I challenged myself not to buy new clothes in 2020, and here’s how that changed my spending habits
I was a compulsive buyer. Like I would get tempted to buy clothes even those that don’t fit me and vow to fix them after I bought them but that never happened, so I ended up having new clothes that I have never worn because they don’t fit me.
It got so bad to the extent that I reached a point where half of my clothes were still new, because I bought them thinking I loved the color, only to not put them on afterwards. It’s like I was buying just to own them, and not because I needed them.
I would say 2020 was a good year to do this challenge because I tend to buy a lot of my clothes in shops not online, but I guess one will struggle with impulses more if they were online shoppers doing this challenge. Not saying it was easy for me, it wasn’t. On top of being a compulsive shopper, I was also an emotional shopper, if I had any uncomfortable feeling I would chose to go shopping so that I wouldn’t have time to work through uncomfortable feelings. So this challenge was a tough challenge to me, but I did pull it off.
The way I did it was to think of the clothes that I have as enough for me. For so long I bought clothes thinking I don’t have enough or the ones I have won’t be useful in different occasions. I had to look at my wardrobe and see how all of the clothes I have accumulated are actually enough and can be repurposed for different occasions.
I also decided to go shopping with the exact amount of money that I needed to use. I went with a list as well so that I won’t be tempted to go to the clothes section.
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I changed my habits, like every Monday I used to go to the stores to see what’s new, but during and after the challenge I had time to learn that I don’t need what’s new, I can just buy the clothes that I need when I need them. I had to let go of the scarcity mindset, thinking that I didn’t have enough, but I also had to let go of the temporary joy that I got after buying new clothes.
This challenge not only helped me to save money by helping me to create new habits that help me to manage my finances well, but also it has taught me a lot about comfort, being content with what you have , living a life of intentionality, minimalism and having discipline.
When it comes to fashion I learned, I don’t need what’s trending, I need what fits me. I need what makes me feel comfortable when I wear. I need what I need not want or tempted to buy at that moment.
When it comes to minimalism and being content with what I have, I learned that I have enough, I have all that I need in my wardrobe, I can repurpose my clothes for different occasions but also I should not let scarcity mentality lead my buying choices.
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When it comes to living a life of intentionality and discipline, I learned that we as human beings are bombarded by so many messages everyday encouraging us to buy this and that. Now more than ever there’s a need to be intentional with your choices, having discipline with how you spend your money, time and attention.
I think the challenge in 2020 comes down to the need to have control with the areas of my life that I can control. I know the pandemic was something none of us foresaw but there are some areas in our lives like for me was my spending habit that I can control, and I just can’t say how powerful the choices I get to make in that area of my life make me feel.
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