“Hi, my name is Julia and I am a shopaholic.”
Everyone: “Hi Julia.”
All jokes aside, I’m not a great spender. I’ve gotten a bit better but I need to become more disciplined financially.
Halfway through my late twenties and my thoughts/priorities have shifted dramatically. All I can think about is about my 401K, my credit score, getting my own place, treating this blog as a true business – things I wasn’t thinking about when I was a young 20-year-old.
When I think about my shopping habits in my early 20’s, I was an impulse buyer who used to spend so much money on useless things. If I saw something that I liked, I (thought) I needed it and would buy it, without thinking twice. I was the girl who would stay up late for new make-up launches. I always needed a new outfit for a night out or special occasion. Items would sit in my closet with price tags and would never be worn, but I needed them in that moment. Thankfully, I have always been great at donating clothes and selling on eBay/Poshmark, so I’m glad someone else could appreciate those items!
If I could go back in time, I would do things so differently. But I can’t. I can only keep myself from making those mistakes again and be much smarter going forward.
Like I said, I’ve definitely gotten better. I think twice about my purchases before I check out. If I’m still thinking about it 24 hours later, I might buy it. Sometimes I forget, it sells out and I’m like ‘oh well!’ There have been times that I have Xed out on the checkout page. I’ve also had a few moments of buyer remorse this year and returned some things that I knew I didn’t need. 22-year-old me would be shook.
However, this summer, I went a little backwards and my spending was a little ridiculous. I had a lot of fun but I look at my bank statements and I shake my head. Sales kept getting me and packages kept on coming in. Some days I was buying breakfast, lunch and dinner – all in the same day.
Now that summer is over, I need to get back on track and evaluate how and what I’m spending money on. Especially with my niece’s birthday and the holidays quickly approaching, I want to make sure I am spending smartly while also meeting my financial goals.
I am challenging myself to a NO SPEND SEPTEMBER. I have never done this before but I am actually looking really forward to it. Here are a few things I hope to achieve out of doing this.
Improve Spending Habits
By not spending money outside of all normal necessities, I will be more aware of where my money is going. Ubers, treating myself to lunch or an afternoon matcha are all expenses that add up. I’m usually very good at bringing breakfast and lunch to work everyday. However, these last few weeks I’ve gotten a little lazy and have been buying here and there. That stops this month! Just because money is sitting in my account, doesn’t mean it needs to be spent! That money can be used to pay off a bill or go towards a savings account.
Focus on Savings & Retirement
I don’t have a financial advisor yet but it is on my list to start working with someone soon to keep me in check and help me reach my goals. Instead of spending money on clothes, I should be focusing on paying down my student loans and building my savings. You never know what can happen and it’s important to have an emergency fund so you’re always prepared. I also want to start savings accounts for traveling and my future home. Additionally, I need to start funding my 401K so I can be prepared for retirement.
Build a Better Wardrobe
I love shopping and my love for it will never go away. With this challenge, I hope that I will learn that I don’t need to shop all the time. It is nice to treat yourself every now and then as well as buy some things that you actually do need – underwear, socks, a winter coat, weatherproof boots, etc. However, I should be wearing more of what’s in my closet already, occasionally adding new pieces to wear with what I own. I also want to focus on staying away from fast fashion shops and investing in higher quality pieces that I can own much longer. My style will always be evolving but my spending doesn’t need to keep up with it.
Be More Productive
I spend a lot of time on my phone because I’m a millennial. Joking but not really joking. Obviously, its how I communicate and I use it for work, my blog and social media. I also use it a lot for shopping. Most of my weekly screen time is me browsing new arrivals on every site I can think of. By deleting all of my shopping apps on my phone and not shopping for this month, I hope to use that time to be more productive. Time that I would be using to browse sites and build my shopping cart can be used on other things like, working on my blog, reading, going the gym, trying new recipes, etc.
Aside from rent, bills and groceries, here’s what I am allowing for the month:
- Manicure for fashion week
- Toiletries as needed/run out (toothpaste, feminine products, body wash, etc)
- Brazilian wax
- Follow-up under arm laser hair removal appointment
By the end of September, I’m hoping to have a new perspective on shopping and my spending habits. This is going to be tough but I am confident that I can do it! Any words of encouragement are appreciated and don’t hesitate to keep me in check (or check in on me lol!)