I’ve learned a few things since I stopped shopping a month ago. First is that I spent a lot of time buying clothes, or generally being at a mall or shopping center. On a free weekend either my fiance or I would enevitably say, “Well I could really use…” and off we would go to Banana Republic. I’m reminded of what my mother would say when I was snacking on Oreos late in the afternoon; “Are you just eating because you’re bored?” Do I go shopping because I’m bored?
The second thing came courtesy of my man. He saw what I was doing in order to save money and he took a hard look at his own finances. He has always been the more sensible of our pair when it came to buying clothes. He bought what he needed, when he needed it. But when it comes to getting take-out he is downright frivolous. He decided to cut back as well and we found ourselves full of a weekend that we couldn’t spend shopping, and couldn’t go out to eat. What the hell were we supposed to do?
Now that football season is upon us our Sundays are spent in front of the television. Between our fantasy league, the other league he’s in, and daily fantasy, we are serious about our Red Zone watching. Also if you’ve ever seen my Twitter feed, you’ll know that I care about the Patriots more than my own family. Mostly. So Saturdays are the day we would normally spend out and about and spending. We needed activities.
One weekend we took my dad to the driving range for some golf lessons. Since I’m not very good, I can see this becoming a regular thing while the weather holds out. It was also a fun bonding experience for everyone involved. I got to spend time with my dad, which is always my favorite thing, and I got to do some physical activity rather than stare at my thumbs for a few hours.
Most activites cost money, and that’s a fact. Just in case you weren’t aware. In an effort to save we started looking into free things to do. One that came up was an annual company picnic from my dad’s old company at a local amusement park. A free day at a park? With a free meal? Sign us right up! We spent a day with my toddler niece going on kiddie rides and letting her watch us go on big coasters. It was double the fun again, because we got to see family and do physcial activity. Are you sensing a pattern?
Shopping is a physical activity. You walk, you carry, you try on, you take off. It takes time and energy, which is why we even have the phrase “shop ’till you drop” in the first place. The physical aspect is huge for me. I love being outside, walking around, moving. This was my third epiphany: I like being active. Granted, I’ve always been that way. I hit the gym four times a week and I go on the occasional jog. After sitting beihnd a desk for eight hours a day is it any wonder we as a people have gravitated toward places designed for movement?
Every one of those Saturdays could have been spent being productive. I could have been tackling a DIY project – or learning DIY in the first place! I could have taken up a hobby like gardening and learned to grow my own organic vegetables instead of buying them at a marked-up price at the store. I could have spent time learning to be a better cook because Lord knows I need to. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, amiright? Now that I’m aware of all the time I was wasting I can fix the problem, and Fall is the perfect time to do it. Apple picking is upon us, it’s time to plant bulbs, the weather will change and I can start learing how to paint things. I’m looking forward to the next few months, because I know my time is worth a lot more than just the money I’m saving.
- Still haven’t spent that $100 cash!
- My wedding dress arrived (thatnks, BHLDN!) and I have to schedule alterations
- My credit card bill is still way below average for this month, and I plan on keeping it that way.