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 (other than essentials + 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 spending $100/month on it anymore. 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 always considered the second year to be more of an experiment than a challenge. 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. 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. The final list was a lot shorter than I’d expected.
At the end of my first book, The Year of Less, I include some ideas that will help you map out your own experiment. But I have also turned those tips into a printable guide on how to change your relationship with shopping! The 11-page PDF includes:
- 10 tips on how to start + successfully complete a shopping ban
- 2 templates to help you take inventory of your stuff + set the rules for your own ban, and
- a flowchart you can reference before making any purchase.
Download the FREE Guide to Change Your Relationship with Shopping
Take the first step to becoming a mindful consumer.