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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Riley's Reflections-My Month Without Buying Clothes

I am a shopping addict.  Like hardcore, my favourite hobby is buying clothes and I participate in this hobby at least once a week.  My wardrobe has grown furiously over the last year, much to my delight, and I can go week without wearing the same thing twice.

So what's the problem, you ask?  Seems like a pretty first world problem to have, and I'll agree it is, but it's a problem all the same and I'll tell you why. First off, I have yet to win the lottery. Which is really just a shame because I believe I would make a very good millionaire.  But, alas, I have yet to win the lottery and so a (surprisingly) large amount of my income goes into funding this hobby, and because it's only a little bit each time I go out, it doesn't feel like a lot but it adds up quickly.

My shopping addiction is also a problem because it is so wildly unnecessary.  I have more than I need by a long shot so surely I wouldn't need to buy any more clothes, right?  Right? Wrong.  I see it, I like it, I want it, so I buy it.

And the real problem with my shopping addiction?  The fact that it is actually a coping mechanism.  Any time I have a bad day or a bad week I can go shopping and spend my worries away.  Anytime I'm frustrated with my life I can take part in the instant gratification of shopping and go home with a number of presents I've bought for myself.  And when something good happens?  I buy clothes to celebrate.  And when I'm bored? I buy clothes to entertain myself.

So I decided to give myself a challenge: To not buy any clothes for the month of March.  And I am happy to report that my goal was achieved.  I am less excited to confess to you that it was incredibly hard.  I asked a number of different people whether shoes, hats, and other accessories counted as clothes, but no one gave me the answer I longed for that would allow me to buy myself a little something special while remaining guilt free.  No, even pajamas I was told, would count as clothes buying, much to my dismay and annoyance as the month went on.

So what did I find from my month long detox?  I saved a lot more money for one thing.  Like a significant amount.  The good thing about choosing March to do this was we had to put in our request for vacation time at work and I started to plan some trips and I actually had the money to do so.  It felt like more of an accomplishment and an investment to put money down towards something new I will do in the future instead of another sweater that will sit in my closet.

Another thing I found was that I really do love the clothes I've bought in the past and this gave me a chance to reach into the back of my closet and pull out some of those pieces instead of relying on new purchases all of the time.

The best part of this challenge though has got to be what I learned from it. I learned to question every item I want to buy and really look at the reasons why I want it.  Do I need it, do I have nothing else like it, or am I bored, sad, excited and just looking for an outlet?  And I will admit that I did go shopping on April 1st but I think you will be proud to know I only bought one piece of clothing and I haven't been (clothes) shopping since.

Anything you've tried to go without? How did it go? Any thoughts on what I should go without next? Share in the comments below!




  1. I am the same way! I love shopping so much. That's great you managed to not buy anything! You deserved a treat in April!

    1. Thanks for reading Bree and for the suggestion!

  2. Oh shopping is one of my coping mechanisms too! It's an instant pick me up, though it doesn't always last long. I do try to handle it though :) Congrats on your success! ;)

    1. Thanks Roselie and good luck to you!

  3. At least you identified the problem & took action to help yourself. It sounds like you learned a lot after the month without clothes shopping. :]

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    1. Thanks Carmen, yes I learned a lot for sure!

  4. Congrats on achieving a month without shopping.
    I did it a few years back, lasted 6 months - it was quite eye opening to tell you the truth.

    1. Wow six months I can't even imagine! Good for you!


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