Monday, 27 June 2011

CP's No Shopping Challenge....


One of my favourite bloggers recently wrote this post about shopping and mooted the idea of a no shopping challenge. This post eerily echoed some of the thoughts I'd been having recently about why I buy stuff that came out of a conversation with Mr P. Imagine the following if you will:

Me: ooh I'm very excited about my upcoming shopping trip with Miss L
Mr P: I don't understand why girls find shopping enjoyable? I mean why do you need so much stuff? Why does it make you so happy?
Me: Well it's a social thing as well as the pleasure of seeking out pretty things....And I just "need" them!
Mr P: Why? Are you not happy enough with me? How come you feel the need to buy more things to make you happier? And where are you going to put even more stuff???

This conversation got me to thinking...can you hear the cogs whirling? Why with a wardrobe bursting at the seams full of clothes, shoes, bags and of course Filofaxes do I feel the need to shop? Is it that I think this dress/bag/flip flop will suddenly mean I loose 3 stone/grow taller/become more fun? Can it really be true that without said item my life will be an less fulfilling or complete?

I often think about the scene from Sex and the City when Carrie realises that she has no savings, property or assets other than her wardrobe full of expensive shoes....glamorous but not especially useful when one is trying to secure a mortgage! Is that me but with £40 not £400 shoes?

I am lucky enough to be at a time in my life where I really am very happy. I have a wonderful man, a lovely home, a fabulous job (something is bound to go wrong soon I'm sure as this is all far more than I deserve) but clearly there is something wrong inside for me to need to buy things as regularly as I do. So inspired by Caribbean Princess here is my homage to her no shopping challenge. I will be fully participating in her challenge group and here are my not to be purchased rules from July 1st:

1) Any non work essential magazine subscriptions/magazine purchases other than She and Red. No more of the monthly/weekly glossies telling me what I "must" have so it will in fact be a double winner - saving money for not purchasing the magazine and then also not being tempted by the items within said magazine.

2) No clothes, shoes, bags and Filofaxes. I have more than enough of all for my whole street it feels sometimes and far more than fits into my wardrobes/cupboards.....unless it is something for an event that I really don't have in my wardrobe (fancy dress theme for example) nothing new!!!!

3) Books - I'm a bugger for buying new books and then not reading them. So until I have read the whole backlog of novels I have stockpiled at home no more fiction for me. And then I'm going to join our local library and try reading some for free!!

4) CD's, DVD's and mp3 downloads etc. I do tend to buy music quite a bit whether a song or album I've heard on the radio or decide to liberate a film that might be in the DVD bargain bin. But I have so much it is about time I revisited some of it and found out why I fell in love with certain albums/bands/films again!

5) Accessories - beads, bangles, scarves and earrings. Another thing I do is buy new accessories to spangle up an outfit. You can never be having a fat day where your favourite earrings don't fit!! However this is something else that I buy and rarely wear, I have my favourites for sure but I probably only wear about 10% of my total collection so time to dig out some of my older pieces and start enjoying them. That goes for my "posh" jewellery too - the special occasion stuff that I don't wear in case I loose/break it. Time to enjoy that too otherwise it will never get worn!!

6) Random, non essential kitchen items. I do get carried away sometimes and buy shiny new kitchen items that never see the light of day (yes slow cooker I'm talking about you) so no more - unless of course the kettle/toaster/coffee machine blows up and needs replacing!

7) Nik naks - fridge magnets, memorabilia, souvenir pencils the list is endless of the junk that I collect and bring home to lie in a drawer never to see the light of day again. No more! Without buying a considerably bigger fridge I have very little room left for any more magnets....

There are however several areas that I will not be including in my shopping embargo list:

1) Ski wear - in January my first ever ski trip is planned. I'm gatecrashing Mr P's ski buddy group which includes the very lovely Mr T and several other gorgeous boys. Now on this trip I will be happily at (utter) beginners ski school leaving the boys to carry on as normal with their ski holibobs as while I've never skied before they are all quite seasoned pros. But of course I have none of the gear yet - so I shall be hunting out some bargains I hope in my local TKMaxx/outdoor store/eBay for my first ski kit.

2) Birthday presents and the like. I have so many lovely people's birthdays coming up in the second half of the year and I love shopping for gifts for people so this will help alleviate the shopping pangs hopefully.

3) Vital replacements - by this I mean items that have actually broken/worn out and are essentials only. This will mean said broken item is recycled/thrown away though! An example would be if on my winter coat the sleeve ripped off....

4) Core beauty products. Not frivolous lip glosses or eye shadows but replacing the essentials (shower gel/hair dye etc etc) that without which I would turn into a bedraggled witch.

5) Furniture - we are looking to purchase some new furniture for our spare bedroom potentially so that is excluded from the embargo - it will just help with being able to access all the stuff I already have much easier!!

6) Kitchen appliances - I'm living in hope of getting a new bigger fridge and possibly even a dishwasher...I can't cut that dream off just yet ;0)

7) Car....I do believe in the next 6 months that I will need to be purchasing a new motor of sorts as I think I have nearly killed Mr P's lovely car with the amount of miles I do to work and back everyday. So having stolen that for the past year and half it is about time I coughed up some cash and purchased a new one to replace it. See here for more on that....

So there it is...can I do it? Mr P certainly isn't convinced!



  1. I AM convinced you can do it (as all the others taking part)! Why not going a bit further and use the slow cooker a bit more, you and I? There are so many recipes out there in the www sounding yummy!

  2. Good for you, for joining the challenge. I don't have the self discipline. Actually, there are some things for my house I plan on getting, so joining would be moot.
    I have to say though, that I often wonder the same thing as you said - am I missing something that I often buy things, or do I do it just because it's fun? I wouldn't say I'm a shopaholic by any means. But I do buy myself something every month, whether it be clothes, a new bag, shoes or a planner. Why is that?

  3. Wonderful man - check, lovely home - check, fabulous job - check. All things that you totally deserve. And don't you go ripping the arm off your winter coat just because you see another one you like the look of ;-) Considering taking up the challenge myself, but am usually pretty good at budgeting, and it's only really been the last 5 months that I've started to buy nice things for me (Filofaxes and pretty stickers/tape, for which I can only blame you and CP) lol :o) I may have a think about what areas I can do stricter budgeting on after the summer holidays, as since we have been in Switzerland I don't do any of the shopping and maybe I should start getting home from work earlier to eat with my boys and that way I can do proper meal planning again (in my Filofax of course)... Although in my challenge I will definitely still be buying Filofaxes as I only have 8 and the boys keep trying to steal them off me, so I may need to buy replacements as well xxx