At the end of 2014 I read an article about a woman who decided to shop only at consignment stores for a year. She gave herself a $50/month budget. The article fascinated me, and it sounded like a challenge I wanted to try. Did I really need to make a detour through the clothing section every time I went to Target to pick up supplies? Why did Marshalls always seem to be “on my way” ? Did I even realize how much I was spending on these somewhat unconscious purchases? I shared the idea with Will, and we decided to try it.
We completed the one-year challenge. We took it quite seriously. We spent a combined total of $210 on clothes, shoes and accessories in 2015. Of that, I made up $186 of the spending, primarily at Turn Style Consignment Stores throughout the city. I was amazed at the amount of quality finds I made (Coach Purse, Cole Haan Shoes, Lululemon hoodie, and much more). Will spent a total of $24, and that was our only cheat purchase. We were basking in the sun on Catalina Island in July and he was flip-flop-less. I encouraged him to buy new flip flops. He immediately got blisters. I think it was bad karma for breaking our rules!
So what did we learn? That we don’t need all the shit that we thought we did! That by cleaning out all the corners or our home and being more creative with what we already have, we didn’t feel the need for new things. It really made us aware of where we were spending our money, and stressed the importance of buying quality products that will last. It was also a great way to reiterate how awesome people can be. As we’d talk to friends, co-workers, clients, neighbors, etc about things we were looking for, sometimes they’d magically appear. You never know who has what you are looking for, and either they’ll lend it to you or have been looking for a reason to get rid of it.
This challenge was such a great experience for us, we’re going to keep it going. We’ll give ourselves the month of January to stock up on white t-shirts, socks, undies, etc…basically the things we actually felt a need for after a year. Then February 1st we’re diving right back in. As we’ve ventured back into stores this month we’ve realized we’re a bit disgusted at the amount of “stuff” that is there for consumption. I don’t mind seeing that change in us. We’re far more excited about our upcoming trip to Israel than any material crap.
Will is suggesting we take it a step further and limit wine, whiskey and beer in 2016. We’re going to take the 29 days of February off of booze. Beyond that, I am not sure. I can only handle so much.