Nothing New Month :: Recap

February 1.  That means that Nothing New Month is a wrap.  Commence whimsical shopping!!  just kidding…maybe…maybe not…

nothing new month

It’s hard to believe, but I actually accomplished what I set out to do. I kind of thought at some point I’d cave & go hog-wild in Target, or worse yet Nordstroms!  But I didn’t.   I bought absolutely NOTHING that wasn’t a need during the entire 31 days of the month of January.  Nothing. Not a single item of clothing.  Not a single piece of home decor.  Not a lick of makeup which I already own & am just kind of tired of.  Not a crafting item, an office supply item, a cute pair of shoes.  Nada.

So how did I do it?  Well, it was a lot of purposeful temptation avoidance and intentional planning.  First purposeful temptation avoidance:

  1. No Window Shopping – I learned very early on that window shopping was likely a bad plan.  Strolling the shops is really hard {and kind of pointless} if I’m trying not to buy anything.  All those cute, well-thought out displays just scream “buy me!”.  It’s hard to say no sometimes.
  2. Throw Out Those Catalogs – I get a bazillion {not kidding, bazillion} catalogs in the mail every week.  I suppose that means my online shopping is a bit extreme. {but with ebates, seriously how can it not be?}  But with all those catalogs comes lots of “i’m really sure I need this thing I’ve never seen before but is shiny and wonderful”. And when the answer for a whole month to that is always “no”, it’s not as much fun to look.  {at least not for me}
  3. Do Not Open That Promotion Email – “Can’t Miss It!”, “Last Day Only!!”,  “Prices Never Like This Again!”, “Best Selection Today!”  You get them too.  Flooding your email.  They scream out to me to shop, shop, shop.  And they all make it seem like if I don’t click & spend, I’m pretty much a loser missing out on the best things ever.  But I won’t fall for their wicked games.  They will have another sale next week & the week after & the week after.  Breathe deeply & don’t even open the temptation.
  4. Get in / Get Out – When I had to quick grab something from Target {vaseline for the chicken combs…don’t ask} I realized that if I dilly dallied in the land of red & white, it would suck me in with its pretty things & take all my cash.  I planned ahead.  No really.  I sat in the parking lot & visualized myself going in, going to the vaseline aisle, grabbing the smallest container {chickens don’t require much} and proceeding directly to the checkout.  And that’s exactly what I did.  Except I couldn’t find the vaseline & had to ask a team member {such a cute little name for employee in red & khaki} & got ushered down all kinds of temptation aisles {fingernail polish never looked so good}.  But I got in & got out and spent a whopping $3.24.  Success.

Now for Intentional Planning:

  1. Start a List – About day 5, when I was convinced that I really really really needed to be at the Nordstrom Semi-Annual Sale, I decided to figure out what I might want there. { Although I was still kind-of in the need camp at that point.}  I scoured their website & found the sweaters & boots & shirts that I had loved from afar for so long. Most were not even on sale – of course.  But I wrote them all down on a piece of paper.  It may have been color coded…but never you mind that.  Then I went to the closet & found that nearly every one of the things I wrote down, I owned something similar, in still good condition.  Ugh.  Not a need really if I have it {and clearly don’t wear it enough since I couldn’t remember I owned it…so sad} I crossed those items off the list.  Then throughout the course of the month, every time I thought I “needed” something I’d add it to the list.  Somethings remain on the list, some things got scratched off as time went by.  The list is now my “What I’d Like” list.  I add everything and anything that I think I might like & I give myself some time to think carefully about each thing before I’ll buy it.  Most things, I’ve learned won’t make the cut.  It’s a good way for me to determine what it is I really want & what I don’t.

Here’s my take of the month & NNM overall.  It’s fantastic!  I’ll take away many things from this month…and more than just more crap for my house.

  1. Money $$ –  Seriously though!  It’s shocking how little money I spent this month.  Shocking.  All those little trips to Target & mindless spending at a department store really, really add up.  Really.
  2. Time – I had time this month.  Time to craft {with supplies I had in totes in the basement…friends, I made an entire carseat quilt with stuff I had on hand}  Time to have lunch with a friend.  Time to read.  Time to clean…properly.  Time!
  3. Generosity – Might seem a silly item, but I discovered when I’m not spending all my extra cash on me & the fam, I can spend it on people who really do need it.  I can be generous.  And generosity is good.
  4. Content – Mindless shopping can signal a discontented attitude.  I often want something new because I want to fit it, I want to have the latest thing, I want to be noticed for my cute outfit, adorable shoes, latest gadget & gizmo.  Although not necessarily conscience, I am often saying “I’m not content with what I have today & I need to upgrade to be happy”.  But it’s a lie.  A lie.  That new sweater will not bring about the happiness.  That new car will not make it all alright in my soul.  That new nail polish will not suddenly bring accolades.  And removing the ability to receive validation from “new” makes it easy to find it in genuine ways.  I promise.

So that’s my recap.  I’m actually not going shopping today.  My list of things I want is pretty empty really… so no reason to window shop for contentment.  *smile*  I encourage you to try a month of nothing new.  It’s a fantastic exercise & I promise you’ll end up with more money in the bank!!  Promise!

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