Surviving My 2nd No Spend Month

Feb 3, 2020 | Lifestyle, Outfits

You guys I’m so proud to say I survived my 2nd no spend month! My day one readers know I’ve always been about sharing ways to re-wear what I own but you’ve probably noticed that these days I’ve been focusing more and more on being a savvier shopper by only buying things on sale and shifting towards encouraging conscious consumption. My Instagram peeps know my first no spend month was back in August but after I put together my post on every piece of clothing I bought in 2019  and seeing how much I bought over the year I decided to start off the new decade fresh by doing another no spend month. What started as a test of my will, and a very real concern that I might have a shopping addiction, turned into my most creative months ever!  So I thought I’d share a little more about why I decided to do a no spend month as a fashion blogger, tips on how to survive and a bit about what I learned.

Why Even do a No Spend Month?

Let’s face it, most of us, especially bloggers, have way more clothes than we could ever possibly need. And this is problematic for many many reasons. Think about all the energy and time you probably waste not only deciding what to wear, but what to buy and how to get the money to buy what you want to buy. Then we give ourselves so many options that we are overwhelmed yet strangely feel like we somehow have nothing to wear even though our closets are bursting with clothes. And even with all we have, we still feel a need to buy more. The scarier thing is that many people have even gone into debt doing this. No thanks to sites like Klarna and Afterpay that basically encourage people to buy clothes they can’t really afford-but that’s a rant for another day. Not only is it mentally draining but draining our bank accounts as well-and as we are learning the hard way our current approach to shopping just isn’t sustainable for us or our environment. 

And I am no saint my friends. Honestly my mentality towards shopping has always been to buy as I please. If I liked it and there was money in my account, I bought it. At one point I was even stopping by the mall every Friday after work just to see what was new. And with the rise of online shopping I started scrolling through the “New In” on all my favorite clothing sites daily. I tried to justify that it was part of my blogger hustle because I would share work wear pieces or trendy items on my Pinterest but really I was using it to pass the time and ultimately ended up buying even more things.

I didn’t think much of it for a while because I’d always shopped this way. It wasn’t until a few years into blogging that I really started to question my habits. Like why was I shopping so much? Why did I feel the need to have new clothes, especially when I’ve ended up selling most of them at resale stores? Why did I really feel like I had nothing to wear? Was I caught up in this extremely competitive, saturated industry? I sat with myself and decided it was time to find out.

 

How I Survived

At first the no spend month felt like doing one of those horrible cleanses cutting out everything cold turkey. And like most diets I still cruised the shops online, continually tempting myself but here’s what I found really helped me get through my no spend month:

  • Identify your triggers. When do you feel the urge to shop? Out of boredom? After seeing a piece on someone else? When you’ve had a rough day? Figuring out what causes you to want to shop can help you to try and avoid these things.
  • Find a sustainable substitute for shopping. When you feel the urge to shop instead reached for a book, or go for a walk, or call a friend. Make sure whatever you choose is something that is easy and you always have available!
  • Save clothes you want buy on sale sites like Shoptagr but turn off the notifications. By placing pieces you want to buy on a “virtual hold” you start to realize that you don’t need to buy things right away. You’ll also notice a lot of the items you want you won’t even be able to wear until a few months later or that after a few months you may not really like the piece anymore so it curbs the buy now mentality.
  • Play dress up in your own closet. Refocus your attention to the clothes you have. Turn on some music, grab a drink then mix and match your clothes to create new outfits. Be sure to snap a pic so you can reference it when you feel like you have nothing to wear.
  • Remember your why. Keep a mood board, or reminder somewhere you’ll see every day to remind you why you started on this journey to begin with! Whether it’s saving more money or helping the environment, bringing your habits into perspective can help you stay motivated!

My Takeaways

I thought I learned a lot during my first no spend month, but the second time around taught me even more:

  • Before I used to think scrolling the “New Ins” was a must for my blog, then I realized it was making me more aware of clothes I didn’t have. And when sites put up the little signs that say “selling fast” I felt a pressure to purchase immediately-even though those pieces wouldn’t sell out until months later in most cases.
  • I found that I did the most spending just before a trip, like my first cruise, because I wanted to take epic photos and when the seasons change because I felt I needed the latest trends to keep up with the blogging industry.
  • For a while I was falling into the vicious fashion blogger cycle of buying clothes to wear once or twice that would make for a cute photo but not to actually wear in real life which was a lot of money wasted!
  • By substituting something else for shopping I realized that I did have time and money for all those things I’ve always wanted to do but was wasting it on material things.
  • When I wait to buy something, even for just 24 hours, it gives me time to be objective and really see how that piece will work in my wardrobe, if at all, and decide if it’s worth the money.
  • A while back I shifted over to only buying clothes on sale which really helped me to kick any impulse shopping habits I had, but I also realized that buying something on sale isn’t the same as saving money. The only true way to save your money is not to spend it!
  • There are so many outfits just waiting in my closet to be worn and that by focusing on what I do have and finding new ways to wear it I can get the same sensation as getting something new without actually spending  money.

Overall I’m really proud of myself for not giving in and learning to explore the clothes I already owned. To be frank it was a challenge I wasn’t sure I would make it through, but now that I’m on the other side I’d like to try to ride this wave a little longer. Don’t get me wrong there are definitely pieces I am eyeing up but my goal is to put even more pressure on myself by only buying one or two things a month-even including accessories, jewelry, etc. While I don’t think everyone needs a no spend month, as serial shopper and a blogger I found it really cleansing and helpful in shifting my perspective on the fashion industry as well as my place in it as a consumer and content creator. It’s a small step but it feels like one in the right direction. 

Have you ever done a no spend month?  If so tell me about your experience in the comments below!

What I’m Wearing

H&M Coat (Similar)|H&M Jumpsuit (Similar)|H&M Turtleneck (Similar)|Steve Madden Shoes (Similar)

Photos by Jordan Bowens

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