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10.31.2013

Budgeting Bloggers: October + Cutting Down on Shopping/Spending



I said last month that I was going to really cut down on my shopping in October.  Well, I failed at that one...and I failed at keeping track of what I bought and how much I spent as well.  I did buy the Kiriana boot from Target for $25ish, a couple of pairs of leggings for $5 apiece at Target, some cognac ballet flats from Old Navy for $9, and a couple of dresses on clearance for about $5 apiece, and two cardigans for $20.  I'm pretty sure there were other things as well...but I can't remember, and I have a lot of other things on my mind right now regarding budget, shopping, spending, etc.

While I absolutely love blogging, documenting my outfits, and connecting with all of you, I know that my shopping habits have just increased and the amount of money I'm spending has increased since I started blogging in January.  It's just fun and exciting to get new things and create outfits with my new pieces.  However, I'm not in a place in my life in which I can be spending this kind of money on clothes, of all things.  The materialism/consumerism piece that comes with blogging (I've noticed it in myself but also in tons of other bloggers) kind of grosses me out, and I want to get away from that.

I'm not 100% sure what I want to do from here.  I know that if I put myself on a huge shopping ban, I'm going to be just even more tempted to buy, buy, buy, and I obviously don't have great self-control, so I'm not sure that's going to work.  However, if I keep my habits the same and don't change a thing, I'm not comfortable with that either.

Here are some of the things I'm going to do:
  • Unsubscribe from store emails.  All too often, I get an email from Old Navy or Gap or something saying that the store is 30% off, and I decide I need to just check things out.  This almost always winds up in me spending money.  This is such an easy fix!!
  • Stay away from the clothing section at Target.  I'm at Target often for normal, household things like toilet paper, dish soap, and groceries.  If I stay away from the clothing section, I am not even tempting myself to see what I might be missing.
  • If I feel like I need to shop, only go to thrift stores, and bring a limited amount of cash to spend.  Honestly, part of what I love about shopping is getting a good deal.  Shopping at thrift stores gives me such a thrill.  I love going through racks and trying to find awesome pieces amongst all the duds.  Also, if I bring just a small amount of cash with me, I won't be able to overspend and pull out my credit card to get more.  This will also help me determine whether or not I really need something, or if I just like it because of the price.
  • Shop using only gift cards.  I do have some gift cards that I will still use.  As far as I'm concerned, gift cards are "free money," and I think that as long as I have them, I shouldn't let them go to waste.
  • Replace things that I'm lukewarm about with things that I love.  I have recently finally realized that while I love pencil skirts and more formfitting dresses on other people, they just do not look good on me.  I wind up passing over these items constantly in my closet because I know that I'll be uncomfortable in them during the day.  I now know that a-line skirts and fit and flare dresses are the best shape for me.  I need to get rid of all of the stuff that doesn't flatter me and replace them with versions that do flatter me.  This will likely be a long-term thing, and I'm not sure what my process will be, but it is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately.
  • Sell some of my clothing that doesn't fit or doesn't work in my closet anymore.  I have a HUGE pile of clothes in our spare bedroom that I know I need to do something with.  While much of it probably should get thrown out or donated, I have several really nice things that I've only worn a few times.  It would be great to try and get some money back on those pieces as well.  I'm thinking about doing a blog sale or setting up a Poshmark account, or even trying eBay to sell some of my previously loved items.
  • Participate in more closet and wardrobe challenges using my existing items.  I love capsule wardrobes and clothing challenges.  I think that if I participate in more of these challenges, it forces me to look at my clothing in a new way and try to be as creative as possible with the pieces that I have.  Every time I do a 30x30 or a closet challenge, my desire to get new things goes wayyy down.  This is something that would be really easy for me!
  • Take things one day at a time.  You know how people are unsuccessful at losing weight if they say that they're going to cut out all carbs, sugars, and fats at once?  I think that cutting down on spending habits and shopping is the same way.  If I put myself on a year-long shopping ban, I know that I will fail really quickly.  However, if I try to take things in baby steps, it might actually work.  For instance, I know that I do not need any more jewelry.  That is a quick thing to stop buying right off the bat.  I'm feeling like I have a great collection of cardigans and camisoles, so I probably don't need to add anymore of them into my closet as well.  If I tell myself "no" to certain clothing items that I'm usually tempted to buy (but have plenty of in my closet already), I think I'll be able to resist spending just because something is pretty or a good deal.
So.  This is where I'm at with my closet, my shopping habits, my spending, etc.  I have a big job ahead of me in trying to clear things out and become 100% in love with every single piece that I own.  With some transitions coming up in the next year for Kevin and me, I know that I really need to get my shopping under control so that I can contribute financially to our family in a better way.  It's going to take work and I'll probably have some slip-ups, but I know things need to change.  I think it's time!

Do any of you have other advice about what has worked for you in spending less money on clothing?  I'm eager to hear your suggestions, advice, and stories!!

I'll be linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers this month!

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