Eliminating “Fun” Shopping For Ten Months

Early this morning I made a spontaneous decision to eliminate “fun” (i.e, unnecessary) shopping until May, 2021.

It felt wonderful, but that might have been the rush of a new adventure.  So before I fully committed, I discussed my plans with Alan, my husband.  Getting his approval reassured me that, despite being impulsive, it’s still a good idea. And it also had the added benefit of holding me accountable.

Now I’m upping the accountability ante and blogging about it.

My inspiration for this commitment is the Demonic Possessions episode of The Happiness Lab podcast.  While I’m not in same league as Cait Flanders in either her shopping habits of yore or her now amazing minimalist lifestyle, nevertheless I resonate with her story.  In particular, like her, in the past I have repeatedly tried to cut back on frivolous purchases, making resolutions such as for every new item of clothing I buy, I’ll give the equivalent to Goodwill.  They didn’t work.  At all.

I even gave up excess buying for five weeks last year and loved it.  But five weeks wasn’t enough.  Week six I was back to the same old same old.

This morning I considered doing this for six months, but my gut said that wouldn’t be that difficult.  Ten months, however — that scared me.  So ten months it is.

Here’s an outline of what I plan to do.

OK to Buy

  • Groceries
  • Paper and pens (just basics — nothing fancy)
  • Replacements for items that wear out or break
  • Gifts for others
  • Anything purchased jointly by and for both my husband and me (e.g., new deck furniture)

Not OK to Buy

  • Clothing
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Furnishing
  • Software / apps (a BIG one for me)
  • Computer and mobile hardware
  • Books

Handling Exceptions

There will be times when I legitimately could use something in the “not OK to buy” category.  In fact, one has already come up.  I need a meditation support cushion to help with tendonitis and arthritis in my right hand, elbow, and shoulder.

For items like this, I’ll check first with my husband and get his OK.  When he suggested this strategy, I told him I could probably talk him into things I didn’t truly need (I can be persuasive), but he countered by saying this will be different given my commitment.

Here Goes

Of course these lists aren’t complete.  They’re only what I can think of on this, the first day.  But that’s part of the adventure — sussing out things one does that lurk in the shadows.  Who knows what I will learn.

Wish me luck.