Life

Simplify with a shopping embargo

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I have a constant reminder to live simply  with a sign that says just that on the wall in my writing room. I should probably move it to the space above my computer so it’s in eyesight when I’m tempted to go online and buy something we don’t need. Buying things we don’t need is the opposite of living a simplified life.

A year ago I decided to use the month of February to get my online (and offline – hey, I’m looking at you Target) shopping habit in line. I made an agreement with my husband, Jim, that we wouldn’t buy any unnecessary items for the month so we were limited to only buying food and toiletries as needed. He is a big Amazon Prime user so having the boxes stop for a month was divine. Not having to deal with the boxes alone was a huge improvement!

It went extremely well and I extended my no shopping intention through lent as well. It gave me increased enjoyment for what we already have. We had more time to enjoy each other. More money to pay down debt. And extra time to do the things we love (because we’re not returning items we shouldn’t have bought in the first place). I also started throwing things out that we didn’t use or need any more and gave things away. Even getting our son Liam involved by selecting unused toys to donate.

But then summer came and the shopping crept back up bit by bit. Summer clothes, bathing suits, items for summer travel. And then there was back to school followed by fall clothes and then Christmas and I’m back to where I started a year ago. Currently on the counter are a couple of packages to be returned (one to FedEx and the other to UPS) and I’m shaking my head at myself on how I let it happen again. These were impulse purchases. Things I thought I needed.

It’s never too late to give it another try so I’m going to work on reigning it back in. It’s time to go cold turkey because who has time to visit two different delivery return places when I’d rather be reading and writing (and skiing). So here we go again!

What are things you do to simplify your life?

MC

 

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