The 28-day No Shopping Challenge


“You can find something to buy even on a desert island”

I don’t know who it was or when it happened exactly, but these words were said to me and they have kind of stuck for good. I laugh it off most of the times and there have been times when I even used the expression to describe myself! But truth be told, every time I hear it or think about it there is a little wound inside that gapes a little further each and every time.



The thing is, there is nothing that is not true about it. I thrive on shopping. There is always a reason or an occasion for me to shop: If it’s yet another beige cashmere jumper, I’ll reason it has a different neckline or fit; if it’s the 20th shade of nude lipstick, I’ll argue that this has a different formula and consistency; If I’m not in the mood for clothes or cosmetics (I’d probably be unwell) I’ll find some new Diptyque candle to spend my coin on.

I just love shopping. And it’s not just compulsive shopping – most times I’d have reasoned things out in my little old brain. I spend hours poring over online store catalogues, adding bits and bobs to my cart, then removing one or two, then adding them again … and so on and so forth until I finally commit to cart and receive my coveted parcels. And the wardrobes and storage cupboards keep getting fuller and fuller.

I kick myself every time I do a wardrobe cull. The sheer amount of stuff I give away or try to sell at barely a fraction of the price I’d have paid gives me so much pain. I’m not planning on giving up shopping for ever … God forbid, there’s no need to be rude now is there?! I just want to CONTROL this constant, all-consuming need to shop that I have been experiencing for so many years now.


So I’ve decided that for February I’m giving myself a 28-DAY NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE which I will vlog and report on at the end or maybe even during – we’ll see how that goes ok?

I’m setting myself some personal rules and procedures to keep me in line:


Why February?

Primarily it’s because it felt it was the right time to give myself a lifestyle challenge. I want to fall in love with my existing stuff again, not be distracted by new stuff and February being the shortest month, I guess it feels more manageable.

What can I not buy?

Clothes, shoes, accessories, scented candles or other home décor, techie stuff and gadgets, cosmetics and makeup which are experimental (like, blue lipstick, me?) or which is I already have a version of, plants, semi-permanent nail polish sessions (my nails can do with the break), unhealthy snacks

What can I actually buy?

Food and drink, gifts, replacement items in case of breakage or run-outs, flowers (this is something I’ll allow myself as it really uplifts my mood), a microdermabrasion facial if I manage to find the time for it as my skin is crying for that; art exhibition tickets because, I need to indulge in something right?

Any exceptions?

My brother’s birthday gift since his birthday is in February, lingerie from Marks & Spencer’s while I’m in Malta as we don’t have that in Brussels anymore, and I’m planning a couple of springtime trip so flights may be bought … Oh, and hopefully my new specs will be ready soon so even though they’re already paid for they’ll still feel like a new purchase.

What if I’m tempted?

I KNOW already that there will be those late sleepless nights where I’ll be trawling through the Zara or Net-A-Porter apps wanting everything in sight … so I’ve devised a little strategy:

  • Whenever I feel like shopping, I’ll add everything to cart, add in the shipping fee, jot the cost down on a notepad or excel sheet and close the site without actually buying anything;

  • At the end of the challenge, I’ll total all the ‘temptations’ up and put the amount towards the Dior Book Tote which I’m saving for … Hopefully it’ll be a not-so-little reward for me for managing through the month – and perfectly in time for my trip to London for the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A.


How twisted is that? My no-shopping challenge will likely end with one big shop. But that’s me. I can’t be changed but I may be moulded into better habits, not constantly needing new items which I’ll just shrug at after a second. I'm hoping this challenge helps me recognise what I really like and more importantly that what I have is already ENOUGH.



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