Today, I saw a tweet that intrigued me.
Spend no more amyboughner.ca/2013/01/07/sto…— Amy Boughner (@amyboughner) January 7, 2013
It linked to a post by Twitter pal Amy Boughner who wrote about how her family had started a budget for the new year and how it was time to take a shopping embargo. She got this shopping embargo idea from Andrea Tomkins .
Andrea writes that her family has been doing the Boxing Day shopping embargo since 2006! Each year since then, from Boxing Day until Feb. 28 not a penny is spent on anything except essentials. Whoa. Here’s more about what they do:
The Shopping Embargo – at its core – is about a few elemental things. It’s not about deprivation, or putting people out of work. It’s simply about
- being grateful for what we already have,
- examining our needs and wants,
- shopping mindfully, and
- seeking alternatives.
Now, if you know me even a little bit, you know I like to shop. I wouldn’t say I’m a shopaholic, but I would say I tend to buy more than I need. And while I don’t need to shop all the time, it sure does pick me up when I’m down.
Just wandering a mall, going in store after store after store, can pick up my spirits. But nothing, NOTHING, feels as good as walking out of a shop with a bag, or a handful of bags.
OK, maybe I do have a teeny tiny problem.
Anyway, if you remember, one of my 2013 resolutions was to spend less, save more and pay off some debts. Suddenly, this shopping embargo began to look like a good idea.
Andrea’s post suggests stating one’s embargo mission. She started her embargo on Boxing Day and plans to finish on Feb. 28. Since I’m starting late, I plan on going from today until March 31.
Here is my Embargo mission:
Until Feb 28, I pledge to only purchase essential items for me and for my family: groceries/consumables, basic hygiene (shampoo, soap, but not cosmetics), medicine and essential clothing. And we will also challenge ourselves to borrow more books from the library and buy less Kindle books.
Gulp. So, err, who’s with me?
Who else is taking a shopping embargo? If you’re thinking about it, Andrea has some great tips on how to survive your embargo on her post from last year.
Thanks Andrea and Amy for the inspiration. Flickr photo by Jamuudsen.