My decision to stop shopping is not one I made lightly. Every year I set a goal for myself, perhaps you do too, called a “resolution”. People have been making resolutions for 4,000 years, dating back to theBabylonians. People have also been breaking their resolutions for 4,000 years.
This year I decided to break it down into monthly goals. My resolution “Be healthy.” seemed like the most ambiguous two-word sentence. In January I was healthier by giving up fries and tater tots, I assure you that working in a bar did not make that easy. In February I tried to pry my coffee addiction from my caffeine deprived hands. The shakes were real enough to convince me that it was a true addiction and that three daily espressos, though delicious, were excessive, to say the least. I cut it down to four lattes a week and though there were setbacks I felt February successful.
Looking forward to March I felt myself coming to terms with the most unhealthy of my habits: shopping. I shop from a desire to gain things, not necessarily to have them. I happily purge my closet, routinely showing up to my parents’ house with trash bags full of clothes for my three sisters to divvy up. My closet is a carousel, with items coming in and out monthly, weekly, daily. I once held onto a bag for less than three days before I had resold it on Poshmark. I enjoy shopping. I enjoy selling. My bank account does not.
Filing my taxes this year I found that I fall below the poverty line. Do I live in poverty? Absolutely not. Do I charge these things onto credit cards? Absolutely not. As I often tell the ladies of Bloomingdale’s “There are some people in this world that can handle a credit card, I am not one of them.” But can I sustain this spending? No.
This month is a cold turkey month of no spending. As a Philosophy major with an aptitude and devilish love for loopholes I had my boyfriend, Kevin, help me nail down the details (rules) of this month.
- No instore shopping, online shopping, thrift shopping, or even shopping in another person’s closet. No gaining of things.
- No shopping for other people (save for a wedding gift I need to purchase this month).
- Return all things that I do not use, do not need, or impulsively purchased.
- Sell/Donate excess clothes, jewelry, and things that are not routinely used or genuinely appreciated as part of my wardrobe.
It’s that simple for now, though I’m sure that the next month will develop difficulties.