I had been toying with the idea of a shopping ban in 2010, and was able to go 5 months without shopping for clothes or jewelry (not consecutively). I stocked up on essentials, such as under garments and socks this year, and am ready to take the plunge for 2011.
Why a Shopping Ban?
I decided to do this Shopping Ban so that I can challenge myself to be creative with my closet and style. I don’t have a huge closet or a lot of clothes, but I don’t think I am using my closet most efficiently. By limiting my clothes to what I currently own, I plan to re-mix my closet and re-discover my favourite clothes.
I used to watch The Learning Channel’s (TLC) “What Not to Wear”, and I would shocked that people would get rid of their entire wardrobe only to be left with maybe 40 new articles of clothes that work for their figure. But, the thing was, these people looked a million times better in their new “steam lined” clothes than they did with their closet full of ill-fitting clothes. It was about quality, not quantity.
The objective of this Shopping Ban is not to deprive myself of new clothes, but to be more creative with what I have and more resourceful with what I may be lacking.
2011 Shopping Ban Rules
I briefly discussed the rules of my shopping ban in this post. To summarize, I am not allowed to buy new clothes, new jewelry and no new make-up.
Exceptions: I am allowed to buy items to replenish old items that have been finished (i.e., I can buy a new compact of blotting powder when I run out, but I am not allowed to buy a new colour of eye shadow.) I can also spend money to fix or alter an existing item. I can also buy used items with “bonus” money**.
I am allowed 3 freebie items: a pair of black flat leather boots, a long down winter jacket*, and an iTouch*. Each item needs to be $200* or less before tax. (Note*: Updated from my previous post.)
Just because I am limiting myself from shopping for clothes doesn’t mean that I get to go crazy buying bath towels, though. I will be discussing my planned purchases for 2011 in a separate post, including fixing up my apartment.
I work well with incentives. I give myself a small reward at the end of each month when I stay within my budget. Of course, what better way to reward myself than with cold, hard cash? :) Since I haven’t explored the options of thrift shopping, or making my own things (i.e., knitting), I am allowing bonus money to be spent on these clothing items.
Before people start throwing up their arms and pointing out that my Shopping Ban is full of holes, please re-read my objective for doing this in the first place. It’s to challenge myself to be more creative and resourceful. I think I am doing just that!
A year is certainly a very long time, so why now try a no-spend month challenge? Any readers joining me?