No Spend Challenge

23 Apr

My landlady, in a joking way, texted me saying she thinks I may have an online shopping problem.

I got all excited because I thought that meant an item I bought online last week and have been anxiously waiting for had arrived, but realized it can’t be that item because I am signed up for text notifications and hadn’t received one saying it was delivered. So I started to text her back to let her know the list of things I am waiting for only to realize the list is uh, let’s say, substantial, and having to type it all wasn’t going to make me look good.

I fully understood her joke when I got home and found not one but three packages waiting for me.

Three! It’s like a random personal Christmas out of nowhere. And it really is out of nowhere since all three of these packages took way longer than expected to get to me. Something online shopping teaches you, if you aren’t shopping with Amazon Prime that is, is patience.

The first package I opened is a t-shirt from one of those annoying ads you see on Facebook. It was cheap, and cute, and I decided to buy one t-shirt to see what their quality is like. The shirt fits, and smells horrible, so it is now in the hamper and we’ll see how good it looks once it’s been through the wash. I hope it stays cute!

The second item is stamps. Yeah yeah, I know, the post offices are still open, why was I so incredibly lazy and unwilling to go in to one to buy stamps? I actually have a valid reason for this! The post offices by me are tiny, and in the backs of small stores, and I am supposed to be avoiding places like that to decrease my chance of exposure and by extension risk to the seniors I work with. I thought buying stamps online from Canada Post would be the easiest purchase, and fastest delivery, since ya know, they are the ones delivering them.

No. That thinking is incredibly wrong. After you buy them you get an email saying they will process your order in three days. Not have them to you in three days, or in the mail in three days, but that they will take three whole days just to process the order. Oh, and they come from Ottawa, case you were wondering, so three days to start processing the order, then delivery time from Ottawa, they took almost two weeks to get to me.

But that’s ok, because patience. It is a virtue, it is a thing best practiced over and over…and over…

And over yet again by the book I ordered that finally arrived. That one took about a month.

But really, what does delivery time matter, right? They all arrived eventually, if somewhat embarrassingly on the same day, and I now feel like maybe I am buying too much stuff.

I don’t think of myself as someone who tends to randomly purchase things online, I will look, then talk myself out of it, but looks like two times I didn’t talk myself out of it…I’m leaving the stamps off this list because I do actually need them, so what’s with all the shopping?

Before you say two items isn’t that big a deal, I have more things on their way to me…oops?

Looks like this is the perfect time to start a No Spend Challenge.

April 22 2020 a

What is a No Spend Challenge you ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. For the next two weeks the only things I will spend money on are food, gas for the suv, bills, and $8 I owe a friend who is doing a fundraiser. It doesn’t have to be for two weeks, you can set any time frame you want, I’m choosing to ease myself in to this and picked a short time frame to start with.

I’m leaving myself a teeny tiny loophole, due to the pandemic, that if yet another emergency situation pops up, I mean c’mon, we haven’t been swarmed by locust yet so there are still some ways things could get worse, I may expand the list to random emergency items I can’t think of at this moment in time.

This means no more online shopping when I’m bored, or feeling a bit sad, or anxious, or because something cute caught my eye at random (*cough* t-shirt *cough*). To make it more likely I will succeed at this challenge I need things to do when I feel like shopping, distractions to stop me from hitting that checkout button.

So far I have come up with reading one of the many books that are in this apartment, writing cards or letters to people, exercising, trying to read the cat’s mind, cleaning (let’s be honest, this one probably won’t happen but I feel like it is expected to be on the list), and practice my knitting (I am learning and need all the practice I can get). Did you notice what all these things have in common? Well, except for trying to read the cat’s mind that is.

Hands. They are all things that will keep my hands busy. Busy so they can’t be tapping the screen of my iPad or typing on my laptop, busy so I am physically engaged in an activity that will not only keep my brain somewhat occupied but also my body. I find if I can keep one of those two busy I am less likely to engage in a behaviour I am trying to avoid, if I can keep both busy I do an even better job of it.

If you have any suggestions for things I can do instead of shop feel free to share them!

April 22 2020

Striker thinks spending more time petting him is an excellent way to stay busy, so looks like I’m adding that to my list…the top of my list if Striker has anything to say about it!

One Response to “No Spend Challenge”

  1. Mike Dickinson at 5:25 am #

    Enjoyed that little (lol) volume of thoughts…….thanks.

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