I'm Free {to Shop}

September 12, 2012

By Katrice

So ... by now you realize that my 90-Day Shopping Hiatus is over. And I made it through! The last day was Sunday. I tweeted yesterday that I'm off challenges for a bit. Not being able to shop all summer took every little bit of strength I had. Dramatic but so serious. I've had a Day 91 list of things I wanted to purchase since Day 31. Flowers, translucent powder, shoes, candles ... Randomness. Everyone has been asking what I'd buy first. I said it would be flowers. It was a blouse. And by the way, I thought for a moment that my disposition was a little more pleasant afterward. {Ha!}

Why I did it
More than anything, I needed to do it. Unpacking during my recent move was extremely involved as I lined the wall with pair after pair of sandals that were just slightly different in color or design. It was ridiculous. And I thought, something needs to change. Even before I began blogging, my taste for variety was insatiable. But, the reality is  I have my favorites and even with all of the choices I have stocked, I always go back to the few pieces I love. I needed time {and space} to sort and donate. This was impetus. From there it became an exercise in capacity building. If I could give up shopping for 3 months, I could do almost anything.

How I made it work
I only stepped foot into a mall twice between July 12th and September 9th. There were occasional jaunts to houseware stores with my mom who's redecorating. I knew anything more than that would be torture. I also stopped trolling my favorite fashion blogs daily  only visiting like once every couple weeks. And fashion/lifestyle magazines were completely out. I did keep up my Tumblr and IG pages, however, which was likely what inspired the Day 91 list. 

The money saved
I didn't save bundles of money because I'm a frugal shopper. I did re-purpose the money that I would have spent on trinkets here and there, and it seemed that things were so much more possible. I didn't realize how much priority a pair of shoes had in my life {and budget}. I got work done on my car, started a travel savings account, took a quick trip home and the biggie: traveled to New York for a few Fashion Week events. 

I must spend more of my money on experiences than things. I've known it for a while, but actually putting it into practice was refreshing. While in New York, I spent a day in Central Park, sought out good food and discovered that I could take the free Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty for photos. During Fashion's Night Out, I absorbed the sites and sounds of fashion love from the distance  taking photos, getting a sketch of myself drawn and chatting with others in passing. My experience was robust.

One of the main themes that I hope jumps out at you in your experience with MVL is the message that you can decide how you'll live your life. There have been many times when I wasn't able to shop because of hardship and in those times I felt a measure of helplessness. I had to fight defining myself by the things I could afford and circles I could blend into according to my "haves." These days, I realize that while many things will happen upon us that we can't control, our response to those things is what's most important. It's the reason I'm all about building my capacity. I don't want to be in the habit of doing {certain things} and being {a certain way} simply because it's what's happening around me. 

I want to be decided and thoughtful about all of my pursuits ... even when it comes to something as simple as shopping. Because after all, I am more than what I wear.

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  1. Such a great post! You continue to inspire me in so many ways. Glad you made it through :)

  2. Great post friend! I am very proud of you for seeing the challenge all the way through! Such an inspiration. Now don't go gift card crazy on us.

    Ps. You totally have to do a post on Net-a-porter & the gift card shopping there

    1. Girl, thank you for keeping me on track. lol And I will post on what I buy. Something by T. Burch for sure.

  3. So proud of you girl!! I've kinda been on a shopping ban myself (no sense buying a ton of clothes while your pregnant) and I plan on revisiting my closet to see what I really missed and what I can donate. I'm like you - I want to spend my money on experiences, especially now that I will be a mom I want my child to have a very rounded and cultured life like I did.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you MJ! I still have more donating to do. I'm determined to do better. Can't wait for the baby to arrive. : )))

  4. "I must spend more of my money on experiences than things." In the words of my Aunt Oprah, I just had an aha! moment while reading that sentence. Hmmmm. Congrats on surviving 90 days!

  5. Such great reflection Katrice!! This year I have been trying to place more priority on dinner with friends, quick road trips, and other non-tangible experiences. However, I am surely not as strong as you just yet to go an entire 90 days without shopping. I am so proud of you my dear!!!

    1. It was not a feat I desire to attempt again anytime soon. But, thank you!! Whew! I'm so glad it's over. And I actually had more dinners with friends through the challenge. I'm going to start doing more dinner and brunch parties at my house.

    2. Oh ill fly in for a dinner party lol

  6. I think this was an Amazing challenge! You're absolutely right on the spending on experiences - GREAT REVELATION!

  7. Even in being frugal priorities can still be lost. That is what I've personally come away with from your journey. Every dollar spent could be taking away from a dream life. Even more so sticking with a goal. You could have called it quits at anytime. Thanks for sharing and sticking through to show it can be done, even when you see pictures of shiny new objects LOL

    1. You're so right. I always say I'm not a "shoe person" but clearly I am. I learned a whole lot about myself and my habits. Thanks for keeping up with me!

  8. So, first of all I'm salty I'm just seeing this 12 days after it was posted ... I've been waiting and wondering when you were going to blog on your Shopping Haitus.
    Written as only you can with vivid reflection that keeps the reader engaged and wanting more (at least for me).
    Love the "Revelation"; particular points that yelled out to me:
    *I must spend more of my money on experiences than things.
    *One of the main themes that I hope jumps out at you in your experience with MVL is the message that you can decide how you'll live your life.
    *I realize that while many things will happen upon us that we can't control, our response to those things is what's most important.
    * ... I'm all about building my capacity.
    * ... I am more than what I wear.
    I've been anticipating the lessons you gleaned from the experience, I knew they would be easily applicable to how to best live life in general.
    Wisdom beyond your years is very becoming and celebratory!
    BRAVO! *Q

    1. Thank you so much for pushing me to endure and for always encouraging me. xxxx

  9. How is it possible that you top your best?! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS POST! I will be sharing this with my close circle hoping that it will rub off. My favorite line: "you can decide how youll live your life"......and that is so true!
    Much love friend,


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