Year-long Shopping ban, from 4/2020 to 4/2021

April 20, 2020

After several years of emotional shopping I need a break. Thanks to sites like thredup, poshmark, and eBay, I spent countless hours browsing online, resulting in overflowing closets, mindless spending, and less savings. Why is less savings troubling? A dollar invested today, assuming a 7% growth rate, will double in 10 years. Inspired by the shopping ban by Cate Flanders, I designed a shopping ban for myself, with custom rules.

The Rules

For simplicity there are two buckets of spending: one is banned, another not banned.

Banned categories:
  • clothing: it feels bad spending good money on emotional purchases, meaning purchases made when I felt lonely, homesick, or bored. Instead of shopping for clothes I will call my parents and forge stronger relationships. Additionally I will use the saved time to develop programming and drawing skills, and investing knowledge
  • art supplies: After a buying-spree on colored markers, I’m good for a few years
  • online courses: I’ve considered paying for Skillshare for drawing courses and Pluralsight for technical knowledge, however their free content is sufficient. I use LinkedIn Learning, it is free with my library membership; LinkedIn Learning has good courses on technology and personal finance. Additionally I already have an annual subscription for DataCamp, and they specialize in Python and Data Science.
Categories outside the ban:
  • food: my monthly expenditure is already low
  • travel: my budget is already < $1000/year
  • books: I have a soft spot for buying used books. I read 80% of the books I buy, and on average they cost < $10 each

Looking forward to a year of less spending, less clutter, and more savings!