Thanks for all the support y'all have given me this last year during my resolution of not shopping for an entire year! I have had a lot of questions on how I defeated the temptation, so here are some tips and tricks for sticking to it!
Organize your closet. The first thing I did (you can read about it here) was organize my closet. You can organize it any way you would like, but I sectioned off my tops, pants, skirts, dresses, and jackets. I then made a promise to myself to wear every top once before repeating it. If I wore a top and didn't feel comfortable in it throughout the day, it went into the donate pile when I got home. If the fit wasn't right, donate. You just have to commit to it and not make any excuses. "I'll lose a couple pounds and it will fit better." "I will wear this if I ever need to attend a (blank) again." If the item is worn out, just toss it. The main thing is no excuses about how you could salvage the item. A lot of my clothes I have had since my freshman year of college. When it came time to wear some of the tops, they hadn't been touched in two years. I instantly donated them. It felt so good to make room in my closet.
Unsubscribe from ALL clothing emails. I was getting coupons emailed to me all the time and that is what alerted me when there was a sale. I unsubscribed from all of the clothing coupon emails and never had to worry about missing out on a "huge" sale that only happens "once a year." Guess what? That same sale will happen again the next year.
Don't temp yourself. If you know you will cave, don't go to the mall or your favorite stores and always leave your wallet in the car or only take in with you some cash. If you don't have your wallet, you can't buy anything :)
Save your gift cards for at least the first three months. I have told this story before, but on December 31st of 2012, I was sitting in the Albuquerque airport searching my phone to try and get in last minute purchases. The internet connection in the airport was terrible and by the time I got home it was 2013 and my resolution had begun. Those items that I thought I couldn't live without soon became faint memories and I no longer had the need for them. If you have gift cards you can treat yourself at benchmarks throughout the year. Maybe every three months or so. Just know that things you think you need, you can live without.
Get a support group. When I told my friends and family I was doing this, I got a lot of comments along the lines of "no way can you make it a whole year!" Thank you, people, for fueling my fire. After they realized I was completely serious, everyone was so supportive. My mom treated me to a couple shopping trips and my girlfriends and I always met up for coffee or lunch instead of meeting at the mall.
Know that you can! I had so many people who would say things like "Good luck! I could never do that!" or "I am addicted to shopping, so I could never do that!" Believe me, you can! When you say you can't do something you have already convinced yourself that you will fail. It is just like any other thing in life you want to accomplish. When you set your mind to it, you can do it! Not only did we save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars this year, but I learned so much about myself and my style. And to be completely honest, this year flew by! Maybe it was the anticipation of this resolution being over, or the fact that they say times flies the older you get, but I can't believe I made it a whole year without shopping.
I hope this list helps guide you if you do decide to do some sort of spending freeze. Like I mentioned yesterday, I think for 2014 I am allowing myself to purchase one item per month. If I don't buy something one month, I can buy two things the next month...and so on. With that being said, if anyone else wants to try a similar resolution I am thinking of hosting a monthly link up to showcase the one item you purchased that month. What do ya'll think??