(This week's 30 days of truth posts have a 'money' theme. Please read the previous post Cents and Sensibility here)
I will not tell a lie. I LOVE shopping. I enjoy fashion and although I do not necessarily have to keep up with the latest styles or trends, I enjoy being stylish. There are so many pretty things in the world. And as you all may have realised I have a penchant for filofaxes and handbags. I do not consider myself to be wealthy. But I have a good job and I earn a very reasonable wage for what I do. It is nowhere near to what the media implies that doctors earn, especially as I am still doing specialist training. But I can afford to pay all of my bills and I have a supportive husband who does not smoke, gamble or drink. Fortunately for me he also does not have an eye for 'the ladies' so our finances are in good order. We can even afford to give to charity. To be honest, I know that I am very lucky indeed. I have good friends, wonderful family, a good career and a husband I love. But lately I have been asking myself, "Is it really necessary for me to buy more stuff?'
Now don't get me wrong. I will never ever be a minimalist. Although I may admire minimalist interiors, I need my house to feel homely, to wrap me up in its warm embrace after a hard day's work and a ridiculous commute. While I have advocated getting rid of clutter, and keeping things organised, I know that I will never be one of those people who can survive happily with a backpack and five items. I have never attended a festival because I am unable to 'rough it'. No showers? Communal toilets? Really? I think not. So as you can see I am not only a princess just in name. But I used to be able to live quite happily on much less. I have an eye for a bargain and for cheap (but not too cheap) chic. As my earnings have increased, I have started spending more. I have also started to obsess about designer items, in particularly that falafelling Mulberry Bayswater handbag. And I was not raised like this. My mum owns NO designer items and looks stunning at age 67. She and my dad sacrificed a lot to look after their six children. So I have decided that I need a 'time out'. I need to take a break from the spend, spend, spend and re-focus on enjoying all of the lovely things that I already own. I know that money, and material things do not bring happiness (studies have already shown that). I need to prove to myself that I am in fact NOT trying to 'Keep up with Joneses', whoever or wherever they may be. And I need to be thankful for all that I already own.
So lovelies here is the official royal declaration of my no shopping challenge.
'From Friday 1st July to Wednesday 30th November 2011, I Caribbean Princess, will not make extraneous and unnecessary purchases, particularly of handbags and filofaxes.'
And continued here.
'I will appreciate the things that I already own and remind myself that there are many people in the world who are not as fortunate as I am. Material things do not bring happiness.'
There are some exceptions which I will list now.
♥ Gifts for friends and family. Several of my friends are pregnant and I want to be able to get nice gifts for their little ones. I also like to get Christmas presents for my family throughout the year as I cannot stand the Christmas rush.
♥ Scrapbooking kits. I will not order any new ones until I have used all of my kits. However my stash is running low so I plan on getting some more embellishments this weekend, well before the ban.
♥ Driving lessons. My Trinidadian license expired last year and I didn't realise until I went back home in March. Before I can drive in the UK I need to sit their driving test and since I have not driven since I came here I will need lessons. Is it lame that I only knew how to drive an automatic car? And DH doesn't trust my abilities as I was unable to remember which was the brake and which was the accelerator! Sad, but oh so true!
♥ Holiday. I have 5 days off in July and plan to have a couple more weeks in summer. I will be allowed to purchase my airfare or railfare although as usual I will look for the best deals on that and accommodaton.
♥ Wedding. My best friend is getting married in October and I have no suitable autumn dresses. I will try to use my silver wedding shoes so I will look for an outfit that matches.
♥ Hairdresser. I negotiated that this would come out of our joint account years' ago as it is in the best interest of DH and myself that I do not frighten people with my large afro so this is not an issue (also braids are more convenient and I don't want to use chemicals on my hair). Trust me this is for public good!
Ok so as you can see although I am going 'cold turkey' it actually shouldn't be too bad as there is still so much for me to look forward to and enjoy. Also at the end I may end up getting that dream Mulberry bag as a gift, but there is a good chance that I may decide that I can happily live without it.
So lovelies, who wants to join me? There has been a lot of chat on twitter although no one should feel pressured to join. We will not judge each other. The aim is to be supportive. Also you are free to set yourself whatever challenge you want. It can be shoes, it can be books, anything. We can even use our own hashtag #noshop on Twitter. Please post a comment if you want to join or to simply share what you think of this post. It would also be great if you stated what your particular challenge is going to be and its duration.
That's it for me now. I would love it if you shared this post with friends and family. Have a great day!
Update 9/6/11 11:00- Imy has kindly volunteered to start and administer a facebook group. So lovelies WHAT SHALL WE CALL IT?
- The Shopping Detox for yummies.....
- CP's No Spend Challenge?
I am bad at naming so help me out and post in the comments. I am even more excited now! Yay and thanks Imy and Roanne for the idea :-)
There is so much interest in this on twitter etc that I will dedicate another post before July to a formal launch when the page and everything has been sorted out. I am so excited to have you all supporting me and we can support each other.