I just completed a 30-day spending hiatus. I refrained from buying anything that was non-essential. Here is what I learned:
I DO buy impulsively: I am not a shopper. In other words, I do not go out and shop for fun and run up shopping excursion tabs. I am, however, a buyer. So when I do errands or pass by a shop, I will “add on” purchases that are not planned – a delicious cherry jam or lavender scented bath ball, for instance. I realize that these items add up to some real cash outlay.
A hiatus is a great way to de-clutter. Since I did not buy items, I forced myself to look for treats around the house. I found delicious, barely-touched jams in the back of the refrigerator and lots of half-used lotions and shampoos. The hiatus was a great way to use up these items.
I am more creative than I thought: I had a few events to attend. Typically, I would buy a new piece or two to parade out during these events. Instead of buying new, I found “new” inspiration on Pinterest then turned to my closet to pair existing clothing items in a way I had not before. The outfit felt new and I spent $0. An added bonus is using your creative side also boosts self esteem. I felt great that I was able to repurpose items in a way I never dreamed of before.
Finally, while I am not a binge shopper, the hiatus made me realize my impulsive buying does add up. I plan to be more intentional about ALL my buying so this experience will have an impact beyond the 30 days.