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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 don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’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 for the sake of it, 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 and 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, the opinion of others, and the transient nature of buying stuff.

There are so many problems with fast fashion and our addiction to compulsive shopping, so once you know your ‘why’, you may be at a bit of a loss as to what to fill your time with. I used to love shopping as much as the next person, and it’s taken time to build a life outside of it.

In this post, we’ll replace the stuff that feels good in the moment with the stuff that feels good in the long term.

Stop Spending Money Online Shopping, Do This Instead

My point with this article is 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 forwards!

Stop seeking short term fulfilment and choose experiences over things

1. Try a new recipe with some vegan baking 🍪

2. Put your thinking cap on with a cryptic crossword 🤔

3. Declutter & start your minimalist capsule wardrobe 👗

4. Arrange coffee with a friend ☕️

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

6. Sit down with a hot mug of tea 🫖

7. Get reacquainted with your vibrator 👀

8. Attend an open mic event 🎤

9. Put your general knowledge to the test in your local pub quiz 🤓

10. Unearth your tools from the garage & get cracking on that neglected DIY project 🔨

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!) 💅

12. Take some uninterrupted time to identify your core values ✍️

13. Go on a walking tour of your city 🚶‍♀️

14. Write some things down that you want to let go of & cast them into the fire 🕊

15. Do a jigsaw puzzle 🧩

16. Take a trip to the coast 🌊

17. Get green-fingered in your garden 👩‍🌾

18. Write anything & everything in your journal 📓

19. Take a look through some old photo albums & reminisce 📸

20. Move into the emotional space of your dream life by creating a vision board 👓

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

21. Focus on your goals & write down the steps to get there 🥅

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

23. Sharpen your mind & have a go at the daily Wordle 🧐

24. Volunteer for a local soup kitchen 🎗

25. Participate in activism 🔊

26. Sit in your garden & simply bask in the warmth of sunlight on your skin 🏡

27. Call your grandparents 👵

28. Enter into a flow state & reread a book you love 📖

29. Watch a YouTube video from your favourite channel (if you’re the sum of the people that you spend the most time with, then happy days!) 📽

30. Take your dog for a long walk 🐾

Take your dog for a walk instead of buying more stuff

31. Play a game of family Scrabble 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

32. Change your bedding 🛏

33. Watch an eye-opening documentary on veganism or fast fashion 📺

34. Declutter your book collection 📚

35. Convert your summerhouse into a garden office 🖥

36. Make the effort to do something kind for your partner, whether it’s making them a cup of tea or unloading the dishwasher 👩‍❤️‍👨

37. Put down your phone & have a meaningful conversation with them 💬

38. Or… just jump on them & initiate sex! 🔥

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

40. On a clear night, there’s nothing that puts the world into perspective more than gazing at the stars ✨

Stop your consumerist mindset and look up at the stars

41. Visit a museum or art gallery 🎨

42. Plan the perfect gallery wall 🖼

43. Indulge in a hot bubble bath (glass of white wine optional) 🛁

44. Do some mental gymnastics & complete a sudoku 🔢

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

46. Go kayaking 🛶

47. Crack out the karaoke machine & put on a sell-out gig for your family members! 👩‍🎤

48. Do some outdoor bouldering 🧗🏻‍♀️

49. Remember doing handstands & cartwheels on the school playing field… Can you still do them? 🤸‍♀️

50. Play a board game like chess (the oldies are the best!) ♟

Prioritise experiences over things with a game of chess

51. Practice yoga 🧘‍♀️

52. If there’s a group of you, play Jackbox (it’s hilarious & will keep you entertained for hours!) 📱

53. Or go outside & play a game of makeshift rounders 🏏

54. Listen to your favourite feel-good music & dance around the kitchen 💃

55. Go to an evening class 👩‍🏫

56. Snuggle up with a fleecy blanket 🛋

57. Teach your dog some new tricks 🐕

58. Upcycle those old jeans you don’t wear anymore into shorts 👖

59. Put on your trainers & go to the gym 👟

60. Or pick up your neglected dumbells & do a 15-minute home workout 🏋️‍♀️

Stop buying stuff and have a home workout

61. Put your health first & make a minimalist meal plan 🍴

62. Then raid your kitchen cupboards & make a start on meal prep 👩‍🍳

63. Get your family over for a delicious vegan feast 🥦

64. Make a monthly budget (& have a check that you’re sticking to it so you can hit your financial goals) 💷

65. Take a nap (honestly, there are proven cognitive benefits!) 😴

66. Plan your next minibreak ✈️

67. Educate yourself on the problems with the fast fashion industry 🙇‍♀️

68. Watch some embarrassing home videos from when you were little 📼

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

70. Have a picnic 🥗

Quit buying new stuff and have a picnic

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

72. Go on a bike ride 🚴‍♀️

73. Cosy up & rewatch your favourite box set 🍿

74. Start a blog & take your first step towards financial freedom 👩‍💻

75. Go on a road trip to somewhere you’ve never been before 🛣

76. Take photos of the things you don’t want anymore & pop them on Facebook marketplace, or donate them to charity 🧸

77. Check in with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while 📞

78. Read a book on manifestation to move into alignment with your dream life 💫

79. Try your hand at poetry 📝

80. Get lost in the woods 🌲

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 🏕

83. Visit your local library for some ASMR zen vibes 📚

84. Start a herb garden 🌿

85. Play eye-spy 👁

86. Do the thing you’ve been putting off – yep, it’s time to eat that ugly frog 🐸

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? ⏰

88. Work on your side hustle 💪

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

90. Give your indoor plants a bit of TLC 🪴

Stop buying clutter and water your houseplants

91. Try cooking a healthy plant-based meal using whole foods 🥑

92. Organise your wardrobe by colour, then bask in perfectly ordered harmony 👚

93. Throw out any old cosmetics bottles and start your minimalist makeup collection 💄

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

95. Have a Harry Potter marathon – mhm, Harry Potter deserves to appear twice on this list 🧙‍♀️

96. Clean your car inside & out 🚗

97. Write down some healthy habits you want to develop (& start tracking them!) ✒️

98. Read a classic (they’re classics for a reason) 📚

99. Practice positive affirmations 🪞

100. Meditate 🧎‍♀️

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 spare time moving forwards. You are what you spend your time on, so think carefully about whether mindless shopping fits the image of your highest, most authentic self.

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!

Your personal revolution starts with you, and I’m so excited for you to take back control of your time and design a life you’re obsessed with.

Have a great day!

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Avoid online shopping and try these fulfilling activities today


Welcome to Intentional View. I’m Sophie, and I want to help you ditch the distractions and design a life you’re obsessed with. Let’s get this revolution started! Read more.

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