Alysse Bryson

The NO SPEND CHALLENGE 2024: A Six-Month Progress Report

Life is like a pink tropical print Leopard from HomeGoods, said no one ever. Here we are, July 1, 2024, and I find myself 183 days into my #NOSPENDCHALLENGE…well, sort of. Have I aced it flawlessly? Absolutely not. Have I stuck to my self-imposed regulations? Mostly. Has my wallet breathed a sigh of relief compared to the reckless spending spree it would have been? Undoubtedly yes!

Take, for instance, the infamous pink tropical Leopard at HomeGoods, spotted on June 23, 2024, at the Bellevue HomeGoods and priced at a staggering $499. While many shook their heads in disbelief looking at my social media post of this gorgeous creature, a select few in my inner circle truly grasped the allure of this floral marvel and the reason behind my desire to welcome it into my abode. Some of you know the struggle it was for me to bid her adieu (*partly because, if I’m honest, she weighed a ton, and I couldn’t lift her on my own). To those who received emergency calls to talk me down from the pink tropical print leopard ledge – I owe you one!

Lessons learned so far doing the No Spend Challenge for 2024?

I shop when idle, when elated, when despondent – you name it. The feeling of loneliness is usually directly connected with the impulse to shop. When I spend too much time alone (which I tend to do as a single gal), the ‘add to cart’ itch is sometimes still really intense, yet I’ve come to realize that my home already houses treasures to fulfill these whims. Attending a lavish three-day wedding? My closet played hero! Craving a crafty moment? The craft corner sufficed, sparing a trip to Michaels. Need something to do? Stacks of fashion and art coffee table books adorn my shelves, relieving the desire to buy more. Days pass sans shopping thoughts, but going weeks without these temptations for more remains a challenge.

And then, I tempt fate and dance with the devil down her overstocked aisles of home decor.

This usually happens if I just “happen to be” within a five-mile radius of a HomeGoods store. Now, as a recovered alcoholic, I would never just “pop by” the liquor store and stroll the aisles just for fun or in the name of “maybe I’ll find something for somebody else.” Why? Because at some point, if I go to the store enough times, I will make a purchase. Just like hanging out in a hair salon will eventually land you with a fresh haircut. If I’m being honest with myself, I know what I’m doing, and I’m having a hard time stopping.

My HomeGoods escapades started earlier in the year with a total failure less than 30 days in and a whopper of a lie to a good friend. You can read about that here. Then I owed up, apologized, and continued with the no spend challenge. The next several HomeGoods “approved” stops were in the name of candle conquests deemed acceptable under the ‘self-care’ umbrella of my self-imposed no spend challenge rules. Candles are consumables and consumables are ok to purchase. I burn candles all the time and love to gift them, so it’s always good to keep the candle cabinet fully stocked. Victory came in leaving with just candles, dodging unnecessary splurges. High fives to me! It also gave me a false sense of confidence that I could maneuver HomeGoods alone, using only my will power. A’hem.

Ironically, this challenge also reminds me of when I tried to “control my drinking” before getting sober. I made lots of rules of what was and was not okay. I broke all of them – frequently. 🤦🏼‍♀️

(Please note, I am not anti-alcohol. If you can drink like a lady aka responsibly, then color me jealous. My trucker hat is off to you. Total Abstinence is the only way for me.)

I live alcohol-free as a lifestyle, and I do it one day at a time to take the fucking pressure off. “ODAAT” as an approach has worked well for me for over 18 years regarding not drinking. But it doesn’t seem to be working as an approach to not shopping frivolously. In this case, maybe I’m being too literal at living one day at a time, and I need to think about all my future rainy days. I need to stop trading what I want the most for what I want right now. OOF! The truth hurts.

Maybe I need to break up with HomeGoods?

PLOT TWIST! I started writing this as a diary entry with no intention of actually verbalizing that outside of my head. Is it possible to do NO HOMEGOODS now – 1/1/2025. What the NOSPENDCHALLENGE?!?!? Images of decorative pumpkins I’ll never own are flashing behind my eyes, and I have just started to sweat. Is THIS my new day count? As I write this, the urge to grab my keys and make one last shop is stronger than the force in Star Wars. Sit still, I will.

My name is Alysse, and I’m a HomeGoodsaholic. It’s been seven days since my last HomeGoods purchase.

If you are reading this and our paths happen to cross between now and the end of the year, I challenge you to challenge me by asking when my last adventure to HomeGoods was. My clean shopping date is June 24, 2024. 😂(I promise not to lie.)

One thing remains certain in the tapestry of life’s quirks and revelations – the journey to self-discovery unfolds in unexpected ways. As I navigate the realm of sobriety, self-care, and personal growth, I invite you to join me in these whimsical adventures through the highs and lows of everyday existence as I challenge myself to learn out loud and stop spending money for no real reason.

The next installment in this series is all the stuff I’ve gotten rid of! That part, I’ve been crushing. Part of this self-imposed challenge was also to eliminate 24 items per month. I’ve removed 144 items from my home and donated them to my local Goodwill. For more tales of triumphs, trials, and everything in between, follow along in my adventures at @alysseinthecity and @diaryofasidekick. Laugh with me or at me, and I hope you continue to be entertained by my journeys, one blog post at a time.

No Spend Challenge – The Series:

Sources: (In case you need them)

  1. SAMHSA’s National Helpline
  2. Verywellmind on Shopping Addiction
  3. Priorygroup on Compulsive Shopping
  4. Goodrx on Shopping Addiction
  5. PsychGuides on Shopping Addiction
  6. Wikipedia on Shopping addiction
  7. Blackbearrehab on Compulsive Buying Disorder
  8. Everyday Health on Shopping Addiction
  9. Healthline on Shopping Addiction
  10. Addiction Center on Signs Of Shopping Addiction
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