Last year I challenged myself to not buy new clothes for five months. I guess you can call it a resolution, but at the end of 2012, I started noticing the crapload of clothes sitting in my closet, a bunch of things I wore once and a scary credit card bill I'm too embarrassed to talk about.
While I ended up lasting until May from buying any new outfits (and almost failed a handful of times), I splurged on accessories, bags and other things to fill my void. Shopping had always been my cardio and anytime I felt good or bad, buying something new was therapeutic.
As a challenge to myself and to prove to myself I can do it (fully) again, this year I plan on doing the same, only this time around, I won't be buying any new accessories, beauty products or shoes until May. What if my purse, or belt, or lipstick breaks? I have to suck it up deal with it.
In November 2013, I wrote a story about common pitfalls women make when it comes to budgeting and how to save money in the New Year. While I just wanted to save in general, a financial expert I spoke to said closets end up being the biggest piles of "debt" and if you really look at what you own, you can actually see how much you spend.
That day I went home and looked at my closet and it wasn't a pretty sight. I don't really own a lot of expensive, designer things, but I have an ugly habit for shopping for things on sale, in bulk (because I can't just buy ONE pair of shoes) and outfits for every single event or occasions -- and by occasion I mean girls' night or going to dinner.
And to be fair, my shopping habits weren't always so bad. Prior to my first real job I was a student in debt and with very little spending money. When I got my first real paycheck at a real job, a bright $$$ sign went off in my head and swiping my VISA became easy. I'd spend hours in the mall, online or just walking down streets and making a list of things I NEEDED each month.
I think my habits took a bigger turn when I started going out for more dinners, attending events or going out for people's birthdays. I would spend money on something to wear just for one night, which now probably sits in the back of my closet.
But this year, I plan on doing things a little differently. I will go through my closet, keep things I want, donate the things that don't fit or I don't need anymore and start shopping through the clothing rack I already have.
If all goes as budgeted, I will end up saving almost $1,000 (ah!) by May. Not shopping has also in the past, taught me a valuable lesson on money management, how many hours I spend shopping and how much use my clothes actually get.
And I guess you can say, "Why won't you just not shop for a whole year?" As great as that sounds, it would be a nightmare. I love fashion and I love trends and I look forward to buying something again in the summer time.
So maybe I will reach May, maybe I will crack in March. Will anyone else join me?