Shopping craze in Asia
I spent this January in South-East Asia backpacking through Vietnam with my best friend. It was an amazing experience filled with revelations, new connections, pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones, exploration aaaaannd shopping. Oh yes, two girls left without male supervision in Asia. We went overboard and I’m not proud of it.
From cute kitchen appliances, to active wear all the way to tailor-made coats …we convinced ourselves that we needed it and that it is a “now-or-never” situation. To be completely frank though I do use about 80% of the items that I bought and I don’t regret buying most of it but being on the journey of managing my overconsumption I had to somehow find a way to balance it out.
So I came up with the idea of challenging myself not to shop for 12 months. By ” no shopping ” I mean no shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories. (Maybe if all goes well next year I’ll even give up food and live on prana…jk! :))
The experiment was started as of February so now I’m at the end of my first quarter and I though I’d summarize my experience and lessons learned so far.
Nobody was told of my no-shopping rule before I thought it could be taken seriously, aka at least a couple of months accomplished under my belt.
I like to live under the impression that I’m good with money, meaning that I try to time my massive wardrobe update around the seasonal sales. For that reason February was the hardest month so far. So many percentage signs were screaming at me… without being melodramatic once I made it though the seasonal sales avoiding shopping at full price was a piece of cake. Until the second winter hit Budapest in mid-April with a seriously worrisome snowstorm when I thought for a second that if I could just get my hands on some pastel coloured summer dresses and tops that would miraculously get me closer to spring. Good old retail therapy, the promised cure for all of our problems 🙂
Finally the long-awaited good weather arrived and per usual left me wondering in front of my wardrobe at 7am with the burning thought “What the hell was I wearing last year?”
That was my third temptation, but I resisted the urge and took out all my stuff from the wardrobe to figure out what will get me through this summer without looking like a hot mess.
Making a rule of not shopping is actually quite liberating. I know that I can’t indulge in any of the latest trends so I can just direct my thoughts and energy elsewhere like creating this work-in-progress blog 🙂
Overall I’m quite happy so far with the outcome of my no-shopping months. I’m not saying this is the cure for all the problems of humanity but this experiment over the past months did:
- improve my financial situation
- help me to be more mindful with my purchases
- make me value what I already have
- help me to create less waste
- increase my creativity
As an unexpected side-effect I also started to read more on the minimalist lifestyle and although I still have a long way to go I did manage to implement some elements of a clutter-free life. Which I will share with you in my next post.
I’ll check back with you guys in September. I see the summer sales as a particularly challenging period so let’s see how I will do on that. 🙂
Have you ever done a shopping fast? For how long did you last? I would love to hear your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ sections. 🙂