( If you have not already, please read my previous blog Holidays are near: Time to stop buying stuff!! of which this is a continuation. . . )
I will be honest: this Spending Moratorium is hard! I am surprised at how often I think about buying things. It turns out that I think about buying something 3-4 times a day (if not more). I really had no idea it was this bad.
Now, that doesn't mean I used to go shopping 3-4 times each day before making my decision to stop purchasing. It just means that even knowing that I won't be buying anything, I am shocked at how often I entertain the idea of buying something. I contemplate buying things all day long. You probably do too. And, I didn't realize this until now when I have drawn the line and said "no" to spending any money on things for myself.
My thought process is incredible: I am purchase occupied at almost every turn, all day long, big and small things: A new pen because I don't have one in my purse, and I am going to a meeting, a pack of gum while out when I have a pack at home and in my work desk, a new holiday CD I came across unexpectedly, a new book I was told about, a new hair clip because I forgot mine at home, a cute candle that happens to be on sale, fabric for holiday card making, when I know I have equitable materials at home.
It sounds absolutely ridiculous when it is listed out. I am embarrassed by it. But these are the types of things I would be purchasing on a day to day basis, here or there, not all at once but as the "need" arose. I have realized over the past 4 days that I already have too much cute stuff and the world is filled with more cute stuff. It will always be filled with cute stuff. I have to just deal with it.
I was blessed to have a friend ask me to go shopping with her (for her) on Tuesday. I shouted YES! I love shopping. And, this way I could enjoy it without coming home with anything for myself. It was the perfect opportunity to practice NOT BUYING. I purposefully left my purse in the car. Not because I really thought I would have bought something, but because I didn't even want the option of it. We had an absolutely great time. This friend hates to shop for clothes for herself and hates to spend money. She had gift cards and was in need of a new work and winter wardrobe. It was a perfect situation for me.
I glided around the racks, finding shirts she overlooked and choosing colors that she would have never picked up. She tried them on and one by one was amazed at what I pulled for her. I felt like I was on one of those Style shows. I choose dresses, blouses, blazers, sweaters and quickly dismissed her glances at horizontal striped sweaters and baggy shapeless tops. She really liked what I picked out and ended up purchasing some beautiful garments that were sophisticated and well fitted.
There were only a couple times I saw things that tempted me. But, I enjoyed them while I looked and then asked myself: Would I come back for this? Would I go out of my way to purchase this or ask for it as a gift? Do I already own something similar? The respective answers being: No, No, Yes.
The reality was I was happy to be able to shop and enjoy the stores and the styles. But, it felt great to leave without bags in my hands. I didn't need anything. I didn't buy anything. And, I didn't have to make space for it in my closet when I got home.
It was a good day.
I should leave my purse in the care more often.
The Spending Moratorium happily continues. . .