Practicing Minimalism and conscious consumerism in Japan

4 Week Shopping Fast

So I’ve been talking to a few of my friends for a long time now about going on a shopping fast.

I have come to terms with the fact that my shopaholic behavior needs to be improved especially when looking at my spending these past two months. Did you guys know my blog actually used to be titled: Shopaholic in Japan?  Anyways, something not a lot of people know about me is that I actually keep a budget / finance book (pictured above).  I keep track of everything I spend money on, mostly so I can see where my bad spending is, what areas I did well on, and what I could possibly fix.  Although this may merit a gold star, it still hasn’t kept my spending at bay.

Exhibit A:

For example, in the past month alone I think I’ve ordered 4 separate things using my American debit/credit cards:

An art print & pin (35 dollars), a lucky box (30 dollars) , a handmade fair trade backpack (90 dollars), and something else that I can’t even flipping remember!!  Oh wait I remember, I bought the entire 50 Shades book series haha!

Totals: uhhh a lot of money..

Exhibit B:

Besides that, I’ve bought a few other things recently that I can just name off the top of my head:

Pokemon center pencil (700 yen<—-uh yeah it has Ditto and Pikachu on it so it was worth it at the time), a new pencil case that looks like a Wombat (1,200 yen, this does actually make me happy though and I’m actually looking at it right now and can’t help but giggle), and a bento box wrap with characters on it that look like food (500 yen).

Not only that but I just remembered I had a crazy “treat yo self” shopping trip two Sunday’s ago that had me at: a vintage pair of overalls that I’ll still need to alter (9,000 yen), a Disney Store Judy Hopps pajama set with matching socks (13,000 yen…they are really soft and adorable though and will probably lead to an upcoming blog post), and some fancy  limited sakura spring shampoo and conditioner (3,000 yen).

Totals:  Too much money..and all on stuff I didn’t really need.

The ditto pikachu pencil is above with my cute wombat pencil case haha!

The Shopping Fast

By now your probably convinced that I do indeed have a problem.  Reflecting on these recent purchases makes me realize that it’s time to do this shopping fast so I can save money, learn to be happier with what I’ve got, and put a long pause on my passive consumerism.


-NO BUYING CANDY OR SNACKS (unless you make them yourself from scratch). This one will be especially hard for me but looking back in my budget book I tend to spend ten to twenty dollars a week on booze and snacks alone and also going along with my New Years Resolutions…I really want to lose some weight and snacks are my biggest weakness so hopefully I can try cutting them out with this challenge.

-NO SHOPPING (includes: clothes, stationary, random stuff, hard versions of books, makeup, skin care, shampoo, conditioner, body wash….will add more later)

-ALLOWED TO BUY: groceries, food out, cleaning supplies, ebooks (once the ones I already own are finished), presents for friends, transportation tickets (bus, train and so on), medicine.

This shopping fast is mostly to get me to stop buying random stuff and clothes but I also want to try and be a bit more mindful about other purchases so I’ll be trying my best to bring as many lunches to work as possible and keep my restaurant dining to a minimum.

How Long?

At first I had planned to see just how far I could go but I realize if I don’t give myself a set time limit I may not achieve anything at all so I’m giving myself a full month and then extending if needed.  I plan to document what I spend each week on this blog and talk about any mistakes or issues I’m facing.

I’ve read a ton of stories of people who have done shopping fasts and I can’t wait to start mine but I’m also super scared and worried that I might not be able to do it.   If any one wants to join me I’ll be officially starting the fast on Sunday February 26th with the end date of March 26th.  That’ll give me and anyone else who wants to join ample time in figuring their shit out before committing to the fast.  If you write any posts about it please link me so I can check it out!

I have a feeling I may need to make some tweaks or even stricter rules so things may be subject to changing but I’m very excited and hope you join me on this shopping fast challenge!

Thank you for reading!