New Focus

It's been over a year since I posted and, as I restart, I'm refocusing.

Two things that have become very important to me over the past several years are simplicity and mindful spending. Practicing simplicity has been a lot easier for me than curbing my impulse spending, so I'm embarking on a challenge inspired by Cait Flanders, a Canadian personal finance blogger who, for two years, embraced a shopping ban.

During her shopping ban, Cait had very specific rules about what she would and would not buy. I've decided to do something similar. And, for my own benefit, I'm going to write about it here. Making resolutions is easy but, without accountability, mine usually fizzle - like my running habit.

My shopping ban will begin January 1 and continue until June 30.

The reasons I have decided to undertake this challenge are:
  • to be more generous,
  • to stop accumulating and consuming mindlessly
  • to save more money, particularly to build up my emergency fund,
  • to pay down my student debt, and
  • to start bookbinding again.
The things I will refrain from buying are:
  • books, including notebooks and journals
  • stationery and art supplies
  • home decor and furniture (unless something is broken AND needs replacement)
  • bags and totes and wallets and storage containers
  • fast food (unless I am traveling out of Indiana)
  • casual clothes
  • toiletries and cleaning supplies (unless I run out)
Some of these items will be easier to refrain from than others - the toughest will likely be art supplies and fast food - though I will have one outlet for my art supplies fancy.

As you can see, one of my goals for the next six months is to begin bookbinding again. In the past, I've been able to make some extra money by selling my crafts and I'd like to do that again with more intention. So, though I won't be buying stickers and paint and washi tape like they're going out of style, I will need to source and purchase the supplies needed to produce and ship my books and other wares. One of my first challenges will be sourcing paper for the pages and davey board for the covers. If, at the end of six months, I haven't been able to turn at least a minimal profit, I will reevaluate this project.

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