On July 7, 2014, I set out to complete a yearlong shopping ban.
The rules for the first year were fairly simple: I couldn’t buy anything new (with the exception of a few items on my approved shopping list) unless I had to replace it. I also wasn’t allowed to get takeout coffee, as it was my biggest vice and I wasn’t comfortable with how much money I was spending on it each month.
Here’s what happened in Year 1:
- 1 Month Without Takeout Coffee
- 3 Months Without Shopping and Takeout Coffee
- I Broke the Takeout Coffee Ban Just Once (I Think)
- 5 Months Without Shopping (The Toughest Bad Habit to Break)
- Why I’m Upping the Ante on My Yearlong Shopping Ban
- 9 Months Without Shopping and Takeout Coffee
- What Would You Buy If You Had an Extra $50? $500? $5,000?
I successfully completed the ban on July 6, 2015 – and then decided to do it all over again.
The rules for the second year were essentially the same – and included a new approved shopping list – but I considered the second year more of an experiment than anything else. Why? Because the one thing I regretted not doing in Year 1 was tracking everything I did buy. So, that’s what I did in Year 2.
I didn’t track how much food I bought or consumed (simply because it would take a lot of time, and I don’t waste much food as it is). Instead, I tracked how many physical items I purchased (including items that needed to be replaced), so I could show what one female consumer might need to buy in a year.
Here’s what I purchased in Year 2:
- July 2015 (4)
- August 2015 (5)
- September 2015 (3)
- October 2015 (0)
- November 2015 (6)
- December 2015 (0)
- Q1: Jan/Feb/Mar 2016 (15)
- The Full Year
I completed the two-year shopping ban on July 6, 2016 – and no, I did not decide to do it again! Instead, I am writing a book about my experiments with consuming less of everything, in a self-help memoir titled The Year of Less. I am so excited to be working with Hay House on this project and I can’t wait to share it with you. <3
Until then, if you’re thinking of doing a shopping ban of your own, I’ve written a guide to help you map it out and ensure your own successful completion:
Good luck, friends!