This guest post from Kamie is the first in the newly-revived “money stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all stages of financial maturity. Today, Kamie shares her resolution to break her shopping habit in 2018.
Two weeks ago, just before Christmas, I found a New York Times article about somebody who went a year without shopping.
“Why would anyone do that?” I thought to myself — but I kept reading. The author had some compelling reasons for her experiment:
- It made her more mindful of her “wants”.
- It forced her to use things she already owned.
- It helped her appreciate the things she had — and the things she was given.
- And, surprisingly, it freed up tons of her time.
I read the article, thought it was interesting, and went on with my day. Later that evening, though, I started thinking about the article again. I thought about how much I shop and how much time and effort I put into it. Could I possibly go a year with no shopping?
You see, I worked in high-end retail for a very long time. I went to school for fashion merchandising and was in retail management as soon as I graduated. Everything in my life revolved around fashion and shopping! Working at Nordstrom was my greatest success and worst punishment both at the same time.
As you can see, I learned to shop with the best of them. And shopping became an outlet for me.
Today, I’m 44 with two teenage boys, an amazing husband, and two dogs. I work for our family business, so I’m not exposed to the retail environment on a constant basis. But I still shop — a lot!
Honestly, I love shopping. Shopping makes me happy. It’s fun to have new pretty things, whether it’s clothes, shoes, accessories (for me or the house), makeup, furniture, or even a new car. You know: anything.
Now, let me tell you, our family isn’t rich by any means. We have to budget just like everyone else. Sometimes it sucks. But we’re trying to teach our boys (and each other) what it means to save money, even if we’re not the best at it.
In reading the New York Times article, I could relate to much of what the author said. Shopping made her happy too, but she decided there were enough benefits to a year without shopping that she wanted to give it a try. I decided that maybe I wanted to give it a try.
When I told my husband about the idea, he looked at me and smiled. He told me that he’d be incredibly proud of me if I could actually do a year without shopping. Because he and I are very competitive, we love to challenge each other. I gave it some more thought and realized that this was a challenge I wanted to accept. [Read more…]