For the month of August (and probably longer) I’ll be doing a shopping ban. I’ve been inspired by other minimalists and bloggers who have done shopping bans in the past or who write a lot about breaking free from buying things we don’t need.
While I’m no shopaholic and I don’t shop for therapy, I do have a bad habit of buying things that I haven’t researched or thought about. I see something that I really want and I just go out and buy it because I think it will add value to my life. While this doesn’t happen very often, when it does happen, it’s usually something expensive. I tend to buy expensive things every once in a while and my wife tends to buy less expensive things more often. Between the two of us, we’re in need of a shopping ban for at least a month, maybe longer.
We definitely don’t buy as much as a vast majority of people, but we think we can do better. That’s what this shopping ban is all about.
We’ll be following the same basic rules that Cait Flanders followed on her 2-year shopping ban.
Here’s the basics:
- No shopping for leisure, for fun, for therapy, or when we’re bored. Basically unless we need something, we’re not going to the store.
- We’ll only buy the necessities – toiletries, food, replacement items, etc.
- We’ll also be trying to eat out less and find free things today instead of spending money for dates and activities. The only exception is a trip we’re planning for our anniversary this month.
- Exceptions: my Mom’s birthday and my brother-in-law’s birthday are both in August, so we’ll probably buy something for them.
I’m not going to write out a complete list of things that we can and can’t buy or will and won’t buy. Since this is only a month (or two), we’re sticking with just the necessities. This randomly fell on a perfect month, since we’re shopping for houses right now. Any amount of money we can save is more money we can put into our new home, for a down payment and for remodeling once we move in.
I love the idea of a shopping ban on everything besides the necessities. I think it’s a great way to control unnecessary spending and limit the amount of crap we bring into our lives. It also frees up money so we can travel more and do more fun things together.
Besides the shopping ban, we’ve been trying to use a purchase delay before buying anything major (stuff that we don’t need that’s over $20). If we see something online or in stores that we want to buy, we have to think about it for 2 weeks and discuss the purchase with each other. While this hasn’t always worked, it has been a great tool for avoiding a lot of spur of the moment purchases this year.
We hope to see a positive impact on our happiness, our bank account and the amount of unused stuff we have sitting around. I’ll be posting updates about our shopping ban throughout the month on social media, so be sure to give me a follow.
Here are some more resources and other shopping bans:
- Cait Flanders – Rules for My Yearlong Shopping Ban
- Cait Flanders – Shopping Ban Rules and Updates
- Break the Twitch – How Buying One Thing Can Ruin Your Life
- Zen Habits – Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains
- Be More With Less – But I Love Shopping
- Be More With Less – 10 Ways to Help You Stop Shopping For A While
Capsule Wardrobe (promoted course):
This month, to coincide with my Shopping Ban, I am promoting Courtney Carver’s fantastic Capsule Wardrobe course. She’s currently on a Capsule Wardrobe tour and her course is a great way to simplify your closet and curb the shopping addiction. That can be purchased here (affiliate link): Capsule Wardrobe.
Also published on Medium.