How I Made It Through A Month Without Shopping

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So my husband said it was cheating to give up shopping after all I spent on Christmas and after receiving Christmas gifts.  I still say it is a very hard thing for me to do.  Just like Buddy the Elf says, “I love it, I love it, and I don’t care who knows it!”  He was referring to being in love with a woman, but it still fits here.  Growing up, shopping was what bonded my mother and myself, we would call it retail therapy.  Whenever either of us were stressed from work, basketball, family, etc, we would call each other up and simply say we need some retail therapy.  Both of our husbands now cringe at the mention of retail therapy, especially if the jeweler’s name is mentioned. 

As you know, I can do a great job justifying a purchase.  If I’m buying work clothes, I simple say it is an investment into my career.  If it’s a toy for our dog, I say, “he may not be our entire lives, but we are his entire life.”  Oh and we took sex away from him (when he got neutered), so he can be spoiled rotten in my book!  If we used a coupon, we’d say, “Look how much money we saved.”  Even I know that is a stretch.  We might have saved $100 but we still spent $200.  That $100 wasn’t given back to us to save. 

So for January, I gave up shopping, and here is what I noticed:

Week 1:  This is easy, easy as pie!  Maybe getting all the Christmas gifts helped my small desire to shop.  I loved looking at my budget and how little I spent.  There was no stress over what to buy, fitting in a shopping trip on the way home, or dealing with the checkout lines.  I thought…I can do this, and look how much I’m saving in time and money.  Our next big financial goal is that much closer.  I also thought how I will continue this for a few more months, check back in the spring to see how that is going….or not going…..

Week 2: No shopping when I visited my parents.  My mother and I love going into town to shop at the small and unique stores whenever I visit.  She was a little disappointed when I reminded her about my no shopping cleanse.  Although my father and husband were ecstatic to say the least.  I was a bit of a struggle not visiting our favorite shops, and supporting the town as I tell my husband, but it was nice to see how low my spending was for the week. 

Week 3: My husband wanted a new pillow and his Keurig broke, so he asked if I could buy him new ones.  Guess what my answer was….Nope, I am on my spending cleanse and cannot buy it.  Nah nah nah nah nah nah!  Finally justice to all of his mockery!  It was totally worth it to say no to his requests after his jabs and jokes the week before.  Sorry Eric, this might be an expensive month for you, but NOT for me! 

Week 4: Uh oh lunch at the mall with my brother, sister-in-law, and adorable nephew.  This can be bad news, I even need to return a dress.  But I am going to be strong if not for myself but for you.  I went straight into the restaurant and straight back to my car.  So I know if I can do it, you can too.  Whatever is your goal, it is worth more than another dress or another pair of shoes.  It is all about prioritizing our wants and realizing what we are willing to give up to get the top wants on our list.  So what is your goal or top want, and what are you willing to give up to get it? 

It’s hard to figure out how much exactly I would of spent shopping, but I think it is safe to say at least $300.  I am moving $300 more into savings after this month, so my total for the first two months is…drum roll please…$510.   

I have heard from some ladies who took the 30 Day Spending Cleanse, and their results.  It does work, one woman saved $65 by not buying coffee outside her house, which would be an extra $780 a year.  There are two priceless items we are saving on as well, our time and our energy.  By not shopping, I have more time to work, for my husband and dog, and more energy for them too.  By not going to Starbucks every morning and afternoon, she probable saved 45 minutes a day, which can now be used for more productive tasks.  If you cater that extra 3-4 hours a week to growing your business, you will earn more money.  If you use the time for your family, you will have more memories together.  So think big picture and take my challenge, my guess is you’ll gain some extra money and time!  Sounds pretty good to me.   

If you have great results, please share them with me by emailing Jessica.weaver@raymondjames.com.

Next month is no manicures or pedicures, better hurry up and get one in!

Happy Cleansing!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Wealth Advisor

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