Why Am I Buying This?

This past February I decided to challenge myself to a no-spend month.  I've seen these types of things floating around the internet and at the ninth hour I thought to myself, "why not!"

The goal for the month was to only spend money on necessary items like groceries, fuel, personal items, etc.  The categories that didn't make the cut would be clothing/accessories, books, eating out, entertainment, and the like.  

As the month went by I noticed as urges came and went.  Like the urge to stop for a Starbucks coffee on the way to an organizing session.  Or the urge to buy a book that someone recommended.  

I also noticed the urgings of others like dinners out or invitations to a concert.  

What I thought might be a difficult month of feeling deprived, ended up being an eye-opening experience of how unconsciously we operate in our world. 

Without really thinking, I would have said yes to the coffee, or to the bag of chips I didn't need at the grocery store, or to a trip to the Dillard's Clearance Center because I wanted to find something that made me feel pretty. 

As a culture, we've gotten very comfortable with the idea of shopping and spending money.  The act of purchasing has gotten easier and easier from Instant-cart to two-day free shipping on Amazon.  We don't have to think twice before buying up more. 

But what are we buying more for?

My favorite part of the no-spend February was that my perspective shifted. Instead of looking at stuff that I wanted, I was forced to find the joy in what I already had.  

There is always a temptation to monitor what other people are buying, which can subconsciously encourage us to follow along.  All this does is take the focus off the things we already own. Being content with what you have is a much different feeling than wanting more.

We buy an item for a reason so let's reconnect with that feeling that we had when we purchased the new shoes, the Jamaican coffee, the runner for the hallway, the Apple watch. 

As we become aware of what we are saying yes to with our dollars, we begin to appreciate that which we already own and second guess the urge to consume more. 

Why am I buying this? is a great question to break up the cycle of unconscious spending.  

Instead of getting something new or different, I challenge you to find the joy in those things living in your home.

Jennifer Burnham