Monday, January 15, 2018

Reflections on My Year of Not Shopping


365 days without buying a single clothing, make-up, or accessory item for myself!  If you know me well, feel free to pick your jaw up off the floor.  And no, I'm not lying, I actually did it!!

I've already had several friends ask if I've gone on a shopping spree yet.  Why no, I haven't.  But I did order a pair of $25 casual tennis shoes and a floral top for family pictures after baby boy is born.

So what did I learn?  How have I changed?  What will I do differently moving forward?

1. We Buy Way Too Much Crap We Don't Need
I've always "known" this, but it didn't seem to stop me from buying said crap and filling my closet(s) with it.  I definitely feel like I actually KNOW this now.  Yes, Target makes some great inexpensive sweaters, but I already have 5 (or 10, whatever), and I definitely do not need another one.  After a year of not being able to impulse-buy, I feel like moving forward I will actually buy things that I truly "need" rather than just things that are cute and appeal to me.

Throughout the year, there were trendy things I wanted to buy and couldn't (cute off-the-shoulder floral top, new fringe earrings, etc.), but there were also a few things I wanted to buy and couldn't that I still feel like I need.  (See post about my saggy bathing suit here.)  So I won't feel guilty in 2018 when I buy a few new mom-suits, a pair of skinny jeans, and some lounge shorts with pockets!  All things that I still wish I had months later.

2. Money Isn't Everything, But It Sure Is Nice to Have A Lot of It in Savings
I get asked a lot - "How much money did you save!?" I don't have an answer, because prior to 2017, I purchased without a budget, so I didn't track how much I spent on retail purchases.  But I can reasonably and confidently say that I saved my family a few thousand dollars at least throughout 2017. (I tried to estimate what I saved one month here.)

We have had some hefty medical bills the last 2 years for our son's hypospadias surgeries and treatments, and I feel so blessed that we did not have to go into debt to cover these.  The husband and I are also planning on a kid-free vacation later in 2018, and we will have the money for this because I didn't shop this past year.

There are SO many things I'd rather save for (activities for my children, more vacations, a new car) than spending that money on the latest Stella & Dot earrings.  This is something I plan to remind myself of over and over and over as I re-adjust to being able to shop.

3. Shopping Is a Habit - and You Can Break It
The best part of my no-shopping resolution is that it broke bad habits I had developed over the past 15 years.  I used to online impulse shop weekly, throw a new clothing item in the cart with every Target run, and ask anyone wearing something adorable, "Where did you get that!?"  Those habits are now long-gone.  I can compliment someone's cute outfit without immediately trying to figure out when and how I can get it for myself.  I can walk through Target and actually buy what's on my list.  I can read a fashion blog without clicking every link.

I hope you've been somewhat inspired by my journey this year.  I urge you to make some changes to your own spending habits if you think it's something that would benefit your life like it has mine.  This is by far the best resolution I've ever made, and it's a resolution I see myself re-visiting many times over the next few decades.  Happy not-shopping!  ;)

Monday, November 20, 2017

October Recap & Donated Outerwear

The year is ALMOST OVER!  Which means, my resolution is almost over as well!  Crazy to think about - but I have gone 322 days without buying clothes, jewelry, shoes, or makeup for myself.  322 DAYS, PEOPLE!  What started out SO hard, has become second nature.  I can easily handle a Target visit without looking at the women's clothing section.  (It was definitely not so easy back in January.)

October flew by (although I say that every month, don't I?), and it wasn't a hard month to stick to my goal.  The only thing I felt like I maybe "needed" to buy was a few more warm weather maternity shirts.  I didn't though of course, and it worked out just fine.  If you saw me in the same shirt 4 days in a row, sorry!  I can promise I washed it at least once in those 4 days...

I purged my closet of excess outerwear last month.

I pray that those sweaters, jackets, coats, and vests, will make their way to the closets of women in need this winter!

Only 2 more purges left!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

September Recap and Getting Rid of Swimsuits

I shared about my summer swimsuit situation in last month's recap.  I basically spent the entire summer wearing one swimsuit with baggy drawers.  It wasn't pretty, but it worked.  I was more than happy to purge some old swimsuits and swimsuit cover-ups in September.  Including some that I am 99.9% sure my body will never again fit into.

I donated 5 bikinis, some extra bottoms, and 4 cover-ups.

As the end of 2017 gets closer, I keep thinking about what my new goal will be for 2018.  I will be done with my ban on shopping, but I plan to continue this lifestyle of buying less and spending our money on much more important things.  There are however some things I know for sure I'll be purchasing.  If I spent an entire calendar year wishing I could buy them, then I figure it is something I can actually really use in my closet.  First on the list: a new swimsuit!!

I only have 3 more months of purges to go.  Check out what I've gotten rid of earlier this year here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Summer Recap {June, July, & August}

So now that I'm pregnant, #toddlermombrain PLUS #pregnancybrain surely gives me an excuse for not blogging all summer long, right!?

It's unbelievable that the school year has already started, and fall is just around the corner.  In general, I did fine with not shopping during the summer months, but the one swimsuit bottom I wore 213 times is looking ROUGH.  

Last summer, I was just a month postpartum, so I bought 2 swimsuits to accommodate my mom bod.  This summer, those 2 suits were too large, but my pre-baby suits were a tad too snug and just didn't seem appropriate for wearing while chasing a toddler at the neighborhood pool.  I mean I'm all for working on my cool mom status, but not if it means risking a nip slip or bathing suit wedgie.

I almost caved a few times and just bought a new swimsuit, but instead I wore my one well-fitting bottoms with its matching top or a dark-colored full coverage sports bra.  I'm planning to really limit my shopping again in 2018, but I can guarantee you a few mom suits will be purchased next May.

Since I'm recapping 3 months, that means 3 different categories of clothes will be donated this post.

I donated 10 pairs of pants and leggings:

10 shorts and skirts:

And 30 tops/blouses/sweaters:

Although I have a shopping problem overall, tops and blouses are my kryptonite.  I am tempted to buy them most often, and they have the most real estate in my closet by far.  I think when I resume minimal shopping in 2018, I will need to set some clear rules so that I don't go overboard buying tops as I have done in the past.

For those of you following along on my journey, thank you and sorry I've been so M.I.A.  I'm sticking with my goal, and there are only 4 months left!  If you are also resisting the urge to shop or donating clothes, keep it up!  We got this!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

May Recap and Dress Donation

Time seriously needs to slow down.  Like for serious.  Back when I was in the throes of new momville (AKA 9 days between showers, 1.68 hours of sleep a day, baby attached to one boob or the other at all times, and lots and lots of crying - from the baby, that is) people kept saying, "Oh just enjoy every second.  It goes by so fast.  You'll blink and they'll be off to college."

And I'd have to fake smile and bite my tongue to avoid shouting back, "I sure hope it goes by fast!"

But in reality, they were right.  It goes by way too fast and before you know it your child is sleeping through the night yet scaling bookshelves and rolling off couches.  Funny how when your babe turns into a toddler you get much more sleep at night yet you're just as tired because their daytime antics are exhausting.

May flew by, but to be honest, it got harder to resist the pull to shop.  May is a great time for stocking up on fun summer clothes and new swimsuits, and I kept seeing so many cute things that I would normally have snatched up right away.  I kept my mind on my goal and resisted!  However, if you see me at the pool and I look a fright, it's because my pre-baby swimsuits are a tad too small but my post-baby swimsuits purchased last summer are a tad too large.  So it's either muffin top or saggy butt for me this swim season.

For May, my goal was to donate at least 10 dresses that I no longer wear or need.

This category has been the hardest for me so far.  I have tons of dresses that I can safely get rid of, but it's hard parting with something I attach to a fun memory (weddings, Vegas girls trips, special dates).  I have to remind myself that the memory is not held in the physical object, but in my heart and mind (and photos don't hurt to keep around either).  

I doubled my goal and purged 20 dresses!

Monday, May 8, 2017

April Recap - Money Well Spent & Items Purged

It's only the 3rd 8th of the month (dangit I really did start this on the 3rd), and I'm getting my recap for the previous month on the blog.

April was a fantastic month, both for my social life and for my non-shopping resolution.  I have had numerous people ask me each month, "How much money have you saved by not shopping?"  I never know how to answer that question, because I never had a shopping budget in the past, so it's hard to know how much I would have spent had I shopped at will.  I decided to make a guess at what I might have purchased this past month had I been shopping as usual.  I'm going to tally up how much I saved, as well as share what I did spend money on this past month.

Money Well Saved
So I tried to stay away from the fashion blogs, I really did, but I failed at that.  I just love reading blogs.  Not just fashion blogs (cooking, mom life, interior design, organizing, etc.), but I couldn't quit that category altogether.  There were many items this past month that caught my eye (hello spring!), but I resisted them all.  Here are things that I'm guessing I might have purchased.  And I'm purposefully not linking these items or telling you where they're for sale, because if I can't have them, then you can't either!!!  ;-P





Obviously I'm just guessing and who knows if some of those would have actually fit correctly, but that totals up to around $250.  I know I would have definitely used my employee discount to grab a new tank or 2 and leggings at my barre studio, so that adds another $100 I would have spent.  So I'm going with $350 dollars I saved last month! Cha-ching!

Money Well Spent
So what did I spend money on in April?

A wine date with 2 of my best girlfriends!

A special double date birthday lunch with a dear friend and her sweet girl who is 3 weeks older than Beckett!

Beckett's 1st birthday party!

And a crazy fun girls weekend at a rental house - 12 of us met from all over the country!

I even convinced them to learn a choreographed dance to make a One Direction music video.  #FREE

I can confidently and happily say that those were all meaningful experiences that enriched my life.  MONEY. WELL. SPENT!  It feels good to not only save some skrilla, but to also use what I do spend on things that are truly important.

For April, I thinned out my PJ stash.

I had gone through this drawer pretty recently, so I didn't have as much to purge, but here's what I donated in April: 

I hope you are spending well so far this year!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

March Recap & Workout Clothes Purged

So luckily my New Year's Resolution wasn't to keep up with this blog, because I'd be straight failing.  I'm doing great at my actual resolution, and I can honestly say at this point, my life does feel different in many ways!

Back in mid-March, when I found myself in the mall, it was pretty tempting and difficult.  Now, a month later, it is much easier to resist the pull of retail.  It's empowering to remind myself that I can do anything if I just simply make the decision and commit to it.

I'm also loving my shrinking closet.  It's nice to be more organized, have less stuff jammed in every possible storage space, and to have dresser drawers that close properly.  In March, I went through my workout clothes collection.  

I have been an exercise junkie since college, and I have been teaching fitness classes since 2012, so I have always had a great excuse to buy new leggings or a strappy tank.

In March, I donated 18 workout tops, 1 pair of capris, and 1 pair of leggings.  

More recaps and closet purges here.  Pajamas and loungewear are up next!