Alysse Bryson

Day 5 of My No-Spend 2024 Challenge: The Mall Edition

Whoever said that the first week of a no-spend challenge is the hardest, clearly had never set foot in the Bellevue Square Mall, let alone next to Nordstrom – the Achilles heel of my shopping restraint. This was the equivalent of a chocolate addict walking into Willy Wonka’s factory, or someone five days sober strutting into their favorite bar. Yes, friends, it was that intense.

My partner in crime (or should I say, anti-crime?) for this daredevil mission was none other than my bestie and favorite word nerd, Kristin Graham. We both had some jewelry errands to run, hers at our beloved Nordstrom and mine at Tiffany’s. Because, you know, even when we’re not spending, we like to keep it classy.

Our plan was simple: Get in, get the necklaces, get out. Oh, and grab dinner at the Nordstrom Cafe because a girl’s gotta eat, right? But as they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And boy, did they go awry.

The culprit? A pair of sleek, black Adidas Rainboots. Priced at $77, these boots were the epitome of love at first sight. Did I need them? Absolutely not. I already own a pair of Coach ankle rainboots and knee-high Hunter ones. But oh, the outfits I could create with these would take my dog-walking-in-Seattle game to a whole new level!

But with a deep breath and the strength of a thousand warriors, I put them down and walked away. One battle down, but the war was far from over.

After completing our jewelry errands, we retreated to the safe haven of the Nordstrom Cafe. Two hours of girl talk, diet cokes, and appetizers later, we were ready to face the world again. Or so we thought.

Just as we were leaving the cafe, my eyes landed on the Athleisure section. There, waiting for me like a siren calling to a sailor, was a cream-colored puffer vest by Zella. It would have been the perfect addition to those Adidas rainboots! I didn’t even check the price tag, but knowing Zella, it was probably around $120.

How many puffer vests do I already own at home? Three black ones that I can think of off of the top of my head, but this one was a delicious cream with a synched waist, perfect for a curvy gal like me. And yet, I walked away. Yes, folks, I managed to resist not one, but two temptations. Miracles do happen!

As we exited the mall, we took a triumphant selfie and exchanged hugs. We had survived the battlefield that was Bellevue Square Mall without a single purchase. Today, I could’ve easily spent $197 plus tax, but I stayed strong. And I owe a big part of that victory to Kristin, my no-spend safety net Sidekick.

So, here’s to 361 more days of this challenge. Yes, it’s a leap year, because, why make things easy, right? But if today has taught me anything, it’s that with a little willpower and a good support system, anything is possible!

Until next time, fellow spendthrifts! Stay strong and keep those wallets closed!



No Spend 2024: A Year Of Living Dangerously Without Shopping (

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