Recently, I went to the Boston Flower and Garden Show. I walked all of the aisles with their 200 vendors, and all I bought were these gardening gloves (and a delicious, chocolate truffle, which I consumed on the spot). This was a victory for me in my quest to acquire less.
I remember times when I became so frenzied searching for the right top to match the skirt I’d just bought that I would put off eating until my blood sugar was so low that I felt ill. I also recall exhilarating moments of shopper’s high, spreading out my purchases to admire them. As a frugal youngster (I never spent my meager allowance), I grew into a relatively frugal young adult, spending my not-for-profit salary on experiences rather than things. But once I had a decent wage, I relaxed that standard. I had become accustomed not only to beefing up my wardrobe each season but also buying books that, as a writer, I considered the tools of my trade, finding charming and/or seemingly useful tchotchkes at craft fairs, and coming home from travels with meaningful souvenirs.
Since I began my slow-downsizing, which coincided with the downsizing of my own business, I had to reassess my buying habits. Because what is the point of getting rid of things if I was only going to accumulate all over again? It would be like that whack-a-mole game where I could never make progress. But the shopping habit is a hard one to break, especially if money isn’t a critical part of the equation, and even if it is. Here are some new habits to develop to control the urge.
I haven’t entirely lost my taste for shopping, but like fried food, which I used to love but now doesn’t agree with me, the thought of spending the afternoon shopping no longer has the allure it once had. And I don’t want to spoil my appetite for my downsizing, which has taken over as my new “hobby.”
What are some ways that you've developed to beat the shopping habit?