I have written before about my shopping habit. To me, there is nothing more relaxing than shopping. I love to go to stores, look through the racks, touch everything, and imagine what it would be like to own it. I love all shopping. Housewares, shoes, clothes, homes, groceries, even Costco is enjoyable. Sometimes I find a deal that is "too good" to pass by, and if I don't have the money, I put it on my credit card, fully intending to pay it off with my next paycheck. Ya right... I have compiled an ugly amount of credit card debt with the bad habit of mine. Combine that with a student loan, a car payment, and my moving expenses that I can't seem to get paid off. A few weeks ago my roommate lent me the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It finally talked some sense into me, and I realized I needed to get my debt paid off, and fast! Inspired by a blog I read, Already Pretty, who's author. Sal, I have come to adore! She inspired me to start my own shopping ban.
I'm giving myself $10 a paycheck to spend on frivolous things. This is not just clothes, this includes eating out, going to the movies, and anything else that does not involve rent, grocery shopping and putting gas in my car. It's harder and easier than I thought it would be. Not being able to go down to the cafe and pick up lunch or a cookie is difficult, but after one day of being really hungry I learned to pack a lunch and a few snacks just in case. Not shopping is so strange! I go places with friends, and I actually don't buy anything. I don't even look. I have actually stopped shopping at all, in case I find something I have to have, and then talk myself into spending my whole food budget on it. (I once ate oatmeal for a week and half straight to pay for a Coach purse I found. True story.) It was hard at first to tell people that I can't go out to eat, or shopping, or to a movie with them, because I am trying to pay off my debt, but everyone has been so understanding. Most people even say they wish they were doing the same thing. It's been less than two weeks, so I probably shouldn't be writing long posts on how virtuous I am, because more than likely I will be doing this for a while until I am DEBT FREE and I'm sure that I will make huge mistakes all along the way.
So let me just say, if anyone out there is struggling with debt, read the book! It put things into perspective for me, and I'm hoping it will stay there!