2020: My Year of Less

2019 is wrapping up y’all, and in 2020 the Suburban Hipster is #adulting. I moved twice last summer, and realized that I had entirely too much shit for a 23 year old. So I channeled Marie Kondo and got rid of a ton of it. It feels good to be able to see all of the makeup I own on one tier of my bathroom cart, but I’ve still got work to do so I don’t re-accumulate all the things I got rid of. In an effort to be more mindful about where my money goes, I recently read (part of) The Year of Less, in which the author, Cait Flanders, realizes her spending habits are getting her nowhere and decides to go on a yearlong shopping ban. She set rules for herself and blogged about it to hold herself accountable (and later got a book deal out of it, obviously). While I was reading, a lightbulb went off in my head: I have a blog! And I don’t know what to do with it! And I also have bad spending habits! So here we are.

I’ve had a bit of credit card debt stemming from a dark time in college, and though I’m fully employed now, I still haven’t rid myself of a) my debt or b) my bad spending habits. I’m pretty hard on myself about my finances, while still being an idiot and buying every Sims 4 expansion pack that comes out (the day it comes out). Here are some things I’ve recently spent real money on:

  • Leaf Tickets on the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app so I could build the Eiffel Tower on my campsite.
  • Fake nails. No, not acrylics. The ones you buy at Target and glue on to your nails like a 12 year old.
  • 4 different leave-in hair products. It’s tough out here for the curly girls, but seriously Allegra? Four?

Also, I pretty routinely spend $100+ a month at coffee shops, even though I have a Nespresso machine at home. I also spend like $40 a month on pods for that thing. #worthit

Anyway, I pay all my bills on time, but I could be paying a lot more toward my credit card debt and student loan debt each month, so that’s what I plan to do in 2020. I’m also hoping to go to Miami with Jason at some point, so not shopping will help me save up for that, too. I sat down yesterday and made the following lists.

Things I will not shop for/spend money on in 2020:

  • Makeup
  • Hair supplies (unless by some miracle, I use up all four of my leave-ins)
  • Dog sweaters (sorry, Rudy)
  • Nail products
  • Clothes (except for the pair of jeans I will inevitably need to buy when my current pair busts out at the thighs)
  • Shoes
  • Tattoos and/or piercings
  • Home decor (with a few exceptions, see below)
  • Electronics and/or phone cases
  • Craft supplies (pretty sure I already own all of them, anyway)
  • Glasses (yes, they’re cheap on Zenni, but does anyone need 7 pairs of glasses? I think not.)
  • Anything from Amazon. This is more of a principle thing than a spending-too-much-money-on-Amazon thing.
  • Random unnecessary products from Target. Groceries, cleaning supplies, and dog food only!

Things I’ll allow myself to spend money on:

  • Groceries and other household necessities
  • Medicine and other medical expenses
  • Pet supplies
  • Nespresso pods
  • Takeout/delivery once a week
  • Lunch at work once a week (I work from home about half the time, and the other half of the time I wake up too late to make a proper lunch)
  • 1 manicure or pedicure every 2 months
  • Coffee on Friday mornings, when Jason lovingly wakes up early and drives me to work in exchange for coffee from Bob’s Java Hut
  • Furnishings for our new place when we move next summer. This will probably include 2 nightstands, a couch, a desk, a bookshelf, and some dining room chairs. I’ll create a budget for the move beforehand to keep things in check. These will be purchased second hand when possible, and Jason and I will split the costs. I’m also allowing myself 3 plants over the course of the year.
  • Travel (though the rules will still apply while on vacation (okay, maybe with the exception of the coffee rule))

I thought I’d be more anxious in anticipation of my year of no shopping, but I’m more excited than anything to get my financial shit together. I’ll be posting here about temptations, successes, and everything in between. Mostly, I’ll be using the blog to hold myself accountable, and I’ll also be using a physical financial planner to track everything. Here’s to new challenges!

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