I have always had a shopping problem. I truly attribute it to "living without" when I was a child. I was gleefully naive to the allure of department stores and The Gap when I was really young, honestly up until the fifth grade. My mom would take me shopping at Wal-Mart where we would put toys and clothes that I wanted on layaway. We would also go to resale/consignment shops, and I would sift through the gently worn clothing. Once at that age of being a teenager, it was like living in designer label hell. Labels meant everything, and I went so much of my life wanting what I could not have, that suddenly when I had my own job and could have it... oh boy, that was dangerous.
I remember my first big purchase, I bought a pair of the first generation super low jeans from Gap. I remember they had no pockets on the butt, and they were SUPER low, and made me feel mature and older and a little bit like J-Lo (I tried so hard to recreate the outfit she wore in her video for "My Love Don't Cost a Thing".
The real problem did not start until I got my first retail part-time job at The Gap. I told the manager during the interview that I wanted to work at The Gap since I was 14 years old. I would walk by the store in the mall and they all looked so cool. Their chucks, their jeans, their khakis and fuzzy sweaters, especially, the headsets. Well, when you say that it guarantees that they will hire you. I worked at The Gap for 3 years earning a pretty amazing discount, racking up a lot of discount jeans, and spending a good portion of my paycheck. It started this downward spiral of compulsive spending.
Fast forward 4 years and still the same spending problem, in fact, it could be even worse. For about three months straight I spent between $200-$300 a month on clothing. So, then I budgeted using Mint and put aside $100 a month for shopping. But really, $100 a month is still a lot. So, I wanted to take it a step further.
Starting November 16th I will go one year without shopping for clothing. I am being specific about using the word clothing. This one year without shopping does not include shoes, jewelery, bags, etc. To be honest, I am extremely picky when it comes to shoes, jewelery, and bags and I have never gone into a spending frenzy when it comes to those type of things. Considering most of my jewelery comes from Forever 21, spending a wad of cash just isn't feasible.
I realized that I was robbing myself of the simple joys of being creative. I was spending money I could use to take a sewing class, buy a pattern, or buy fabric. Instead, I bought pretty camisoles from Anthropologie (one of which I wear all the time, totally worth it, but I've got a pretty big stack of camisoles).
- I will sew.
- I will paint.
- I will decorate.
- I will accessorize.
- I will try new things.
- I will create.