It’s officially March, which means my month-long, self-imposed spending freeze has now lifted. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, catch up in this post.) So, how did the ban go?
Did I break ban?
The only time I broke ban was because we had family visiting. It was one of our guest’s birthdays, so I went and bought fresh flowers (and made cupcakes!). I don’t really consider this breaking ban, because to me it was more important to make a guest feel welcome than to be a stick in the mud over a ban. I knew they were coming weeks in advance, so I knew this little breach was going to happen. I also got to use the flowers as props for some fun photos (and the one above!), so I definitely got my money’s worth.
I also had some one-off blog-related expenses this month. I had decided at the beginning of the month that blog expenses wouldn’t be included in the ban. The purpose of the ban was to slow down on extra spending, not to interfere with my growth and goals for the blog. Since all of the expenses were planned (I had funds set aside) and directly contribute to my blog’s progress, I didn’t consider this a breach of ban either.
On the positive side, a handful of my listings also sold this month. Those were the opposite of breaking ban, since they put even more cash back in my pocket.
What I didn’t buy
Of course, there were still quite a few things I wanted to buy but would definitely be against the rules. Here’s a few of the things that tempted me this month:
Unicorn light up slippers. Seriously. Are they not amazing?!?! I don’t have any slippers, and my feet are always in need of extra warmth in the house. I’d still consider buying them, but they’re one size, so I’m skeptical they’d fit very well on my feet.
Dragon lamp. Ok, this site with the slippers was a bit of a black hole of ridiculousness for me. Their cute little dragon mini-lamp is just so good. They also have an adorable unicorn and narwhal lamp. I die.
Werkshop on eBay. They’ve since sold, but there was a pair of Werkshop’s special edition pink crops in my size on eBay for only $40. I love Werkshop and these were a great price! Still, I reminded myself they weren’t on my “must have” list, so it’s not always a good thing to buy something just because the price is good.
Alala sale. Naturally, Alala’s end of season sale on their fall stuff started just a few days after my ban went into effect. On top of that, they upped the ante with a limited time additional 20%, which I missed. D’oh.
Sweaty Betty sale. I mentioned the other day that Sweaty Betty’s mid-season sale had started, and I had my eye on a few things that were marked down for great prices. Unfortunately, all the things I wanted sold out within the first day!
Lululemon wee stripe race your pace 1/2 zip–twice!! There was not one, but *two* race your pace 1/2 zips on Poshmark in my size in the same week, and they were only $50. The race your pace fits me well, and the black wee stripe is beautiful in person. I’d been watching out for one to show up in my size, along with heathered black grape. Both of these listings happened right at the end of the month, so I was extra tempted to just say “ah well, close enough!” I didn’t, though! Both listings are now sold, but who knows, maybe I’ll find one even cheaper over the warmer months.
The bottom line
All told, my freeze left me with over $600 extra in my budget at the end of the month, on top of what I normally take out of my budget for savings. I also got my tax refund this month, so overall this month brought a very noticeable and satisfying swing to my bank account. I’m feeling great about it and energized to keep the momentum going.
So how did this benefit me? One of the reasons I chose this month for a ban is that I was really close to being able to pay off my student loans, but I wanted one more push to really get me there. I made the final payment just a couple of weeks ago. Totally worth it!
One of the great things about my spending ban is that it really helped me realize what purchases are *really* highest priority for me. It reminds me to be more mindful and intentional with how I choose to spend.
The biggest things that rose to the top this month: I really want to redirect more of my shopping money to my house. I have almost zero decorations, and most of my furniture is not my style or even missing altogether. It’s a constant source of frustration for me, so it’s high time I make more of an effort to amend that situation in the coming months. Basically, the marginal value I would get from spending my money on making my house beautiful is probably better than buying 6 more pairs of workout crops.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten a lot more lax in terms of both the volume of things I order as well as the volume of things I choose to keep. I definitely need to tighten up on that! After having to be extremely frugal for a long time, I think I just needed to get some of that pent-up shopping out of my system. But now I think it’s time to rein it back in. Just because I have the extra money to spend doesn’t mean I should spend it, nor does it mean it’s ok for me not to be picky about what I buy.
Another unexpected side effect: I’m accidentally growing my hair out! I was due for a haircut in February, but I stuck to my rule that I would wait on anything I could. So, my hair is getting way longer than the usual, but I decided to roll with it for now. I’ve had short hair for something like 7 years, so I don’t even know what I’d look like with slightly longer hair anymore. Now that I’ve (FINALLY) found a hair stylist I like, I think I’m going to experiment with something a little different and see how I like it.
I know a lot of you were on the ban train for February, too. I’d love to hear your reports!