I am interested in simpler living, slowing down and enjoying the moment. I also try to save money but without being obsessive about saving every cent possible. Although I enjoy a bit of retail therapy I try not to overdo it. Therefore, I was interested in a book about buying less and getting more out of life as a consequence.
The Year Of Less In The Year Of Less, how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store, the author, Cait Flanders tells her story which includes a self imposed 12 month ban on unnecessary shopping. Cait lists the things she allowed herself to buy like food, grocery items and presents for others and then what she can't buy.
It's an interesting idea, a way of becoming more conscious of how incidental spending on items that are not essential adds up. A side benefit is the money saved.
Retail therapy For some people, a visit to the shopping centre to buy clothes, accessories, home decor, magazines or anything that takes their fancy is an escape and a way of making themselves feel happier, at least for a short time.
Compulsive shopping Some people are compulsive shoppers, purchasing not just a couple of items within their budget but buying numerous things on their frequent retail therapy outings. The result can be maxed out credit cards and panic about this out of control spending.
Image:Andi Graf from Pixabay
Clutter Even when non essential purchases are not causing financial stress, they can add to the clutter in a home. A few pretty candles here, a pile of knick- knacks there and purchases from the op shop can build up. And the clothes, shoes and accessories, many of which are rarely worn.
Moving house It may only be when a person comes to move house that they realise just how much unnecessary stuff they have accumulated. Wrapping up breakables, packing and labelling box after box of stuff can make one question where it all came from. This may lead to a resolution to stop buying things that aren't needed.
Do you need it? It sounds easy enough to question the need for something before purchasing it and then leave it on the shelf if it's not needed. However people may make unnecessary purchases because -
a stockpile makes them feel secure, or at least less insecure
they don't remember what they already have at home
they want others to think they are successful because they have lots of 'stuff' on display in their home
other people say they need lots of things
retail therapy is a regular social outing with friends
it's a habit to buy a few extra bits and pieces when shopping
they are bored
they feel depressed
they are lonely
Shopping with a friend can be a social activity Image:PixalLoverK3 from Pixabay
Limiting your shopping People who are unhappy about the amount they buy may decide to set a limit on how much unnecessary shopping they allow themselves or how often they let themselves participate in retail therapy..
Unnecessary shopping ban Others may decide to follow Cait Flanders and ban themselves from unnecessary purchases for a set time. I have decided to see if I can do it for six months. For more detail, click here- Six Month Shopping Ban Challenge
Limiting unnecessary spending will lead to a greater awareness of how often one participates in shopping to fill in time or as a treat or reward. It may also result in one discovering one already has plenty of stuff.