You guys should actually be grateful I didn't blog about this real-time because it got pretty ugly at times. From January 6th, 2011 through April 6th, 2011 I DID NOT SHOP! Yup, I exceeded my timeframe and didn't shop for 3 whole months. I limited my expenses to necessary car repairs & maintenance (which included 1 oil change, countless gas refills, 1 tow, 1 tire explosion/replacement, 2 new windshield wipers because the old ones were down to the metal, and the official removal of the belly pan because it half fell off at 120 km/hr on Highway 15 and started sparking up the road), food, alcohol, only necessary toiletries (specifically deoderant, toothpaste, soap and make-up remover - all of which are socially required) and a coffee machine because my old one broke, and if you've ever met me without at least 2 cups of coffee in me, you know why that was a must.
So what did I learn from the experience? Lots. I learned I actually do have self-control - which those closest to me didn't think was possible when it came to shopping. I learned I spend too much money on things I don't need. There is no need for 10 white shirts that all look the same, or 11 pairs of jeans that I barely wear, and do I actually need 8 pairs of black leggings? I learned that my attitude towards shopping (and money for that matter) was "It's my money that I work hard for, so I'll do what I please with it", it was almost an attitude of spite - towards what? I don't know. I do work hard for my money, and I should do what I please with it, but it's also important to be REASONABLE (a word that I would never have combined in the same thought or same sentence as "shopping").
The reality of the matter is that I really do love clothes... and shoes... and make-up... and perfume... and purses and jewelery/accessories, and not shopping at all is unrealistic for me on a go-forward basis. I like to look good, because when I think I look good, I feel better about myself, and when I feel better about myself I'm simply more pleasant to be around - there just have to be limits to my extravanganzas. First of all, every shopping trip doesn't have to be an extravaganza (believe it or not!). Second, I don't need to shop 2 to 3 times a week. And third, I should think about my purchases before actually buying them (like trying stuff on would be a good start, or making sure I'm not buying something for 1 outfit or 1 occasion). All in all, I'm glad I did, but let me tell you, I hit up Zara and H&M first thing Saturday morning and it felt great!
For effect, I tried to create an image of all the tags from the stuff I'd purchased on January 5th (my last shopping day, which was just a regular Wednesday, after all my boxing shopping had been done and after I'd received everything I wanted for Christmas) and an image of the much fewer tags from Saturday's return to the shopping world, but it's not working! So I'll have to work out the kinks and geet back to you on that.