How to Embrace the Fall Season Without the Mindless Spending

The fall has become fairly commercialized, and I am hitting the reset button. Here is my quick guide to approaching the fall with more curiosity and less obligations.

When you think of Autumn, what comes to mind? Cozy sweaters? Underwhelming hayrides? Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes? The dreadful search for a “unique” Halloween costume?

There are so many details to the season that makes us feel good and get us excited.

The other day I was brainstorming what I wanted to do to celebrate the fall season. I bought my classic Chai, settled myself on the outdoor patio, and began browsing Pinterest and TikTok almost endlessly for inspiration.

Somehow by the end of the day, I had FULL shopping carts on multiple retailer websites. Yikes.

I sat back for a moment, questioning the 2+ hours I had just spent scouring various versions of dried floral bouquets, and thought to myself, “what am I doing?”

Oh, how easy it is to fall into the trap of consumerism during this time.

The sad part of this story is that I really thought I needed a dried floral bouquet. I wanted to add some fall flare to my bedroom and share inspiration with the Ace community. I think that’s fair, but that logic is very much a product of the consumer-driven culture.

Businesses will tell you that you need more sweaters. Instagram influencers will proudly post pictures in their new sweaters. But, friend, you don’t need the new sweater; you want the new sweater.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not telling you to give up your Sunday morning Chai Latte tradition, because I will not be giving up mine. I am just trying to shine a light on the need for balance and good intention.

After catching myself in my hungry Hobby Lobby mindset, I started creating a list of how I wanted to approach the fall this season, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Here is my short advice on celebrating fall this year without the buyer’s remorse.

1. Decorate your home for you, not Instagram.

Because I’m a blogger who likes to provide inspiration for others, it can be easy to get carried away with creating something that is unnecessary. When it came to decorating my room for the fall…boy did I get carried away (hence the 2+ hours of dried florals research).

I luckily caught myself before making any extreme purchases, but I did waste a lot of time perusing stores in person and online.

I was actually so determined to find unique décor that I sought out new retailers through blog lists entitled something like “20 Unique Small Retailers to Support Today”. It was too much.

I ultimately realized that I liked the way my room looked as it is, and I didn’t need to overdo it with new décor. Subtle fall details would be enough.

My room may not look Pinterest-worthy for the fall, but it makes me happy. If a haul is what will truly make you happy (and you can swing it financially), then go for it. But really ask yourself: what will make me happy? Not: what will make my Insta aesthetic cooler or get me TikTok famous?

I spent $14, and now my room feels cozier and smells like cinnamon. Win-win.

2. When one sweater comes in, one should go.

I have stated this prior, but allow me to state it again. Instead of aspiring to own a large quantity of clothes, aspire to own high quality clothes.

Social media tells us we need more; more cute clothing, more unique clothing, more on trend clothing. The comparison game is draining, and it’s 👏🏻 not 👏🏻 worth 👏🏻 it.

This may not feel like a unique seasonal issue, but I always tend to do damage in the fall. I’m not sure if it’s because it was always at the start of a new school year or that I have a soft spot for sweater season…nonetheless, I have totally changed my mentality when it comes to shopping for my wardrobe.

I follow a policy that with one new purchase comes the removal of one old item. At this stage of my life, I want to build a high-quality wardrobe with less over worn skeletons in the closet. Although I may try to convince myself otherwise, I really don’t want to wear the cheap, pilled sweater I purchased in 10th grade.

If you approach new purchases with this “policy," you will think twice before you go through with it. This has changed the game for me; for the better.

3. Partake in activities you actually want to partake in.

This one goes along with #1; don’t do stuff because you think you’ll get a good picture out of it, or, even worse, don’t do stuff you see other people doing if you’re not actually interested.

The biggest fall example of this is pumpkin picking.

I would bet that every single person who reads this article, or that has ever read my blog, has seen a pumpkin picking post come across their Instagram feed. Hey, I think they can be cute, but I always find myself wondering if the person actually wanted to be there.

For all fall festivities; winery tours, apple picking, haunted hayrides, even trips to scenic places; before you go, ask yourself these 2 simple questions:

  1. Would I still want to go if I didn’t have my phone to capture the moment?

  2. Is this activity something that I actually find intriguing? (If you saw a cool picture of a scenic mountain and became intrigued, however, you don’t like hiking…maybe sit that one out.)

4. A lot of fall traditions are inexpensive and COVID-friendly; don’t overthink it.

The beautiful thing about the fall is that so many of the fun activities we often partake in are relatively cheap if not free. Even better, a lot of the same activities can still happen during this pandemic.

I remember starting to do some fall pinning around the beginning of September, and I came across a bunch of different fall bucket lists. I recall being stunned in a “duh” kind of way when I noticed that many of the activities listed were still okay; pins made in 2019.

Here are some quick examples:

  • Baking apple pie

  • Watching horror films

  • Burning fall candles

  • Having a bonfire

  • Taking a hike

  • Visiting a local farm

  • Carving a pumpkin

  • Watching football

This past weekend, Cole and I decided to take a little trip across Pennsylvania to see the White Cliffs of Conoy, a very random scenic spot in PA. Not only were the cliffs awesome, but the foliage throughout the state during this time of year was nothing short of breathtaking.

It was a little low-cost, spontaneous adventure, and it was a great time. Don’t overthink it.

I feel like every number on this list summarized a realization I had at some point this fall. What I’m sharing with you is just some of the things I’ve learned and that I hope can be helpful for you.

If you forget everything above this sentence, takeaway this: the fall season should be a fun time full of meaningful, fun experiences fueled by curiosity and excitement. It shouldn’t break the bank, and it shouldn’t be for someone else.

HAVE FUN, #ShowYourAce, and stay present as much as you can.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to light my fall cinnamon candle, watch Hocus Pocus, and enjoy my evening in peace. 😌

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