In my last post, I wrote about my decision to undertake a shopping ban, for the month of June. I was allowed to buy consumable groceries but no new things. I knew the most difficult items for me to resist would be books and clothing.
So how did it go? June was fine, I had the impulse to buy but I was able to override it. My only slip-ups were some kindle books. I find e-books a bit of a grey area because they sit on your device and don’t take up physical space. But the truth is I have so many kindle books that I’ve bought and haven’t read. My rule of thumb has been that if a kindle book is less than $5 I can buy it, if not I add it to my wishlist. This still resulted in me buying 5 books in a month.
At the end of the month when I reflected on my spending I felt proud of myself. But then July came along and I bought some stuff. Some print books and a necklace. Sure they were all things I had been wanting for a while (rather than impulse buys) but I still felt bad.
I had to remind myself that this exercise is not about judgement, it’s about awareness. If I had already bought it there was no point in feeling guilty about it. So I’m really enjoying my purchases. I read a few good books that added something to my consciousness. And I am loving wearing my necklace.
But I want to make lasting change, so I am going to re-start my shopping ban (although I’m re-branding it a Shopping Challenge) again from 1 August through to the end of November.
I have created a list of items that I am allowed to buy during the Shopping Challenge. For example, I want to place a Sephora order for some cosmetics that I have run out of. A few of the items are out of stock so I’m waiting for them to come back in. But this list is very specific, and is designed to anticipate what I will actually use during the next four months but I don’t already have.
My main challenge is going to be books. I don’t know what happens between ordering the book and it arriving but I only read about half of what I buy. Some books I start the day they arrive and they engage me and being a fast reader I finish them in a day or two. Others I start and then put down. Some I don’t even open.
So I’m making a commitment: If I buy a book I have to start reading it the day it arrives and I have to finish it, before I can buy another book, or move onto reading a book I already have.
August I’m ready for you.