Beginning September 6th, 2013, I have started the challenge of not buying new clothes for a year. Many may think this a stupid challenge (or an impossible one if you know me), but I feel a very strong inclination towards testing my willpower and changing my habits of buying “new” things to wear all too often.
It all started when I was reading some fashion blogs around the web. I stumbled across one where a young woman was starting a challenge because she was in debt. The shame she felt for spending thousands of dollars on clothes somewhat rang true for me, but I thought she was going a little overboard. Intrigued, I looked up some similar blogs and I decided to see how my spending compared. Thanks to mint.com, I was able to see just how much I spent on the category of “clothing:”
$2,600 in 2013 (8 months)
$4,100 in 2012 (12 months)
That’s $335/month. My heart fell into my stomach. I felt (feel) disgusted with myself. I decided to pursue the subject and see what others had achieved and if I could actually do it. I knew something had to change.
I felt empowered after so much reading. I made a plan: November 1st (post-Halloween/costume buying plus prep time) I would begin the challenge, but only for 6 months. My reasoning was that I wasn’t sure if I could do a whole year. Then, I caught myself binge buying clothes to “prep” for this challenge, which was completely counter-intuitive to my objectives. ‘There needs to be more immediate action,’ I realized.
The last time I “bought” new clothes was on August 29. I felt horrible after hitting the “place order” button on Forever 21. As horrible as I felt, that last package arrived on Friday, September 6th, which is how the start date came about. I needed a change before I could prep for it. Can you ever really prepare for going “cold turkey” for something that was once…an addiction?