25 per paycheck over the last year, along with blog revenue that doesn’t get earmarked for something else. I’m $33 away. OMG.
So, what did I learn?
- First things first: I’m going to be much better about curbing impulse spending, and not fall victim to sales and free shipping offers. Those are by far my Achilles’ heel. I always tell myself that I can return the item if I’m not crazy about it, but I’m usually too enamored once I try it on at home.
- There are a lot of pieces I added to my wish list and then cast aside! I’m going to continue wish listing items to make sure they’re things I actually want a month later. I’m thinking of giving myself a two- to four-week waiting period between the initial spark and finally pulling the trigger. That should be plenty of time to see if something falls into the “meh” category after the first rush of excitement wears off.
- I found myself becoming much better at creating lists of the holes in my wardrobe, as evidenced by the third list above. Many of those items are things that I’ve wanted for awhile, but they took a backseat to more exciting purchases. I’d like to prioritize those items to mix into my existing wardrobe.
- High quality, classic styles capture my fancy for much longer than trendy pieces do, and I’m a sucker for a short dress. Instead of throwing money at trends or trying something different, it’s better for me to put my money toward the things that I actually love and wear frequently.
Did you try something similar this month? Have you ever tried a no-shopping challenge? How did it go? What lessons did you learn?