Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Always In Stock

My Stopping Spree isn’t really about eliminating debt; it’s actually about changing behaviors.  I could pay off all my debt this year, but if I don’t alter the behaviors that got me into debt, then the pattern will just repeat itself. 

Why do I spend?  How do I spend?  Where do I spend?  When do I spend?  Reflecting on my spending habits, I was able to identify three major components: stockpiling, dreaming, and saving.  Each one of these components will get its own post, but today I’ll tackle the first one: 


Once I decided to move ahead with my Stopping Spree, I started really thinking about what it meant to abstain from buying any unnecessary things for a year.  Instantly (like, within seconds), I felt the temptation to start stockpiling.  You know, buy eight mascaras so when I ran out, I’d have more. 

For me, stockpiling means always having product replacements.  For example, I like knowing that if I run out of hairspray, I can reach into my cabinet and immediately procure another bottle.  Or three.  In fact, I have multiples of almost every toiletry/beauty supply I use. 

In fact, let’s take a look at the bin under my bathroom sink.

See all the stuff in there?  That bin is filled with replacements of the products I use.
My makeup baggie is even worse.

By the way, this baggie isn't full of makeup I currently use.  It’s backup makeup. 
I keep my everyday makeup in this caddy.

I clearly have an affinity for cosmetics.  Even as a 12-year-old, I remember getting so excited for the holiday season because my mom would buy perfume at Estee Lauder, which meant I was eligible to buy the “limited edition” makeup kit for $50.  The kit had about a great selection of eye shadows, a few blushes, a mascara, and three lipsticks in universally unflattering colors (not that I recognized that as a 12-year-old!).  I’m pretty sure I got one of those kits every Christmas until I was sixteen and graduated to Clinique bonuses.  

Since I'm addressing my stockpiles of makeup, I suppose I should also show you my lip gloss collection. 

Yep.  All lip glosses. 
Yep.  Most of them are barely even used.

Here’s what happens:  I buy something (like a lip gloss) and I LOVE it!  I get into maven-mode and tell everyone about this fabulous, life-altering new lip gloss.  I think to myself, “Self, wouldn’t you be inconsolable if they discontinued this?”  So then I get paranoid and order another one.  But only a week later, I start to find flaws in that same gloss I’d been previously so enamored with.  It’s sticky.  It has sparkles that stick to my lips.  It doesn’t last long enough.  Essentially, I’ve decided that this product is not really that fabulous or life-altering anymore.  But now I have two of them – and rather than go through the hassle of returning the un-used gloss, I drop it into my backup makeup baggie…or in this case, the lip gloss jar.

This partially explains why I have a makeup stash that rivals Sephora.
(I apologize.  That was an exaggerated claim.  Nothing rivals Sephora; it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Mall.)

It’s my hope that by the end of the year, both the makeup bag and lip gloss jar are empty…or at least emptier.  I want to use what I already have, especially seeing that I have so much.  Part of the reason that this challenge felt possible is because I know I have a TON of extra stuff I don’t use.  After all, this post only showcased my toiletry and makeup collections.  My stockpiling tendencies affect all my other purchasing, as well... including socks, headbands, cupcake sprinkles, art supplies, scarves, and even K-cups for my Keurig.

In full disclosure I should confess that I did stock up a little bit.  OK, maybe a lot.  Here is a sampling of the types of things I bought in preparation for the Stopping Spree:

-         compact powders
-         scented body lotions
-         face self-tanner
-         Sharpie pens
-         Post-it notes
-         tea light candles
-         3 bathing suits at Victoria’s Secret
                   (Hooray for December bathing suit releases!!)

According to my guidelines, items like those fall under the “unnecessary” category, so I will not be able to purchase any of them during the 2012 year.  I think in some ways, knowing you can’t buy something makes you want it more.  But moderation has never been my strong point, so it’s all or nothing for me…and I definitely feel like it's time for some nothing. 


  1. This is fantastic.

    I have the same problem with lotion and chapstick...I stockpile!!! My goal now is to use the products I currently have before going out to buy more. While chapstick is not very expensive, lotion is another story! I catch myself spending $20 on a bottle of lotion sometimes (I can't help it...I love Aveda). So unnecessary when I have so many options under my sink and already paid for!!!

    Yeah for the stopping spree!!! :)

  2. But the amazing thing about you,Kate, is that you are so incredibly organized!! After reading this post I have had some flash backs to junior high and yes, you had some of the same stockpiles then, but I was always in awe of how organized and prepared you were. You always did have a back up or replacement. I guess there is a limit to how much of something you should have, sigh...:)

  3. You are hilarious. I can not believe your stockpiles! Ha! I give you so much credit for this challenge. I think I would DIE if I tried to do this :-p In fact, I was in Target today to get my cousin a gift card for her wedding and ended up spending over $30 extra on stuff that was on clearance (and therefore NEEDED to be purchased).

    Oh, and I did actually GASP when you said "no Us Weekly for the airplane"--what?! How will she ever make it to her vacation destination?!?!?

    Best of luck to you Kate! Maybe I'll try to join you for the month of February...maybe.

  4. i need to come over and go shopping in your stockpile. i own 2 lipsticks and one lip-gloss.

    my downfall is clothes. i don't have a ton, but am easily disenchanted with what i do have.

    1. @Denise - I do occasional giveaways from my stockpiled stash! (Since I have, you know, just A FEW lip glosses that I could spare...haha). Maybe you'll luck out with the next one!