Things I Learned During My No Spend Clothing Year

Clothing. Oh, how I always loved clothing!

But in the beginning of 2018, I decided that I was going to aim to spend zero dollars on my clothing budget that year. With the exception of one black skirt from Ross, I succeeded.

It was tough at times. But after realizing just how much money I was spending on depreciating items during our debt free journey, I really felt sick to my stomach. I felt like I needed to make some changes to redeem my self going forward.

Clothing was a fairly easy thing for me to give up, simply because I had so much of it. I’m continuing on with my no spend trajectory this year as well. I’m not holding myself quite as hard and fast to this rule as I did last year though.

I learned so much last year. For example:

  • Needs are different than wants. All of the clothing I had accumulated? I wanted it, and didn’t need it. The fashion industry is very good at telling us that we must wear all of the latest trends each season. But in the end I believe this cheats us out of time and money spent on more important things. Is it wrong to look nice or “cute” while wearing clothing? Absolutely not! At the same time, we shouldn’t let the fashion industry dictate where we are spending our money.
  • Consumerism seems to be a never ending cycle, but it can be stopped. When I reassessed my wardrobe, I realized that all of my clothing needs were already met. It made much more sense to start redirecting our money towards items that retain their value. Clothing values drop super fast once they are used.
  • All it takes is a little bit of resourcefulness to style an item in a new and fresh way. Trying to find different ways to wear your clothing is resourceful and fun!

I’m very thankful for this experiment, and going forward, I will spend my money differently when it comes to clothing for myself. For sure, it will be a more thoughtful process. When looking for an item to meet a specific need, it is helpful to shop around to find a quality item that will last more than a month or two.

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