Though Norris expects her spending will drop, she’s focusing more on reducing the quantity of items she owns. Instead of shopping for new clothes, she’s renting them through a subscription service called GlamCorner for A$99 ($70, £54) a month.
As for Poston, she’s used the time she once dedicated to shopping to her small business — a clothing line for people who dance the tango — and her YouTube channel. She also got herself out of credit card debt and began saving money.
The no-buy worked on a deeper level, too. “It completely transformed my life; not just my behaviours but my sense of self. I was using shopping as a way of avoiding my demons,” she says. But it wasn’t easy: “I started going to therapy, I got in lots of fights with my boyfriend. I made some lifestyle changes. When I took away buying things, I had to start down the actual path to being my best self.”
Yarrow says not everyone needs to go on a spending freeze for a year, but the experience can dramatically change problematic behaviours. The key, she says, is for consumers to be honest with themselves about where they shop excessively and how they can best take back control.
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