My 11-month long shopping fast has finally come to an end. I am proud to announce that it was a success! I was able to resist shopping and I also learned a lot in the process.
Allow me to share with you the realizations that dawned on me during the challenge:
1. My desire to shop can be controlled. I’m the boss here. I’m not a slave to shopping. It’s fun and therapeutic and all, but I have full control over it. I’ve done it; I can do it again whenever I want.
2. My desire to shop can wait. When items go on sale, the urge to shop suddenly comes out. Sometimes, all it takes is a lovely or a trendy item for you to be swept off your feet. You start to imagine yourself using or wearing it and feeling 100x better. I’m telling you, the urge to shop can wait. There are more important things that need your immediate attention. There are more meaningful things to do that will have the same or even better impact to your life.
3. No shopping doesn’t mean I won’t accumulate stuff. If you’ve read my monthly shopping fast reports, you already know that I did receive new stuff from family and friends either as an anniversary gift, a birthday present or a no-occasion gift. Love you, guys!
4. No shopping doesn’t mean I’d feel miserable. During that 11-month period, I’ve been updated with what’s new, trendy and all. I’ve checked out department stores and boutiques. I’ve been awed and blown away by all the shining, shimmering and splendid things I saw. But I didn’t buy any of them. I just appreciated their beauty from a distance and even up-close. I’ve felt good and I’ve never felt deprived at all.
5. No shopping doesn’t mean I don’t have the money. Because I do. But, you know, I have my financial priorities. Let’s just put it this way, my desires are bigger than what I could find in the mall or an online shopping site. These include having financial freedom and living simply and happily and spending time with the people I love and the things I enjoy doing. Oh, and did I mention this shopping fast has helped me save money? Several thousands aren’t that bad!
6. This challenge won’t turn me into a shopping hater. I can still see myself shopping! During the challenge, I did shop for gifts for family and friends. (It’s in the rules I laid down, remember?) I gladly spent money in exchange for a few nice items to be given as presents to the people dear to me. In fact, right now, I’m already excited to shop for Christmas!
7. Shopping should be self-regulated. Not only can it make you broke and obsessed with material possessions, it can also be an addiction. Yes, just like in Sophie Kinsella’s popular novel that was eventually adapted into a movie.
8. Shopping is an activity that fuels the economy. When we shop, we help the local economy. No need to elaborate on that.
9. Shopping brings a certain degree of happiness to people. When we shop, we get thrilled and happy. We get this sense of fulfillment for having acquired something special for the price we agreed to pay and for the value we believed the item possesses. You and I can attest to that.
10. Every person has a different attitude towards shopping. Some people like it while others abhor it. Some people enjoy it while others think it’s boring. It’s as subjective as subjective can get.
11. Shopping is for everyone who has money. This is self-explanatory. To be able to continue shopping, one has to continue making money. No money, no shopping. Plain and simple.
12. Shopping is a decision. You can choose to shop and you can choose not to shop. The decision is yours and yours alone to make. Nobody can dictate you on it. After all, it’s your life and it’s your money.
It’s amazing how this shopping fast has also made me appreciate more the generosity of the people around me. Each item I accumulated, as indicated in my monthly reports, was given either as a pasalubong or a gift. Each item was given to me by a family member, friend or relative. I dunno if it was just a coincidence, but I felt very lucky for having received all those items in a span of 11 months.
This shopping fast has also taught me to make do with what I have, despite of and in spite of. Instead of buying new stuff out of necessity, I forewent the desire to buy them and looked for equally satisfying alternatives. Somehow, it forced me to be creative and wise in utilizing what’s inside my closet. Had I been allowed to shop, I would have bought new items immediately instead of looking for good replacements on hand.
In the end, shopping is still my friend. It will continue to be present in my life. But unlike before, I now have a better understanding of it. And I think because of the shopping fast challenge I did, I’m now a better shopper, if you know what I mean.
Care to share your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear it!