I have been doing a “No Shopping” Challenge this month, and let me tell you- it’s both challenging and exciting. Spring seems to be coming to Chicago- the bulbs are peeking through the soil, the snow and ice is gone and it was a crisp 60ish degrees on St. Patty’s Day. It makes me want to clean and redecorate, to go through all of my winter stuff and get prepped for spring (even though I’ve been warned not to assume the cold is gone for good!). In that respect, it’s been challenging. I have a few things I’d really like to have in my possession and have coupons for.
I nearly broke down and bought St. Patty’s Day decorations for a little shindig I was having, but I instead decorated with leftover mardi gras beads and cut out some green shamrocks out of paper I had on hand à-la-college-cheap-chic. It was a great party even without sparkly shamrocks for the windows and the cutting of paper was actually quite soothing. I am also using this time that I cannot buy anything to really evaluate and plan what I want to buy when I can shop again- especially in terms of spring clothes. I am trying not to completely rebound and undo any progress I’ve made by going crazy with shopping, so I have been researching a few pieces that would be great transitional pieces:
I’m going to spruce up what I already have with some new fresh pieces- striped cardigans in white and grey with sparkly brooches, rings and accessories. I am also planning on getting a pair of grey suede wedges from Target I saw a friend wearing- while oddly, they weren’t listed online at Target’s website, they have a similar pair (featured above) at Urban Outfitters. I have heard bright and bold is in for this season- but something is so sweet about neutrals!
So I think it’s fair to hope that this really will cut costs- by putting off purchases for an entire month and using that time to put shopping on hold to THINK about what I’d *really* like I can avoid the impulse buys, as long as I’m mindful not to rebound like someone on a diet who has been chocolate deprived and can’t hold back when cake is on the table (been there, done that!)
I have been filling up my life with activity instead of things and really throwing myself into projects I can get excited about that don’t require me to spend money. As you know, yesterday I participated in the Day of Silence to help raise money for ShelterBox and I’ve also started the Rescuing Ralph fundraiser which is slowly gaining attention and support- doing something for the world, even in small ways is bringing me a tremendous amount of joy. Truth be told, I’m just all out BUSY- doing homework, reading blogs, taking Ralph for walks, writing articles….life is good.
I’m spending money on food and donations to charities (Shelter Box, The Red Cross, and to sponsor an amazing 7 year old’s upcoming MS Walk) So while I’m still spending money- which was something I wanted to cut out for this challenge, I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson: how to make the MOST of what you have.
If you focus on how “broke” you are, and all the things you can’t buy- you totally miss out on all the amazing things you can do with the little money you do have- invest it in people (throw a little party), invest it in charity (it feel so good), and invest in yourself to cut expenses, make more meaningful purchases and clear out the clutter in your life to make room for more prosperity in the long term.
I feel like I’m actually learning about fashion and instead of just meandering around stores until I find something. I’m going to love being able to get my hand on a few new pieces for spring, but until then, I’m going to get a solid plan together so my pieces are even more meaningful and work better together instead of my normal mish-mash of impulse buys. 12 more days!