Cynthia’s Sentiments: How We Boycott Shopping for a Month

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Last month, my husband and I decided to boycott shopping for the month of July. The only things we could buy were groceries, gas or important necessities that came up; so I couldn’t buy clothes or shoes for Matthew or I (my downfall) and Brandon couldn’t buy any electronics or movies (his downfall). Why? We realized that we were putting too much happiness into our material possessions and wanted to see if we could do it.

For me, I had a habit of shopping when I was either bored or sad. Shopping exhilarated me. Buying something new made me feel pretty, better about myself and sometimes smart (if it was a great sale/clearance item). We knew that our habits had become so frequent that it bad become a bad thing.

We decided to keep a daily journal of our temptations. 

Day 1: Brandon saw a CD wallet but didn’t buy it.

Day 2: I messed up.  I was told about a garage sale across the street with $4 Nike shorts, which I had been on the hunt for. Brandon was disappointed… and so was I in myself 🙁

Day 3: No temptations.

Day 4: No temptations.

Day 5: No temptations.

Day 6: A package came in the mail that I ordered before the month started. Brandon said I cheated. So I quickly put it away and decided to not open any more til the month was over. (Which I did succeed at).

Day 7: Deleted and unsubscribed from several shopping e-mails. Went on a date (used a gift card) and passed by Target afterward 🙁

Day 8: Saw a style skirt I had been looking for at my mom’s boutique… (my studio is inside her store so it’s kinda hard) but had to put it back 🙁

Day 9: I was tempted to stop at Ross on my way home but passed right by. Brandon was tempted to buy a new car dash bin but didn’t.

Day 10: De-cluttered the house and decided to plan our first garage sale! Went through every room and bagged up tons of clothes/toys/household items/crap. I discovered I had 43 dresses and 13 skirts… That is my weakness.

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Day 11: Took some clothes to my mom’s store (2nd 2 None) to consign. Looked at a Gap e-mail and wanted to cave.

Day 12: Started to miss shopping… Brandon wants to build a desk but has to wait.

Day 13: My day off. I really wanted to go to Target.

Day 14: Shadow SOAKED our bed last night in pee. So we had to buy a waterproof mattress pad and two new pillows (total of $54).

Day 15:  No temptations.

Day 16: I was just mad. All day.

Day 17: No time to think about it; I worked a wedding.

Day 18: No time to think about it again.

Day 19: No temptations.

Day 20: Only have two more weeks left.

Day 21: Spent the day editing and with family

Day 22: Tempted by sale going on at my moms store… Ugh.

Day 23: Tempted by sale going on at moms store. Yes again- because I work there.

Day 24: When I was bored, I decided to organize the medicine drawer.

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Day 25: Worked a wedding all day, was exhausted and really wanted to buy a new purse as my reward… But didn’t.

Day 26: (Sunday). Wanted to buy a new swim suit for a pool party that night but resisted.

Day 27: No temptations. Time to get ready for the garage sale!

Day 28: Saw the Dillards sale was about to start. Looked online a little, resisted.

Day 29: Prepared for garage sale! All day.

Day 30: First day of our FIRST garage sale ever!!

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Day 31: Second day of garage sale and last day of the boycott! Woo hoo!!

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THOUGHTS ON THE BOYCOTT: It was easier for Brandon than me. He did it 100% with no mess-ups and I messed up on Day 2 ugh! That sounds so horrible, but looking back, I think since it was the very beginning of the boycott, I was more susceptible to the temptations; if it had been the middle of the month and I heard about that garage sale, it would have been easier to say no. The boycott was also hard for Matthew! When he wanted a toy or even something small, we had to explain that we weren’t shopping that month and why, which was good for him to witness. And in the end, we were not only able to save money, but make money when we held our first garage sale!

THINGS I LEARNED: I don’t need to always shop when I’m bored. I made the decision to spend time with my family or do other things with my time; Matthew and I had way too many things; Clothes don’t make you happy; You want what you can’t have; And it feels good to deny yourself sometimes.

HOW MUCH WE SAVED: I compared our account balances at the end of June to July and after the boycott, we had $704 more in July. Then plus the garage sale, we wound up with almost $1,000 more than we had last month!

AFTER THE MONTH WAS OVER… All month I had been looking forward to going to one particular sale as of August 1st: the Dillard’s sale. I told everyone that was the first place I was going; even the night before, I was excited about it. But then something happened. I woke up the next morning– finally on the day I had shopping freedom– and I had no desire to go. I realized I had only wanted to go so bad because I couldn’t. And I knew I really didn’t need anything– same as the month before. So I didn’t go!

So that’s it! Longest post I’ve ever written! Thanks for reading and maybe you can do a shopping boycott of your own now! It’s hard but it feels very rewarding!

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