What we learned from a woman who cut out shopping for one year

Money can’t buy you happiness. It’s a familiar phrase and research proves it, but how many of us truly believe it and live it out? Our shop-til-we-drop habits suggest it’s a lesson we find hard to embrace. And in fact, super sales and the lure of shiny new anythings render us powerless.

Can We Be Happy Without Shopping?

One woman decided to find out. Incredibly, blogger and publicist Lisa Regan went an entire year without buying clothing or anything else that could go on her body. That included shoes and accessories, too. Regan then reflected on her shopping-free year in a piece for Huffington Post.

In it, she writes that she was inspired after watching a documentary on minimalists, and so Regan challenged herself to quit shopping cold turkey. She then accepted that personal challenge, and what happened next throughout those 365 days devoid of new clothing purchases might surprise you.

Soul Searching

The experience definitely surprised Regan. She learned more about herself. “But after this year of not buying and wanting more,” she wrote, “I’ve actually come to know myself better.”

Halfway through the challenge, she hit a turning point. “Like an addict, the thirst or the taste was gone,” she shared. “I had transitioned to a new place.”

Gift Of Time

In addition to rediscovering herself, she rediscovered time she had formerly wasted on shopping. Even thinking about shopping and constantly trying to keep up with it had consumed her. With this extra energy she now had, Regan faced fears and took more risks. In doing so, she realized that her mental health and well-being deserved the same attention as her physical health.

#linkinbio ☝️☝️☝️Chatting with @huffpost on why I am out of the shopping game for 2017. Now almost close to 6 months in, not buying anything new has revealed many things to me and mainly it has stopped a lot of pressures that I didn’t even realise existed or affected me! Four and a half months into 2017 and I am out of the game. I have been dropped from the team, and things couldn’t be better. The game being consumerism and the team being shopping. After reading a book, watching a documentary at Christmas minimalism and how fast fashion is now one of the most accelerated industries, I decided there and then that I was not going to shop or buy anything new for 2017. Big talk right? #huffpostgram #wehaveit #minimalist #fashion #fastfashion #whatareyoudoing #spend #money #thinkbeforeyouact #life #ireland #responsibility #irishfitfam #galway #dublin #highstreet #highstreetfashion @netflix #documentary #learn #educate #stop #welovegalway πŸ‘ŒπŸ“ΈπŸ™‹ #think #before #youbuy @huffpost

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Happiness Even More Important Than Financial Savings

Inevitably, she also saved money during her shopping-free year. But, according to Regan, that’s not the main lesson we can learn from her challenge. She didn’t even keep track of specific savings. Instead, she recommends that everyone scale back their shopping and mass consumption because it doesn’t bring happiness.

Just look how happy she appears in this Instagram snap during her year of no shopping:

“There is no long-term happiness to be found in material goods, that is an actual fact,” she shared with Huffington Post. “It is so short lived, the last study on this was found that no matter how big or small the purchase 7 seconds was the high and then it left the building!”

Her year is an inspiration to us all.

About the Author

Jennifer Nied


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