Thursday, November 01, 2012

Reflections: Becoming a Mindful Consumer

Today marks the start of the November Mindful Consumption Challenge. Is it all or nothing? No, like dieting it's everything in moderation, being aware of what you're buying, and making considered purchases.

Since our wedding in 2010, where consumption for no real reason is pushed down brides' throats, I've been trying to purchase gently loved items over brand new where it makes sense. (See today's In My Closet post for a sample outfit.)
Before that I frequently found myself sitting on my bed surrounded by bags of clothes purchased from the mall that I hadn't budgeted for. Sifting through receipts and trying to figure out what I could and couldn't return was stressful.
Despite attempts to save, I found myself taking money from savings to pay for the recent purchases. I was lucky that I could do that. Now, you might be asking what's the big deal, pay it off the next month. Nope, couldn't do that. After college, one of my only-spend-what-you-have tricks was to always use the debit card that was tied to my checking account. I'd learned not to "cover" current purchases by putting them on a credit card as it was too easy to run up a large bill.
My binge shopping was not making me happy and even worse today I have very few of items from those trips to the malls. Nothing I thought I had to have was something I loved. I did learn that setting a monthly budget for clothes and creating a list of what was missing from my closet was a better strategy than just using my debit card.
How have you tamed your spending habits?
Share your tips in the comments below.
Still trying to get binge shopping under control? Take the Mindful Consumption Challenge with me. We'll do it together.
Ciao Bella!
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.