My resolution in 2018: a shopping moratorium

I came across an article in the NY times yesterday titled: My Year of No Shopping. In the octave of Christmas, as I spent the week reflecting on the year that is almost gone and the pregnant promise of a New Year, I found it refreshing and thought provoking. It would make a great New Year resolution, I thought to myself; though I would be honest to also say that generally I am not a big fan of making New Year resolutions. I have actually never made one.

The reasons and the benefits mentioned in the article resonated with me and I wondered if I could put a moratorium on shopping in my life and for how long would I be able to last? Whilst I am not a die-hard shopaholic, I do like to buy stuff, motivated on both ends of the continuum between prudence and impulsivity. Friends know how much of a weakness I have for gadgets and trying out new-fangled techie toys (well, a shout out that you know now that I am not buying that stuff, do feel free to be generous on my birthday!!!).

So to get the ball rolling on my No Shopping year which I plan to start now (who says New Year resolutions have to start on New Year’s Day after all), here are some of the boundary lines that I defined to help me decide what falls into the no-shopping zone and what lies outside:

  1. Daily necessities will still be bought – groceries and household items necessary to maintain a clean, simple and healthy life. No luxuries though – which means for example, no chocolates, (gasp!) no ice cream and no alcohol (though some might argue that is a necessity) among other things, save for special occasions.
  2. Clothing items, bags and shoes will be bought to replace those that have been damaged on a need to basis. Excess clothing, bags and shoes will not be replaced when they are damaged. For example, due to my marathon training this year, I actually have 3 pairs of running shoes (i can see a few eyes rolling) which I will wear down to 1 unless I intend to run another marathon in which case, I would likely maintain 2 pairs of running shoes.
  3. Absolutely no purchase of jewelry items or watches.
  4. Absolutely no new techie toys. And if things break down, fix them where possible.
  5. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding projects are off-limits (which means no new board and card games – another pained gasp there).
  6. Absolutely no new physical books and kindle books – borrow them from the library instead and if I want to buy a book, visit the second hand bookstore.
  7. No new cosmetics and perfumes to be purchased save to replace my basic daily make up items and my regular perfume when they run out.
  8. At least half of the gifts I would have bought for friends and family will be replaced with either experiences (e.g. gift of time that leads to priceless memories) or items I make.
  9. Things I buy for my children will also be reduced to replacing items that are needed or buying new items that are needed.

As I bid a temporary farewell to consumerism, I thought about my last purchases: 3 bottles of yuzu sake as gifts for a lovely group of friends and a bottle of duck fat for roasting potatoes. Geez, now I wish I had done more luxury stockpiling before I made the commitment to this reprieve! Anyone taking bets on how long I would be able to hold out for?

This entry was posted in Environmentalism, No Shopping Year. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My resolution in 2018: a shopping moratorium

  1. Pingback: To shop or not to shop… |

  2. Pingback: Are we buying mooncakes or mooncake gift boxes? |

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