Wednesday, October 1, 2014

what i learned from 3 months of no shopping

What I Learned from 3 Months of No Shopping // A Style Caddy

Yes, you read the title right. This past summer, from June 1st to Labor Day, I decided to not spend a single cent on clothes, jewelry, shoes, makeup, handbags... You name it and I probably didn't buy it. I allowed myself to get the obvious things, groceries and other necessities {shampoo, lotion, etc.}, but otherwise, I couldn't get anything new.

I had one, very simple goal in mind: to save money. Sounds easy right? Well, let me tell you...


I've done spending freezes before but never one of this length. And as someone who reads a ton of blogs and subscribes to many YouTube channels, the temptation to buy new things was always there. I made it though! So I thought I would share a few things I learned and some tips I picked up to help you get through your next spending freeze.

1. Write down your goal and put it somewhere visible.
For me, I wrote down "Three months = $$" in my planner at the beginning of every week. It was an easy reminder that I had a goal in mind that I really wanted to reach. I didn't have any set amount in mind, just that I wanted to save more money to put into my savings account.

2. Specify exactly what you plan on NOT purchasing for x amount of days/months.
I've found that whenever I've said "I'm just not going to spend money for this many days" doesn't really work. By knowing exactly what I couldn't buy, I was less likely to actually buy those things instead of making a purchase and then having an excuse for it.

3. Tell people you're on a spending freeze. 
Don't keep this to yourself! It helps to have friends and family know so that they're not tempting you with hours and hours at the mall or eating out every weekend. And once you reach your goal end date, they'll be really proud and impressed!

4. You'll find out what you love and what you never really wear in your closet.
This was a big one for me. I live in a studio apartment without much closet space so everything is just crammed in there. Since I couldn't buy any new clothes when I thought I didn't have anything to wear, I ended up remixing a lot of what I already had. It showed me what pieces and color palette I stick to the most and helped me pare down my wardrobe. I ended up donating a bunch of things, selling some on Poshmark, and sending it off to ThredUp. Who doesn't love more closet space?

5. Window shopping will be your enemy... and then your best friend!
Any amount of time you try to abstain from something is tough. When it comes to shopping though, you can still window shop. In the beginning, you'll hate this. So much so that you'll probably avoid store, malls, and your favorite online sites for awhile. And that's OK! You're still learning how to resist the temptation of buying that new blouse or that new lipstick. Eventually you'll get over that hump and realize that window shopping is the best way to put things on your wish list. Which leads me to my next point...

6. You will learn the difference between want vs. need. 
By July, I felt I had a pretty good grasp on this challenge. So whenever I visited a site to do some online window shopping, I'd put things in my cart... and then they'd stay there. Sometimes things would go out of stock, sometimes I would just remove them altogether, but by leaving them there, I was able to weigh whether or not the purchase was something I just wanted or something that I needed to fill a void in my closet.

7. You will feel rewarded in the end.
When your spending freeze is over, there will be a sense of relief and a great sense of joy. You did it! Congratulations! It's quite the accomplishment, and it gets even better when you see how much money you saved up. Reward yourself with something nice, but don't go overboard! A new lipstick or one pair of new shoes that you've have your eyes on for months is a nice little gift, just don't spend it all at once! You saved up some money and, trust me, it's nice to hang on to that.

So have you ever embarked on a long spending freeze? I'm starting a new one today! I plan on holding out from the usual {clothes, makeup, shoes} until Thanksgiving to save up some money before the holidays. Let me know if you plan on doing one too! 

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