One Month Challenge: Shopping Ban

That's not me. I wouldn't be caught dead in those shoes.

Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month we followed Norah from Drake University successfully get her swell on. This month we’re following Kelly as she proves to her mom, and her wallet, that she can go one month sans shopping.

Hello. My name is Kelly, and I’m a shopaholic.

I get more delight out of buying a new pack of Hanes v-necks than eating a Marco’s grilled cheese after bar close. Vogue is my porn of choice. Updating wish lists on all of my favorite online stores would be my favorite hobby. The feeling I get when someone compliments an outfit is complete ecstasy, and when I click “Confirm Purchase” after a successful skirt hunt, I reach the purest levels of happiness.

In that moment, life is perfect.

And my bank account officially hates me. I haven’t been able to put any money into my savings account for months because everything left over after food+bills+booze=clothes. I currently owe $142 to American Eagle, $86 to Victoria Secret, and my credit card is at its limit. I hide bags in the trunk of my car and tell my boyfriend I spend only $50 when I spent $150. Money leaves my pocket faster than ugly waitresses claim they had an affair with Tiger Woods and Jesse James and I’m sick of it.

So this month is going to be a hard one. Not only do I have to go 30 days without purchasing new swim suits or sparkly tank tops or dresses for my cat, I seriously need to take a good, hard look at the money I spend. My mom has actually called many times to talk about my money management and “saving money for after graduation” or some bullsh*t like that, and I don’t want to disappoint my mama! I honestly have no idea how it’s going to go and if I’m going to be able to do it. But, at least I get to share my misery with you ladies.

Here’s to hoping that there are no new spring clothing window displays on the way to class next Monday. Or no tempting emails from RueLaLa this weekend. Or no VS catalogs coming to my mailbox during the entirety of April.

Oh god. I’m scared.



  1. Kat says:

    hey, good luck! maybe you will be able to pay off all that money you owe!

  2. Lenna says:

    Super-duper good luck!

    Maybe to help yourself from being tempted by those sale emails…delete them and don't read them. And as for those catalogs…hide them or if you live with someone, have them hide them?

  3. Beverly says:

    Good luck!! I've been immediately deleting all shopping-related emails without reading them. I definitely know your pain – I love shopping way too much (and I will admit to lying about what I spent too). My last bank statement made me cringe, so I'm trying not to buy anything until I at least have a job instead of a non-paying internship.

  4. dressdarling says:

    I have the same problem… though not quite as intense lol. Good luck! Maybe your articles will inspire me!!

  5. melanie says:

    OMG! my mom just found my VISA bill and chopped it to tiny bits, so I'm currenty on a shopping ban until i have paid off 1500 and saved another 1000. So i feel your pain sister.

  6. marley says:

    i have the same problem! spamming all my shopping emails was a great help, and unbookmarking all my favorite stores (out of sight, out of mind. also, ive learned if i dont go into any stores, i cant buy anything. you can do it! dig deep into that closet and pull out all the things you forgot you had! this is a great idea! best of luck to you!! && i can't wait to hear how it goes!

  7. Nina says:

    i leave all my credit cards at home, and most of the time my debit card stays there as well. when i carry my debit card with me i am more aware since the money is gone right away rather than being paid off at a later date. my problem is with buying food though, not clothes, as i never seem to pack a lunch i'm always buying lunch!

  8. Allison says:

    I am just coming off a 40 day of buying no new clothes and only charging things to my credit card if they were gas and food. and trust me IT'S GOING TO SUCK.

    First thing you should do, and trust me its a shock to the heart, but go through your closet and get rid of EVERYTHING that still has a tag, has only been worn once, or you forgot you had. Take it to a plato's closet and a consignment store and see if you get money back for it. Most likely you won't get a penny for most of it. Think about that, you spent thousands of dollars on all of that, and you get maybe 50 to 100 back(or me, $3.50 that sucked). This should help a lot with seeing that a top a few months ago you had to have is something you never wear any more, and then even worse, you spent 30 to 40 on it and wore it once or twice, and maybe get a 1 dollar back.

    Paying off the credit card is going to take a lot longer than a month, but start getting rid of the clothes you don't use and see if you can get some of that money back! I'm rooting for you:)

  9. Karissa says:

    In my opinion, this is an almost impossible task. I have never been able to do it, but I hope that you will be able to! I will definitely follow your posts because maybe if you can do it, I can :]

  10. zerohundred says:

    Good luck! I'm also doing something like this, only I've been trying it since around February. It's a great reality check. I'm the worst when it comes to sale items, and the word "clearance" makes me the happiest person ever. Add a percentage off to that and–let's not talk about that. LOL! But now that I've been buying the essentials only, I have realized I've been wasting a lot of money. I've also been able to reacquaint myself with my closet and the two of us are pretty close now. Today was the first time in a while that I made a significant purchase, and it wasn't even on clothes (art supplies; I'm an art major). It feels good.

  11. zerohundred says:

    P.S. I kind of agree with Allison but don't get rid of things unless you can't recycle them. I have a pile of things to take to consignment but they're things that are NICE and don't fit anymore (weight loss, hurray). At the beginning of my "cleanse" I felt satisfied with my wardrobe at college and left all of the stuff that had fallen out of favor at my parents'. Just last week I went through those "old/boring" items and got really excited about what was there. You'd be surprised at how inventive your shopaholic mind will get when it's craving something new ;)

  12. Bethany says:

    I'm doing this too. My mom challenged me to make it to finals without buying any but necessities aka no clothes/makeup/etc. for almost 2 months :(

    It's going to be really hard, but I think we can do it!

  13. Jenna says:

    Good luck from one shopaholic to another! I completely related to this story, and I could also use a shopping ban.

  14. KIKO says:

    I definitely feel your pain. just yesterday, i found myself lying to my mother about how much a dress i bought cost. Only because I was so ashamed because I had returned to the mall to return shoes I'd bought that were much too expensive. And yesterday i broke sunglasses that I JUST BOUGHT and it didn't faze me when I said, no worries I'll just buy a new pair tommorow. HELP ME!

  15. Lauren says:

    Good luck! I definitely do the same things as you…shopping can be so addictive!


  16. Kelly - University o says:

    Thanks for being supportive everyone!

    But I must confess: I bought a shirt today. But it's for a barcrawl. Does that count??!

  17. Natalie says:

    This sounds like my life. I've been considering doing something like this but haven't had the nerve. Good luck!

  18. cosmicpixie says:

    I just donated almost $7,000 worth of clothing to a thrift store. I had to itemize everything to write the donation off on my taxes. What a big reality check for me! I could have paid off my car with all that money, or taken a really nice vacation! Instead, I purchased clothing that was maybe worn a handful of times or was brand new and I never got around to wearing it. Not a good investment at all!

  19. Star says:

    I'm working on my finances this month too. I found out that last month alone I spent almost $150 in fast food! Unhealthy and expensive. I also spent about $500 in clothes. This month I have a strict budget and I'm trying my hardest to stick to it. I'm rooting for you to succeed!

  20. Bethany says:

    I've been on my ban for four days and I just bought a dress :( But it is adorable! And it has pockets! Oh well I'll try again.

  21. Kelly - University o says:

    Bethany: dresses with pockets = AMAZING

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  24. […] will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month we’re following Kelly as she proves to her mom, and her wallet, that she can go one month sans […]

  25. Eliza says:

    Sounds hard, but I'm going to give it a go!

  26. […] will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month we’re following Kelly as she proves to her mom, and her wallet, that she can go one month sans […]

  27. […] will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month we’re following Kelly as she proves to her mom, and her wallet, that she can go one month sans […]

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