When I started writing, twelve weeks ago, it was really just as a journal for myself. I wanted to see how hard it would be to cut back on my shopping habits, and to start living within my means every month. Quickly, though, I realised that the topic appealed to many other people, and started getting pretty excited by my readership stats. (As I write, my blog has been viewed 3,959 times, and from 42 different countries around the world; thank you to all of you).

My cohort of friends have graduated with more debt than students have ever had before, and have gone into jobs right in the midst of the recession. This came after a boom in which we had all been encouraged to consume as much as possible, to define ourselves by what and how much we owned. Adjusting to post-boom life has been tricky for many of us. In a poll I ran on the site, 80% of respondents owned up to either occasionally or always spending more than they earned in any given month.

What shocked me most was how secretive people are about their struggle. So many people confided in me that they were not living within their means, even those on a very respectable salary. These same people, though, will continue to meet up with friends for drinks, meals out or trips to the cinema; it’s not the done thing to say that you can’t afford something. Instead, it’s put on the credit card, or the overdraft is stretched to breaking point. The debt is saved up to deal with another day.

And what about me?

Well, I’ve really learned a lot about myself. For one, I’ve realised how much I love writing, and that other people think my writing is actually pretty good. I’ve also documented how I spend when I’m feeling down, as a short-term pick-me-up. Once I broke this cycle, though, I found that I could get by on a lot less.

Not frittering money away is time-consuming, and often boring, though, which means that, like anything difficult, it’s easy to give up quickly. The first couple of times I made a meal planner before I went grocery shopping, it was quite exciting. I enjoyed meticulously looking out for every penny. After that, though, it became a chore. I wanted to rush back into the arms of my faithful ready meals. Expensive, but oh-so quick and easy.

The best trick I came up with was to think about what I could do with the money if I didn’t spend it on that overpriced cup of tea, or if I skipped that trip to the pub for lunch with my colleagues. For me, the answer is a round-the-world gap year, and a professional camera to go with it. I can’t wait.

Thank you for reading, and for all your comments, in person and online. It’s been a fantastic experience.

I hope you’ll be back to read my blog covering that round the world tour that I’m planning, complete with photographs.

Until then, happy saving!

Lots of love,
(Recovering) Shopaholic xxx

P.S If you’re interested in how much I’ve saved while writing this blog, the answer is. . . (Drum roll, please. . .) £429.83. Not bad, eh? (Enough to buy that camera, anyway!).

As I write (4.15pm, Monday 19th November 2012), views by country:



One thought on “Conclusion

  1. I am not exactly a shopaholic…in fact, my relationship to shopping is a bit too far the other way. I came to strongly associate not spending with being good, and therefore spending with being bad, and to refuse to buy myself stuff even if I could afford it and want it. (And if you don’t think that’s a problem, let me tell you, it definitely was one!) Doesn’t affect in the slightest my enjoyment of your blog. I hope you keep writing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s