Shopping, What is it Good For?

15 January 2019


Now I know I am most certainly not the first person to do a shopping ban, which is a ban on unnecessary purchases throughout a specified amount of time. There are even books written on the subject. But the idea of doing a shopping ban has appealed to me for a while, and for a number of reasons. I have been pursuing a more intentional lifestyle for almost two years now. While I regret not being able to report a more specific number, I can fairly confidently say that I have removed at least 30% of the belongings from my life, and I’m still gradually removing things. Along with reducing down my personal belongings, I have consciously begun working on changing my relationships with things and consumerism. After all, what good is removing material items from one’s life if new items somehow keep finding their way back in. For the most part I feel pretty good about the direction I am heading in, and the process I have been through, though I still have many more areas I would like to more thoroughly declutter. And while I certainly view consumerism in a different light than I did even just a year ago, I still find myself occasionally making those purchases, or bringing in those items that I just really didn’t need. I want that habit to change. So looking into it, reading up on the challenges and experiences others have faced on this same subject, I decided a semi-cold turkey, all or nothing approach, may be just what I need.

I understand that a year shopping ban looks different to everyone who takes it on. After all, we’re all different people, with different needs, and different lifestyles. Reading through the multiple examples available to me from others who have taken on this endeavor, I have taken a few ideas from here-and-there, and sprinkled in a few personal touches.


  • Rent, car, utilities, groceries, & toiletries

  • Replacements & repairs

  • Charity donations

  • Craft & sewing, with stipulations*


  • Plushies, figures, & models

  • Clothing & shoes

  • Household decorations

  • Notebooks & stationary items

  • Books, manga, & magazines

  • Gaming related extra

  • Movies & streaming services

  • “Fast” coffee??? (I will determine this once I have used up my gift cards)


  • Travel expenses for my trips – lodging, transportation, passport renewal, events & excursions, etc.

  • Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle, WA – I am permitted to spend money on something Critical Role related, because that is honestly the whole reason I am going

  • 2 manga series, Black Butler, and The Devil is a Part-Timer, I will continue to keep up with for now

  • When Boku no Hero Academia season 4 has finished airing, I will subscribe to Funimation for one month to catch up with the series

  • I am quite low on short sleeve shirts for the summer, so I will need one or two more, but I must make them!

  • Maybe, MAYBE I will be permitted to eventually get myself a pair of aluminum cage dice, after 6 months of continues tabletop gaming to prove that such an investment will be worthwhile

  • If I ban “fast” coffee, I will allow myself one delightfully strange concoction of Dr. Pepper and espresso exclusively provided by a locally owned coffee shop, on Pokémon Community days


*I sew for commissions, gifts, and for my own cosplay or clothing needs. So I have allowed some wiggle room to continue these craft projects, but with specific conditions. I need to be willing to either let go of the projects that I have clearly lost all interest in, or complete them before taking on new ones. Any new projects I do take on has a time line for start and completion based around when I am able to get the materials for the project. And I can only have one personal project going at a time.

I would love to know what you would include in your shopping ban list, or what things you couldn’t possibly image cutting out? Would you even do a shopping ban for a year, a month, or even just a week? Why or why not? Let’s get talking in the comments, you can reply to this message!