It's the boxing day sales and I'm wanting to go and see what I can buy but, this year, I'm not going to. It's hard but I've made a decision and I want to stick to it. What is it about not shopping that is so challenging?
There's a lovely little craft site that I've been watching on YouTube. While creating a gorgeous shabby chic tea cup bouquet in a live stream video, Olivia, from Olivia's Romantic Home, chatted with the viewers about all sorts of things. A comment came through which she repeated, 'Sometimes it's hard not to shop.' It woke me from my relaxed, dreamy state and sat me up. I totally feel that way.
Since a little girl I've enjoyed spending money. Dad said that when I was little, if I went into Coles with 20 cents, I always come out without it. I'm adult about money now, and don't bankrupt myself with overspending but I do love to buy the odd sweet little thing.
I love to snag a bargain on the internet but Kmart is the place I enjoy shopping at most. Once in the door I head straight to the home decor. At only $5 for a posy of roses or a $3 candle, it's easy to part with the cash. I gaze at the more expensive items that are around $20 and sometimes bring something home.
But now, I've stopped all those pick me up purchases because it can add up over time. Wouldn't it be healthier to spend less time in the home Decor section of Kmart? What if I used that time creating something. I could be writing, also I love to craft and I've let that fall by the wayside until recently.
I'm getting married late next year, and we have a lot to pay for. I want to save every spare dollar so that I can have a lovely romantic themed wedding with roses on the tables and pretty gifts for our guests. I'm hoping to craft some of the decor for our wedding but supplies cost money too.
I've deleted the Wish and Amazon apps from my phone and have curtailed my saunters around Kmart. But not spending was doing my head in.
This Christmas I spent a little on decorating but made nearly everything using only what I have. What is it about your own stuff that is so boring? I look at my fabrics and think but it's not the color I really want, or it's dated. But forcing myself to use what I had made me try to make it work and that stretched me creatively.
Even though my heart was calling for this season's decorations, I resisted and got out my paints. I turned burgundy Santas and a bright red and green nutcracker into pink ones. Baubles got the pink paint treatment to. An old lace curtain became a table cloth, decorations for the tree, garland for a wreath and a table topper. (Click on the Christmas category in the side bar to find the blog posts on how I did it)
I found that not shopping was hard because I wanted that bright new shiny thing for the pick me up it gave me. Nothing is easier or quicker than popping into your favorite shop and buying a little treat to make you happy, but making things gave me a much longer lasting feeling of satisfaction. I still feel a glow as I write about what I made.
The boxing day sales are on, and O BOY I really want to go and live it up but I'm resisting. I really don't need anything. I want new dresses, and shoes, and jewelry, and makeup. But what I have isn't worn out and is just as pretty now as when I bought them. So I'm sticking to my plan and leaving all the tantalizing, new things in the shops.
I believe buying little presents for myself has been a way of expressing self love which is why I feel happy doing it. I now realize that self love can also be the gift of time to do what you love. For me that it craft, writing, cooking, going for a walk to look at the gardens or looking after my own garden.
Shopping in itself isn't a bad thing when you can afford to. Yes, it's hard not to shop when you don't have the money, but either way it's good to think about why that is. What does shopping do for you that could be achieved in a more self affirming way?
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.