Obviously I did not cut out all the shopping, one must survive you know, but s I am proud to say that I have not purchased a single thing of junk. You know, such as unnecessary clothing, gadgets and anything else that is not needed for everyday living. Basically things that I could go without. My only shopping consisted of grocery shopping and even then I did not splurge.Trust me I’ve fought off some pretty tough urges to splurge.
Technically my last shopping trip/splurge was in Las Vegas, which was way back in mid January. Every year I splurge in Las Vegas, how could one not? They have amazing shopping and outlet malls, plus its no secrete that things are much cheaper in United States than what I would pay for in Toronto.
I have to admit though, that despite not shopping for 127 days for clothing, technology, gadgets and other useless things, I’ve become drained. It has been a painful journey of not buying anything else, other than groceries. The positive to this 127 day journey, is that I learned a few things along the way.
1) It’s easier to look forward to something when you are not spending. Many ideas run through your head, such as that next renovation, bigger purchases, such as a car and different investing ideas. Yes, it’s true, all these ideas ran through my head at some point or another. I can proudly say that despite it being a painful journey of not splurging, it has given me a sense of renewed optimism. This new sense of optimism makes me look forward towards the future, by saving and planning carefully.
2) It’s true what they say; “Write your goals down”. I wrote mine down and posted it on two locations, one in my kitchen on the fridge and one in the office. Two places, where I spend most of my time and to my delightful surprise, it has worked. Every day I was served with a reminder that stood there in front of me, when I went to go grab that beer or make that meal or log onto Finance Fox.
3) You learn to appreciate what you have. Yes, it’s true. You discover new ways to mix and match your existing clothes, find clothes and shoes that I have not worn in over a year and make them part of my everyday wardrobe. Fun times for sure.
4) Discovering new ways of having fun, without spending money. I discovered that hiking can be a very fun activity and combining hiking with my SLR camera, makes it that much more interesting to spend an average of 4-5 hours in a forest trekking. On top of it all, I discovered a new passion for running. This helped of course when you find like minded people, who are into the same things you are.
Overall I’ve been happy with my 127 day shopping drought. Yes, I could have shopped many times, but just opted not to. Sure it was painful and sometimes dull, but I discovered new sides to me. Frugality is not all that bad. Plus I saved roughly $800 on top of it all, by only buying things I truly needed, such as groceries. That being said though, summer is around the corner and I do need to purchase a few new things. I know you are probably thinking; “Wow he was so good, now he’s going to be bad and spend everything he saved”, but that’s not the case at all. All of the purchases I am about to list, are calculated and within the budget.
Bike ($350) – Yuppers, a bicycle. Last time I owned a bicycle, I think I was 10 years old. My brother purchased one and has been busting my chops to get one too, so we can do some biking together. Hence, why I said yes. Some good bonding time with the brother and on top of it all, he purchased a bike rack, so he can lug around the bikes on his car.
Apple Mackbook ($1200)- I’ve been wanting a laptop for the last 2 or so years, but never opted for one due to other priorities, plus I have a super desktop computer, that I never really found full use for a laptop. Although, the more I get into website design, graphic design and writing, the more I will find it useful. Plus, I am enjoying photography more and more and would be a great way to edit and brush-up my photos.
Apple Ipod ($300) – My old one died on me finally. I was disappointed, all that music gone, but I am looking forward to getting a new one, especially since it has a touch screen. Looking to make good use of it during running, hiking and all the other outdoor activities.
I figured it would be good to slowly get these purchases out the way now. In the September-October time, I will finally dip into the stock market. Yes, my first time. Currently I am doing my research and since markets are on the upswing again (minus the last 3 weeks), I figured I’d familiarize my self a little more in depth. Oh and also definitely will get into Index Funds. Keep you guys posted.
What’s the longest you’ve gone a shopping ban?