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7 Months In On My Shopping Ban and I’m Not OK.

This summer, I lost my mind. I decided I would challenge myself to live as sustainably as possible. To only grow my own food or purchase locally produced food items. To learn how to bake. And to embark on a 1 year shopping ban. No trial runs, just go do it! The food thing didn’t last long. The shopping ban, however, has lasted 7 months. (Probably because, well… I got goodies for Birthdays & Holidays)

Why am I not Ok, you ask? I’ll tell you. I’m not OK because I want to shop. Very badly! There are a few things happening at the moment:

  • My pants are starting to wear out. Those little holes you see & think to yourself, nah, it still works. Well they eventually turn into huge rips. Usually at the most inconvenient of times! (See the day I accidentally ripped the ‘back’ of my favourite pants and found myself being taped back together at a strangers desk!)
  • It’s really cold and I just don’t feel pretty when its cold. Too many layers, not enough warmth. And when your eyes/nose are watering and your eyelashes freeze, bothering to put on makeup, only to have it dissipate after a few minutes in the elements just doesn’t happen.
  • I’m (too) selective. Because of my %100 natural fibre neurosis, I have to spend a crazy amount of time researching items before I buy them. So many stores don’t even have products that fall into this category! So sometimes I make myself feel better by walking into a store that I know has nothing I’ll buy, then I can leave having purchased nothing and feel good about myself. This usually works. Until, that is, the store surprises me and has something that fits both my fibre needs & my size. That turns into a challenge quickly.
  • As an affiliate, I get the opportunity to browse a lot of dream products. And that I do (see fibre neurosis) as I refuse to promote anything I don’t want myself! And that’s the magic phrase right there. I want it myself. I want so much of it myself! Hand-crafted stilettos? Oh yes, those will be mine! Cruelty-free alpaca? You know it! Β But I have to wait. Stalk. Save… In the meanwhile, I’m like a trapped monkey here.
  • And, speaking the truth, I just love the occasional new goodie. Does that make me a terrible person?

I never guessed that 7 months without buying myself a new outfit or shoes would result in shaking and sweating. How is this even possible? I don’t actually shop that much when I allow myself to because, well, I have to save for those purchases that I really desire. So it is quite the surprise to me that I am getting bored with my clothing. There was a year when I couldn’t afford to purchase myself anything. I saved and saved and was finally able to buy a cute dress with little red apple print on it. I loved that dress and wore it far beyond the 50€ I paid for it. I was so happy about it! So this is where I am questioning what is happening. Of course, I would love to go out and buy every piece of sustainable luxury that I like. Wouldn’t we all? But what has me stumped, is that those very few pieces I have fallen in love with, well, I find myself obsessing over them. Like somehow my life will be better if I own them. And that isn’t true, is it? What good is a pair of stilettos to me when I’m knee deep in snow? (Granted, the alpaca would actually keep me warm.) But yet I really feel like somehow if I have these items, my life will change for the better. And that just doesn’t seem healthy. Or true.

Now, I have actually been doing good things too. I have a daily system that reminds me that I absolutely should NOT be purchasing any clothing or accessories right now. But that is its own blog post, so more on that later.

I have also discovered that I don’t actually own that much. Thank you, for all the comments! It really helped me to put things in perspective. I really had no idea the number of contents of my wardrobe are comparatively small.

Any advice on how to calm the shopping anxiety?
-Mliae

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21 Comments »

  1. I suppose the best way to calm your anxiety is just to focus on the reason you put this ban in place when you did. Bring your mind back to that reason again and again. This wasn’t forced on you – you decided – and there is great strength in that so tap into it. πŸ™‚

  2. You are very smart to only buy what you love. I buy things that will match my old clothes and consequently have about20 tops for my few pairs of pants. I wear the same few things all the time.

    So going back to January cleaning blog…. yesterday, I went through my clothes AGAIN! Because I don’t just buy things I love.

    Good call again Mliae

    • Wow, thank you! The ‘top trap’ is one that I find myself getting stuck in sometimes too. When honestly, we only need maybe 2 tops per pair of pants because it all has to be cleaned and reword eventually!
      Sounds like you are rocking’ out this January clean-out! That’s AMAZING!

  3. If you don’t have that much clothing…(or.skin care or make up?) like you thought you had, you may want to consider which particular items you want, what you lack when trying to plan an outfit…then queation the budget and the supply…in store you know. I know how it feels…

    • Frustrating, no? You may be correct. I do wear everything I have that fits me. I think it’s pants that are my nemesis. I have 3 pair of winter pants & I’ve worn them so much that its just…blah. I mean one pair is changing colour.

      • Do you have any “summer” pants? Or jeans that you can wear with warm tight underneath if they fit. I know most of my jeans do. How is the weather wher you are? How many degrees?

      • I do and I’ve been wearing them inside. But it’s well below 0 outdoors, so has to be winter pants. Luckily though, its been so cold recently that I can get by with leggings under snow pants πŸ˜‰

      • I can imagine. Do you even wear Midi skirts? You can wear one color legginigs or warm tights under it and high boots – those that are close to the knee…with a warm sweater and coat, – oh well – probably a scarf and a warm cap? you will be warma nd protected agains getting wet as well..

      • Now there’s an idea… I do have a wool dress, which I usually wear only in autumn, but you are correct that I could easily layer that up. Thanks! πŸ˜€
        I’m still losing weight so I’m also hoping that soon I will be able to fit back into my other pants that were at least 1 size too small. That’s the frustrating bit. To have nice things you can’t get yourself into! Ah, timeless decision I guess: Food or fashion. Hah

      • You did help me, thank you so much!
        Discipline is the word…especially when you love nachos as much as I do πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you for kind comment! You are right. I have to get back to the basics of this. I wanted to pay down some of my debt.
      I guess if I make it through this next 5 months, the next challenge will be to make decent purchasing decisions. And not go on a post-diet pizza binge. Pizza does sound good though! πŸ˜‰

  4. 7 months! How did you do it!! Respect! Usually what does help me is: not watching shopping apps, keeping myself creatively busy (writing blog posts, making crafts, crochet’ing,…). I’m trying to save right now, but each month I find something that “I have to have’… Ugh… Great post! xoxo Sarah

    • Thank you, Sarah! It has been very challenging. At the moment, I’m just trying to get through each individual day without buying something. Every day I don’t, is 1 day closer to my goal!
      ‘Creatively busy’ I like that πŸ™‚

      • True! Each day is 1 day you’ve set some money aside. I sometimes feel like I just have to lock myself inside the house because every time I go out, it costs something… Anyway, good look with your journey! xoxo Sarah

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