Recently, I found a blog written by a girl who has given up buying clothes (and books) for six months. At first, I thought she was crazy. But upon reading her story – how she did it to save money and pay off her debt, how she ended up actually getting rid of more clothes she found she didn’t need, and got over her compulsion to purchase cheap items just because they were cheap and on sale – it ended up seeming like a really good idea.
I am plagued by many of the same things that Lyz mentions as her reasons to forgo shopping for new clothes. Most of the time, I don’t plan on dropping $85 or more at Old Navy in one week, or $30 on a pair of second-hand shoes at Buffalo Exchange (they were super cute). It happens when I have nothing better to do, am bored, depressed, or anxious. My excuse has been that at least it’s better than heroin…but an addiction is an addiction. Being the perfectionist that I am, I don’t like having vices. I believe by not relying on retail therapy to assuage my anxieties, I might even be better able to face my issues without hiding from them among the racks at Goodwill or TJMaxx.
Among other things, it should most importantly afford me the ability to pay my bills without worrying about saving and next month’s rent. Just in the last year, I have come to enjoy a standard of living that has me spending money on luxuries I know a lot of people would never dream of letting themselves purchase. Dining out, toys and treats for my dog, gifts for friends and family. I like spending money. I like spending it on others, and making people happy with gifts, even if it’s a silk flower from the dollar store or a pack of gum. But I know there are other ways of showing people I am thinking of them. It’s time to start.
So here it is. My public commitment to forgo shopping for clothes and other luxury items (that is, things I don’t immediately need out of physical necessity) for six months, starting today, June 5, 2012. Come December 6th, I hope to have a new perspective on commercialism and what it really means to need something as opposed to wanting it. This might even be the first step to my ultimate desire for minimalism.
Here goes nothing! 🙂