No shopping for one month

I’ve read a number of articles where folks experimented how long they’d last not buying something. Often, shopping has a very calming effect. In the short-run, it gives you that pleasant feeling. Almost like a reward. You’ve made it through another tough day at work. Treat yourself to that nice handbag, that lipstick or that dress. You are worth it. It will make you feel so much better!

Yet, shortly afterwards, this positive feeling changes into guilty. Did I really need that handbag? How can I justify spending so much on a lipstick? Is that dress really looking that good on me?

Then, there’s the other phenomena. People have a no spending month. These articles intrigued me. For some, it was to save money while others wanted to see how it felt not spending hours in the malls or online shopping.

Now, this month, I’m participating in my own “no spending for a month” challenge. Now, there will be a few items for which I have to pay:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Fuel/transportation
  • Insurances
  • Dewa, Etisalat/du, utilities

Besides these fixed expenses, I’m only allowing very limited purchases:

  • Fresh, basic groceries
  • 1 ladies night a week and 1 brunch for the month. We live in Dubai after all…

For me, I’m looking forward to some new experiences.

As much as I’d like to be, I’m not Martha Stewart or Macgiver and don’t make everything from scratch at home. Now, embarking on this experiment, I’d like to see how long I last without buying anything. This means becoming more creative with existing items or possibly bartering with friends.

The pantry and freezer are filled with plenty of food. I’d love to cook some healthy meals and waste less food. In addition, I’d like to finally check off one of my to-do-items: de-frosting the freezer.

Living in Dubai, social activities after work and on the weekend are the norm. I’d like to spend more quality time with my loved ones and friends during month.

Not going shopping for pleasure should free up quite some time for other activities. With these lower temperatures, it’d be a waste to spend more time inside any mall.

All of this, shall also help me focusing on what really matters. If you have thousands and thousands of things at home, do they still mean anything to you?

Like anyone trying to give up smoking and not knowing what to hold in their hands, I’m wondering whether I’ll experience similar withdrawal symptoms? With all the events going on in Dubai, will I not be tempted to participate and buy something?

The first 4 days went rather well so far. There was no desire for an extra café latte during the day but I’ve also been occupied. Plenty of meetings and project work, cooking at home, going out for walk to get 10,000 steps in. This weekend will be the first test!

What about you? Have you challenged yourself with a no spending day, week or month before? Since it’s only 25 more days till the end of February, are you going to join me? Just leave a comment if you’re in! It’d be fantastic!

Until next time,

2 thoughts on “No shopping for one month

  1. Ah – what a wonderful challenge. I shared this with my 11 year old daughter and she suggested we do this as a “Lenten” sacrifice. Wow! So, starting next Wednesday, February 10 – our family plans to only purchase fresh groceries and attempt to use all of the food that currently exists in our freezer, cupboards, pantry, etc. to see if we can do it for 40 days. God bless us! 🙂 Thanks.

    • Thank you, Kelly. That’s a great challenge for your family and a fantastic way to connect it to Lent. Good luck with it and let us know how you got on.

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