One month of not shopping is under my belt and I feel great. I haven’t purchased anything for myself since I began this experiment November 1, and to be honest, I don’t miss it a bit. Perhaps it’s because I’m really busy at work, am taking a night class and am focusing more on my family right now than worrying about what’s hot and what I should own. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stopped caring if I have the next big thing or if I need something new to feel like I’m keeping up with the Joneses. Whatever the reason, I feel very content with my shopping ban, and am really excited to continue.
One thing that I’ve discovered that has helped me tremendously is going shopping (at the mall or online), looking at items, trying things on, filling up a cart, but not buying a thing. Yes, this sounds very counterintuitive and like it shouldn’t work, but for me it does. I’ve been to the mall, I’ve gone to stores online and picked out items I like, pinned them, saved them as inspiration, tried them on, thought about how I’d style them. But in the end, they go back on the rack or back into the digital archives. I suppose because I know I’m not going to purchase anything I feel more free to try items on I normally wouldn’t (whether because of price or style), and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. I tried on a slim black dress with feather detailing at Ann Taylor. At $300, it’s out of my usual price range, but since it was never going to come home with me, I tried it on, stared at myself in the mirror, showed it to Katie (who was at the store with me), and put it back. No pangs of sadness or guilt when I put it back. In fact, I was almost relived in a very strange way that I was able to try something on that was so interesting and delicate, but was also able to put it back without feeling like I should be buying it, just because I liked how it looked or a salesperson talked me into it.
I also survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much to the surprise of other shoppers, and I suppose the chagrin of stores. I felt no need to wake up early on Friday morning (or stay out all Thursday night) to wait in line for items I don’t need. On Monday, I woke up to 20 new emails from stores celebrating their percentage off and free shipping. Although I clicked through to a few sites, I didn’t feel any urges to purchase anything. Maybe this is what growing up feels like, or maybe this is what happens when you just don’t give a damn anymore, but I feel pretty good with the items I currently own, and although I may still covet a few newer items, I don’t think I’m going to feel like I’m missing out on anything by not purchasing them. Sure, I could’ve gotten some great deals over the past few weeks, and I could be walking around right now in brand new boots, a fabulous new sweater and a great new pair of gloves, but I’m not. My Target boots are working just fine, as are my already-loved sweaters and my comfortably worn-in gloves. Nothing I currently own needs to be replaced, and I’ve yet to shed a significant amount of weight that would force me to buy new pants (I’m still waiting to see if my new gym routine forces me into a new pant size or not), but for now, not shopping is working out really well.
I’m even more excited about my ban because it’s allowing me the ability to save money, find great gifts for others for the holiday, and it’s giving me and Joe a chance to do things other than shop (like DVR 30 movies from HBO’s free preview weekend and watch them all together in the span of three days…). This ban is also allowing (and forcing me) to think about this blog, where it’s been, where I’d like to go and what I want to do with it. This time of year isn’t as great as I’d like it to be. It’s the first year without my dad. This time last year he was getting worse, and worse, before we lost him in January. Thanksgiving wasn’t the best holiday; it was painful and will never be the same because he’s not here. So my silence here is a mix of being busy at work, taking my class and taking care of myself and my family. I am hoping that these next five months will help me find a focus for this blog that may or may not be the same as it’s been for the past two years, but hopefully it will be something I am happy and comfortable with, and hopefully you will also enjoy it.
Here’s to a fabulous first month, and five more of not shopping and resisting the temptation to purchase anything for myself.
(Come back next week, I have three different giveaways and a few reviews coming up, so you may be able to win something great for yourself or as a gift for something else!).