Ever wish you had more time or money? Probably.
According to one study, 80% of working adults wish they had more time to spend with their friends and family. In a similar study, 60% of working parents “always” feel rushed.
And the New York Times, back in 2015, called the current American generation “stressed, tired, and rushed.” No doubt, many of us know that to be true.
What if there was a solution?
What if there was a way to have more time available in your life? AND more money as well?
There is a solution. And it is available right now, without spending a penny (literally).
The solution to this problem is: Shop less.
In fact, cccording to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent 22 minutes/day shopping in 2019.
That is the equivalent of 133 hours each year (or 10,400 hours over a lifetime) spent shopping.
And it should be noted that this survey is far more conservative than most. Some studies show the average number in many scenarios might actually be closer to 400 hours each year! That’s almost 8 hours per week.
Almost everybody I know would take more time or money if it was offered to them.
Here’s the good news: You can have more of both.
Some might argue, “Yeah, but I have to shop. My family needs food and toiletries and my house needs cleaning. Some of these shopping errands are non-negotiable.”
And you would be right.
To live is to consume and there is a certain level of “shopping” that will always need to be maintained. But according to the studies listed above, only 25% of our shopping is spent on necessities (groceries, toiletries, etc.). The rest is spent on nonessentials amounting to $18,000 per year for the average American.
Wouldn’t we all like an extra 25 hours and $1,500 every month?
A second argument might go as follows, “Yeah, but what am I going to do with extra money and extra time if I can’t spend it shopping?”
And the answer is, “Anything else in the world. Surely there are more important things in life than what is on sale at your local department store. All those things you want to do with your life? You should go do them.”
We are a generation struggling to find both time and money. Given that reality, it’s surprising how many of us choose to use the little free time and money we have to spend it shopping—whether going to the mall, browsing websites, or simply looking at the lives of others wishing we had the physical possessions they own.
Shopping depletes two of our most finite resources: time and money.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to assume everyone who reads this post is going to stop shopping entirely.
However, for those of us who’ve ever wished we had more time and money in our lives, take some time to seriously consider this week how shopping and buying less would provide both—now, and for the rest of your life.
I AM READY! I have been trying to balance my budget and my family time is my most important commitment. I work full time, so this would help me regain life balance. Life balance is a personal goal of mine this year. This fits nicely into that goal. I am going to look at my phone and see just how much TIME I was spending on social media and shopping. This way I can see how much I am taking back! Thank you for your posts. I am enjoying them.
Grocery shopping on line with a list on the fridge which includes a week’s menu has worked for us for years. There’s less temptation to buy unneeded “bargains” as you’re not visiting the store.
We also buy fruit and vegetables separately on line now because they are delivered with no plastic packaging, it’s worth searching out local suppliers if you can.
I find that Facebook is horrible with ads and I’ll see something that I don’t know what it is in the picture or that I’ve never heard of l and click on the ad. The I’m down a rabbit whole. I’ve decided that I’m gonna set a daily limit on social media time so there’s less likelihood of even seeing the ads.
I just remodeled my home and I’m loving the open empty spaces so that will help motivate me.
I agree with this. The ads are horrible. I am also getting off social media. I have had less and less desire to be on there anyway. I am going to go and see how much time I was spending on social media and online shopping. I am ready for a radical change.
Thank you so much for this simple and working tip.
I always struggled when shopping to keep my budget and to have some save at the end of the month. I don’t like online shopping but often did find myself in a kind if retail shopping (things to make the home look nicer or little gifts for the kids…)
Finally I found a way to deal with this: I asked a good friend to do the regular shopping for me instead. He takes my list via WhatsApp when he does his shopping anyway and brings my stuff, too. So there is no *need* for me to get daily essentials which means I have to decide to take the tram, enter city and shop. This shopping a more proposeful way saves me a lot and he’s enjoying tea and cake at our home after as a thank you. And I can be sure – what is not on the list will not be on the bill.
Heidi Eijgel says
I stopped buying clothing. My goal is to use up all the cloths I do have in the next 2 or 3 years. I did buy a new winter coat, but really I have enough clothing to last this long, if not longer. That is good savings in money and “shopping” time for me. Love this article. I may try to stretch my grocery shopping to twice a month now, have been inspired.
Maria Newsom says
I love this, I’m trying this for 2023 to start.
I am doing this as well. First I cleaned my closet out of clothing that is not very well fitting. I had a few new sweaters come in for the holiday to wear for work. I would like some sort of capsule wardrobe that has a FEW interchangeable pieces. Workwear is my biggest challenge. At home I wear the same things, so it is not an issue.
I have also considered not buying new. Thriftstore shopping in 2024 if I do NEED anything.
So true! I generally shop about once every 8 to 11 days. Seldom more. That day I shop for what I need around town. Seldom making a day travelling to a larger city an hour away for a day of shopping. Fortunately I have an amazing, large thrift store at home. Had volunteered there before Covid. A passion of mine is using my creativity while cooking & baking, knitting, gardening, landscaping, other projects & helping others. A huge gratifying and important bonus in my life is giving to several charities annually and monthly. I think you learn a giving values life style coming from a farming family background. There is no limit in what a person can do & help improve a person’s quality of life!