So, I've recently come to the realization that I have a compulsive shopping addiction. Actually - it's not a recent realization. I've always known - I've just chosen to overlook it because it's kind of an ugly quality/trait to have if you think about it. I literally cannot stop spending money on myself... clothes, makeup, nail polish... basically, beauty items. It's a problem. More than that, it's a problem for our family. If we want to have another baby, I can't keep going the way I'm going. Heck! Just maintaining our current lifestyle requires a cease-and-desist of my frivolous spending habits. I don't even want to think about the amount of money we could've been saving up in the time that I've been blowing away our precious dollars on myself.
I have no desire to know how much I've wasted away the past several months in personal expenditures, but I'm positive it's repulsive. I avoid checking our bank account online because I don't want to put a number to the damage I've done. I feel ashamed and guilty - what do I have to show for all the dollars I've dropped at Sephora, Shoppers, Winners, Walmart, etc? A larger wardrobe and a bursting makeup drawer, but the compulsion to spend is still as strong, if not stronger, than it was before I whipped out my debit card to purchase that delightful sweater. As a result, I felt a pulling at my heart to participate in a "no-buy" month. If I'd done it last month, I could've titled this blog post "Frugal February" or something catchier than "Mingy March." Sigh, this will have to do. Depending on how well this goes, I might continue on to "Abstemious April" if need be :) If you're wondering how I came up with "Mingy March," I simply looked up synonyms for "frugal" on thesaurus.com and LO! "Mingy" was one of the alternatives. According to dictionary.com, it's defined as "mean and stingy." I'm going to forget the former part of that definition and stick with "stingy," haha.
Basically, I'm going to stop buying clothes, makeup, nail polish, and all beauty related items for myself for the month of March. I've relinquished my debit card to my husband, and I'm hoping that this will take away the compulsive urge I have to spend our money willy-nilly. To help me focus my energy elsewhere, I've created a list of items I have (makeup, beauty, candles, teas, soaps, etc.) that I need to finish/use up. Oye. That was quite the eye-opening list.
Sure it's great to have extra soap downstairs for when a bathroom runs out, but I'm pretty sure I don't need 10+ bottles. I love my home to smell nice, but I'm positive I do not require 30+ wallflower bulbs. Yes, I will always be on the hunt for "the one" hand cream to end my battle with dry skin, but I should probably finish the five products I've already got on-the-go.
In addition to "Mingy March," I've also decided to tackle Project 10 Pan. Some of you may be unfamiliar with this project, but it's basically a personal initiative to use up 10 (or however many you choose) almost-empty beauty products before spending another dollar on new items. These items could be makeup, skincare, haircare, personal hygiene... You could probably do Project 10 with anything in your life however; working on too many open bags/boxes of tea? Do you have several bottles of almost used up nail polish wasting away on your shelves? Do you have a shrine of Bath and Body Works candles needing some TLC? The list should be predetermined, so you're forced to actually finish those 10 items before breaking your no-buy.
The items in my Project 10 Pan are:
- L'Oreal Infallible eyeliner
- Murad Skin Perfecting lotion
- Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
- UniqOne Hair Treatment
- Urban Decay Primer Potion
- Body Shop Wild Argan Body Butter (I have two almost empty tubs that I'm counting as one item)
- Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening cream
- Boscia Clear Complexion cleanser
Anyways, I thought I'd write up this post to keep me accountable, and to invite any of you to join me on this journey of NO SPENDING! Technically this project started yesterday (March 2) for me - I did buy a mascara for myself on March 1, but that was it! So for the rest of March - no personal beauty purchases allowed!
Who's with me!? Oh geez. I feel like Gaston raising his torch to rally the villagers against the Beast and his castle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. No, I'm not rallying an angry mob against Belle's beau, but I am hoping to rally some of you up against indecent spending habits, and perhaps you'll be able to save up a hefty chunk of money to put into your savings account... If I had to guess, I'd say that if I completely stop spending money at my personal leisure, I'd probably save us enough money to buy a TV or a washing machine or a new FitBit Charge. Blah. Those aren't things I wanna think about, and yet it's a reality.
I hope this inspired you guys to rethink your own purchases, and maybe you'll join me in this adventure. Only 29 days to go in Mingy March! I'll update you guys at the beginning of April to let you know how my month of penny-pinching went :)