As you may know, I love challenges.
They keep life interesting and keep me learning about myself.
Challenges typically lead to great reflection and growth for me.
So I have decided to do a different challenge each month.
Some will be related to simplicity, some to health, some to budgeting. Maybe I will throw in a parenting challenge… who knows?!?
But this month it is about online purchases.
Starting August 1st until September 1st I will make zero online purchases.
No Walmart, no Amazon, no Thrive Market…nothing.
If I need something I will go to a physical store and purchase it.
Why am I doing this? Here are a few reasons:
1. Online purchases are too easy
I hate regular shopping and rarely feel tempted to do it. But somehow I can part with my money very easily online. I don’t feel the same sting handing over my money virtually that I feel in person.
Removing online shopping will add more effort to purchases and hopefully reduce the number overall.
2. Tired of shipping delays or damaged products
Lately I have spent more time tracking an item than actually enjoying the item itself.
Then if a product is damaged, I STILL have to go to a store to get what I need!
3. Tired of wasting time talking to customer service
After a product is delayed or damaged (see #2), I waste hours on little chat boxes negotiating with customer service to ensure I get what I paid for or a refund.
I have better uses for my time.
4. I want to think more before I buy and find the best use of every dollar
At a physical store, I hold each item and look at the price.
I pause and usually think to myself, “Is this the best use of my dollar?” If I answer that question “no,” I put it back.
This thought process is harder for me online. Removing online shopping will lead to better use of our dollars.
5. Environmental reasons
When I ordered school supplies online a couple weeks ago I did not expect to receive so many boxes.
I thought the items would be boxed together, but instead we received over a half dozen boxes. At least 3-4 boxes with only 1 folder in each.
HUGE boxes filled with packing materials and 1 folder.
In that moment I felt immense guilt. If I has just gone to the store in person, all these materials would not be wasted.
So skipping online shopping feels like a simple way to reduce my waste just a bit.
Overall I know I spend more when I shop online.
While online shopping was a great option during COVID, I am ready to return to our normal processes.
We start a new school year next week and I want our money and time spent intentionally.
I want to play Barbies instead of waiting on hold with customer service regarding a package.
I want knocks at our door to be friends asking to play, not delivery people with boxes of folders.
So I wish you all a happy August!
And if you choose to join me on this challenge, I wish you the best of luck!
What a fun idea! So many exciting things going on in august like back to school and new teachers and new activities. What a great way to lock in your focus on the most important things and be fully present!
I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to this but it has definitely been a downfall for me the last year. Social media is hip to my questionable internet spending and totally knows how to market to me. I’ve even written two posts about it over the last few months. Good luck with your challenge!
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Thank you for reading Mel! Yes, those social media ads know exactly what we are looking for!!!
My area has 2 hospitals packed with Delta Covid patients and about 42% vaccination rate (by choice – plenty of supply since early April and I got it in March). I do tend to choose curbside pick-up whenever possible to minimize all those hassles you mention that come along with shipping. I totally hear you on the “one folder” situation. They’ll ship a $27 box of k-cups in a poly envelope, but box and pad one silly 20-cent folder. Argh!!
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I just got an email with this link and I have recently decided to make all my purchases in store. I have slipped twice and the goods sent were not as expected and had to go back. This reminds me not to be tempted. I know that some of the things I want/need can no longer be purchased in store and the variety just is not there anymore, or perhaps never was. Are we just used to expecting too much too quickly.
I read, and now realise, that by paying with a credit card you hand over your card and get back your card and your purchases, brain is thinking this is a win win. Hand over hard paper cash and your brain’s pain centre is activated. No wonder we spend more on line than in shops with cash. Cash is king, ruler of sensible choices. This can only be done in shops.
Also the dopamine hit waiting for parcels in the post = brain thinks anticipation of Christmas presents. This can be achieved everyday. The postie is an everyday Santa.
Wish me luck as a retro feet on the ground retro shopper. Don’t you need physical shops to be a physical shopper? I don’t want to live in a virtual world with virtual shops and virtual friends. Laura
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I could not agree more Laura! Cash definitely makes us feel the purchase more. I love what you said about virtual shops and virtual friends….I do not want that world either!!! Best of luck on your journey and thank you for reading! -Brittany