Have you ever heard of a no-shop month? It’s something I learned about a couple years ago and the idea stuck with me. I’ve tried it a few times now and I love what it does for my heart.
It’s learning to live with less to make room for more.
A no-shop month isn’t entirely about saving money, although that’s an obvious result of not shopping and a great thing! But to me it’s more about stepping back, reevaluating, setting goals, practicing self-control + delayed gratification, and learning contentment. It also helps welcome time and space for better things in the present and in the future!
It’s not meant to be a sustainable way of living. We have needs. We have wants. And God provides for every true need and often quite a few wants. No-shop months are less about stuff or lack of stuff and more about what the pause in shopping does for our hearts, minds, time, and future.
You must start your no-shop month with a positive mindset. It’s not about denial, punishment, or guilt. It’s about saving, about opening up more time for things that matter, and about freeing up mental space. It’s the practice of consciously resisting the barrage of lies that our consumeristic culture is hoping we buy into on a weekly basis - literally.
Before you start scratching your head wondering how on earth I could go an entire month without shopping at all, let me explain. Here’s what it looks like for me. I still have to buy groceries, household items, diapers, gas for my car, and of course - pay the bills. But I can take a spending break in categories that are more discretionary - clothing, entertainment, toys + activities, non-essential home purchases, new beauty products, and Chick-fil-a (because that is an entire budget category in our household - kidding not kidding). We have a hard time breaking from dining out and coffee shop spending completely because that is often how we meet up with people for relationship building which is super important to us.
As some of you know, we are in the process of building a house right now! God has been so gracious to allow us this opportunity. Building and moving comes with a lot of extra costs so we’re putting away a good portion of our monthly income so we’ll have freedom this fall to purchase what we need to move into our home. This no-shop month is just another step toward that goal for me. Every bit of resisting now will allow room for what we need later!
This no-shop month is also an opportunity for me to be creative in how I spend time with my family, specifically my day-to-day with the kids. I’m welcoming slower days, no new toys, free activities, and more time out in nature. I plan to spend more of my personal mental energy rehearsing things I’m thankful for, reading, and memorizing Scripture.
But I’m not tackling this month alone! I’m teaming up with my friend, Jennifer. We’ve done this together in the past and we both felt the need for another break from shopping. She has written a beautiful post all about her no-shop here! If you’d like to join us this month (or any future month) use #livingwithlesstomakeroomformore on Instagram! We want to see and hear how this benefits us all!
I recognize that this practice of “no-shop” comes from a place of extreme privilege. A good portion of the world’s people are just trying to (literally) survive and would never dream of the freedom we have financially! We are each so richly blessed beyond imagination!