I started a yearlong shopping ban on October 1, 2018, and this post is all about the 5 vital questions to ask before starting a shopping ban.
Why would anyone do a shopping ban?
When I first heard about shopping bans from Jenny, from The Simplicity Diaries, I was intrigued. ‘That sounds like great fun!” is what I thought. After reading Cait’s book, the year of less, I figured “why not?!” and decided to do a yearlong shopping ban.
Here’s the thing, frugal living is at the core of everything that I do. I’ve been living this way for so long now that it comes naturally to me. I’d go as far as saying that I couldn’t imagine living anything but frugal. What can I say, I am absolutely loving it!
I decided to start a shopping ban because I see it as a great opportunity to create excitement around frugal living. A lifestyle that I am oh so passionate about! It’s also a great way to share everything that I am usually doing such as being intentional by adhering to a number of rules, tracking my expenses, making lists, planning purchases and so on.
Let’s talk about 5 Vital Questions To Ask Before Starting A Shopping Ban!
1) Are you keeping track of every single cent you are spending?
I keep track of all my expenses and have been doing so since 2014. This is the template that I am currently using. I amended lots of the categories and switched things around to suit my needs. The template is 100% customizable.
Keeping track of your expenses, is in my opinion, the best way to get a handle on your money. If you don’t track your expenses you don’t really know where your money is going. Give it a try! Trust me, it makes all the difference.
2) Are your expenses in alignment with your values?
This is one of the most important questions to ask before starting a shopping ban. Your core values are what’s most important to you. If you haven’t defined them yet, do so immediately. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, 10 Tips On How To Create A Successful Shopping Ban, defining your values is one of the most crucial steps to take prior to attempting to do anything.
Once you’ve defined your values take a closer look at your expenses. Are they in alignment with your values? Let’s say “health” is one of your core values and yet you are spending $200 per month on junk food. Or let’s say one of your core values is “exploring the world” and yet you are spending $300 per month on alcohol. Something’s gotta give. If your expenses are not in alignment with your values, take a deeper look at your life situation and make amendments where needed.
3) What do you really need?
Figure out what you absolutely need and cut out all the rest. In my rules for the shopping ban, I shared with you what I allow myself to buy and what’s not on my list. Although I don’t consider piercings essential, I’ve got them on my list of things I plan on getting. I planned out my piercings prior to the ban and decided to get done what I was planning to get done.
Get very clear on what it is that you actually need and what you can do without. Most importantly, do what works for you When you sit down and start setting your own rules, make sure to set them with you, and only you, in mind. Focus on the most important stuff and keep it simple.
4) What’s your goal?
Why did you decide to start a shopping ban? What’s your intention? I decided to start a shopping ban because it’s a great opportunity to spread the word about frugal living and to create excitement about it all. What’s your motivation? Do you want to save more money? Do you want to buy less crap? Do you want to be more intentional?
Do you want to take a deeper look at your needs? Whatever your goal is, get very clear on it. The clearer you are on your goal, the easier your shopping ban will be for you. This is definitely one of the most important questions to ask before starting a shopping ban.
5) What have you regretted buying in the past?
This is a big one. Think about it, is there anything you’ve regretted buying in the past? Perhaps you repeatedly purchased something only to realize, every single time, that it’s not for you. After purchasing and returning multiple leggings made out of synthetics back in 2014 I realized that I am not fond of synthetic clothing. Especially when it’s directly on my skin.
I had a revelation and have stuck to cotton, linen and other natural fibers ever since. Whatever it is that you’ve bought in the past and regretted, take a deeper look at it. If you’ve regretted buying a ton, then grab a pen or open a blank document and write the things down you regretted buying.
This was it for my post about 5 Vital Questions To Ask Before Starting A Shopping Ban. If you are thinking of starting a shopping ban ask yourself these questions and check out these 10 Tips On How To Create A Successful Shopping Ban.
More shopping ban content:
- My yearlong shopping ban
- The rules for my yearlong shopping ban
- My approved shopping list
- Essential clothing items
- 10 Tips On How To Create A Successful Shopping Ban
- Why I plan all my purchases a year in advance
- A Shopping Ban For Frugal People: Why It Makes Sense
- 10 Simple Habits For A Successful Shopping Ban
- A Super Simple Retired Items Spreadsheet For The Frugal
- 5 Vital Questions To Ask Before Starting A Shopping Ban
- I Am On A Yearlong Shopping Ban And Here’s Why