I’m going to attempt to do a shopping ban for a FULL YEAR. (*Record screech*)
That’s right. For a full 365 days, I’m not buying anything: no knickety knacks, no clothing from retailers, no overpriced beauty products.
I kindof can’t believe it myself as I sit here typing it.
I always said I would never attempt this even as I watched MANY of my blogger friends do it. I just didn't see the need in it. I already shop consciously. As a former shopping addict, I have learned my spending triggers and how to shop while hitting all of my other money goals and I have to tell you, I love a good hunt.
And believe it or not, shopping is a part of my money values. I believe there is nothing wrong with a) spending if you can afford it and b) spending on what you value.
But something about last year made me stop and think about what I was consuming and if I really needed it. With so much devastation in 2020, it made me realize how blessed we are to have gotten through the year financially unscathed.
I had an adorable capsule maternity wardrobe with 25 items in it, and each day I dressed confidently with very little time, stress, and effort. Even post-pregnancy, I yearned for my closet to be just like that.
Looking into my closet seeing piles and piles of nice “business” attire that I’d wear to my day jobs, or to conferences and speaking engagements, or video shoots filled me with depression. Not only because most of these events were canceled for 2020 (and beyond…?) but also because none of it looked very good on my new, post-partum body.
And honestly, buying a whole new wardrobe and managing it just felt like one more effort than it was worth. I decided going forward to 2021 I want to continue streamlining my life: my new business and family are the priorities and will be for the foreseeable future and everything should support those priorities, not take away from them.
Spending 5% of my income each year on clothes just didn’t make sense anymore. Especially for who I am becoming.
I’ve slowly been shifting how I’ve been shopping over the last year or so.
I want to share a few changes I have made in the last year in order to shop more sustainably.
I pretty much exclusively shop used now – TheRealReal and Ebay have always been old friends of mine, but this year Poshmark became my new obsession. Especially when it came to finding gently used, inexpensive clothing for Mason. He usually only gets wear or two out of purchases and Poshmark made it easy to shop and then re-sell. Some of my favorite goodies come from fashion bloggers that I follow who resell clothing they only wear for shoots on their own channels.
I also found lots of other stuff: jeans for myself, a rare makeup brush I’ve been on the hunt for, and even a few Christmas decor pieces for a fraction of retail price. Shipping impact and cost is something I’m still trying to brainstorm around, but for now, I’d rather put money in an actual person’s pocket rather than continue to support the big retailers.
When I do buy new, exclusively buying from small businesses and resellers. Etsy is my jam. All of my Christmas gifts for everyone other than the baby came from Etsy this year. Poshmark made me feel good because a lot of the shops on there are women who are working from home and making extra cash. There’s also a lot of thrift/vintage stores on Instagram and it feels good to support other women by buying clothes this way.
Consciously donating clothing to other outfits than “the big name” thrift stores. There is a certain big brand thrift store around the corner from my house and it is very easy for me to load stuff up and dump it over there. And while this does do some good, I was reading up on their financial practices and decided my donations would be better used elsewhere. It took a bit more work, but I found lesser known companies in the area who were very happy to accept used clothing and shoes.
Renting instead of buying. I’ve also leaned into using Rent The Runway for when I need dresses for a special event, blazers for real estate closings, or other special items. And I have to say – I’m in love! I love being able to rotate and send it back without having to invest in the item. You can also buy something if you really, really love it – often at a nice discount.
Every good shopping ban comes with a few rules so here are mine:
- If something I use a gets ruined, I can replace.
- I can buy refills on make up and skincare but only as needed.
- I can shop for things with gift cards, Poshmark credit or free swaps with friends.
- One shopping exception is a new computer for my business (I need an upgrade from my 2015 Macbook as it is on the fritz.)
- I can still go to the salon and enjoy my beauty treatments. These are services, not goods.
And that is it. Pretty simple.
The TL:DR (Too Long, Didn't Read)
I now realize I have everything I need (and most of what I want, too!) and I want my shopping habits to reflect this. We’ll see how it goes (and how much money I”ll really be able to save, I'm excited to see the results.)
I will also enjoy less side-eye from my husband when fewer packages show up on our doorstep each week.