The Start of No Shop February

Less_is_more_no_shop_february
photo credit: @noiseandnotion

We’re just a few days into the second annual No Shop February and I’m already feeling refreshed. A group of over forty bloggers are participating and I’m looking forward to this go-around. The main goal of the challenge is to become aware of your purchasing habits throughout the month, and to do your best to limit your spending to the essentials. Everyone sets slightly different parameters for themselves, and I’m sharing mine below in case you’re looking for some inspiration!

1. Become more aware of my spending habits by committing to recording every expense this month. I have a small black notebook that will travel with me in my purse on the daily.

2. Limit my spending to the true essentials, which for me includes the mortgage, bills, groceries and gas.

3. Challenge myself to walk to the errands that are nearby and use the car less during the month.

4. Plan ahead and make room for exceptions when necessary. The biggest exception for me is coffee or lattes when I’m meeting with clients for work.

5. Get creative and cook a nice Valentine’s dinner at home.

6. Use the gift cards that I have as a way to treat myself throughout the month.

7. Make a word doc of any purchases I really think I need, and re-evaluate them in March. If I still feel as strongly about them then, I’ll buy them then.

8. Use the free time that I’ll gain to de-clutter the condo and donate anything that we don’t need or use frequently.

9. Spend more quality time with friends and loved ones!

The way to make this month the most fun is to treat it like a personal challenge. It might feel uncomfortable at first if you’re used to treating yourself frequently. One of the things I discovered last year was that I was doing some “emotional spending” and buying certain things as a band-aid instead of stepping back to figure out why I was feeling a particular way. It feels really great to hit pause and to slow down on spending. If you’re participating, let me know in the comments below and we can help each other stay strong throughout the month 🙂

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