Shopping Ban 24 Week Review: Returning Stuff for Experiences

boy in green t shirt running on wet road during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on

We all make hasty purchases. But when I bought our bike rack two weeks ago, I truly thought it was a brilliant purchase.

We had discussed it for over a year, we had the money, and it would solve the problem of sharing the car more.

I bought the bike rack and scheduled a hitch install. I felt so productive and resourceful. So when Kevin bluntly asked, “Why do we need that right now?” I was a bit defensive.

It felt like we had waited the appropriate amount of time, and now we should reward ourselves and indulge in the product.

As we discussed it further it was clear we didn’t actually need it now, and installing the hitch would be a hassle. I had essentially bought “the cart before the horse.”

I swallowed my pride and returned it.

Purchasing mistakes happen. You cannot be afraid to return things and start fresh.

The upside of the return was we had some extra money to use for experiences and needs. Two specific experiences stood out the most.

Date Night Dinner Out

Kevin hates eating out, especially at sit-down restaurants with waiters/waitresses. He dislikes random small talk and constant interruptions. We both also dislike how expensive eating out can be.

Needless to say, many of our date nights do not involve dinner out.

Eight months out of the year this is not a problem. We can hike, bike, run, etc and then do a picnic. But as temperatures passed 110 degrees, none of these activities sounded fun.

So we went to a restaurant we had been wanting to try for over a year (Modern Market). We had salads and wine and sat in a really cool indoor patio. We went on a walk after dinner and had a great evening.

Jump Around

Wearing out my son has proven challenging these last seven years. He just has a lot of energy. It’s one of our favorite things about him, but it can be challenging to find activities that wear him out and also engage his five year old sister.

Through trial and error we have learned they both love trampoline jump places. However, these places can be a bit pricey for a couple hours of jumping.

So when the bike rack return went through and we were tired of being in the house on a hot day, we realized we could go jump!!!!!

They jumped on trampolines and played dodgeball for two full hours. They were in that completely blissful and timeless kid-state where nothing else exists.

That $35 of pure fun was way better than a bike rack sitting in our room unused.

This two weeks, I was reminded of the power of experience over stuff.

Our date and the jump place were just two of the many experiences, but they were only possible because of our willingness to return a product.

I continue to learn about myself on this shopping ban. Just when I think I have mastered my impulses, I find ways to continue refining.

Someone asked recently why I am doing the shopping ban. The simplest answer is this: to be better.


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