I’ve been trying to keep shopping intentionally in the forefront of my mind for every purchase I make. I’m amazed already at the amount of ‘almost’ purchases I’ve had where had I not stopped and really thought about it, I would have likely purchased something (albeit mostly small, low $ items, but they do accumulate). I’m also having some difficulty discerning between being intentional and just simply wanting something.
This past Saturday, I stopped at my closest craft store with my 3-year old daughter. I’ve wanted to stop for weeks to get a couple more decorative boxes. When I was last there they were 40% off, and I purchased a few which were put to immediate and satisfactory use. I went in and to my joy, the boxes were still 40% off! I almost immediately went into shopping mode once I stepped into the store. I put back several things after stopping to think about shopping intentionally—I was tempted by little 4x4 and 6x6 canvases that intrigued and inspired me (but ultimately, I have plenty of undone projects without adding more), paint, super fine tipped brushes that would be fantastic for an upcoming project (but I have not reviewed what I have vs. what I need), and several pretty boxes that I had no idea what I would do with them. I still went home with: A set of cheap paintbrushes for my daughter’s use (she keeps trying to steal my nice ones), a little treasure box with a handle for her to play with, a big box for my shoes (needed 1 more), a box for the bathroom to store some things out-of-sight, two pretty boxes for my craft room, and a canvas for a painting I intend to do (the original canvas was ruined when a set of drawers collapsed and fell on it). I felt mostly good about my purchases rather than guilty for once! I was on my way home when I almost stopped for McDonalds because my daughter was hungry, but luckily I stopped and thought about it and realized it would be an unintentional purchase- in another hour, we would be eating at the neighbor’s party!
Monday morning, I purchased a breakfast sandwich for myself on the way to work. I had breakfast items with me, so it wasn’t that I didn’t plan ahead-- I just really wanted one. I thought hard about it and decided that this challenge isn’t about deprivation- it’s about making sure that my purchases are all deliberate and are well thought out. If I had had something I liked better for breakfast I honestly would have skipped the sandwich, but we have not had time to grocery shop (unexpected visitors staying with us, for one) and I am making do for as long as I can until we can go again. I only got the sandwich and at least planned to make my tea at work as usual instead of the convenience of getting it all at once like I would have, and I enjoyed the darn sandwich. I’m not sure that it was the best purchase or that it really lives up to my new mantra, and I certainly don’t want it to be a frequent habit. I could have stuck to what I brought to eat.
Alternatively, I bought myself a breakfast sandwich on Wednesday- but I didn’t have breakfast to bring and it was my birthday. We also did fast food Tuesday night for dinner, but we were low on time and consciously made the decision to eat out. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m trying very hard to make good purchases and decisions, I’m struggling a little with convenience vs. making do, and I am working through it and will not give up!
Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
This post was written 8/17, a week into the challenge and will be posted 8/19.