At first, it does sound impossible. How does one live without shopping for three whole months? Even if you are not a chronic shopper and are pretty good at reining in your impulses, a 100-day shopping ban sounds like a pretty tough commitment.
Before we explain how you can nail the 100-day ‘No Shopping’ challenge, let’s first understand why you need to take it up at least once this year.
Why should you put a lid on your spending?
We hardly realize how much money we spend each year on items that we barely ever use. Was it really necessary to buy that expensive dress that you wore just once this year? What is the point of stocking up dozens of books and not reading even one of them? Did you really need to buy exotic silverware that burned a hole in your pocket? It’s unnecessary purchases like these that eat into our monthly budget and leave us with negligible savings at the end of the year.
And then there are the routine things we keep buying, despite knowing that we can do without them. Even something as small as a fancy toothbrush or an imported jar of coffee adds up. While it’s impractical to hold yourself back all the time, a 100-day shopping ban challenge is the ideal financial detox that can help you save a significant chunk of money in a short span of time and put you back on the driver’s seat as far as your finances are concerned.
[Related: 5 ways to curb your shopping impulse]
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?
If you have finally decided to bid adieu to your credit card for the next three months, it’s vital to understand a few things about the ban that you are about to implement. Here are some tips that will help you:
Set logical rules
Abstinence from shopping does not mean you need to impose a blanket ban on everything unless, of course, you wish to live like a caveman. Realistically speaking, the ban should only apply to things that you want, but can also live without, like a pair of jeans or Bluetooth speakers. Set clear rules to define things you don’t wish to buy vs. the essential items that you would need everyday.
Tell your close friends & family
It’s only human to lose the initial vigor after a certain period of time and experience occasional temptation to break your own rules. Ask your close friends or relatives to keep tabs on you and help you stick to your plan.
Stay away from social media
Apart from avoiding shopping sites, consider taking a hiatus from social media since brands heavily exploit the platform to lure you into buying their products. No social media means no more targeted ads to tempt you. Also, if possible, make minimal visits to the store and try to buy the necessities in bulk so that you are not tempted to make unnecessary purchases.
[Related: Stop dipping into your savings]
Plan your purchases in advance
While you will certainly make an exception for essential items, there are a few other things that you need to take into account before imposing the ban. For instance, identify important events such as birthdays or anniversary that may fall in the period to buy gifts in advance, buy new items of clothing that you may need due to a change of season, etc.
Lastly, spread the word
Making your activity public and keeping people updated about your journey is a huge motivation and can help you stick to your plan till the very end. You may even end up inspiring others and can share tips from your own experience to help them implement a similar shopping detox.