A few months ago I posted an article written by Ann Patchett on her year of no shopping, which really got me thinking about my own spending habits. After about a minute of reflection, I decided to give myself a similar challenge. However, while I loved the idea of abstaining for a whole year, I thought that it might be a bit of a lofty goal so I opted for three months with an option to extend.
Now that three months have passed, probably my biggest takeaway is that I am now spending much less time wishing for things I don’t have or can’t afford to buy. I don’t walk past shop windows anymore and look at the items in them longingly, I don’t look at something new and wonder if it is better than the one I already have and I have worked my way through a number of bathroom and kitchen products I had tucked away for a rainy day (as if I didn’t live next door to an Asda).
I do have one confession to make, though – I did end up buying something small for myself while travelling in February. While in Iceland, I bought myself a pair of mittens as I wanted a small memento and I wasn’t sure when I would be returning. But even that experience was different from before. I looked at the mittens a handful of times before I actually bought them. I even left the store, walked around Reykjavik and returned later to make sure that I really wanted to buy them. In short, I wanted to make sure my ‘cheat’ was worth it. And it was.
Will I opt in for another three months? Definitely. It’s certainly not that I want to do this forever. However, for the moment I am really loving the sense of freedom that comes with enjoying what I already have and letting go of everything else.