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I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they donโ€™t want, to buy things they donโ€™t need, to impress people they donโ€™t like.

Emile Gauvreau

In trying to live more intentionally, I decided to take a long hard look at what I was spending my time on… And I was honestly shocked to discover that so much of it revolved around spending money.

Whether it was shopping online with out-of-control fast fashion hauls or just buying crap I didn’t need, one thing was clear… I had a problem and I was addicted to stuff!

It’s not surprising that we all resort to retail therapy when our communal spaces are literally centred around shopping. Hands up if your idea of a good weekend is going into town and buying (yet more) stuff on the high street?

If you’re feeling unfulfilled or struggling with your spending habits, then it’s time to dig deep and explore new skills, new knowledge and new hobbies. Not only can you save money and use your time in constructive ways that make you feel better in the long run, but you can begin to build a life of fulfilment that doesn’t depend on instant gratification, keeping up with the Joneses, and the transient nature of buying stuff.

In this post, we’ll replace the stuff that feels good in the moment with the stuff that feels good in the long term.ย Let’s go!

Stop Spending Money Online Shopping, Do This Instead

This article is designed to have a bit of fun, but also to prove a point that you really don’t have to constantly buy new stuff to feel good! The world doesn’t end when you stop shopping. In fact, there are plenty of productive things you can choose to focus on. As Tony Robbins says:

Energy flows where the attention goes.

So take a deep breath, click off your online shopping tabs, step away from the computer, and refer to this as your definitive to-do list going forward!

Stop seeking short term fulfilment and choose experiences over things

1. Try a new recipe with some vegan baking ๐Ÿช

2. Put your thinking cap on with a cryptic crossword ๐Ÿค”

3. Declutter & start your minimalist capsule wardrobe ๐Ÿ‘—

4. Arrange coffee with a friend โ˜•๏ธ

5. Play Hogwarts Legacy (BRB while I choose my wand) ๐ŸŽฎ

6. Sit down with a hot mug of tea ๐Ÿซ–

7. Get reacquainted with your vibrator ๐Ÿ‘€

8. Attend an open mic event ๐ŸŽค

9. Put your general knowledge to the test in your local pub quiz ๐Ÿค“

10. Unearth your tools from the garage & get cracking on that neglected DIY project ๐Ÿ”จ

Avoid the clutter of new things and do some work around the house

11. Invite a few friends over & have a home spa day (manicure & pedicure included!) ๐Ÿ’…

12. Take some uninterrupted time to identify your core values โœ๏ธ

13. Go on a walking tour of your city ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ

14. Write some things down that you want to let go of & cast them into the fire ๐Ÿ•Š

15. Do a jigsaw puzzle ๐Ÿงฉ

16. Take a trip to the coast ๐ŸŒŠ

17. Get green-fingered in your garden ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพ

18. Write anything & everything in your journal ๐Ÿ““

19. Take a look through some old photo albums & reminisce ๐Ÿ“ธ

20. Move into the emotional space of your dream life by creating a vision board ๐Ÿ‘“

Stop short term gratification of buying stuff and create a vision board

21. Focus on your goals & write down the steps to get there ๐Ÿฅ…

22. Listen to a podcast on a subject you know nothing about ๐ŸŽง

23. Sharpen your mind & have a go at the daily Wordle ๐Ÿง

24. Volunteer for a local soup kitchen ๐ŸŽ—

25. Participate in activism ๐Ÿ”Š

26. Sit in your garden & simply bask in the warmth of sunlight on your skin ๐Ÿก

27. Call your grandparents ๐Ÿ‘ต

28. Enter into a flow state & reread a book you love ๐Ÿ“–

29. Watch a YouTube video from your favourite channel (if youโ€™re the sum of the people that you spend the most time with, then happy days!) ๐Ÿ“ฝ

30. Take your dog for a long walk ๐Ÿพ

Take your dog for a walk instead of buying more stuff

31. Play a game of family Scrabble ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

32. Change your bedding ๐Ÿ›

33. Watch an eye-opening documentary on veganism or fast fashion ๐Ÿ“บ

34. Declutter your book collection ๐Ÿ“š

35. Convert your summerhouse into a garden office ๐Ÿ–ฅ

36. Make the effort to do something kind for your partner, whether itโ€™s making them a cup of tea or unloading the dishwasher ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ‘จ

37. Put down your phone & have a meaningful conversation with them ๐Ÿ’ฌ

38. Orโ€ฆ just jump on them & initiate sex! ๐Ÿ”ฅ

39. Put on your walking boots, pack your rucksack & go on a long hike ๐Ÿฅพ

40. On a clear night, thereโ€™s nothing that puts the world into perspective more than gazing at the stars โœจ

Stop your consumerist mindset and look up at the stars

41. Visit a museum or art gallery ๐ŸŽจ

42. Plan the perfect gallery wall ๐Ÿ–ผ

43. Indulge in a hot bubble bath ๐Ÿ›

44. Do some mental gymnastics & complete a sudoku ๐Ÿ”ข

45. Go for an early morning walk in the park before the rest of the world is awake ๐ŸŒณ

46. Go kayaking ๐Ÿ›ถ

47. Crack out the karaoke machine & put on a sell-out gig for your family members! ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽค

48. Do some outdoor bouldering ๐Ÿง—๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

49. Remember doing handstands & cartwheels on the school playing field… Can you still do them? ๐Ÿคธโ€โ™€๏ธ

50. Play a board game like chess (the oldies are the best!) โ™Ÿ

Prioritise experiences over things with a game of chess

51. Practice yoga ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

52. If thereโ€™s a group of you, play Jackbox (itโ€™s hilarious & will keep you entertained for hours!) ๐Ÿ“ฑ

53. Or go outside & play a game of makeshift rounders ๐Ÿ

54. Listen to your favourite feel-good music & dance around the kitchen ๐Ÿ’ƒ

55. Go to an evening class ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ

56. Snuggle up with a fleecy blanket ๐Ÿ›‹

57. Teach your dog some new tricks ๐Ÿ•

58. Upcycle those old jeans you donโ€™t wear anymore into shorts ๐Ÿ‘–

59. Put on your trainers & go to the gym ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

60. Or pick up your neglected dumbells & do a 15-minute home workout ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ

Stop buying stuff and have a home workout

61. Put your health first & make a minimalist meal plan ๐Ÿด

62. Then raid your kitchen cupboards & make a start on meal prep ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿณ

63. Get your family over for a delicious vegan feast ๐Ÿฅฆ

64. Make a monthly budget (& have a check that youโ€™re sticking to it so you can hit your financial goals) ๐Ÿ’ท

65. Take a nap (honestly, there are proven cognitive benefits!) ๐Ÿ˜ด

66. Plan your next minibreak โœˆ๏ธ

67. Educate yourself on the problems with the fast fashion industry ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ

68. Watch some embarrassing home videos from when you were little ๐Ÿ“ผ

69. Enjoy the smell of clean sheets by hanging your freshly laundered bed linen out to dry ๐Ÿงบ

70. Have a picnic ๐Ÿฅ—

Quit buying new stuff and have a picnic

71. Take a look at your space with fresh eyes & rearrange the furniture in a room ๐Ÿช‘

72. Go on a bike ride ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ

73. Cosy up & rewatch your favourite box set ๐Ÿฟ

74. Start a blog & take your first step towards financial freedom ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป

75. Go on a road trip to somewhere youโ€™ve never been before ๐Ÿ›ฃ

76. Take photos of the things you donโ€™t want anymore & pop them on Facebook marketplace, or donate them to charity ๐Ÿงธ

77. Check in with a friend you havenโ€™t heard from in a while ๐Ÿ“ž

78. Read a book on manifestation to move into alignment with your dream life ๐Ÿ’ซ

79. Try your hand at poetry ๐Ÿ“

80. Get lost in the woods ๐ŸŒฒ

Go for a walk in the woods instead of online shopping

81. Do a digital detox & unsubscribe from unnecessary emails!

82. Erect a tent in your back garden & spend the night camping ๐Ÿ•

83. Visit your local library for some ASMR zen vibes ๐Ÿ“š

84. Start a herb garden ๐ŸŒฟ

85. Play eye-spy ๐Ÿ‘

86. Do the thing youโ€™ve been putting off – yep, itโ€™s time to eat that ugly frog ๐Ÿธ

87. Plan a new morning routine – what are your goals, what do you want to make more time for, what do you want to work towards? โฐ

88. Work on your side hustle ๐Ÿ’ช

89. Push yourself to get out of your comfort zone & do something on your bucket list that scares you ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

90. Give your indoor plants a bit of TLC ๐Ÿชด

Stop buying clutter and water your houseplants

91. Try cooking a healthy plant-based meal using whole foods ๐Ÿฅ‘

92. Organise your wardrobe by colour, then bask in perfectly ordered harmony ๐Ÿ‘š

93. Throw out any old cosmetics bottles and start your minimalist makeup collection ๐Ÿ’„

94. Try a new skill with a free course, like learning a new language ๐ŸŒŽ

95. Have a Harry Potter marathon – mhm, Harry Potter deserves to appear twice on this list ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ

96. Clean your car inside & out ๐Ÿš—

97. Write down some healthy habits you want to develop (& start tracking them!) โœ’๏ธ

98. Read a classic (theyโ€™re classics for a reason) ๐Ÿ“š

99. Practice positive affirmations ๐Ÿชž

100. Meditate ๐ŸงŽโ€โ™€๏ธ

You don't need more stuff to make you happy in the long term

Save Money, Eliminate Stress & Reduce Waste

I hope that this list of things to do instead of shopping helps you to be more intentional with your time moving forward.

Of course, it’s not to say that you’ll never need to buy anything ever again. But you can certainly be more mindful about what you choose to bring into your life. Embrace slow purchases, support ethical brands, and make sure it’s not just a short-term dopamine hit in disguise!

Switching off from emails, adverts and social media can be a great idea when you want to avoid online shopping. Learn to control what you are in control of: your environment. And then have the self-discipline to say no when you need to.

For an in-depth guide to help you on the journey to buying less, read my article here. Or for more tips on living a simpler and more fulfilled life, click to read further. And let me know if you try any of these ideas in the comments down below!

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Avoid online shopping and try these fulfilling activities today

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