People are tired of the mass consumerism and indulging or spending on materialistic items. t’s time for a change. Last time I wrote about minimalism as a way to reboot your lifestyle and today we are going to explore another extreme lifestyle change: shopping bans.
What do you mean stop Shopping?
In the past, whenever I was asked what my hobbies were I would answer with, “Is shopping a hobby?”. Well, is it? I never really had a specific routine or any intentions when it came to shopping. I would frequent the mall whenever I was bored and just wander around, buying random things without any particular reason. What was the result? A house full of stuff that I really don’t care about. Not only that but there’s a giant list of items that I actually do need, but I never buy! I mean how many cute dresses does one need? Apparently a closet full. How many plain white shirts does one need? Actually I would consider this a need, but I only own white t-shirt (and its the cheapest, crappiest t-shirt ever, so I never wear it).
Does this sound familiar to you? A shopping ban is very personal. You can be as strict as you want, banning all purchasing of items that are not basic necessities to survive, or you be a little lax and only ban items you really don’t need. I am leaning more to the latter.
Where do I start?
1.Do a purge
This might sound a little redundant. Okay you want me to stop shopping, but now you’re telling me to get rid of my stuff first?
Hear me out here guys. A purge can be very therapeutic. You’re getting rid of stuff, clearing up your space and in turn purging your mind, body and soul. Aside from that spiritual crap, you’re also getting a better idea of what you already have in your inventory. You might even be surprised to find stuff that you already have. You’d be amazed at the amount of hair elastics and pens you find on purges, items you’re normally at a loss for.
2. Write a list of stuff you will need
During your purge, create an inventory list of what you have too much of, what you can live without and what you need. In the list of things you need take it a step further and categorize it to items you need on a regular basis and continually replenish (ie. hygiene products) and items you will only need to buy once.
Also, please for God’s sake be at least a little conservative and realistic when creating this list. Do you really NEED the newest Iphone 7? (yes, it’s coming. Sorry for tempting you)
3. Set a timeline for how long the ban will last
It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to completely stop shopping or spending money forever. Shopping bans are meant to be for a specific period of time as a measure against spending money frivolously. This can be a year or a few months. Having a goal whether its to pay off all your credit cards or save up for a wedding or a house, makes it easier to stay on your path.
I need to know more!
This is just a short overview of what a shopping ban is all about. If you want to see it in action and find out what it’s really like, I suggest you visit Blonde on a Budget. Cait Flanders is in the midst of a 2 year shopping ban and guess what? She is not crouched in a dark, cold corner eating cat food. She is thoroughly enjoying it and writing about it!