No Shopping Challenge: 6 Month Update
Feelin' myself in these new yellow sunglasses. Yes, new. I bought 'em.
Friends, if you’ve been following me since the beginning of the year you may remember that I made a commitment to not shop for anything non essential for a year. Yes, a year. If you missed my original post on this, go back and read it here. What follows is my half-year update.
It’s been SIX MONTHS since I quit my shopping habit. I say “habit” because although I didn’t have a shopping addiction (which is a very real thing for some people), I was in the habit of purchasing things I didn’t need and with very little thought. I’m talking, frenzied virtual shopping cart loading during a good sale at Anthropologie, filling my grocery cart at Whole Foods without checking the price on anything (did you know there are cheeses that cost $50 per pound?), and yes, of course— walking into Target for toothpaste and leaving with throw pillows, tank tops, boardgames, and a boatload of La Croix...
Report card so far: B+
- Today, I feel completely in control of my spending.
- I trust myself to follow through on anything I set my mind to.
- I feel completely happy and content with every item inside my closet and home (for the first time ever!).
- I check my bank account a lot less. When thousands of dollars aren’t mysteriously disappearing, there’s nothing to worry about or contemplate. It’s hard to believe that compared to this time last year, I’ve saved almost ten grand by not buying “stuff.”
- Teaching this skill has been a really powerful tool in helping other women make significant change in their lives. Three of my clients are currently working to break their shopping habits, too!
- I've gotten much better about borrowing and bartering for things I want. It really helps to have clients who make and sell beautiful things! ;)
Cultural Awareness. Going into a store, or opening up my phone and spending a bunch of money on things I didn’t even know existed previously seems so unfathomable to me now that it’s made me more conscious of other people doing it. Ugh. This is tough to admit. Seeing or reading about others buying impulsively because of a "good deal", in excess, or worse, buying crappy quality “stuff” that I know will end up in a dumpster in six months makes me physically uncomfortable. I hesitate to use the word "judgey" but ughhhh I'm probably more judgey.
Rejection and shame. Especially in small shops, where its impossible not to notice my entry and exit, I feel awkward and embarrassed when I leave without purchasing a single thing. I know this one is ridiculous— that there is no expectation that every customer who strolls in will buy something, but much like denying someone's home baked cookies when offered, it feels like a personal rejection to walk-in and walk-out without a sign of support or appreciation. So why do I go in? I actually get some satisfaction just by seeing, touching, and experiencing beautiful things. I'm trying to work on my dialogue with shop owners to let them know how much I love their goods, without purchasing them, which will hopefully help.
I’ve bought a few things.
You’re probably wondering if I’ve broken at all in six months. I have. I’ve purchased six items for myself in six months that were technically non-essential. Most were higher quality swaps for items I no longer have like my yellow sunglasses (to replace my freebie pair from YouTube), and a leather bag to replace my bright red backpack. Two items I was actually able to write-off as business expenses 🤗. So, depending on how I write the rules for myself, these items don't feel like major cheats.
On bending the rules.
I’ve come to realize this self-imposed challenge is less about the challenge itself, and far more about changing my relationship with money and possessions. I feel the items I’ve bought are within the spirit of an “essential item” in that they were premeditated purchases, they’re everyday staples, they’re high quality, and in support of local, female artisans and entrepreneurs. This is exactly how I want to shop for the rest of my life, and I consider the six aforementioned purchases “practice” in doing so. It just feels way different.
Where I’m spending money instead.
I am spending more money now than I was before on high quality experiences. Because I no longer treat myself to a new pair of shoes when I’m feeling blah, I’m sipping more champagne, visiting better restaurants, and taking more day trips. I’m also buying more gifts for other people.
The next six months...
I plan to continue much in the same manner for the remainder of the year.
Not bringing STUFF into my home has made life so much easier. I’m only doing the same loads of laundry over and over, only cleaning the same furniture. Things aren’t miracuously multiplying! It’s...nice.
If you're curious about trying this too, I highly recommend giving it a try. Maybe for a shorter period of time?
There's actually an awesome chick I follow named Bri who runs a “90 Day No Shopping Challenge”. A couple of my followers have done her program and really liked it. I’m not affiliated with her program in any way, but am such a huge fan of the concept, and her style, I wanted to plug it. Obviously, if you want to create a roadmap to transform your life beyond curbing your spending, I'm still your gal. Schedule some time with me and let's figure it out.
Hope this lil’ update was interesting or maybe even inspiring!
Until Next Time,