My No Shopping Year

Anyone who knows me thought this was a joke the first time I talked about it. I’ve always been the girl who is shopping: for the newest trends, the clothes that make me feel confident, or just to relieve stress after a hard week.

For years, I’ve tried to curb my habit. I’ve made a Pinterest board for my would-be purchases, letting them rest for a few days before shelling out the funds. This helped me be sure it was what I really wanted, but once I had a steady paycheck post-grad, I went a little nuts.

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Lauren Roberts via Unsplash

Then, I read a NYT article that hit me in my gut. [You can find it here.] In the opinion article, the author talks about the numbness that comes from scrolling online. It was her way to alleviate anxiety and fears. That’s exactly what I was doing!

So, in January, I began my own year of no shopping. Obviously, I still buy shampoo and groceries and batteries. I still go out to dinner & travel when I can. The plan was not to buy any shoes, clothes, accessories, or purses.

Since it’s my year, I make the rules. If there was something I had been needing for a while, I would let myself buy it [like a pair of black sweatpants].

But I also made books off limits. There were too many left unread on my shelf.

Anything that would be necessary for work was okay.

A lot of my friends are getting married this summer, and I still plan on buying your guys gifts, don’t worry. But for smaller celebrations, such as birthdays, I started giving thoughtfully handmade mix CDs like we’re back in 2002.

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A birthday mix I made for one of my camp friends!

In all honesty, I haven’t been perfect.

I went and bought a new dress for one of the previously mentioned weddings.

When I started picking up running again, I went out and got some new compression leggings.

But I’m learning to cut out the temptations. I don’t browse just for the sake of it. If a store emails me about a sale, I immediately unsubscribe from the list. When I compliment a friend on something & she replies with where she got it, I have to tell myself not to go buy it.

But there have been plenty of unexpected surprises. When I wanted a pair of white sneakers a few weeks ago, I had accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to have them. Then, while cleaning under my bed, I found an older & barely-worn pair I had forgotten about! I’m finally using all those makeup free samples I’ve accumulated.

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This year has taught me to be more intentional with my money. I’m saving more, comparing prices, and donating to causes I believe in. I posted about it initially on my personal social media not to brag to show off, but to help keep myself accountable.

I’ve been finding myself with more free time. I’m filling my mind with books, movies, and friends- rather than mindlessly browsing through the racks of TJMaxx every Friday afternoon. Seeking out the true soul-comforting joys, instead of the temporary ones, has left me feeling more connected, genuine, and stable.

If you have questions about the year OR advice for me OR thoughts about this in general, comment/email me/text me/message me!