Friday, August 1, 2014

a year without shopping

I have an unhealthy relationship with shopping and it's time I do something about it.  And since I'm a go big or go home kind of girl, I'm going all the way and taking the drastic  measures to challenge myself to a year without shopping.  You see I'm not just your average gal who loves shopping, budgets themselves and enjoys their purchases for years to come.  I'm an impulsive, compulsive shopper with an addictive personality.  I treat my credit card and line of credit like free money, I buy in excess and without need.  I don't think through my purchases which often leads to consumer guilt and debt. 
Why now? I participated in Kendi Everyday's 30x30 remix a few times where I didn't shop for the month and I found it very rewarding to shop my closet but found the 30 items (including shoes) limiting.  I have a massive closet (it's actually a small bedroom) and I have no shortage of clothing, accessories, shoes or purses.  As someone who doesn't follow trends but instead wears what I like, there's no need for me to buy anything else because my weight rarely fluctuates, I know what I like and what looks good on me and I am an accessory addict who believes in the transformative abilities of a great hat, statement necklace or stiletto heel. 
The hardest part about this challenge for me will be the temptation as I work at two local clothing boutiques and see new merchandise being delivered and sewn on a regular basis.  It's kind of like an alcoholic trying to abstain from drinking while working as a bartender.  It's the ultimate in exercising willpower!

The main things I want to get out of this challenge and what will keep me motivated:
1) Get out of debt and start saving! As I've been working in non-profit and fashion for the past eight years, I have no pension plan or health benefits.  I recently opened TFSA and RRSP accounts and would like to start saving for my future, for a European trip and to pay off my mortgage quickly. 
2) Create it vs. Charge it.  Shopping can take up a lot of time and energy that I would prefer to invest in more creative endeavors.  I have a sewing machine, I'd like to learn how to use it. I have a craft room full of supplies and ideas, now I just need the motivation!
3) Closet shopping.  I think this is a very important skill to learn and one that I teach my SMASH styling clients about.  You won't always have the resources (financial, mobility or time) to buy a new outfit so why not learn how to create exciting new ensembles from your own wardrobe!
4) Healthier ways to relieve stress.  I've noticed a pattern with my impulsive binge shopping, it often happens when I'm stressed out, anxious or not feeling well.  Shopping is like a drug to me, it gives me an immediate euphoric feeling like a high but then I get guilty and crash.  I have recently been dabbling in the world of yoga and I want to explore this practice more along with mindfulness, meditation and exercise as coping mechanisms.

My Year without Shopping Rules:
From August 1, 2014- to August 1, 2015:
ALLOWED: clothing swaps, product reviews for my blog, lunch out (once a week), dinner out (once a week), drinks out (once a week), toiletries, makeup (as needed), hosiery (as needed), office supplies, anything for SMASH styling (except clothes for me of course!) and gifts for others birthdays/Christmas/special occasions
NOT ALLOWED: shopping for clothing (new or used), shoes, jewellery, purses, handbags, accessories, jackets, winter accessories, nail polish, household decor, knick knacks, books or just because gifts for others

During this challenge I will be posting at least monthly about the challenges, triumphs and any tips and tricks I learn along the way! Stay tuned and wish me luck!


  1. Good luck Emily! I'm rooting for you. You're young enough that you can still make up for past errors in judgment and still have a great financial future ahead of me. But I think the personal growth you'll get from this challenge will be the biggest bonus. Healthy financial habits will set the stage for a much less stressful life. I look forward to following your progress!

  2. Good Luck with this. I have been thinking of doing one of these myself. If I do it. It won't be until next year.

  3. Way to go on this! I'm doing a no-shop summer and it's been VERY hard, but I'm really trying to make it work so I can start getting out of debt and working towards being able to stay home more with my son. I'm rooting for you!

  4. Wow! You are definitely going big. Tracy and I do monthly shopping bans every few months. In fact we are in one right now! I wish you the best in your challenge and look forward to your updates.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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One of my daily joys is reading the lovely comments you leave. It may take a day or two (or three, depending on how hectic life gets!) but I will stop by your slice of the blogosphere soon! xo Emily