Category Archives: Shopping Ban

2012 Goals

(Image via)

I know that January is practically over, but I wanted to still post up my goals. I have been a pretty good goal setter and a pretty bad mediocre goal-tracker. I will be working on this in 2012! I’ve been so inspired seeing bloggers like Krystal set her annual goals and monthly goals, and then does regular check ins to see how she is doing.

I am a huge believer in setting ambitious goals. Who cares if sometimes they are a bit crazy, right? Being the over-achiever that I am, it’s sometimes hard to accept that I (gasp!) fail, too. But, I also realize that it is only by failing a few times that I learn.

Besides, isn’t it better to aim for the moon and land on a star, than to aim for the trees and land on the ground? That’s what my grade 10 math teacher told me.

This year, I am going to set my annual goals here. Then, I am going to set monthly goals. My monthly goals will usually be baby steps to get me on track to meeting my annual goals, but they can also be something different.

Here we go! ūüėČ

Life

Sometimes, I really struggle with balancing work with my personal life. I have been doing a better job of this in 2011, but there is always room for improvement.

Even though my job is important, the people in my life are more important. They are who I call when I have great news to share, and they are the ones I count on for support when things mess up. So, it only make sense to make time for them and prioritize them into my life.

  • Friends: See my girlfriends once a month for dinner or spa date to catch up and unwind. I really tried to do this in 2011, and I really enjoyed it. Will also put it on the list for this year.
  • Family: See my parents every other weekend. Call my parents at least once a week. This is also a carry over from last year.

Finance

I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals. Money does not happiness, but it can be a tool to reach my goals and find happiness. For me, spending time with loved ones, good health, lifelong learning, traveling, and owning a home are long term goals I want to achieve by using money as a tool.

This year, I want to be realistic and set goals that are simple and measurable.

  • Net worth of $115,000
    This goal assumes a 7% growth in my assets and how much I hope to save in 2012.
  • Make more money – 10% raise and find a side hustle
    Last year, I got a 6.75% raise and I was aiming for a 10% raise. I learned a powerful lesson in negotiation, standing up for myself and knowing my worth.¬† I’m going to put that lesson into practice this year, again.
  • Streamline my RRSPs: Move to TD E-series
    I have my RRSPs in mutual funds (mostly index funds) in Manulife and ING. Since both these companies charge a higher fee than TD e-series, I will be moving my funds to save on fees.
  • Investing money: 3 Dividend Paying Stocks in my TFSA
    This is carried over from last year. I have most of my investments in Index Funds, and few stocks. I’d like to start investing in dividend paying stocks. I’d also like to learn how the tax benefits work for dividend income, since I may also be investing outside my TFSA and RRSP.
  • Saving money: Save >60% of my net income
    Last year, I saved 53% of my net income, so I think this is totally do-able.
  • Make a Shopping List and Sticking to It
    Although I have come a long way from my impulse buying days, I want to take my planned purchases to the next level. I will only save and buy things from my Shopping List.
  • Budget: $0 Budget and Track Monthly Expenses
    Last year, I tracked all my expenses and it was a pretty exhilarating feeling. However, I only looked at the “savings” portion at the end of the year, since I automated most of my savings.¬† This year, I am going to make it a $0 goal. Which means that I also must account for all savings and any “left over” money at the end of the month.

Career and Personal Development

Most of these were on my list last year and the year prior (how embarrassing). But they were good goals, so I am going to keep them.

  • Professional Engineer License: I need to contact my previous employers regarding proof of previous work experience towards my license. I need to register by January so that I can write the exam in April. My friends have the study materials and I need to at least 3 weekends worth of studying to this. Must find out schedule of test and arrange accordingly.
  • Update my Resume: I have not even touched my resume since I graduated more than 3 years ago! It’s time to un-bury my head and smarten up.
  • Research the Job Market: I need to be aware of the job market and make sure that I am compensated fairly. I also want to know what opportunities are out there.
  • Canadian Securities Course (maybe): This course covers basics that will help me in my understanding of personal finance on a larger scale, and help in graduate school program applications where a business background is an asset. My BF has the study materials. Must find out schedule of the tests and arrange accordingly.
  • GMAT Test (maybe): Many schools and programs require GMAT scores for applications and entrance. I haven’t decided that I want to pursue graduate studies, at the moment. I first want to explore other jobs in my field before making such a drastic change.

Health:

I am not a huge exercise fanatic, although I do really enjoy playing volleyball and swimming. However, I really love the rush that exercising brings, so I want more of that! ūüôā

I set a huge goal in 2010 to fun in a half marathon (that’s 21.1km or 13 miles), and then in May 2009, I accomplished it in 2h 30 minutes. I haven’t ran since. I learned that I didn’t really like running all that much. 10km is enjoyable but 21km is torture no fun for me. So, the key to staying on any exercise regime is to do something I enjoy.

I have also been eating much better in 2011 by cutting out processed foods and making almost all my meals from scratch. Simple things like soaking my own beans really puts me in control of how much sodium goes into my food. I’d like to continue this in 2012.

  • Fitness: Exercise 2-3 times a week in the mornings. I find exercise most efficient in the mornings, and gives me more energy all day. This was carried over from last year.
  • Food- Fruits: Incorporate fruit at least once a day in my meals. I find that if it’s there, I eat it. If I wonder if it’s too old, I won’t eat it. The key is to make sure I see it and eat it ūüôā
  • Offline Time: Must be off the computer by 9:30pm to 10:00pm. This is so that I can unwind a bit before bed, read a bit and get up early for exercise!

Just for FUN:

I set a lot of serious goals above, but it’s also important for me to just have fun goals. Goals that will make me laugh and bring out the creative side of me. ūüôā

  • Travel: I want to take a 2-week long trip with BF somewhere this year. I also want to go camping (I really missed it last year!), and visit my friend in Montreal.
  • Read one book a month: I have forgotten how great it feels to finish a book which is pretty sad. I was quite the book worm back in the day! This should be pretty achievable.
  • More Volleyball: Organize a volleyball weekend once a month with friends. Every time I do one of these, I always feel so good about it afterwards! Great friends just hanging out and having fun.
  • Remix my wardrobe: I have been having so much fun mixing up my wardrobe with accessories. And I have so many stylish and beautiful ladies to draw my inspiration from!
  • Play with Make-up: I’ve been a pretty basic make-up girl most of my life, but lately, I’ve been discovering how fun (and addicting) make-up can be.
  • Wear bold red lipstick AND own it. Arianne, this one was inspired by you!¬† I think this goal is a combination of being confident in my own skin and not afraid to show it. Which is pretty huge, being the shy person I am.

How are you goals for 2012 coming along? Am I the last one to write them down?

Cheers,

11 Comments

Filed under Finance, Goals, Personal, Shopping Ban

2011 Goals Recap

(Image via)

This will be the second that I wrote down my goals and was able to find them at the end of the year to review how I did. ¬†Thank you, internet. ūüôā

Even though I set goals in 2011, I haven’t been checking in and making sure that I am on track to achieving them.¬† In fact, I set my goals in January 2011, kinda checked in half-way through and then searched for my goals to see how I did (today).¬† This is sure way of setting up my goals for failure.

Having seen so many bloggers set goals and then do monthly check-ins, has really inspired me to do the same.  I find that I set great goals at the beginning of the new year because it is full of possibilities.  Sometimes, I can get carried away with this sense of potential that I set too many ambitious goals Рwhich is okay.  I love being ambitious.

The problem is that I don’t check if I am on track throughout the year, then I kinda avoid it after a few months have passed when I know that I’ve missed a few things.¬† I had “failing” so I kinda ignore it and I hope for the best when I get to the end of the year.¬† Pretty silly.

What I need to do is re-visit my goals on a regular basis (Krystal does an amazing job at this!) and make sure I am on track, or if there is something I need to change/adjust my goal to make it more realistic.

As mentioned in my 2011 Goal post, I really liked the S-M-A-R-T acronym for goals I read from Young and Thrifty’s blog. ¬†Simplify. ¬†Measurable. ¬†Attainable. ¬†Realistic. ¬†Timely.

Now onto my embarrassing 2011 goal recap.

Personal Finance

I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals. ¬†Money does not bring me happiness, but it is a tool to find happiness. ¬†For me, traveling, lifelong education, owning a home and financial freedom are long term goals I want to achieve by using money. ¬†But this year, I’d like to accomplish the following.

  • Making more money: I am aiming to get a 10% raise this year, and would like to boost my annual income to gross $60,000. ¬†So far, I do not have any side income. ¬†I’d like to explore possibilities and opportunities for a side hustle.
    PASSРI got a 6.75% raise including RRSP matching from my employer.  Last year, I got a 6.75% raise and I was aiming for a 10% raise.  When I discussed this with my manager, I expressed that I thought a 7-9% raise was fair, based on my contribution to the team and my research.

    It didn’t change my salary, but now he knows that I value myself more than he does.¬† I think the more important lesson here I learned was that I can and need to stand up for myself.I have not looked into any side hustle gigs.

  • Investing money: I have most of my investments in Index Funds, and few stocks. ¬†I’d like to start investing in dividend paying stocks. ¬†I’d also like to learn how the tax benefits work for dividend income.
    FAIL РI have not invested in any new stocks this year.  This will have to move to 2012 goals.
  • Saving money: I am still aiming to save at least 50% of my income. ¬†Savings include contribution to my RRSP’s, TFSA, Emergency Fund, Travel, General Savings, and Investments.
    CHECK!! – My expenses totaled ~$26,278 (eeks!) but my savings totaled $29,950 (53%). Yippee!
  • Shopping ban 2011: In short, no shopping for clothes,¬†jewelery¬†or new make-up this year. ¬†I have allowed myself 3 freebies of planned purchases. ¬†More details to follow in a separate post.
    FAIL РI broke my ban in September after going strong for 9 straight months.  I think something like a Shopping Detox (a la Annabelle) would work better for me. More on this in 2012 goals.
  • $1,000 monthly budget: I will track my expenses every month and aim to stick to my monthly budget of $1,000.
    FAIL – I think I reached my $1,000 budget once in 2011. It’s not super realistic.

Personal Development

This may seem lengthy, but they were on my list last year, and I haven’t accomplished them. ¬†I really think this is doable, I just need to be organized. ¬†Will be sharing my schedule once I get this all written down on a calender.

  • Professional Engineer License: I need to contact my previous employers regarding proof of previous work experience towards my license. ¬†I also need to study and write the test. ¬†My friends have the study materials and I need to devote 1 week worth of studying to this. Must find out schedule of test and arrange accordingly.
    FAIL – Applying in January 2012 and writing test in April 2012.
  • Canadian Securities Course: This course covers basics that will help me in my understanding of personal finance on a larger scale, and help in graduate school program applications where a business background is an asset. ¬†My BF has the study materials. ¬†Must find out schedule of the tests and arrange accordingly.
    FAIL – Have not done this.¬† Might still want to… I kinda forgot about this goal.¬† Oops.
  • GMAT Test: I want to apply to a ¬†Masters in Public Administration or Public Policy. ¬† Many schools and programs require GMAT scores for applications and entrance. ¬†I need to write the GMAT this year before the test format changes. ¬†I have study materials from friends, as well as practice tests.
    FAIL – I haven’t really decided on going back to school yet, and so I haven’t written the test.
  • Graduate School Application: I want to apply to programs in the 2012 school year. ¬†Must check deadlines and pre-requisites and start preparing.
    FAIL – I’ve decided to that going back to school might be more than I want to commit to right now.¬† I may just try looking for another job in the industry, first.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about more than just de-cluttering, it’s about adopting the mindset that I have enough. ¬†In fact, I have way more than enough. ¬†I am not aiming to get to a certain number of items, but I am aiming to rid myself of excess stuff I do not need.

  • 500 Things Challenge: I was inspired by this challenge from Fabulissime. ¬†I aim to de-clutter 500 things from my home and donate them to charity. ¬†Depending on how this challenge goes, it may become the 1,000 Things Challenge. ¬†More details to follow in ¬†a separate post.
    PASS? – I have been decluttering all year, but I gave up trying to keep track of everything. I am always adding to my “donation” pile.
  • Document de-clutter: I want to de-clutter every room in my apartment and document what is in each room. ¬†Explaining why I must keep something usually gives me a good idea of whether I really need it or not.
    FAIL – I have decluttered every room so far.¬† It is still a work in progress, but I completely forgot about wanting to document this.¬† Not sure if I want to… I am not a 100-item kinda gal! ūüėČ
  • Remixing my Wardrobe: I want to re-discover my wardrobe and re-mix all my items. ¬†Of course, this is an extension of my shopping ban.
    CHECK!! РI have cleaned out my closet and all my jewelry in organized it all.  I am putting together new outfits and am really looking forward to more remixing in 2012.

Life and Health:

  • Fitness: Exercise 2-3 times a week in the mornings. ¬†I find exercise most efficient in the mornings, and gives me more energy all day.
    FAIL!!! I have only been playing volleyball once – twice a week.
  • Fruits: Incorporate fruit at least once a day in my meals. ¬†I’m really bad with eating my fruits, so I’m getting a Magic Bullet to help me with it. ¬†I’ve tried just bringing fruit to work. ¬†It just sits on my desk. ¬†Yummy smoothies scream ¬†“drink me!”
    FAIL – I was good at this, end then fell off the bandwagon in halfway through the year.
  • Friends: See my girlfriends at least once a month for dinner or spa date to catch up and unwind. ¬†Too often I get caught up with work that my personal life takes a back seat. ¬†Here’s to making plans and keeping them!
    CHECK!! Of course, I would love to see my girls more, but I have made an effort to see them at least every 1 – 2 months.
  • Family: See my parents every other weekend. ¬†Call my parents at least once a week. ¬†Too often I take for granted that my parents know that I care and love them. ¬†Just checking in with them once a week to see how they are doing is nice. ¬†It also let’s me know how I can help them and what they need.
    PASS РI was very good with this until November (before our vacation together).  This will have to stay in my 2012 goals.
  • Travel: I want to take a 2-week long trip somewhere this year. ¬†I’m not sure where, yet. ¬†Possibilities are: Peru (Machi Piccu) & Chili or Greece. ¬†I’ve taken several shorter trips in 2010 to Vancouver, Boston and Venezuela, but I miss the unwinding of a long trip.
    CHECK!! – I took 2 long trips this year. A 10-day trip to the East Coast of Canada and a 2-week trip with my family to Hong Kong.

Summary

I see a lot of reds and it is a bit of a bummer since I am usually an over achiever.  le sigh.

I think that I made these goals and kinda stuck my head in the ground, hoping they would transpire somehow.  Silly, right?  So, in 2012, I am taking a new approach.  I will be checking in every month, as well as making smaller monthly goals to help me stay on track.

Stay tuned for my 2012 Goals!

How did you do for your 2011 goals?

Cheers,

10 Comments

Filed under Finance, Goals, Personal, Shopping Ban

Shopping Ban: Half-way Update

This year, I decided to embark on a self-imposed shopping ban. ¬†You can read more details about it¬†here, and¬†here and my past updates here. ¬†To sum it up, no shopping for clothes, jewelry and make-up for a whole year. ¬†I am allowed 3 exceptions, including¬†a pair of black boots, an iTouch, and a winter jacket. ¬†This challenge is to help me shop my own closet, and be more creative with making items, and re-using items. ¬†I am also allowed to shop at thrift stores with my “reward” money ($25) for staying within my¬†$1,000 monthly budget. ¬†This is my monthly update.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t believe that I have passed the halfway mark of my shopping ban!¬† Hooray!¬† ūüôā

I have been meaning to update my blog to reflect the status of my shopping ban and how I have been faring.¬† I’ve also slipped up a few times, and I do need to confess.¬† Let’s get to the updates, and I will start with the good news.

iPod Touch Birthday Gift

My BF bought me an iPod Touch as a birthday gift (love it!), so I will take that off my list and allow myself one article of clothing in its place.¬†¬† And I already know what that piece would have to be…

A Staple Cardigan

I have a handful of cardigans that are not very good quality but look okay.  All of them have shown wear after just one season, and I realize that I do need to pay more attention to the quality of clothes that I buy (hence the shopping ban!).

I’ve had my eye on this cardigan since last winter and could never find it anywhere in my size!¬† My friend knew I was obsessed really liked it, and she sent me a text while I was in the Maritimes that she found my cardigan in my size for 40% off. (For those curious, it’s¬† by Line Knitwear $90 $55).

At first I stood my ground, and reminded her about my shopping ban.¬† But when she asked, “Are you sure??” I caved and asked her to get it for me.¬† I am weak, I know.

That cardigan will have to be another one of the three exceptions I allow myself.  Only one exception item left!  Yikes!

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick

Last confession, I promise. I hope you all don’t think I am a complete failure.

Usually, I have my shopping ban “shield” up when I enter a mall or store (usually to pick up a make-up refill) so I stay focused on the task at hand, and not break my shopping ban.

Unfortunately, my shopping ban “shield” was down when I went grocery shopping at the Canadian Superstore.¬† I wandered over to their Joe Fresh aisles and found their make-up line.¬† And then I remembered seeing GlitterGeek’s rave review on their Fuchsia matte lipstick.

So, I picked up a tube of fuchsia – last one!¬† And clay (a neutral colour).¬† But they were only $6 each!¬† And they feel fabulous! ūüôā

I digress.¬† I know I completely cheated on this one.¬† I paid for it with my reward points, so I didn’t actually spend any out of pocket money.¬† But this doesn’t mean that I can go around spending reward points while on my shopping ban.¬† That would be unacceptable and it would defeat the purpose of my shopping ban.

From now on, I will have my shopping ban “shield” up when I go grocery shopping, especially at the Canadian Superstore.

Conclusion

I may have faltered a bit, but I plan to see my shopping ban through!

At the beginning of my shopping ban, I allowed myself three exception and I still plan to stick to it.¬† I’ve used up two so far, and my last one planned is a nice winter coat.¬† I may not actually get a nice winter coat – I spent too much time looking for one last year and couldn’t find something I loved.

We will see – it’s hard to think about winter coats in August! ūüôā

Wish me luck.

Links!

It’s been a while, but I still have the links to previous shopping banners I’ve compiled.

Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone, or if you’d like to be added to the list! ¬†Just send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Cheers,

14 Comments

Filed under Shopping Ban

My First Guest Post

Check out my first guest post over at the bargain hunting mommy about Reasons to go on a Shopping Ban! ūüôā

Leave a comment

Filed under Shopping Ban

Shopping Ban: March Success… sorta

This year, I decided to embark on a self-imposed shopping ban. ¬†You can read more details about it¬†here, and¬†hereand my January update¬†here. ¬†To sum it up, no shopping for clothes, jewelry and make-up for a whole year. ¬†I am allowed 3 exceptions, including¬†a pair of black boots, an iTouch, and a winter jacket. ¬†This challenge is to help me shop my own closet, and be more creative with making items, and re-using items. ¬†I am also allowed to shop at thrift stores with my “reward” money ($25) for staying within my¬†$1,000 monthly budget. ¬†This is my monthly update.

Ladies, this was a sort-of-success!  I stayed away from malls Рexcept to get my co-worker a gift where I almost fell prey to temptation.

I also bought a dutch oven pot (I’ve always wanted one! ¬†And it was on sale $99.99 $34.99), and some organizing boxes for my room, closet and cupboard. ¬†I felt like this was kinda cheating,¬†especially¬†when my sister called me out on it, “Frugirl, who is the one on a shopping ban??”

I’ve also compiled a list of shopping banners, to keep one another motivated. ¬†I’ll link to them in this post, and if you’d like, send me your updates and I can link there here, as well!

And Rosie from Financially Fabulous just completed self-imposed shopping ban! ¬†Good for her! ūüôā

Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone, or if you’d like to be added to the list! ¬†Just send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Cheers,

10 Comments

Filed under Shopping Ban

Shopping Ban: Temptations

(source)

Like I mentioned in my earlier posts, my number one tip for staying ¬†within my shopping ban is to avoid malls. ¬†I am a total sucker for sales (it’s in my genes, k?) and great bargains. ¬†And for some reason, they always seem to find me when I’m not looking for them.

When my blotting powder was finished last week, I made went straight to the MAC counter asked for my blotting powder (I get medium dark), and got the heck out. ¬†I had my “shopping defense” up, and was determined not to sway from my shopping ban. ¬†I felt pretty darn good.

However, this weekend, when I ventured into the Eaton Centre with my girlfriend, after an amazing lunch of delicious Korean pork bone soup РI almost gave into temptation.  I was an inch from the edge of falling off my shopping ban cliff.  One inch.  *cue melodramatic music, please*

The culprit, you ask?  The Body Shop (TBS).

I think this is mainly due to not having my “shopping defense” up. ¬†(Yes, that is my excuse). ¬†I was browsing for a gift for my co-worker who was on maternity leave. ¬†I wanted to get her an “at home spa basket” so she could enjoy a little “me time” after she has her baby.

There were some great deals the weekend of March 19th & 20th. ¬†TBS was celebrating 30 years or something. ¬†I got my co-worker her gift. ¬†Then, my eyes started to wander…. to the 50% off any one make-up item.

I’ve been using this little kobuki brush I got from a random dollar store, which works fine – but TBS¬†brushes are so soft… and at half off, they are $24 only $12! ¬†My TBS¬†liquid eye liner hadn’t died yet, but I’ve had it for about 2 years…. and at half off, they are $14 only $7. ¬†And just as I was trying to decide which item to keep, the sales associate kindly offered to give me the 50% off both items. ¬†One inch from the edge, I tell you!

But I used my last ounce of strength to put down both items, paid for my friend’s gift, and literally ran out the store. ¬†Then, I explained to my girl friend why I had to stay out of malls. ¬†It’s because I am weak, dear readers. ¬†I am weak. ¬†But, my girl friend is the greatest, because even when I debated going back and begging asking for the deal, she reminded me that I am on a shopping ban, and I did not need a make-up brush. ¬†My friends are awesome :).

For those readers who are currently on shopping bans, have you had any close calls lately?  How do you deal with temptations?

Cheers,


8 Comments

Filed under Shopping Ban

Shopping Ban: February Success!

This year, I decided to embark on a self-imposed shopping ban. ¬†You can read more details about it¬†here, and¬†here and my January update here. ¬†To sum it up, no shopping for clothes, jewelry and make-up for a whole year. ¬†I am allowed 3 exceptions, including a pair of black boots, an iTouch, and a winter jacket. ¬†This challenge is to help me shop my own closet, and be more creative with making items, and re-using items. ¬†I am also allowed to shop at thrift stores with my “reward” money ($25) for staying within my¬†$1,000 monthly budget. ¬†This is my monthly update.

Ladies, this was a success! ¬†I am so glad that February was a short month, having this month under my belt is giving me a lot of confidence. ¬†I stayed away from malls – except to exchange a pair of running shoes I got during Christmas (which kinda felt like shopping, but without spending money. ¬†I hope that’s not cheating.)

I also stayed under my $1,000 monthly budget in February, and so I get rewarded with $25 to spend at a thrift shop. ¬†I haven’t been, yet. ¬†But I’m really excited about it :). ¬†Does anyone have recommendation for thrift shops in the Toronto area?

I’ve also compiled a list of shopping banners, to keep one another motivated. ¬†I’ll link to them in this post, and if you’d like, send me your updates and I can link there here, as well!

Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone, or if you’d like to be added to the list! ¬†Just send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Pep talk: ¬†Ladies, we can do this! ¬†March is a great time to start re-mixing some of our favourite winter clothes, since it will be a whole two (or three) seasons until we see them again. ¬†It’s also never too early to start thinking about how we can re-mix winter and summer clothes for some creative spring outfits! ¬†We can do it ūüėČ

Cheers,

14 Comments

Filed under Shopping Ban

Shopping Ban: January Fail

This year, I decided to embark on a self-imposed shopping ban. ¬†You can read more details about it here, and here. ¬†To sum it up, no shopping for clothes, jewelry and make-up for a whole year. ¬†I am allowed 3 exceptions, including a pair of black boots, an iTouch, and a winter jacket. ¬†This challenge is to help me shop my own closet, and be more creative with making items, and re-using items. ¬†I am also allowed to shop at thrift stores with my “reward” money ($25) for staying within my $1,000 monthly budget. ¬†This is my monthly update.

I broke the golden rule of shopping ban.  I set foot within a mall.  Ladies, it is not impossible to walk out a mall and not purchase anything, but it about 324,345,239 times harder than not going in, in the first place.

Earlier this January, I decided to gift my Esprit winter jacket to my mom. ¬†I exchanged my size for my mom’s size, and I thought that was the end of that. ¬†My mom loves loose fitting jackets and wanted me to exchange it for a size up.

So my sister and I went to the mall to exchange it. ¬†My sister also invited her bestie, and we were off for an afternoon. ¬†I found my mom’s desired jacket size, and I wanted to scope out some boot deals (since that was one of the items I allowed myself).

I found a pair of flat boots for $93 at Town Shoes. ¬†I thought I was done… until I spotted La Senza’s bra sale for 50%. ¬†I forgot how much I wanted a good bra (mine are all at least a year old, and the elastics are kinda gone). ¬†I rationalized the bra purchase… and then I spotted a belt (for only $7.50!) at Costa Blanca.

The damage was done. ¬†For a total damage $134.19. ¬†Here’s the breakdown:

Flat boots: $105.09, bra: $20.62, belt:  $8.48.

I haven’t worn the belt, yet. ¬†I feel it might have been a frivolous and impulsive purchase, that may not have improved my wardrobe. I will try to incorporate it into some February outfits, though – it’s got potential.

The bra and shoes are super comfy and I will be wearing them on an (almost) daily basis.

Conclusion: Fail on the shopping ban for January, but I won’t let this bump in the road stop me from completing the rest of my ban! ¬†I am more determined than before to see my ban through to the end of this year. ¬†I know I can do it! February is a short month! ¬†I also got a great idea from Fabulously Broke in the City to catalog her entire wardrobe. ¬†What a great idea!

Readers, how are your shopping bans coming along?

P.S. I’m thinking of compiling a lists of Shopping Ban bloggers so we can be accountable to one another. What do you think? ¬†E-mail me or leave a comment if you’d like to be added to the list.

Cheers,

14 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Shopping Ban

2011 Shopping Ban

I had been toying with the idea of a shopping ban in 2010, and was able to go 5 months without shopping for clothes or jewelry (not consecutively).  I stocked up on essentials, such as under garments and socks this year, and am ready to take the plunge for 2011.

Why a Shopping Ban?

I decided to do this Shopping Ban so that I can challenge myself to be creative with my closet and style. ¬†I don’t have a huge closet or a lot of clothes, but I don’t think I am using my closet most efficiently. ¬†By limiting my clothes to what I currently own, I plan to re-mix my closet and re-discover my favourite clothes.

I used to watch The Learning Channel’s (TLC) “What Not to Wear”, and I would shocked that people would get rid of their entire wardrobe only to be left with maybe 40 new articles of clothes that work for their figure. ¬†But, the thing was, these people looked a million times better in their new “steam lined” clothes than they did with their closet full of ill-fitting clothes. ¬†It was about quality, not quantity.

The objective of this Shopping Ban is not to deprive myself of new clothes, but to be more creative with what I have and more resourceful with what I may be lacking.

2011 Shopping Ban Rules

I briefly discussed the rules of my shopping ban in this post.  To summarize, I am not allowed to buy new clothes, new jewelry and no new make-up.

Exceptions: I am allowed to buy items to replenish old items that have been finished (i.e., I can buy a new compact of blotting powder when I run out, but I am not allowed to buy a new colour of eye shadow.) ¬†I can also spend money to fix or alter an existing item. ¬†I can also buy used items with “bonus” money**.

I am allowed 3 freebie items: a pair of black flat leather boots, a long down winter jacket*, and an iTouch*.  Each item needs to be $200* or  less before tax.  (Note*: Updated from my previous post.)

Just because I am limiting myself from shopping for clothes doesn’t mean that I get to go crazy buying bath towels, though. ¬†I will be discussing my planned purchases for 2011 in a separate post, including fixing up my apartment.

Bonus Money**

I work well with incentives. ¬†I give myself a small reward at the end of each month when I stay within my budget. ¬†Of course, what better way to reward myself than with cold, hard cash? ¬†ūüôā ¬†Since I haven’t explored the options of thrift shopping, or making my own things (i.e., knitting), I am allowing bonus money to be spent on these clothing items.

Before people start throwing up their arms and pointing out that my Shopping Ban is full of holes, please re-read my objective for doing this in the first place. ¬†It’s to challenge myself to be more creative and resourceful. ¬†I think I am doing just that!

A year is certainly a very long time, so why now try a no-spend month challenge? ¬†Any readers joining me? ūüôā

Cheers,

14 Comments

Filed under Shopping Ban

2011 Goals

Last year was the first year that I wrote down my goals and was able to find them at the end of the year to review how I did.  Thank you internet.

I love the beginning of a new year because it is full of possibilities. ¬†Sometimes, I can get carried away with this sense of potential that I set many ambitious goals. ¬†Sometimes, too many. ¬†Sometimes too many. ¬†As mentioned in my 2010 Goal Recap post, I really liked the S-M-A-R-T acronym for goals I read from Young and Thrifty’s blog. ¬†Simplify. ¬†Measurable. ¬†Attainable. ¬†Realistic. ¬†Timely.

Personal Finance

I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals. ¬†Money is not happiness, but it can be a tool to find happiness. ¬†For me, traveling, returning to school, and owning a home are long term goals I want to achieve by using money. ¬†But this year, I’d like to accomplish the following.

  • Making more money: I am aiming to get a 10% raise this year, and would like to boost my annual income to gross $60,000. ¬†So far, I do not have any side income. ¬†I’d like to explore possibilities and opportunities for a side hustle.
  • Investing money: I have most of my investments in Index Funds, and few stocks. ¬†I’d like to start investing in dividend paying stocks. ¬†I’d also like to learn how the tax benefits work for dividend income.
  • Saving money: I am still aiming to save at least 50% of my income. ¬†Savings include contribution to my RRSP’s, TFSA, Emergency Fund, Travel, General Savings, and Investments.
  • Shopping ban 2011: In short, no shopping for clothes,¬†jewelery¬†or new make-up this year. ¬†I have allowed myself 3 freebies of planned purchases. ¬†More details to follow in a separate post.
  • $1,000 monthly budget: I will track my expenses every month and aim to stick to my monthly budget of $1,000.

Personal Development

This may seem lengthy, but they were on my list last year, and I haven’t accomplished them. ¬†I really think this is doable, I just need to be organized. ¬†Will be sharing my schedule once I get this all written down on a calender.

  • Professional Engineer License: I need to contact my previous employers regarding proof of previous work experience towards my license. ¬†I also need to study and write the test. ¬†My friends have the study materials and I need to devote 1 week worth of studying to this. Must find out schedule of test and arrange accordingly.
  • Canadian Securities Course: This course covers basics that will help me in my understanding of personal finance on a larger scale, and help in graduate school program applications where a business background is an asset. ¬†My BF has the study materials. ¬†Must find out schedule of the tests and arrange accordingly.
  • GMAT Test: I want to apply to a ¬†Masters in Public Administration or Public Policy. ¬† Many schools and programs require GMAT scores for applications and entrance. ¬†I need to write the GMAT this year before the test format changes. ¬†I have study materials from friends, as well as practice tests.
  • Graduate School Application: I want to apply to programs in the 2012 school year. ¬†Must check deadlines and pre-requisites and start preparing.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about more than just de-cluttering, it’s about adopting the mindset that I have enough. ¬†In fact, I have way more than enough. ¬†I am not aiming to get to a certain number of items, but I am aiming to rid myself of excess stuff I do not need.

  • 500 Things Challenge: I was inspired by this challenge from Fabulissime. ¬†I aim to de-clutter 500 things from my home and donate them to charity. ¬†Depending on how this challenge goes, it may become the 1,000 Things Challenge. ¬†More details to follow in ¬†a separate post.
  • Document de-clutter: I want to de-clutter every room in my apartment and document what is in each room. ¬†Explaining why I must keep something usually gives me a good idea of whether I really need it or not.
  • Remixing my Wardrobe: I want to re-discover my wardrobe and re-mix all my items. ¬†Of course, this is an extension of my shopping ban.

Life and Health:

  • Fitness: Exercise 2-3 times a week in the mornings. ¬†I find exercise most efficient in the mornings, and gives me more energy all day.
  • Fruits: Incorporate fruit at least once a day in my meals. ¬†I’m really bad with eating my fruits, so I’m getting a Magic Bullet to help me with it. ¬†I’ve tried just bringing fruit to work. ¬†It just sits on my desk. ¬†Yummy smoothies scream ¬†“drink me!”
  • Friends: See my girlfriends at least once a month for dinner or spa date to catch up and unwind. ¬†Too often I get caught up with work that my personal life takes a back seat. ¬†Here’s to making plans and keeping them!
  • Family: See my parents every other weekend. ¬†Call my parents at least once a week. ¬†Too often I take for granted that my parents know that I care and love them. ¬†Just checking in with them once a week to see how they are doing is nice. ¬†It also let’s me know how I can help them and what they need.
  • Travel: I want to take a 2-week long trip somewhere this year. ¬†I’m not sure where, yet. ¬†Possibilities are: Peru (Machi Piccu) & Chili or Greece. ¬†I’ve taken several shorter trips in 2010 to Vancouver, Boston and Venezuela, but I miss the unwinding of a long trip.

How are you goals for 2011 coming along?

Cheers,

Photo source: http://lts.sauder.ubc.ca/about-us/lts-goals-and-actions-roadmap/

8 Comments

Filed under Finance, Goals, Personal, Shopping Ban