In case you have not noticed, I am a designer diva, a fashionista with a penchant for beautiful, quality clothing. I have tried and failed several times at doing no spend months or a complete year and thought that maybe it just wasn’t in my blood to do such a thing. Realizing several times in the past few years that I just can’t continue on spending gobs of money on clothing, I’ve decided yet again to try a no clothing spend year. I believe the major roadblock has been in my mindset and getting my emotions in the right place, to a happy place. I need to remember that I do not need fashion to validate any part of my life.
But how hard is it to change such an ingrained habit?
It has taken me a complete year to discover that I still spend, the focus on debt repayment is not there, it is instead on wanton shopping. Many times I’ve mentioned focus, and that possibly rock bottom hasn’t been hit to motivate me to do something real about my spending habits. Does something even more dramatic than what happened four years ago have to occur? Why should that be the case? Why would anyone have to hit the ultimate rock bottom to facilitate a change in spending?
Is it because I am a dreamer?
For as long as I have known, I’ve been a dreamer. I am an idealistic romantic that believes all stories should end happily and that everyone should live the life they choose. I am a believer that the life you want is out there and you can manifest it into existence. Apparently, I’m doing it ahead of schedule and spending someone else’s money.
Why would anyone willingly choose to be a shopaholic?
I don’t think I chose it but I guess I did. Every time I hand over my credit card for a piece of clothing that I cannot afford, I am choosing to be a shopaholic. When I do this same action over and over again, I am absolutely a shopaholic.
According to a study in the UK, one in five women is a shopaholic. The excessive spending habits of these women inevitably lead them to depression.
This story is truly scary…
One woman in five is a shopaholic – Easy credit and peer pressure push millions to buy beyond their means, causing spiral of depression
26 handbags and 72 pairs of shoes. I cannot even think of what I would do with that many bags and shoes, there are not enough hours in a week to wear them all. But this is the life of a shopaholic and makes me ponder whether I really am one; I have 4 handbags and 16 pairs of shoes. There is no denying it, I am a shopaholic and the problem lies in the artificial lifestyle inflation I have created that I cannot keep in check. In my quest for quality over quantity, clothing items have gone from $50-$100 apiece to $300-$500 apiece. Yowzaa! I have the notion that I only have me to spend on so why not spend. It is a flawed way of thinking, but there it is, in the deep recesses of my mind haunting and taunting me to spend. I have no partner or children, so let’s live a life of extravagance. Hmmm…not a good idea.
I seem to have this notion that I only have me to spend on so why not spend. It is a flawed way of thinking, but there it is, in the deep recesses of my mind haunting and taunting me to spend. I have no partner or children, so let’s live a life of extravagance. Hmmm…not a good idea.
Why do we choose a fleeting moment of happiness in our instant gratification society of material things over long-term true happiness? If you add up all those fleeting moments and compare them to someone who patiently waits and saves for the dreams they want, I’m sure the patient saver comes out on top for their happiness quotient.
The mission starts now!
For the remainder of 2014, I am going to soft launch my no spend year. Kind of like getting a practice run at bloodletting the shopping from my veins. No, this does not give me a license to spend, it means I MUST do my very best to not spend because Jan 1st 2015 it all stops.
My Ultimate Goal: 2015 is a no clothing (or frivolous) spend year.
Rules and guidelines, they are extreme but you are gonna like em! 🙂
What can I spend on?
- Only the necessities for life! The goal is to stick to the salary only budget that I created last month, you can read that here.
- School courses – need to finish what I start 🙂
- Travel BUT, but I MUST do my very best to make each trip FRUGAL. Use as many reward points as I can, stay in B&B’s or with family for free and minimize food expenses.
- Basic toiletries, skin cream, contact lenses and solution.
- Starbucks only up to $25 a month. I MUST adhere to this amount or I am required to make coffee at home if I run out of money.
- Repair fees for clothing and shoes.
- Bike maintenance for my road bike.
What can I not spend on?
Here is where it gets fun!
- Any piece of clothing, which includes, undergarments, swimwear, purses, hats, scarves, shoes, belts, jewelry, watches, coats, jackets, blazers, dresses, etc. Anything fashion related is off limits. Here’s the fun part for you! If I feel I need to purchase a piece of clothing, here is my pact to you: I will take a photograph of the completely worn out and exhausted garment (unless it’s my underwear, you are NOT getting pics of my skivvies) and offer up a reason why it needs to be replaced and cannot be repaired BEFORE I buy a replacement. You, my readers, will comment on whether or not I can buy a replacement. If the majority says no, then its no.
- Say NO to excess Beauty products! No nail polish (I have enough), no makeup unless replacing the basics I use day to day, no beauty consultations, and no spa visits. I am permitted only two mani/pedis for the year and two cut/color for my hair, that is it, one per 6-month period.
- No electronics or DVD/Blu-ray movies at all. No iPod, iPhone, TVs, headphones, tablets, movies, nothing. I have all of it already and there is no need to upgrade. If it breaks, I go without for a year. The only exception is fixing my phone or replacing as a last resort as I need it for work.
- No books, journals, notebooks or magazines. There’s this nice thing called the library that loans stuff out for free (go figure!) and I am going to use it for everything.
- No sporting goods or lululemon type sporting wear.
- No more dating services. You heard right, no more paying for dating. Or, legalized prostitution as I call it. Too many guys I’ve talked to (and been on dates with) think it’s an online buffet and are waiting for the next best thing. Well, sorry boys, no thanks. If I can’t meet you in my day to day, well, my loss.
Why am I trying this all over again?
Like most people, I want to live a life with purpose, to be able to die and say I lived a great life, that I was happy, had fun and gave back. For most of my life, I have been trapped in this consumer debt bubble and the life that society thinks I should lead. Last time I checked, I was the one running this show so why coast through it mindlessly. I love to travel, I love to write, I love music, and people and culture so why not make these things a priority and stop chasing the mindless junk I seem to be so attracted to. The happiness I am searching for is not in clothes.
I am also getting super scared about retirement and the money that will be required.
All of you, my readers, are permitted to call me out on any of this (within reason), if I purchase something or make a decision you feel just isn’t right, question me on it. I will not accept excessive rants, swearing or name calling, that is not constructive criticism. Please try to play nice children! Stay positive with me and we’ll have fun with it!
So, let’s get started.
Do you see any flaws in my plan? What’s your opinion on a no spend year? Would you add anything?
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