I am considering a shopping ban. No new clothes, no new books, no restaurant/takeout food for a year. Well, mostly. Why? Well, it’s not that I have a shopping addiction, per se. Our finances are in good shape, we are always able to pay the bills, and my husband and I enjoy a comparatively luxurious 50% savings rate and have my small student loan as our only debt. But I am finding that too much of my life is revolving around what to buy next and around shopping and consumerism in general. This seems foolish at best, emotionally unhealthy at worst.
I have more clothes than I can ever wear. I have a thousand books in my bedroom, mostly unread. Sure, they were bought used, and many acquired for free, and I read a ton, but do I need to buy more, when they are all sitting there in wait? I have a half dozen pairs of comfortable and flattering shoes. I have two wool winter coats. There
is nothing I need, and the constant pursuit of new stuff is starting to make me anxious and, honestly, a not very pleasant person. No matter how high I raise my personal spending money budget, it never seems to be enough, and I want to get my desires under control, or my wants will always grow with our income, leaving us in the
work-spend-work hamster wheel.
How, then, to begin? I’m planning to set January 1 as my starting date, allowing me to purchase holiday presents and spend any received gift cards before the ban goes into effect. A blanket ban, given my lifestyle and our current stage in life is impractical and would be counterproductive. There definitely need to be some exceptions, and I would like to keep my own self help lunacy from impinging too much on my ever-tolerant husband. This requires more thought.