The Journey of Less

c/o Megan Maley

P.O. Box 844

Occoquan, VA 22125

megan.a.maley@gmail.com

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  • Megan Maley

Week 1 Shopping Ban Progress (#FAIL)


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The first week of the shopping ban started out with the best of intentions... but quickly went downhill with a bourgeois Sephora order, several Amazon orders and a trip to Costco.


Things we bought during the first week of the shopping ban:


-Mascara, Eye Cream, Clean Beauty Sampler from Sephora ($175) I ran out of eye cream and I am getting down to the nitty gritty on a mascara sample I have been stretching. I also decided over our 4th of July trip to my parents' house that I need a "mobile" face wash. My current face wash(es) are in containers that don't travel well and I don't have any sample sizes that are good for removing makeup. Instead of jumping in and buying a cleansing balm I have never tried, I ordered the clean beauty sampler set from Sephora to try a couple of cleansing balms and a few other products. So technically this was outside the scope of *approved products* but I love skincare. I knew this would be a hard area for me. (Slapping my own wrist.)


- A cordless Dyson vacuum from Costco ($320) This was definitely a fail. We already own a perfectly good (cord) vacuum AND we have a housekeeper that comes every two weeks who does most of the vacuuming... but I have been eyeing a cordless Dyson for a very long time because I wanted to be able to vacuum quickly around the house without dragging out the bigger vacuum. Our home as three distinct floors and narrow stairways... and although our vacuum is light, it's cumbersome. The urge to vac is especially intense now that I have an infant who is spending time on the rugs. This has been on my "wish list" for a very long time and I even asked for this as a gift for Mother's Day this year (my husband got me a massage instead... he insisted a vacuum was a terrible Mother's Day gift... idk). So anyway, not to try and "justify" this purchase... but it was $80 off. So I own it. Meh.


- An Instant Pot ($150) Another fail. I haven't been eating meat at all recently and have switched to a far more plant-based diet. I have been eyeballing rice-cookers because I love rice and beans and they are both whole foods and beans are an important protein source. Again, not that I can justify this purchase... but it IS replacing our crockpot AND it's a rice cooker AND I can fix a myriad of dishes in like ZERO time... so I basically invested in a tool that gives me more of my time back... so... yeah. This is basically how easily I justified this to myself in real-time.


- Scar Away ($20) I have a C-Section scar. I am treating it. I am entitled. It might be "extra" but unfortunately my window of treatment is small (aka within a few months).


- Vitamins ($36) Totally justified. I need B12 and Vitamin D. Both of these things I am habitually deficient in.


- Athletic Socks (Mitch) ($16) Mitch has thrown out quite a few socks lately that have holes in them so this is technically a replacement for something worn out. And he shopped smart about it. He got like 10 pairs for this price on Amazon.


- Diapers ($38) Obvi not negotiable. I bought a 4pk on Amazon of the Mama Bear Amazon brand so very cost efficient.


- An Oball toy football for baby ($9) These are supposed to be great for development because they are bright and big and little hands easily grasp the holes in them. There aren't a ton of toys for this early development phase where hand-eye coordination is just beginning. And I have bought exactly zero toys for baby so far so whatever.


- Filters for my Soma water filter ($25) These are necessary.


- Golf visor (Mitch) ($25) Probably a splurge. Although he justified it pretty well because it's the kind with a big forehead part and as he pointed out, he has a big forehead... so the smaller visors leave him with a sunburn right in front of his hairline. Technically a fail, though. But at least it's a practical fail. And he sort of looks like Bubba Watson wearing it so that's cool.


- PopSocket/Phone Ring Holders ($17) Total fail. These are a total non-necessity but make phone life so much easier.


-Video Editing Software ($60) This is for my fledgling YouTube career/hobby. Windows Movie Maker just wasn't cutting it anymore and I have been eyeballing software for a while. Again, a fail.


The biggest issue in week 1 was the mentality of "now that I've screwed up and went off the plan... I might as well just throw it out." Once I made the first purchase, the other purchases went much easier and required far less bargaining with myself. They also elicited WAY less guilt than the first purchase.


This week is a new week, though... and so far I haven't fallen off the bandwagon. I don't really have a better game plan besides "don't shop" but I have been deleting Ulta and Sephora emails as they come into my inbox instead of opening them. I don't want to unsubscribe at this point because I do make semi-frequent purchases from both stores and it's nice to have the coupons when I do make a purchase. Later, if I'm still struggling with non-approved purchases, I may temporarily unsubscribe. I have also been trying to avoid "Haul" videos on YouTube and videos where beauty folks are testing new products or talking about their recent favorite products (these are REALLY a huge source of my "need" for skincare products). Instead, I have been focused on looking at the checkbook every single day and watching videos on budgets and investing and paying down debt. I have even started to declutter more things from around the house (which is a huge motivator to spend less because decluttering is literally the same feeling as burning money).


It has occurred to me to remove my payment forms from Amazon in order to avoid spending money on Amazon. In the past, I made great progress with reducing spending this way. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I am a very busy working mother. I have an infant and a full time job and I prepare home-cooked meals from whole ingredients most nights. I also do the majority of the household tasks like laundry, daily cleaning, dishes, cooking, tending to plants, making beds, tidying, etc. Mitch helps a tremendous amount but the bottom line is that these are still MY tasks. I take pride in them. I take pride in taking care of my home and my family and nobody can do it like I can do it. Old-fashioned? Probably. But it's my choice and I am entitled to be a little old-fashioned if I want to. With that said, it's the ease and efficiency of Amazon that allows me to quickly price-compare items and make purchases that we need which frees up my time to do the more important things like caring for my family and keeping house. This is also how I justify spending the money on a bi-weekly housekeeper... because she takes care of the heavy lifting like scrubbing toilets and showers and I can focus on the daily tasks like tidying, cooking, laundry, etc. So while saving money and reducing physical purchases is the goal, it's unrealistic to do so if you have to sacrifice the things that are important to you. Balance is key.


With my thoughts and transgressions out of the way, I'm motivated to stay on the bandwagon for week two! I'll let you know how it goes!


In the meantime, be well, friends!

-M