The Plan is Kinda Failing
My Journey to Conscious Consumption Part 3
My goal; to be so aware of my thoughts that I do not spend without distinct purpose.
Part of on ongoing conscious consumer diary.
By Alexandra Apple
Salon owner, Hairstylist, certified colorist
3648 A Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal
My plan to spend once a month was quickly halted in early January when I was late to daycare pick up. I needed to pick up a secondhand stroller in order to get there on time. The detour home would have me late and carrying her in minus 25 degree weather was not an option. The world wanted to punish me, so I guiltily had to face the stroller we forgot existed in the storage room when I got there! A 15$ mistake! Dragging two strollers through icy snowy streets I almost froze my child’s fingers off before I got to a Phamaprix to get 5$ gloves. I happily placed them on her hands, excited to place the spare pair in her baby bag side pocket, I notice a pair already stashed there. Lesson learned . Taxi next time.
Regardless, I go on saving my 75$ /week shopping budget in a separate account so I can use it for a big purchase. I’m almost shy to say that’s my budget because 300$ a month is the kind of number you don’t want to admit spending, but I’m sure if you looked into your actual transaction list (Sephora, hair salon, beauty, clothing, shoes, gifts, EVERYTHING EXTRA) you would see this is totally fair.
My goal was to save for these Jennifer Fisher hoop earrings that are 450$USD a.k.a. 600$ Canadian. They are rose gold, super pretty everyday earrings that take your outfit up a notch. I tried to find them fake, I tried to find similar models online and to no avail, I figured I’ll suck it up and not shop for 2 months to own them! No big deal.
Except, after 4 weeks I started getting more and more tempted. Every insta-story the jeweller posted had me excited, I even thought to myself “maybe I’ll credit card them so when they arrive in 2 weeks I’ll have the money to pay it…” then I found the perfect solution. Valentine’s Day gift proposal.
“hey boyfriend…if you haven’t found a gift for me, there’s these 600$ earrings….”
*cue boy stressing*
“that I saved 400$ for but I'm too excited for them, so if you want to pitch in the rest I would be so grateful”
Proposal accepted. Shopping ego and enlightened-me both happy to tie this match.
As one does, constantly browsing the web, I’ve been shopping without even trying. I add new desired items to my list making app under Wishlist so I can test my shopping ego weeks from now to know if I really want it or if it was just a fleeting desire. I see my list is at approximately 15 items, totalling close to 3000$, but I immediately notice how half the items desirability went from a hot “I need it to now” to a cool “I’d live happily forever without this”
Moving forward to just two weeks later; I see a long desired item (3 months of contemplation) on sample sale via an Instagram story! I’ve been following Allume since the legalization of recreational weed turned me on to it. I was never a big user of cannabis but like many, all this CBD talk had me curious. I quickly reached out to purchase a glass, Canadian made pipe by Laundry Day; it was 55$ instead of 84$. It also doubles as a pricy incense holder, If I don’t want to smoke with it. Two in one, I felt like a winner.
If I’m honest, it’s mainly just beautiful and pink. So I did what any smart shopper would do, I tacked on a second sale item I had been eyeing at 70$ instead of 85$, which then brought me a total 44$ “saved”. This actually stays in my savings account too, woohoo!
My 150$ is now at 25$, so I have to suck it up for a few more weeks. My only way around this is to spend less on groceries or going out but it’s almost impossible to do that. Going out just once a week, it’s hard to eat and drink under 60$ unless your getting a slice of pizza with no ambiance.
Overall, having this strange savings account for spending actually makes it sadly obvious how fast money gets spent. If I wasn’t restricting myself I easily would have spent more on mediocre items I’ve seen, which would be on my credit card, and would easily add up to like 300$ a month in unnecessary items.
Multiplying to 3600$ a year in debt for no reason.
Hmm, maybe that’s how my credit card usually gets up to like 3000$ strangely quickly?
Here’s my next issue, I need to not spend for, like, 11 weeks to get my next desired item 😅 The chances I make it are so slim. I’ll have to cut back in the eating-out department or just suck it up. Eleven weeks would bring me mid-May and it’s March as I write this. Mind you the weather barely changes until like June so my need for summer clothes can wait.
How will I stop myself ? What questions should I ask myself to halt the shopping that’s one finger print away on my phone from being purchased?
Listening to a podcast a couple years ago, one shopping tip stuck to me. It doesn’t work every time but Myliek Teele said that being quite wealthy she finds it hard to not spend on pricy items that she actually can afford. So she asks herself “would I spend double to have this item?” Which is ultimately saying how badly do I want this? Does this feel so valuable that I would spend twice the asking price? This has saved me quite a few times, mainly when I end up feeling I should buy things 'cause they are pretty and cheap. Because the truth is: I shouldn’t spend 15$ on something if I wouldn’t spend 30$ on it. It didn’t quite work for my 60$ clutch purchase though. But, hey, I never said I was perfect.
Current shopping money at 95$, I’m feeling quite hopeless to get through 9 more weeks to get another beautiful piece of jewellery. However the earrings I bought with my boyfriend are still bringing me joy, more than most things I own. So maybe it’s worth it. As my wishlist fills up faster than the bank account, I’m feeling the urge for people to ask me what I want for my birthday because I’m SOOOO ready to answer 😂
But, let’s be real, I’m not having a 10 year old’s birthday with 15 guests. So probably just my boyfriend and maybe my mom will ask if I’m lucky. But just in case, here’s my wishlist, which doubles as a list of awesome local businesses to follow:
Ring from @ella.gold.jewelry
New bra from @alicekasslingerie
More stuff from shopallume
A spring jacket by @flavio
The crying eye necklace from @sofiazakia
A bathing suit
And much more
What’s on your list lately?