Today’s post is gonna be a long one.
You have been warned.
If you wish, just scroll past all the scary words to the picture of my Week in Review. If you’re willing to brave the depths, however, I suggest you grab yourself a cuppa and find a comfy spot. This’ll take a while.
It all began innocently enough with Selah introducing me to Caitlin @ Greater Than Rubies. I needed more linkup buddies and any friend of Selah’s is a friend of mine. Not wanting to be rude by just linking for shameless self-promotion, I perused a few of Caitlin’s posts and became engrossed in her style journey. Then I read some more and my interest morphed into shame.
Oh, I’m not blaming Caitlin. Not at all. In fact, I thank her for my awakening. Because reading her blog made me realize that this crass commercialism and consumption that I’d reveled in – nay, even proudly advocated! – was ultimately destructive and just plain wrong. Wrong for my pocketbook. Wrong for my mental and emotional health. Wrong for the environment. Wrong for society.
I started this blog thinking I’d shop my closet. I even named it deliberately to promote this mindset. But along the way, I became seduced by the notion of being different and ground-breaking and visually editorial and on trend. And in my mind, this translated to mean shopping. A lot of shopping. I shopped to take advantage of sales promoted in other blogs. To mimic a look I saw in another blog. To trump the themes set by another blog.
Seeing a pattern here? The very community that I found common ground and sisterhood with ultimately proved to be the vehicle of my downfall. Two sides to every coin. Sadly.
I needed to turn over a new leaf. I needed a new mindset. I needed a game changer. What I got was an intervention. Several of them, in fact. After I’d belly-ached about my dilemma to anyone who’d listen, I was able to suss out and articulate several plans of attack and I share them with you now, my friends, in the hopes that I’ll adopt one and then stick to it and be a better person for it.
For your consideration, then, my 5 Things list – Operation Intervention:
1. Carpool suggestion: Print out a number for every day that I go without shopping. Take a picture of this number and display it prominently on my blog. (Printing out a number is in lieu of coding a widget that displays a digital tally because I’m just not that skilled in coding). If I break down and purchase something, I have to start from “1” and I can’t shop for anything until I print out the next number from when I broke down, i.e. if I spent on Day 4, I can’t buy anything for 5 days from that Day 4 purchase.
PROS: makes it a competition to see how long I can go and how many numbers I can print out
CONS: no actual, painful consequence for “failing” or falling off the wagon
2. FIG (Fabulous Intervention Guru aka Selah) suggestion: Take my current budget of $250. Cut it in half. Use one half to pay off current credit card debt and the other for purchasing whatever I want.
PROS: get out of debt faster, feel morally superior, flexibility in buying what I want
CONS: essentially a budget with a conscience; budgets don’t work for me since I’m constantly buying and returning and suck at tracking expenditures; allows me to justify dipping into next month’s budget
3. Aly’s suggestion: the Trifecta Plan – only buy 2 items of clothing and 1 accessory per month. Cost is no object.
PROS: flexibility in buying what I want within reason; makes me really look at current items and think twice about impulse buys; comes with secret hand signal
CONS: my propensity for returns would muddle up this process; does not allow for multiple purchases of different variations of same item; I lack the hand/eye coordination to actually reproduce the secret hand signal
4. Intrepid TA suggestion: Create 3 receptacles for money: “bank”, “clothes”, and “credit card debt.” Find items that I wish to buy. Award myself a certain amount of money per day I consecutively don’t shop, say $6 (the average price of a lunch and since I bring lunch, this makes sense). Once I’ve reached the amount of money I need to pay off my first wish list, buy it. If I screw up and buy something before I reached that amount, the money I saved goes into paying the credit card debt. If I change my mind to something worth more money, continue my savings plan. If I change my mind to purchase something worth less, buy it then start over and the money I already saved goes back into the bank.
PROS: prevents me from buying something I really didn’t want need
CONS: doesn’t allow consideration for continually changing wish list
5. Combo package – Take elements of #1-4 and synthesize them into a cohesive plan.
PROS: I can pick and choose the best of all worlds
CONS: I can pick and choose the best of all worlds to my advantage, making all this moot
So you made it to the end, eh? You’re an intrepid one, aren’t you? For your well-deserved reward, you get to freely castigate me in public for all my excesses, wag your finger judgmentally without repercussion, feel holier-than-thou and pat yourself on the back for not being as hedonistic as I. Then you get to chime in and tell me how to fix me. Please.