Start the New Year off right: Take more than one holiday from shopping

if money's burning a hole in your pocket, it's not a new pair of pants you need
if money's burning a hole in your pocket, it's not a new pair of pants you need

On Christmas Day it snowed here in Portland, Oregon, where I live, so we spent an hour eagerly watching the Weather Channel to hear more news of white Christmases. The sweet, certainly well-meaning weathercaster perkily hoped that we were having a nice vacation from working ... and shopping! My husband and I looked at each other. Could this be true? We only have one chance a year to take a holiday from shopping?

No! Say it ain't so. Let this be the year that nearly every day is a well-earned vacation from shopping. Sure, there's the stuff that can't be avoided; groceries (though we've committed to getting most of our food locally this year), toilet paper, the occasional pack of socks or new tool we long for. (For my husband, that's real tools, for me, it's camera equipment. La!) But free yourself from the need to shop. Despite popular belief, you are not single-handedly responsible for protecting the fates of the retail stocks. Limited Brands and The Gap will survive without your help, and if they should fail? Truly, fashion clothing is not the pillar of civilization as we know it. Mankind will go on.

If you're struggling with the idea of not spending, here are a few tips on how to reduce unnecessary expenditures: