My clothing shopping ban

I’ve been on a self-imposed clothing shopping ban since March. I’ve done relatively well, for my standards, especially considering my recent realization that I spent $5,000 on clothes in 2008. During the past few months, I’ve bought four items – a vintage shirt for $15, a vintage skirt for $40, and a pair of jeans and scarf for $95. Until fairly recently, I would buy whatever I came across and really liked, so this is a big improvement for me.

The ban is coming to a temporary end, however. It’s my birthday next week, which means I’ll get some money from both sets of parents and my grandparents. My sister and I haven’t received real gifts in a long time, and I like it this way. Sometimes it feels like so much effort to think of multiple things I really want so that my parents can get me actual presents. Giving/receiving money is just easy. I know, probably a little lazy too. I’m okay with that.

I’ll receive around $500. I don’t plan on spending all of it on clothes, however I do need some summer items, including work appropriate shorts, brightly coloured or patterned shirts, and sandals/flats. I’m going out with my friends on Friday for my birthday, and we don’t do gifts anymore, so I’ll use a bit to pay for my meal. My plan is to spend around $400 and save the rest.

I’ve been going in and out of stores this week, scoping stuff out, trying it on, etc. I’m so used to not buying stuff, it’s really hard to part with my money now. I thought it would be fun and easy to find some new items. That hasn’t been the case thus far. Some stuff is just too damn expensive, like this $120 amazing blue striped skirt from Charlie on Queen West, or anything in Robber. Other items don’t fit right, such as the dress I tried on that only looked good with a belt. I refuse to spend $100 on a dress that only looks good if I add an accessory. That seems counterproductive.

I did buy some shorts and a shirt from Banana Republic tonight. I’m not sold on the shirt – it looked a little funny tucked into the shorts I had on – but I’m waiting for my sister to arrive on Friday and she’ll be able to advise me accordingly. She’s the one with (most of) the fashion sense.

How did you feel buying things after a lapse in spending? Did you find it easier or more difficult to give up your money?

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6 Responses to My clothing shopping ban

  1. I haven’t imposed a shopping ban on myself, but a few years ago, I used to always go to warehouse sales, or go to my favourite clothing shops when they had their annual sale.

    I have been very cognizant of what I have been spending in terms of clothes, and have found it hard to part with my money. I was grumbling the entire time my friend took to to the warehouse sale recently!

    My friend was laughing the entire time, saying that it seemed like I haven’t shopped in a long time, because I was complaining that everything was so expensive. Guess I’ve been out of the clothing loop!

    • Obsessive Compulsive Daniela says:

      Agreed, it’s hard to find that that happy medium. I tend to either overshop or not shop at all. It’s like once I start spending, it opens the floodgates and then I want to buy everything. So instead, I don’t shop at all.

      Then again, maybe it’s a matter of finding things you really love, then it’s easier to part with your money. Which isn’t such a bad thing.

  2. Honestly. Life is a collection of experiences.

    The best way to save – have two-three jobs, do not go out or on vacation. Do not have anything on your mind but job and savings.

    Sure you can retire at 40+. Even better – you won’t need much, as during your life you did not do much.

    I am not advocating it, as a life style. But when I analysed our family expenditure over three years. I just got some information and we decided to freeze them. Not cut, just try to control ourselves.

    So live big : -)

    Otherwise what is the point? A penny for your thought.

    • Obsessive Compulsive Daniela says:

      To me, it’s more important to enjoy the time I have now (in a reasonable way) than it is to sock everything away for a rainy day or some far off retirement. I definitely want to experience life and certain things do cost money. It’s a matter of finding that balance, as I mentioned to the last commenter. I’m still trying to figure that part out.

  3. Danielle says:

    I have a bit of a shopping problem, so every now and then I have to grab the reigns. I’ve found after a few self-imposed shopping bans, I am much more mindful about how I spend my money. It’s still sometimes hard to separate my “needs” from “wants” though.

    • Obsessive Compulsive Daniela says:

      Agreed. Did I need to buy two scarves from Esprit this week? No. Did the 30% off sale (and the fact that scarves! can make any outfit different!) convince me that I wanted it badly enough to whip out the wallet? Yup.

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