365 Days Without Buying Clothes: A Revolutionary Challenge And Its Surprising Results
At the beginning of 2016, I created an insane challenge for myself: go 365 days without buying clothes (although technically, it was 366 since it was a leap year. Bonus points.). As I’ve said before, I’m not a new year’s resolutions kind of person, and I don’t generally create challenges like this for myself. I like myself the way I am, and unless God makes it clear as day, I don’t see a need for big changes in my life. So why did I go 365 days without buying clothes? How did I do it? What did I learn? Keep reading for those answers!
*disclaimer: I did actually buy one pair of pants, but only because I was 21 weeks pregnant and literally could not wear my regular pants anymore.*
Why Did I Go 365 Days Without Buying Clothes?
I chose this challenge for myself for two main reasons: frugality and space. I was at a point in my life where I was making more than enough money each month, but I also knew that after Caleb and I got married in March, I would be quitting my job in May. We would then become a single income family, and I would need to be even wiser with the budget. I didn’t spend *too* much money on clothes each month, but I knew that if I could go a whole year without buying clothes, I would break those few bad habits that I did have. The second reason was actual physical space. My dresser was full and my closet was becoming quite cramped, and I really didn’t want to part with the clothes that I already had! Therefore, my logical choice was to just not buy any more clothes.I went 365 days without buying ANY clothes! Why? How? Should you do the same? Click To Tweet
How Did I Do It?
I’m not going to pretend like this challenge was the hardest thing I’ll ever take on (it wasn’t), but it also wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I’m not a shopper; I get tired easily and nothing seems to fit right, so I thought I would breeze through this year. But this challenge did its job: it challenged me. By June, I was ready for some new tank tops, or maybe a different pair of shorts. When we went on vacation, surely I *needed* a long-sleeve shirt with the town logo on it. And once I was pregnant, though not yet showing? I needed all the cute maternity clothes!!!! So how did I fight this?
I’ll be honest, it was a mixture of accountability and straight up telling myself no. My husband knew that I had committed myself to this, so he was a big support! He wouldn’t tell me no, flat out, but he would remind of the reasons I had started this and would encourage me to finish it. That was a big help, but honestly, I just had to tell myself no a lot, which is really hard! Haha!
What Did I Learn?
I learned so much during this challenge, but it all comes down to 3 main points.
- It feels good to have less. Though it wasn’t part of my challenge, I ended up cleaning out some of my clothes this year, and since I didn’t buy any new ones, I now have a lot fewer clothes. And you know what? It feels really good. I know that I have what I need, but I’m not living in clutter, and that is a freeing feeling.
- I feel better about myself when I practice self-control. Have you ever experienced buyer’s regret? I have, pretty much every time I buy new clothes. After this challenge, I’m convinced that the reason I experienced this is because I was ignoring my self-control. My heart was telling me to control my purchases, but I ignored that, and I was left with a feeling of “oh no”. But when I told myself no and chose to be in control, my heart was a lot happier (even if I didn’t get that cute pair of pants) and I felt better about myself.
- I don’t actually need more clothes. I used to easily rationalize my purchases, because I was a teacher and needed new dress clothes, or I didn’t have enough running clothes to last me between washes, or I didn’t own much of a specific color. But after this challenge, I’ve realized that I really don’t need more clothes. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to get a new shirt, and there’s no need to wear pants with a huge rip in them when I can afford a new pair. But need? Absolutely not. I have plenty, and just because I don’t always like what I have doesn’t mean it’s not sufficient.
Why Should You Take This Challenge?
This challenge really changed me. It gave me a new outlook on my possessions and caused me to stop and think about all the things I buy, not just clothes. Why do I think you should take this challenge? Because we get stuck in our comfort zones and we need to be challenged in order to grow. And this? It will change the way you see yourself. It will make you more content with what you have. It will build your self-control and, consequently, your self-esteem. And, practically speaking, it will free up your budget.
I highly encourage you to take this challenge! If you don’t think you can make it a year, start with a smaller time frame! Maybe go 2 months without buying clothes, and see how you feel after that. Whether you’re a minimalist, a shopaholic, or somewhere in between like me, this challenge is sure to push you out of your comfort zone and create a new appreciation for what you have. Be sure to come back and let me know how it went for you and maybe something new that you learned! 🙂
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever a done a challenge like this? Could you go 365 days without buying clothes? On a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do you think I am? 😉