How I started
I didn’t start this 6-month clothes buying fast intentionally. In March, I read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, and Rick and I started finding ways to cut back on our spending. When we made our first budget in April, I just didn’t include a line item for clothing. The last item of clothing I bought was in March, and I didn’t really NEED anything new.
I think this was kind of a unique way to start a clothes buying fast. I didn’t “stock up” and risk over-spending because I was nervous about not being able to buy any new clothes. I just stopped buying extra stuff and then turned it into a 6-month challenge.
It wasn’t difficult for the first months. I just stayed out of the mall and clothing stores. By month 4 or 5 I started getting antsy. I saw so many cute summery outfits on other people, and my summer clothes were getting boring. Some were even falling apart. And I just missed shopping!
What helped to get me through
-Trying new outfit combinations
-Stitching up clothes with holes
-Reminding myself that this is just temporary. I might not look great every day this summer. And I will survive.
-Reality check. If I don’t look cute every day of work, will they fire me? If I wear the same clothes over and over when I see friends and family, will they like me less? No.
What I did when my 6-month fast ended
-Set a date. On 9/15/18 I would end my fast and buy a few items.
-Set a time limit. I would only spend 2 hours shopping, going to the stores I was pretty sure would have what I wanted.
-Shopped with a list I had compiled over the previous few weeks of things I really wanted.
-Second-guessed my purchases. I walked around the store with them for a bit and made myself put back at least one item.
-Set a spending limit.
What I bought
The black pants. I wear black pants to work most days, and I went through two pairs over the summer. They were worn through and pretty much beyond repair. So I’m super-thankful I found this wardrobe staple at Target!
Goodwill tops. I wanted a few new tops for fall. In the past I’d made the mistake of buying things at Goodwill because I was enchanted by the low prices. This time, I was picky to make sure my items were in good condition, would fit with my current wardrobe, and I liked how I looked in them.
Bonus! My fast-ending shopping trip occurred right before I went to visit a friend who happened to be doing an awesome job at decluttering. She gave me some cute tops she was going to get rid of, and I can’t wait to wear them!
What I learned
I am resourceful. I borrowed clothes (even a bridesmaids dress for a wedding I was in). I sewed clothes. I learned to use what I had even if it wasn’t perfect for the occasion.
More is not always better. Having fewer clothing options can make it easier to decide what to wear for the day.
Not only did I save money, but I saved time. I realized how much time I had wasted searching for clothes I didn’t really need.
There are 2-3 more items I’d like to purchase before I start another clothes buying fast. I’ll give myself a break for now, but I’m definitely not going back to my mindless clothes buying habits. I might do another six-month stint after Christmas or, if I’m gutsy enough, I’ll extend the fast to 9-12 months.
Have you ever tried a spending fast? What got you through it?
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