If you’ve been following me for a bit, you probably know that I love shopping. I love it A LOT. But every once in a while it’s good to take a detox. Over the last couple of days, I went through my first spending fast to help curb my spending for around ten days and learn more about my shopping habits. Not only was this good for my wallet, but I also learned a lot about my spending and how problematic it can be. Of course, I’ll never stop sharing deals or must-haves, but I also want to share about intelligent shopping and knowing what’s a good purchase versus an impulse buy.
For this post, I wanted to share everything I learned, as well as the rules I went by, in case you want to go through your spending fast. Of course, you can go through your spending fast and tweak it to fit your lifestyle.
Rules of My Spending Fast
- Lasted from 6/20/2023 – 6/30/2023
- No outside spending
- Exceptions for obvious reasons like groceries, medical expenses, and emergencies.
- Off-limits were clothes, beauty, and coffee.
- An exception was made for a family trip.
What I Learned
One of the first things I noticed when I started was how much more difficult it was than I thought. At first, I thought these days were going to swim by in a flash. But I quickly realized how much I depended on spending to fill in for a lack of dopamine. If you’re new here, I was diagnosed with GAD, Major Depression, and Inattentive ADHD. This means my dopamine levels can get low sometimes, and some of my bad habits with shopping help me fill in that lack. While I’m currently working on this with treatment and therapy, my job can sometimes make it hard to resist a good deal.
Besides saving a healthy amount of money, I learned that a lot of my shopping was made on impulse. I would see something immediately that I liked and grabbed it without giving it another thought. While I got a hit of happiness at that moment, it can get very costly. Without spending, I had to deal with these moments the way my care team has helped me find. By dedicating more time to work, and doing (or finding) hobbies, I had to fill in the time somehow.
Towards the end, this spending fast got a bit easier for me. It took me out of my routine of getting a little iced coffee every day and getting up to prepare my homemade coffee. I know everyone’s situation is different, but for me, it helped kind of get me out of my lazy zone.
I also realized how often we are bombarded with these deals, emails, and text messages from companies. As the owner of a boutique store, I never want people to get annoyed with me. While marketing is important, it was unnecessary to get ten million emails a day about one sale from one company.
Another point is how fast the fashion cycles are getting. While I wasn’t purchasing, I still went through my favorite stores to see what they had in stock. These stores are constantly cycling through new stuff every day. It’s insane how many new products are circled daily for people to consume. Truly, if you miss out on a product once, it’s not the end of the world because they’ll probably have something else you’ll love tomorrow.
While I can’t say my spending fast was the best ten days of my life, and I’ll become much better at my spending, I did gain a new perspective when it comes to shopping. I’ll still do these more frequently because a reset is always welcome, but I honestly think it’s helped me understand some of my habits. I know that I’ll be okay if I don’t buy coffee one day. I’ve also realized that fashion is more about quality than quantity. I don’t need to shop every sale to be satisfied. Also that I probably should unsubscribe from a lot of my emails.