Today is a holiday.
My inbox has been celebrating for over a week.
Each day, more and more emails arrive. I can’t unsubscribe fast enough. Weekly ads. Daily deals. For a limited-time only.
The limited time, though, seems to grow in sync with the commercialization of each holiday.
Today, a day intended to honor better working conditions, has turned in another opportunity to shop. And keep people working.
As someone used to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month because shopping was a habit, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t still a little bit of muscle memory coursing through me.
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Here’s what I’m doing instead of shopping today.
1. Putting a bit into savings. When I’m trying to resist the urge to spend, I struggle a lot when things only cost a little bit. Coupons, sales, clearances. Now, I take the little bit that I would spend, and I plop it into savings instead. If it’s something I would buy my son, I drop it in his 529 instead.
2. Getting outside. I already walk and hike as much as I can. But when I’m feeling particularly tempted by consumerism, nature feels like the perfect antidote.
3. Creating something out of what we already have. In this case, I’m putting together a salad with things from our garden. Other times, though, I’ll bake with ingredients that I keep squirreled away in our cabinets. Or I’ll make a smoothie with things from our freezer.
4. Working on selling things. I don’t put much time or effort into Poshmark, but I have found that holiday weekends are a great time to share listings that haven’t already sold.
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5. Continuing to declutter. This journey will likely be lifelong for me. That’s alright now that I’ve learned how to keep up with it.
6. Connecting with others. I will send some texts, and I will make some calls. I also really like to spend time off emailing families to let them know how the school year is going. It makes my work inbox a really special space when I return to work.
7. Letting my son lead. Especially when I’m tempted to shop for him, I have to remember that what is exciting to him right now has next to nothing to do with anything that comes with a price tag. He’s happiest in just a diaper. OK, fine. He’s happiest naked. His favorite toys are anything and everything he toddles past on our walks.
8. Detoxing digitally. Part of why I am so tempted to shop is because I haven’t unsubscribed from all retailers. Though I have cut back drastically, I do get ads from a handful of stores. Today is a good day to do the purging in the promotions tab of my inbox that I always think I’m going to do.
9. Giving. Normally, we either give to charities throughout the month as opportunities arise or wait until month’s end to send our funds to a few of our favorites. In the same style as sending a few dollars to savings, I’m going to send a few dollars to a literacy initiative in Mexico that we both love.
10. Earning. I have a bit of ghostwriting that I can get a jump on. The time and mental bandwidth that would normally go toward shopping in store or online is too precious to waste.
So Tell Me…How do you combat the urge to shop? What tips of yours can I borrow?