Shopping ban: 5-month check-in

It’s official.

I have fallen off the shopping ban(d) wagon.

It started small, with this justifiable purchase of neon socks, as I had showed up in Stockholm following months of sockless summer life with not enough foot coverings to last through a week or two. IMG_4749.JPGBut, things have escalated a little bit from there.

I have struggled with the shopping ban a lot over the past month, and even though I have quite a few allowable exceptions, I have stretched them  to the max.  I thought I would share the list of everything I have bought since starting the shopping ban in July. The planned purchases/exceptions, as outlined in my first shopping ban post are in the left column, and you can see how some of the purchases fall well within the parameters, while others bend and break the ban to varying degrees.

Summary (by main category):

[Full details here]

Travel things: 

dsc_9464There have been two off-list items. The first was an irresistibly pretty Murano glass ring, which contains gold, silver, and rose gold, making it the most versatile ring in my collection. I also met the glass worker who made it and she was the most lovely person. The second was the luggage scale, which I have justified as a mental health intervention (see footnotes).

Bike stuff: Since I have given myself blanket permission to purchase pretty much anything bike related, I have no sins to confess. In fact, I have been doing pretty well with this one too. (This is largely because I am borrowing a bike from KI in Stockholm and have not needed to do much maintenance since arriving here).

Clothes: As anticipated, this is an area that has presented some level of challenge. Starting with the aforementioned sock purchase, continuing with the retirement of several key articles of clothing (bra, dress, two shirts, a cardigan). So, in short, while I have seemingly purchased a lot of clothes, all of it falls within the “replace things that wear out” category.dsc_9876Except one…

To deal with the retirements of the aforementioned garments, I decided to head to the most wonderfully dangerous land of the vintage shop. While it can be challenging to find a specific item, vintage shops are filled with strange and wonderful things that my brain explodes with delight. I did find two justifiable gems to replace my worn-out, wine-stained shirts (both with SHOULDER PADS, which fill me with delight. All the 80s power dressing for me!).

However, the danger of a vintage store is that despite your firm resolve, a beguiling voice may beacon you to the island of Anthemoessa, where you crash your minimalist ships on the rocky shore. In this case, the enchantress was a wool cape, and I simply couldn’t leave the shop without it. And yes, it breaks the ban, but oh, it makes my heart happy every time I see it. #sorrynotsorry.

House items: All of these were on my anticipated purchasing list, so my first gold star of the bunch! Also, my sis made me a bunch of reusable snack bags, so I acquired some really useful snack sacks WITHOUT purchasing them (THANKS SIS!). IMG_5589.JPGToiletries: Two minor breaches – a new lipstick and a refillable travel perfume bottle. I can’t deny that these are such lady-like things to break a ban over, that I am also not that upset.

School supplies: Meh. All important in keeping me doing my work and staying organized, so I will dole out another gold star for this category.

Hobbies: This is probably the most dangerous territory. I have made impressive use of the embroidery floss that I purchased. So far, I have made 6 masterpieces with this floss and it has become one of my favourite evening activity: listening to an audiobook or watching some TV whilst stitching away.

I also have re-committed to a few dormant hobbies, which have racked up some unexpected purchases – a climbing harness and chalk ball, a lock for the gym and yoga studio, and most recently, a down running skirt and adventure racing backpack.


Here is the detailed breakdown, prices, and my expository explanations for justifying my various off-list purchasing: shopping-ban-chart-5-month-update

So even though I have broken the ban 7 ways to Sunday, I am still making an effort to continue this conscious consumption pattern and continue to try to minimize my purchasing. I find that I am pretty good at justifying that I “need” something, but that I am engaging in much more thought about whether or not that is true lately. I am going to keep-on-keeping-on with this challenge, even if I stumble and fall, landing squarely on a full shopping cart on Amazon…


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