I'm on a Fiscal Fast. My second in fact. I'm excited and totally ready.
I'm a teacher and a big shopper. These two aspects of my life don't always work well together. Last summer I cleaned out a closet filled with beauty products. Like REALLY filled. I had multiple (at least 6) shampoo/conditioner pairs, half used face washes, hair products that had never been open, the spoils of my TJMaxx and outlet obsession. I realized I didn't need to buy the shampoo and conditioner just because it was on sale or smelled good or had a pretty colored bottle. If I wanted to try a new product, I had enough in the closet to switch when I felt like it and switch again not long after. I decided to really clean out an organize the closet and found even more than I expected... 12 lip balms from the Bath and Body works outlet? Really? Enough moisturizer to cover herds of elephants. Then there was the nail polish... oh the nail polish! I gave about 40 bottles away to some little girls I knew and still had well over 200 bottles. TOO MUCH!
I'm not a hoarder, but I am a collector of stuff. I say that my favorite color is "multi" and apparently I multi more than color. Why have one pair of flip flops (or even a justifiable 5 or 6) when I could have 20 or 30. I never throw away a lot of money on these items, but I do buy multiples.
I stopped. Cold turkey. Felt good! I wasn't trying to save money per se, just trying to stop wasting it and really try to appreciate what I already have. (like tons of shampoo and conditioner) I donated, stopped shopping, cleaned up what I had and likely worried the people at Amazon.
It went well the first time. I wavered a bit at the end, on socks of all things, but overall I did a really great job. I don't know how much I saved since these items are the types of things that I purchased randomly, but I know I didn't waste money during those four months (September-December 2013). In an effort to see the impact on my wallet, my donations and my accumulations around the house, I've decided to log my experience from May 1st through August 31st.
First off, the rules. What I can do and what I can't. Allocations and exceptions.
I get $100 guilt free. If there's something that I fall in love with or that truly speaks to me, I'm going to buy it. Last time I used $27 of my $100 over the four months. In all honesty, if I find something that is more and is important to me, I'll still get it. This isn't meant to be punitive rather aspirational.
Yes to fun. I am not cutting out movies with friends, dinners out or concert tickets. I'm not doing this to be a Luddite or a shut-in. And I'm keeping Netflix, buying a pass to the State Park System and getting haircuts at the salon.
Yes to donating. I'm going to use this time to work out what I have and what I can get rid of and donate. I want to appreciate what I have and streamlining what I have will help.
If I need it, I will get it. No one needs a hero that won't buy a new toothbrush or cold medicine. And if my fitbit dies, you had better believe I will be online before I stop crying.
Now the can'ts:
No beauty products: hair, face, lip balm, make-up, nail polish, moisturizer, hair elastics, etc.
No clothing: shoes, socks, tee shirts, pants, and so on
No random stuff: sheets, stationery, phone cases, plants, craft supplies, dog toys, almost anything
Those are the breaks. There will be more, but I like putting it down in cyberspace to start things off. Summer might be a difficult task with my time off, but it will be the perfect time to cull and get organized.
Oh, I bought a song on Amazon today for school. $99 left.