End of Summer Spending Fast Update

One thing that I love about the spending fast is the amount of time it saves me.

Think about the space and time that buying things takes up in your life. Or read this and I will think about it for you.

First of all, there is all the THOUGHT space. When I decide I am going to buy something, I think about it allllll the flippin' time. I visualize it and if it's a clothing item I'm wanting to buy, then I think about what I will pair it with and where I'm going to wear it to. If it's home decor, then I think about where it will go and how it will save my house from ugliness. If it's kids clothes, then I think about how everyone will tell me how precious Lou & Mack are when they wear them and the cute pictures of them in their new duds that I will share. If it's a beauty product, then I think about how it will make me look better which would make me happier and more confident.

Second of all, there is the actual time you spend acquiring said item. A study done in 2006 showed that women spend 8 years of their life shopping-- say what?! Eight years. I have been married half that amount and let me tell you, eight years seems like a loooong time.

The average woman makes 301 shopping trips a year-- totaling about 400 hours spent shopping. That is wild to me, and I consider myself an above average shopper so I can't imagine what my stats would be.

To me, shopping is so mindless that before I started the spending fast, I didn't even think about it. It was just part of my life, encapsulated under the guise of "running errands." When I would plan out my week, I did not write "5 hours of shopping" on the calendar but I would write things like "return dress to Von Maur" or "go to Gap for kids' sale." Then there is all the unplanned shopping that we stumble upon. Like when I am doing something on the Internet and something else catches my eye that reminds me I want a new tote- and does J.Crew have that type of tote- but that's not the kind I want- I want a leather one- is Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale still on- let me make a Pinterest Board about this- maybe I should search on ebay.

And then there's the shopping pit every mom falls into which is when we go to the Target for "diapers" and do not leave without spending $50+ dollars on things we didn't know we needed.

Okay, so now that I'm on this spending fast, how do I spend my time differently? 

Well to be honest, I didn't at first. I think I was testing the limits of my spending fast for a while. I wanted to see what it felt like to go into a store, try stuff on, and walk out with nothing. That was a new thing for me. I liked walking by the clearance section of the women's clothing at Target to make myself feel sad. I would show Mike something SO CUTE I found online for Spring or Summer and show him a picture and say, "See this? Isn't it awesome? I can't buy it though (SIGH) spending fast."

I had a few close calls like when I almost walked out of Target with this bag I found on clearance (I left it at the checkout but am still having regret about not buying it!):

or when I thought if I bought this cute wrap dress at Nordstrom Rack nobody would know:

But then I remembered that I am trying to have a small dose of integrity in my life and I'm not going to pretend to be on a spending fast but secretly out buying things just because they're cheap (or seemingly too cute to pass up!)

After a while of dabbling in shopping (like 4 months of this nonsense) something changed. To be honest, it was when I started praying about it. Just a few simple prayers like:

"Father, please help me not want to shop." 
"God, please help this spending fast actually change my selfish heart." 
"Lord, I don't want to love things as much as I do. Please help me love people and your creation more than stuff."

Just a few prayers and then the shift. So good.

Now I don't go to the stores. When I am at Target, I stick to baby and grocery then do a quick lap down the decoration clearance end caps because I'm pretty sure I could find a way to justify buying some new lamps or updating our bedding because I gave away all of our lamps on a whim last time we moved and our bedding is grey ( it was white when I bought it but my husband sweats dirt and concrete so there is a 6 foot grey stain where he sleeps. Seriously).  

I don't spend much time on Pinterest and I don't read blogs that make me want to buy things. Recently I bought my mom the September issue of InStyle and read it real quick on the airplane before I gave it to her and it just made me excited because the trends this year aren't crazy different then last so maybe nobody will notice I didn't buy anything new for fall. Just maybe.

So I don't shop, I don't spend much time on the Internet, and I don't read magazines like I used to. Oh gosh what on earth do I do?!

Pretty much the same things as before January but I just feel more at peace. I can't really explain it but taking the "buying new stuff to make myself happy" option off the table makes me really dive into my other options.

For instance, when I get a baby-sitter, I don't run around shopping like a maniac for two hours trying to find the perfect black dress for the wedding we're going to next weekend. I go to the pool or the library. I have definitely read more this summer then I have in a long time. I spend more time with people. I have enjoyed cooking more. I leave my phone at home when we go to the park. I hadn't blogged because the thought of sitting at the computer for more than 15 minutes gave me a sense of anxiety (and Mike worked out of town during the week this summer so mostly I was SO. STINKIN. TIRED).  I'm not saying that doing this spending fast makes me a better person or a better mom, because don't worry things are really freaky over here most of the time which is why I started reading this book last week:

but it does free me up to be more present in some ways. And I really like that and I actually DO NOT want it to end. Partially because of what I just said about being more present yada, yada, yada-- but also because my 30th birthday is coming up and I know some gifts will help get me through to January 2015!


  1. Love this. Love how you share how God is changing your heart. And I love you:) Miss you in the Triangle! :)

    Recently, I was nominated for the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award", and as part of that, I highlight 15 blogs that inspire me. You are one of those blogs! You can check out more info at my blog: Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I nominate you because I find your blog truly inspiring, so in no way feel pressured to nominate others.

  2. The thought space. Wow, that is good stuff for me to think about. Thank you.


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