I’m a shopaholic. I have been for years. Fortunately for my family’s finances I’m a bargain shopper, but that’s also dangerous – if I find an amazingly good deal, I have a very hard time not buying it.
Over the past few years I’ve been trying to take control of my spending habits. In order to do this, I avoid stores. It sounds extreme, but I’ve tried hard to avoid temptation.
I thought that might be enough of an effort until I read about bloggers who have tried “no new clothing” experiments. (I appreciate the posts on Becoming Minimalist, Julie Gumm, Jen Hatmaker, and Raganella.) They all sounded pretty extreme to me – but then I remembered how my family was trying hard to slash unnecessary spending and how I was trying to improve my stewardship efforts.
I also realized that because I have enough clothing to completely change my wardrobe and fill my closet every season, I don’t need to buy anything new.
So I’m not going to. I haven’t thought of many rules for this self-imposed shopping fast. For now, I think I’ll try three month increments. I’d love to commit to a year, but it seems a little scary – and legalistic. If I need to buy necessary items, I should know by the end of each season. I will be completely honest if I have any lapses. Since I know I have a tendency to make mindless purchases, I’ll stay away from clothing stores – this includes thrift stores.
I commit to not buying new or used clothing, shoes, or purses.
There are a few extenuating circumstances, though:
- If I happen to walk through a store and find a really cool necklace on clearance for under $3, I just might buy it. (Sorry! I haven’t narrowed my focus to fair trade purchases yet.)
- I still have a Christmas gift card that I’ll use to buy much-needed underwear.
- I know I’ll scour end-of-season sales racks for children’s clothing. I do this twice a year, where I find all sorts of great brand-new kids clothes for maybe $1 or $2 per item. I know I definitely need to buy ahead for next year’s winter coats and snow pants for Big Brother and Little Sister.
To clarify, I know this experiment is possible. Non-materialistic people do it all the time. But I can hardly wait to see how much money I can not waste on frivolous purchases. Most importantly, I think of the story of the rich man and the shrewd manager found in Luke 16. I do not want to be like the manager who is accused of wasting my possessions (Luke 16:1).
Anyone want to join me on a clothing fast? I’m not asking for a long-term commitment, unless it’s something you choose. But how about starting with just one month? Try to avoid making new purchases and switch to a thrift store instead. Or, go cold turkey and avoid buying any new or used clothing. Be sure to let me know in the comments or on Facebook so we can encourage each other!
Planning to shop on Amazon.com? Please start your shopping spree through Accidentally Green. Simply click on the Amazon link at the top right corner. You’ll be directed to Amazon, and Accidentally Green will receive a modest commission at no additional cost to you.
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