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 ItThe 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! ;)