Sunday, February 06, 2011

This Challenge is a, well, challenging

This only buying 12 items of clothing in a year is not an easy challenge.  It's building a new habit, while breaking a very old, ingrained and much loved one.

Although the challenge has positive intent it does have the side effect denying the pleasure of immediate gratification.  The challenge is about less rather than more.

How do I keep motivated and show results?  While the seven things challenge is partially about reduction, there is a cumulative total that helps measure progress.  It is the external indicator of inward progress.

Enter the "savings" jar.  Each time I overcome the temptation to buy clothing which pre-challenge would have come home, the value of the item goes into a jar.  This creates a visual reminder of progress and ensures there will be cash on hand when the perfect garment appears or to pay for repairs I can't make myself or buy materials to transform already owned garments (there are some tops and shoes which need dying).

The money for the three items I only just resisted in January has been thrown in
  • some Very Silly shoes. $7
  • a black top in a favoured brand but which had a couple of buttons missing and some signs of wear. $5
  • an evening frock, BNWT which fitted beautifully and was tempting to have as a standby for the wedding in April as cool weather option.  Despite the great fit the colour was not quite right and could not be dyed so after much debate I left it. $17
When I say these were only just resisted I mean cheating was considered.  Apart from the evening frock, no-one would have been any the wiser if I chose to purchase and not disclose.


Jejune said...

Oooh that is a BIG challenge - initially I thought it was only 12 items of NEW clothing, but clearly this challenge covers op shops as well! 0_o Best of luck, and enjoy seeing that jar of money grow!

2paw said...

Just 12 things in all?? Wow, I don't buy much clothing because I sew, but it doesn't include underwear does it???? The savings jar is a god idea, I did it retrospectively when I had to replace the indicators on my car @$400 a few years ago. I denied myself things until I reached the target. I like your way better!!!

Taphophile said...

Jejune - it would be totally a doddle if it was new clothes only. I think the I only bought 4 things new last year.

Cindy - I used to make all my own clothes, but the influx of cheap large sizes on the retail market happening at the same time I had even less free time means I've stopped. I've also lost a lot of weight since then and will have to play around with patterns instead of using the same 3 I'd made to fit. I'm not including undies in the challenge, but they are normal undies not the ooh, that's a cute, wear only in the bedroom lingerie set! The guidelines for my challenge are here

LynS said...

You're doing so well. I like the idea of putting aside the money you 'save' by not buying the things that tempt you - though in my case I think that would bankrupt me!

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

Great idea with the jar - really fab.

I've been avoiding looking at stuff so I don't know how much I've not spent - but I think I'll do it if I umm-and-aah over anything in particular. After a lifetime of buying cheap/sale clothing, I'm going to find it hard to spend money on expensive, better quality items - but if I had most of the money in a jar, it would be easier to justify it -- rather than five cheap things, one good quality item that will last.

Taphophile said...

Lyn - I'll send you one of my BIG jars. ;)

Louisa - I know what you mean. I rarely spend much on clothing and it is difficult to imagine doing so. I will probably continue to buy second-hand but this is helping me make better choices. Shoes on the other hand, no problem. I usually go for quality in shoes and while I prefer to get them on discount, will shell out for the right pair of shoes if I know they will last.