I’m a woman who loves to shop. Actually, to me, shopping is considered retail therapy. Aside from reading, shopping is what I do when I want to escape from life. Instead of thinking about my never-ending to-do list, current problems or admin stuff that needs to get done (did I mention that I hate paperwork?), I get to enjoy the art that is fashion.
Whether it’s browsing online or perusing shops for the day with my best friends, shopping makes me happy. “If shopping makes you happy, then what’s up with this post’s title, Huong?” Well, friends, after much thought, I decided that I needed to experiment with a spending freeze.
After working in the retail and fashion industry for about a decade and a half, you’d think that I’d be addicted to shopping. During my college years, I loved to shop and spent all of my paychecks on clothes. As an adult now? Not so much. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that less is more and this thinking isn’t just with my wardrobe, but with my home too (I absolutely hate clutter). I have enjoyed purging and living with less makes my heart so happy!
What truly did it for me was watching a particular “Insta-blogger” and her compulsive shopping and addictive behavior. Showing new try-on sessions on Instagram stories every few days, what seems like daily trips to stores and buying everything in sight, made me rethink my own actions even more so. Please note when I say compulsive, I mean she buys things in multiple colors.
I wanted to go on a spending freeze to see if I really had a shopping addiction. I also wanted to see how much shopping impacted me financially.
On top of that, watching a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix was what pushed me over the edge to give this spending freeze experiment a shot.
Before I officially went on my venture, I made sure to create some rules I could follow. I did NOT unsubscribe from promotional emails to see if I could truly resist. No dollars could be spent on anything except for groceries/food and gas. Money for gifts such as birthdays and showers were okay because the money spent was not for me.
During this time period, I wanted to take a deeper look at my relationship with shopping. To do that, I paid attention to my emotions and took into consideration with any feelings of withdrawals.
I also let my best friends know what I was doing so they could keep tabs on me during our weekly catch up calls.
SO? WHAT HAPPENED?
My spending freeze wasn’t as hard as I thought! The first few days to the first few weeks were fine. When it came to those sale emails from my favorite brands around week 3, I felt the need to shop. No feelings of withdrawals, I just wanted to shop. However, I stayed with my experiment by browsing and pinning to my Pinterest boards rather than adding things to my cart.
I thought I’d feel the urge to spend again during my last week, but I was pretty surprised I didn’t have the desire to shop after my spending freeze was over.
Looking back, I feel like my spending freeze wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I will say that if I had done this in college, I would have not been successful, haha!
I’m back to spending normally again, but I don’t get a big “urge” to spend like I used to. The way I choose to spend my money is completely different now. I truly want to take time to invest in luxury fashion staples to build out my wardrobe and have fun with luxury beauty. With this experiment, I can say that it’s going to a long yet fun journey and I can’t wait to bring you along for the journey!
I’m pretty sure I could do this again. In fact, I think I’m going to do another one in May. I’ll let y’all know for sure, but another spending freeze is definitely going to happen in the future!
Tell me, could you survive a month-long spending freeze?
If you’ve done a spending freeze before, let me know in the comments too!
Image via Megan Runion