For the third year in a row, A Peek Inside the Fishbowl has issued a challenge:
The Shopping Embargo.
The main idea is this:
"Between January 1 and Feb 28, I will only purchase essential items for myself and for my family. This includes groceries/consumables, gas, basic hygiene (shampoo, soap, not cosmetics), medicine and essential clothing."
What makes something a need, verses a want in your mind? I consider basic makeup a need, but not that 10th stick of eyeliner just because it's on sale (for the record, I have only two, but still). Or how about new boots? I have boots, but I just don't like them very much. Couldn't a new pair be considered a need?
Really, it's up to you. I can make do with the boots that I have an forgo the eyeliner. My weaknesses seem to be when I go grocery shopping and load up on food that we really don't need and that sits in the back of my cupboard for ages.
What I like most about this challenge is that it forces me to get back to basics; to really think when I'm at that cash register. Sometimes it's easy to just get into the habit of buying things because they're well...there and on sale. This embargo is a great reminder.
Six years ago, my family went through an incredibly difficult time. There were lay offs, near deaths, serious illness, moves, career changes, and through it all we were forced to go from a family who bought whatever we wanted when we wanted, to one that could only buy what we needed. There were times where it was hard and depressing, and I'd never want to be there again, but the experience taught me something.
Happiness never comes from the things or the money you have. It comes from the love and relationships you have with the people in your life.
Stuff is really just that. Stuff. Having it can be great, but too much clogs up our lives and takes over our houses, pollutes our Earth and causes us nothing but headaches. I'd rather invest my time in something else.
If you are interested in joining the Shopping Embargo of 2009, pop on over the A Peek Inside the Fishbowl and add to the comments, or join the Facebook group.
*graphic from A Peek Inside the Fishbowl...used with permission.