I am not one to speak too much about my goals lest I disappoint others and myself... if I don't tell anyone my goals and I don't reach them, then who's going to give me flack about it? It's a cheap and easy cop-out. I have no one to be accountable to. I am 26 gad-dang years old and this is no way to be! I am coming out of the metaphorical closet of denial and shame and admitting that I have a spending issue and I want to change!
I hate to admit it, but my biggest issue is my spending and shopping habits and I am going to reform myself. It is embarrassing how much I spend and waste. Think about all that is wasted in buying fast fashion, unnecessary thrifted stuffs, how much gas and TIME! Think about the time alone that is spent and wasted driving around and shopping... I also try to buy stuff for my house all the time and have been getting carried away with that as well... I have only lived here since October! I don't need to be full-on decorated yet!
I know this is a weird thing to do, considering I love writing about fashion and shopping and style finds... it's kind of like shopping is part of the deal in joining this realm of the blogosphere. There is the constant desire to buy that latest "it" piece or new "staple" for the season or whatever, whether it is buying that one tee in neon green (cheap) or the newest pair of Jeffrey Campbells (expensive).
I am outlining my steps towards success here and if anyone else wants to know or join in, feel free!
STEP 1: Come to the realization that there will ALWAYS be something new you want/feel you need. There will ALWAYS be sales. There will ALWAYS be more. It is not a do or die industry and you will not miss out if you say "no" to that item. You CAN live without it. (I am CHANTING this to myself right now, especially thinking about the Jason Wu for Target collection coming out on Sunday.)
STEP 2: Stay away from the stores entirely. Just don't go looking and you won't know what you are missing! Simple enough! That includes online shopping... Hours can be wasted away just making wishlists or browsing sites. Read a real book, browse a magazine. You can't buy anything straight out of a magazine, but you can be inspired. Just searching for new color combinations alone is easily found within magazines!
STEP 3: If you do wind up shopping, for anything at all (going to Target can be an easy trap into excessive spending), triple and quadruple ask yourself if it is really worth it and if you really need it. Just because something is cheap does not mean you should get up. It's simple math: $17 at Ross and $27 at Kohl's and then $14 at a thrift shop= $58 worth of stuff that I don't even remember buying at this point... see what I mean? If coupons tempt you, throw them away. I think that kind of goes along with step 2 with looking away from it all.
STEP 4: (this is a multi-part one) Reform your closet!
Get down to the bare bones of your wardrobe.
Literally dump everything you own (section, drawer or rack at a time) in a pile, try it on, question it. Get rid of it if you don't like it or it doesn't fit. It is clutter in your life. I just went through my closets (2) and dressers (3) and came out with 6 garbage bags and one rubbermaid bin. I will be donating, swapping or selling ALL of it. None of the items will make it back into my closet or dresser drawers.
FIGURE OUT YOUR FAVES
FIGURE OUT YOUR FAVES
By this I mean define your basics. Don't let any blog or stylist tell you that you need khakis and black trousers and white collared shirts. It's great to have a good list of basic pieces in your wardrobe to make it all more versatile (maybe I'll write up a blog about my basics soon). I know I like blazers, not cardigans. I like v-necks, not collars. I prefer Levi's jeans and dark denim. I don't last long in high heels so I make sure the ones I keep are good, versatile ones. I know what silhouettes I like (whatever makes my legs look longer). I like bolder colors rather pastels and too many neutrals. Figure out what works for YOU and what YOU like to wear out of the things you have. Also, if you have to shop, you will buy better.
Rehang everything by category or color. I have jeans on wooden hangers, blazers all together and blouses and tops hung by color, for example. I have dresser drawers organized by color as well and everything is folded and not just squashed in. When your things are organized, you will see what you have and feel better about choosing from your options. Plus, if you are neurotic like me, you will just like the way it all looks.
SHOP YOUR CLOSET
SHOP YOUR CLOSET
Instead of going shopping at a store, try putting together different outfits at home... it's like playing dress-up for grown ups! I can kill an hour easy trying on different outfits and hanging them together. No money wasted on gas or shopping binges. You can dance around in your new outfits listening to music, and you are making use of things you have.
STEP 5: Know that you will shop again! You have shopped up until now. There will be a time to shop again and know that it will be more rewarding and you will be more selective of what you will get and appreciate it that much more. Any debt will be paid. You will have had so much more time on your hands to clean, cook better, play with your pet, work on something with your kid, watch an awesome movie or tv show, exercise, read, rearrange your house, play with your hairstyles, shop your own closet, etc! Satisfaction will be yours in the end!
STEP 6: Be a cheapass for a while. This step is kind of reliant on the people around you as well. It is always someone's birthday or someone there to invite you out to dinner or something. Either be cheap about it or don't go. Let your friends and family know that you are on a spending diet for a while and hope that they will understand and still include you in things. My spending issue is that I like to have people over often. And I love food and drinks and serving my friends and family and being hostess with the mostest! Tone it down, have friends bring a snack or a bottle of something... Sharing is caring and I luckily have awesome friends that are more than willing to pitch in for a good time!
Other things: say no to shopping trips to the mall. Cut out Starbucks, fast food, ordering appetizers and desserts, all quick things that suck up money. Buy generic and bulk at the grocery store and Walmart/Target as much as you are comfortable with. The little things add up.
So those are my six steps to success with decreasing my excessive spending. I am not going to put a timeline on this so I can try to go for as long as I can. Believe me when I say I am not excited about this, but I know that's just the shopaholic in me talking. I'll keep you posted. Any commentary is appreciated on this one!
So I am going to leave you with this for now... and a cute photo of my dog for cheering purposes!