A Month Without Spending

More than anything, I needed a cleanse. No, not a juice cleanse, or a detox, or anything crazy like that – I needed to cleanse myself of materialism. I realized my mind space and time space were full of what I needed next, or what event I could buy a new outfit for. Or going out to dinner when we have a kitchen completely full of wonderful things. For me, spending money was becoming a distraction for everything I needed to be focusing my energy. It was filling my brain with useless content when I really need to be filling it with ideas and creativity to impact my future. 
The restrictions I put on myself were these: no eating out unless it was for work or for a family event; no unnecessary shopping (read: no clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up, etc.).
Did I still spend time this month searchin’ around Hello Holiday, Asos, and Catbird, or gawking at what all the hotties out there are wearing this summer? Oh, yeah, definitely. I love it. It’s art to me and I will never stop being obsessed with this stuff. What I didn’t do, though, was convince myself that my life would be better in any way at all if I bought any of that beautiful stuff. It was a lesson for me in being content with what I currently have and with who I currently am. One of my hypotheses was that acting quickly to purchase something based on time-sensitive sales was useless, that whatever you want will still be there after the sale is over. That hypothesis was disproven when I told myself the very rare Kate Spade black backpack that was very reasonably priced during a surprise sale would still be there next month. OF COURSE IT SOLD OUT. But life goes on and I didn’t need that little guy!

Things I lusted after throughout the month included:

This sweet ring // A dress for any occasion // Jaw-dropper // The perfect lil’ summer gown // Possible dress for my nephew’s baptism next month // Likely the perfect sandals // Gold glitter sunglasses? OMG // Constellation shoes!! //

On top of not going out to eat, I tried to limit my trips to the store. I spent more time rummaging through our cupboards and freezer to see what I could use. Some of you are probably appalled that I wouldn’t usually do that. I HATE wasting food, but I also love going out to eat. It’s an experience that can’t be replaced. It is worth it, even when I feel like I don’t have loads of extra money, to treat myself to a night out. Also, it is a great way to unwind! After a long day, when I forced myself to make something for dinner (to clarify: Russell always helps, this is not “my job”), I never wished we had actually been able to go out. I always felt satisfied and pleased with what we had and, even after doing the dishes, everything felt great. I relaxed more, accomplished more, and really didn’t have to toss any food that had gone bad. Reaching to the back of the cupboards did get weird one night, though. I think I had vegan chorizo, canned Spanish sardines on toast, eggs, and random cooked veggies. Surprisingly less ashamed of that meal than I should be!

Food I lusted after all month: Pho Factory. All day, all night. Craving tofu pho so bad.

So, after a month, how do I feel? Amazing! I want to go another month, buuuut I just received a 30% promo code from Hello Holiday, so, like, I don’t have a choice, right? I might budge a little, but I’m not sure. I’m saving so much brain space, not to mention money, that I don’t really want to stop.
I challenge you to try this! We’re surrounded by consumerism so much more now with social media, that taking a step back is just absolutely vital for our peace of mind. You don’t need to take the cute little product shot of your new shoes to feel validated – you are rocking your look and your world enough as is!