Disclaimer: This post doesn’t actually have anything to do with Austin. Just my recent mumblings.
In this day and age, it’s too easy to shop. Even if you lived one hundred miles from the nearest outlet mall or your favorite store, you could still have your wildest shopping fantasies filled with just an extra shipping fee.
Yes. The power of the Interweb has brought your shopping blues to an end.
But if you live in the city or a decently sized town where shopping is oh so easy to do, then maybe the world of online shopping is doing you wrong, hurting your wallet, and making you lazy.
Other than finding killer discounts and sizes that may only exist on the Internet, what does shopping online really do for you?
I’ve recently come to terms with the idea that I shop online when I am feeling blue. Something new from the Internet perks me up, the excitement of waiting for the package of stuff that I bought all for myself makes me feel special, and checking the order and FedEx/UPS routing status makes me realize that maybe this would have been easier if I had just gone out to the store to buy the damn things. Then, on top of that, if I order clothes, they usually don’t fit. Then I end up returning what I’ve ordered in the store and eating the shipping fee like a mealy apple. Gross.
I’ve flirted with the idea of giving up shopping altogether. It seems rather extreme, I know, but also so liberating after the withdrawals, of course. I first got the idea after reading an article in my absolute favorite magazine, GOOD, about The Compact – a group of regular people, like you and me, living in San Francisco who vowed to buy nothing new for one year, flee the consumer grid with the exception of food, drink, health, and safety necessities. Bartering, borrowing, or buying second-hand are encouraged.
I read The Compact article, loved the idea, and thought, “Hey, this may actually be doable.” Especially with the wonderful Buffalo Exchange. I can buy second-hand all day long.
But for me it’s not just about not buying things new. It’s about over-consumption. The last thing I want to do is shop for the sake of just shopping, like when I’m feeling blue. Over-consumption equals clutter, which equals stress, which equals more unhappiness.
Now, I don’t think I have too much crap by any means. I just hate having more than I need, which to some may constitute as “having too much crap.”
So, do I embark on this mission – to not buy anything new for one whole year, with the exception of the exceptions, which means I will be doing a lot of cooking, crafting, and second-hand buying as needed to fill my shopping/gifting void?