The Elegance of a Spending Moratorium

I’m a stress shopper. I can go into the grocery store for a carton of eggs and come out with a tube of lipstick, a candle, deep conditioner, a magazine, mittens, and an avocado slicer. Depending on my state of mind, there’s a very good chance I’ll forget the eggs.

Since my word for 2022 is wisdom, being more intentional with money is a good place to start. On the first day of January, I spent a lot of time reflecting and planning for the new year. It was then I created a three-month personal spending moratorium. I read somewhere that when we want to do something differently, we need to know our why.

Here are some reasons why I want to get a grip on my personal spending habits:

  1. boost our savings account
  2. avoid clutter 
  3. practice self-discipline
  4. better manage stress 

So here’s my plan. January, February, and March of 2022 I will not buy:

  • clothing, jewelry, or accessories
  • make-up
  • skin-care or hair-care products
  • magazines
  • home decor

My strategy is an oldie but goodie – use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. I’ve already faced several challenging scenarios. I’ll share a few with you in hopes you can relate, or at least won’t judge too harshly.

  1. I ordered a really cute jumpsuit from Chicos that didn’t arrive until after the new year. That doesn’t count, right? Did I mention it’s really cute? 
  2. Wouldn’t you know, I didn’t have the right shoes for said outfit. But…I had also ordered a dress from Macys. So when that dress arrived, I returned it and bought some shoes. Since the shoes cost less than the dress, I told Mike I was actually money ahead. He said they call that fuzzy math. Math was never my strongest subject.
  3. I thought we needed something for an empty wall in our living room. I convinced myself it would be smart to go ahead and buy the cool mirror I had my eye on while it was half off at Hobby Lobby. Filled with guilt, I nervously made my $48 purchase, sweating and shaking like I was buying crack on the corner. The next morning I returned my purchase and felt well on my way to rehabilitation.
  4. We were almost out of toilet paper. I walked into Wal-Mart without grabbing a shopping cart. I went directly to the back of the store and picked up a giant 24-pack of toilet paper with both hands. I couldn’t have carried anything else if I wanted to. That may have been the first time in my life I walked straight in and out of a big-box store and bought only one thing.

I’m three weeks into my three-month “no-buy” personal spending plan, and it has already proven to be an interesting challenge. I’m definitely more aware of my habits, urges, and triggers to spend money. Through the next three months, I’ll let you know how my spending moratorium is going. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I have a hunch it will add wisdom, simplicity, and elegance to my life. §

4 thoughts on “The Elegance of a Spending Moratorium

  1. You’re more ambitious than I am, I shoot for one week at a time of no spend😛, and never itemize Hee hee, it’s easy to do if you don’t leave the house 😁. Kind of like going on a diet. Usually good for a couple of days. You’re welcome to check my stuff/clutter to fill your wall 😆.

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  2. If I go into a store, like Hobby Lobby or Chico’s, my two favorite stores I tell myself to just look around and unless it is something it I REALLY like or need don’t buy anything. I was in Chico’s a couple weeks ago, and saw a beautiful purple cashmere sweater. I REALLy like it, but the price was $199.00. I told myself that was too much money, and I really did’t need it. Proud of myself I left without the sweater. This weekend I saw the beautiful sweater on line, on sale for $69.00. I immediately tried to order it, and my size was gone. I will always remember the sweater, but not sorry I didn’t spend $199.00 for it. I love your ideas Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, I’m so sorry they didn’t have the sweater in your size! I’ll keep my eye out for a beautiful purple sweater for you. I’m still chuckling at Wayne’s reaction to my no-spending plan – just the same as Mike’s! Ha Ha! Thanks for reading! Love, Alicia

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