My four-month spending freeze officially came to a close on September 1st. I learned quite a bit this summer about my shopping and general consumption, and I wanted to share some of the highlights:
I saved about $120 per month
This was super exciting for me! It turns out I wasn’t spending $120 per month just on clothes, but once I started my freeze on apparel, it trickled over into other areas of my life. I bought less yoga gear, cosmetics, toiletries, camping gear, etc. I didn’t realize how much small purchases were adding up over the course of each month. As a grad student, saving $120/month is a big deal!
I used fewer clothes than I thought I would
I decided not to do a capsule for a few reasons, but I didn’t have my whole wardrobe on hand this summer anyway. I was living out of state so I only took what I could fit into a couple suitcases. I ended up having about 40 items on rotation, and I never felt like I was repeating clothing too often. In fact, there were two items I never wore (which are now being donated).
I Learned What my Go-To Outfit Is
That would be a button down shirt tucked into pants with a belt. I realized I needed to stop investing in dressy tank tops, and direct that money toward button down shirts – especially ones I don’t need to iron.
I never needed something I didn’t have
Well aside from that time I went to the corporate gym in the morning before work and forgot to pack a bra. That is the one clothing item I purchased during the freeze. I wasn’t going to go braless in a white shirt for the day, so I didn’t exactly have an option. It was annoying.
I also acquired two clothing items during the summer – both gifts from my boyfriend. He got me socks to commemorate our trip to Alaska (awesome socks), and a t-shirt to commemorate our trip to Seattle. He’s a pretty nice guy.
So, in summary, I did a giant purge at the beginning of the summer and donated two trash bags full of clothing. During the summer I acquired three items, at the end of the summer I discarded/donated 21 items. Then just today I went shopping for the first time, and picked up six items that I needed. I still have a couple basics I need to pick up in the next few days (like a white shirt).
Moving forward I want to be more conscious of buying only what I need. For the next four months I intend to practice a “one clothing item in, two out” rule. In 2016 I will reevaluate the size of my wardrobe, and decide what I want to do moving forward.
Lastly, I’m excited to be taking a class on corporate social responsibility this semester, and I will be learning more about the perils of fast fashion! I’ll keep you all posted on anything I learn.
Anyone else on a spending freeze?
Did anyone start a new capsule wardrobe? How’s it going?
Anyone thinking of a spending freeze or capsule? Why or why not?