As per usual with the fun and difficult things I set out to do in blogs, which are applauded by all, from friends to family and the husband, this did not turn out entirely as hoped. I tried to lose weight, that did not go as planned; now I’ve tried not to shop, and it would have been boring if I’d succeeded. I set out not to buy things I don’t need in February, and this was interesting to say the least. On January 31 I bought a love seat, a purchase I wanted but did not need. But it was still January, correct? So no harm done. At the beginning of the month I always set out to buy the groceries in bulk for the family, so I did that without overspending.
I started to listen to my thoughts instead of acting on them.This is the gist of the conversation in my head while walking through Sanlitun.
“Lets go to H&M.”
“You are doing No Spend February Pauline, it would be mental to go to H&M.”
“But I just want to look, maybe I’ll find something I need.”
“There is nothing you need at H&M.”
“Come on Pauline, it will be fun. Maybe some cute earrings?”
“Stop talking to me.”
As you can see, my inner shopaholic tried to take over for a quick and easy shopping rush in H&M, but I kept walking. I felt a bit bored to be honest; I tend to look around trying to find a “hunting ground” to blow money. I have always acted on these urges, ending the month with more month than money.
I was lucky that February was the Spring Festival month, so not buying stuff online wasn’t hard. However ordering food and dining out was super easy. So even without shopping sprees, money flew out the window. Especially when our fridge broke down and we ordered dinner each night. I have learned a few things: I shop for no real reason other than getting a rush. Many times I don’t need the item I buy.
I have found that if I make a picture of the thing and I keep thinking about it later, it might be a nice buy. However from all the things I made pictures and screenshots of, I didn’t remember a thing when I browsed through the pictures. I buy stuff when I am sad; I buy stuff when I am happy. I had a setback this month and I went and bought a pink hat. When I had something to celebrate I went to Roundabout to buy an adult tutu.
Having conversations with my inner shopaholic is a more frequent occurrence and I embrace this. I stop acting on impulses, and tell shopaholic Pauline to go play with all the fun things she has in her home. Surprisingly we had money left over at the end of the month, and when I checked my internet shopping account I did not buy a single thing in February. And I disconnected my husband’s credit card from my WeChat account; better be safe than sorry. Not the exact victories I was looking for, but instead of major leaps I decided that baby steps are also good.