Well, I have hit the hump. I’m half-way through my no buy year. Six months of fashion frugality.
So far, so good. The only new things to enter my wardrobe are a pair of culottes and a top — both sewn from my existing fabric stash. Curiously, even though I restricted my no buy limit to clothing, I have some how extended it to shoes and accessories. Not buying things might be just as addictive as buying things.
Here’s what I have learned so far:
It’s easy to avoid buying when you avoid shopping
This has really been the biggest change in my behaviour. I have simply stopped shopping as a form of entertainment.
It hasn’t saved me (that much) money
I thought this experiment would equate to thousands of extra dollars in my pocket. Not so. Even though I shopped fairly often, I shopped fairly frugal so it was never going to be a huge windfall. I’ve fallen pray to a variant of Parkinson’s Law, my extra cash has been absorbed into other places. I have spent more on gifts that I usual would. My poor neglected skin has had more love and attention this year than it ever has. I spent $25 on cheese at the markets last week. It was good cheese.
Fashion isn’t as big a part of my life
This was the thing I was determined not to let happen. I was going to stay invested in fashion, showing how to do so without spending a cent. I’m not sure if it’s just been the busyness of life or an altered mindset, but I don’t post outfit pics as often. My engagement with the style community on Insta has lessened. Fashion is something I will always be interested in, but I just feel a bit less obsessed. Which is actually a little sad, as I do LOVE it. But it’s a bit like being part of a wine appreciation society when you have committed to a dry year.
Offspring will be a challenge
I’m delighted that Offspring has returned to our screens but I am a little cautious. Seeing Nina in her boho dresses and delicate jewellery will be the biggest challenge to no spend so far. I’ll just have to getting creative with what I have and hope the fabric stash can deliver some dreamy dresses.
Buying and not buying are both fuelled by inertia
When I first set myself this challenge, I was very timid with it. I didn’t want to extend it to shoes, accessories or underwear. Surely that would be way too hard. I told myself if I saw something absolute exquisite, I’d just buy it and relax the self-imposed rules. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, just the opposite. There has been no feeling of self-denial. It is has been quite easy to make do. Apparently the same thing that fuelled my buying habits – force of habit – is the same thing that is fuelling my non-spending spree.
My wardrobe is fine and dandy
This whole exercise has shown me that my wardrobe is perfectly serviceable. I knew going into the challenge I had very few gaps in my wardrobe. That realisation is what drove me to try a no-buy year. My hunch has proved correct and clothing myself each morning hasn’t been a trick.
Mindset is a fine thing
We are told what to spend our money on. Every day there is an assault on our mindset, trying to sway us, to convince that wants are needs. My new no-buy attitude has had an effect on how and why I purchase (not just clothes). I think I have managed to insert a pause. A quiet mindfulness that I can now hear above the clatter of the advertisers.