Thursday, January 2, 2014

Advice for not shopping for a year

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??

Have a wonderful day!
 
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22 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post! I especially love the gift card advice - I have a store credit from returning some Christmas clothes and although I thought "Oh I can go back next weekend and use it!" I really don't NEED anything right now and that credit will come in handy one day when I do. Your 2013 shopping freeze inspired me and I'm doing the same for myself this year, though starting with smaller goals -- March 1st and then July 1st and so on. Can't wait to see what this teaches me and how it changes me!

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  2. I so admire you for doing this!! Amazing!!

    agirlandhersparkles.blogspot.com

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  3. I still can't believe you did this so flawlessly. I'm just so envious that you were able to look so awesome all year and not purchase anything!!!!

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  4. Congrats and I am SO proud of you!! You are such an inspiration!!

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  5. This is beyond inspiring!! I literally have so much respect and learning to live with less can be so rewarding! You go girl :)

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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  6. Good job Sarah! and I always love to delay using gift cards- Especially when I forget about them and they are a nice surprise later on to treat yourself, or they can go towards a purchase you actually need down the road!

    As far as donating/getting "new" clothes, I am part of a website, Tracyscloset.com, where you post gently used or new clothing items and accessories and they are valued based on a points system. You "sell" them for points, they mail a pre-paid postage shipping kit, drop it in the mail, and it goes straight to whoever bought your items. Then, use your points in other people's closets (or some boutiques on the website for brand new things!) It is essentially free, you only pay for shipping. I like it as an alternative to Goodwill when I can't see just giving away good quality items that just don't fit anymore! And, in exchange for clearing out the closet, get new/good quality items without going on a shopping spree! Just thought I'd share :)

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    1. Thanks Sherrie :)

      I will check out that website right now. It sounds amazing for what I am looking to do!

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  7. I do the same thing with my clothes - try to wear everything before wearing it again. Luckily we have a chair in the room that my closet is in so once the clothing item is cleaned, I put it on the chair and don't touch it for awhile. It works until the chair gets piled high. I went through a lot of my clothes to give away, just got to do it!

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  8. You are amazing!! I still can't believe how you did it, but you definately inspired me to cut my shopping habits down this year! I would in an office and in NY so weather and meetings are always telling me I NEED new stuff, but I know I may not need everything I think I need. Definately going to take some of your advice and put it to use, hopefully I can not shop majority of the year and make everyone treat me :) Can't wait to test myself and see what happens!

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  9. This was one of the coolest resolutions and one of the few that I have see accomplished. :) Love your motivation!

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  10. I am so proud of you! This is amazing! You inspire me! :)

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  11. So impressed Sarah! Thanks for answering my questions too! I would like to attempt the "one item a month" and would link up with you! The fact that I could use gift cards that I earn through work or elsewhere makes me feel a little bit better, too :-) I'm also toying with the fact that I can allow myself to purchase items ONLY using money I earn from selling clothes/accessories I no longer wear on eBay or via consignment stores so I have a bit more wiggle room!

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  12. I love your idea. I don't really blog much any more, but I would love to join in with you on your resolution for 2014. That is def something I need to take into consideration more often, I really don't need it. But I like the idea of being able to buy ONE thing, even if I don't use it. Thanks for the idea...totally just made a pack with me! Happy New Year!!

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  13. I have toyed with this idea for the past few months and this post helps. I like the tips and have officially committed to taking a break from the spending for the year. My husband and I really would like to make an effort to save this year in preparation for a baby and new home so, this just gave me the push I needed. I will be emailing you for some advice and support throughout the year!

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    1. Unsubscribed to all emails today! First step.

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    2. Yay! Baby steps is all it takes and it sounds like you have the motivation to do it! Let me know if you ever need some encouragement! You can do it!

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  14. Unsubscribing to the emails is great advice, that's how I usually sucked in! Reorganizing my closet is next, Thanks for the advice.
    http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

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    1. You're so welcome! Unsubscribing is KEY! They always sucked me in, too :)

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  15. I will definitely be using this as I start this journey! So thankful to have you cheering me on. It's exciting but makes me nervous at the same time. First up this month is just a total no spend month. I'm saving all my gift cards for closer to summer because I LOVE summer clothes. haha Enjoy the rest of your break sweet friend. Love this and you!

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  16. That is absolutely incredible. I seriously need to do something like this...I think I have a problem! Haha! I have gotten so much better about shopping in general, but now that I have Grayson, I've started shopping at Old Navy a lot randomly because they have stuff for me, the baby, and the husband. I seriously spend a couple hundred bucks every month in there because the "sales" are so good and I can shop for all of us at once! I think you've inspired me to organize my closet and give something similar a try!

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  17. I am planning to Sell my car boston after I move into my new apartment in Brookline from ... I think I just want to sell my car to a best old car seller.

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  18. This blog is used to get more savings Coupon Code at couponsmarty.com

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