A year without shopping

In thinking about my New Years Resolutions this year, and coming off the excess of the holiday season, I have decided to do a version of "a year without shopping."  I have tried budgeting in many different forms, as well as attempts to declutter and live with less, but the dramatic has always been the most effective for me, so I'm taking that route.  This Ann Patchett column popped up in my feed and sealed the deal. That said, I am the mother of two young children, so this is not likely to be a true "buy nothing" year.  So, this post is to set the parameters for what I can and cannot purchase beginning January 2nd, 2018.

What I cannot buy:

1.  Clothing/Jewelry/Shoes/Etc. for myself or my husband.
2. Books (I will stay a member of the book of the month club, but may not purchase any "extras").
3. Any unnecessary household items/trinkets/furniture/candles/paper goods, etc.
4. Magazines (even at the airport)
5. Baby Gear (except for a convertible car seat when June grows out of her current infant carrier)
6. "Stock" aka, no buying soap, lotion, makeup, etc unless I have or am about to run completely out. Also, no upgrading items that are not broken.
7. Souvenirs
8. New subscriptions (boxes, etc.)
9. Ebooks or audiobooks.

What I can buy (with parameters):
1. Kid's clothes - if the kids need clothes, I must try to consign items first, then try thrift stores, and (last resort) may purchase from Target or Old Navy.  I may buy special occasion outfits for birthdays and Christmas and family photos. Can stock up at Last Chance 2 times/year. on kid stuff only. Prioritize allowing Grace to choose clothing she likes and having a few things to wear that she really loves.
2. Gifts- I can purchase gifts for kid's birthday parties, holidays, etc, with preference going to books or homemade goods. No cards.
3. Art and craft supplies for specific projects only in the quantity needed for that project.
4. Christmas cards.
5. Kid's books and toys- may purchase from Scholastic orders from school and can reward kids with toys 1 time/month and kids must be present.  No buying kid toys online or when shopping kid free.
6. Charity/MLM parties- I may attend and purchase one thing per event/party with preference given to things that are needed and/or can be gifted/saved for holiday gifts.
7. Household goods related to our remodel.
8. Christmas gifts for kids (something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read).
9. Other charity opportunities:  These will be considered on an individual basis, and gift cards/cash will be donated over goods.

What I can buy:
1. Groceries
2. Experiences (zoo passes, swim lessons, movies, photography, etc).
3. Coffee
4. New eyeglasses
5. May continue current subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix, Dollar Shave Club and BOTM.

Other related parameters:
1.  Use "Daily Budget" app.
2. Try to meal plan to reduce grocery costs and waste.
3. Prioritize minimizing debt.
4.  Do a 40 bags in 40 days challenge for Lent.

My goals for this project are financial, but they are also to live a more minimal life less driven by consumerism.  I'm sure I will slip up, and I'm sure that things will come up that need considering, and that is why I am going to try to blog about the challenge once per week.  I hope that some of you will join me, and that you will help keep me accountable as well.


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