How Not Buying Stuff Will Change Your Life

About a year and a half ago, I embarked on a one year 'research project' to not buy new stuff. For a year.

While it was initially difficult, I survived. I learned a lot, I grew, and I saved quite a bit of money.

After the year I wondered where I would go from there. Part of me wondered if I would go back to my old ways. Part of me wondered if I could ever shop again.

I am happy to report that I think I managed to find moderation.

I rarely shop now. Maybe it's because I'm a student and don't have money, I don't know. But I very rarely go out and buy stuff.

However, I have allowed myself to splurge on occasion. For example, I bought a pricy pair of jeans because they fit incredibly well. I bought a gorgeous skirt at a craft fair because it was beautifully made, and I loved the woman selling the skirts (who was also the designer.)

I have to say, that in the end, I think I feel ... relief at not shopping. I know that may be sort of a weird feeling, but there's a relief there based on the idea that I have all I need, and another thing won't make me happier.

When I went to Paris a few weeks ago, I noted how nice it was to be able to go to a foreign city and not have to shop. To spend my time in museums and cafes, and eating croissants, and not to have to think, "Oh maybe I should buy x."

I think before my non-consumerist year, I spent a good chunk of time in foreign countries buying. Buying things that were souvenirs, or something. But lately I've come to the conclusion that my pictures and memories are all I need.

And there is something so nice about that.