Your resident shopaholic blogger (aka me) is going the ‘no spend’ way, and here’s why. Brace yourselves, there is a long post the size of winter ahead.
STORY TIME- HOW IT BEGAN
I was bitten by the shopping bug years back, back to when I was in the eighth or ninth grade. My pattern of shopping was planned and impulsive buys; the only thing that has changed over the years is what I kept buying.
It started innocuously, with a craze for stationery items– pens, pencils, cute and colorful erasers, pouches and pretty notebooks. I remember envying my cousin sister’s fast food shaped eraser collection, her geometric eraser-cum-sharpener from Maped, her collection of beautiful gel pens.. I started lusting for my own pretty collection from there onward.
Another year or two down the line, my shift focused. Stationery items no longer caught my fancy, but watches did. I amassed so many cheap as well as branded watches, as if to wear a new one for every day of the week, for two weeks straight. I had a classic beige strap from Fastrack, those pretty bracelet watches from some random street shopping haul, a turquoise blue digital watch with a timer.. these are just a few ones I can remember.
For the next few years, my shift focused to books. Now, this isn’t a bad thing to shop for, you’d argue. And in a way, you’d be right because books enrich our lives. But I was buying Archies comics, secondhand novellas and those imposter print books from the streets.. alongside more books from expensive book stores. My dark brown almirah could no longer hold the books I had, and the pile kept growing constantly. Finally, many of them had to be stacked into cubicles, stashed into big shopping bags, cramped into cupboards.
I was also hoarding cheap trinkets such as earrings and SO MANY shoes. All from street shopping, because that is all I could afford to waste my pocket money on back then. My grandparents asked me how many shoes I needed to buy before I was happy, but that day never seemed to materialize.
The final strike was the pile of clothes gathering dust, bought online and in stores almost weekly. A damaging habit that deepened from 2014 to 2016 because I felt like I was entitled to spend, because I was making my own hard-earned cash. Never mind that I got to carry less than half those clothes to Seattle after my marriage. In 2017, I have been spending savvy money on more and more cosmetics, skincare and clothes. Until last week, when I decided to take a step back.
FLASH FORWARD TO THE PRESENT
Seven days back, I said enough. Two extra-large suitcases and half of my closet filled with clothes, two cardboard boxes filled with shoes, 30+ makeup item collection, eight handbags, a medium-sized plastic bag filled with accessories, many skincare and perfume items, and a tumble of books- only now did I think it was enough.
The silence hangs heavy around me, and I feel quite uneasy after just having typed the above. “Oh my God,” I realize, “I am a hoarder too.” And to who am I suggesting this kinship with?
My friends, I have a feeling many of you would probably understand what I’ve written about.
Raise your hand if you ever pushed that tiny voice in your head that said you don’t need an extra top in your closet, but you still bought it because it was on sale and the price was “too good a deal to let go!” Guess what, I’ve been there too. It is a major reason that fueled me to where I am now, mentally.
WHAT’S THIS ‘NO SPEND’ ABOUT?
Taking on this ‘no spend’ challenge and writing this blog post has come after a lot of deliberation, watching countless videos on YouTube and the acceptance of a truth. I’m a shopaholic who bought stuff compulsively, and this is me coming clean to myself.
I got a rush of happiness when I snagged something pretty and new, but the excitement eventually wore away. What I was left with, is searching for extra space to stash the new item. And so on and so forth, and now I have a pile of things I have to use up.
I feel crushed now, thinking of all the money hanging in my closet and my vanity. I’m tired of being chained to materialism, of my endless wishlists despite a bursting closet. And now, I’ve started to change that. I am going to finally make myself truly happy.
I want to say ‘no spend’ challenge, but it sounds like something I have to put up with uncomfortably. And no, that is not the emotion and attitude with which I have taken up this approach!
Here is what I wish to achieve with this ‘no spend’ approach-
- I am starting with one month of non-expenditure at first. Slowly, I will extend this period till I’m completely comfortable and can become ‘intentional’ with any future purchases.
- Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, etc- none of these festivals or special occasions are excuses for me. I am firm in not buying anything non-essential.
- The only things I would continue to purchase are essentials such as food, and daily use items such as shower gels, shampoos etc when I run out of them.
- No purchase of new clothes, makeup, and accessories- I have enough and I want to make the most of what I have.
- I will try my best to use up what I already have before even deciding to replace it with something new.
My ultimate goal from this exercise and experience, is to dissociate happiness from buying stuff. I have been chained in this behavior for a very long time, and I want to break free. I want to practice contentment with what I already own, and get rid of my impulsive buying habit.
It isn’t going to be easy, but I’m going to trudge down this path. And I will give you updates as I continue, because I hope I can connect with others having the same thoughts as me.
If you wish to strike up a conversation or even share your opinions, please by my guest and do so in the comments section. 🙂
Until next time, see you soon.