The holiday season will soon be rolling in and the sales are going to skyrocket. From electronic gadgets to household essentials to fashion accessories, so many items are going to be on sale looking attractive and compelling that all your mindful spending intentions will just fly out the window. Yes, we are talking about the financial impact that the holiday season spending is sure to cause you – both before and after! How about keeping control over it, at least to some extent?
Recently, the world around, there is a new movement called the “No Buy” challenge doing the rounds, driven by an increase in both mindful spendings as well as environmental concerns. Various brands, as well as influencers, are urging their followers to take up the challenge of not buying any new item for the next one year – mostly revolving around clothes, fashion accessories, and other beauty aids. The idea is to make do with whatever is already in your wardrobe and not give in to the compulsion of buying yet another dress for the next party invite that comes along.
With U.S topping the list of countries by consumer expenditure, and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency estimating that over 5% of landfills are occupied by textile waste, taking up this challenge is a sure shot way to help your finances as well as contribute positively to environmental protection, not to mention putting your mindful spending intentions to practice.
An average American spends over $150 monthly on buying new clothing and other related accessories – that is a significant amount of $7000 or more for a family of four! And if your family is big, you are sure to be spending much more, buying attires and other items for everyone for school, college, family occasions, and other needs. If you have been tracking your expenses regularly on an app like NumReceipt, you are sure to have the report of all your expenses divided by category. A quick look at it will show you your specific spend pattern on clothing and tell you whether you have been mindful when it comes to spending on clothes.
Imagine saving some of this budget and routing it to what you need – perhaps a nice vacation for the family? Or how about buying a new washing machine to replace the rickety old one that you are making do with? Or even helping save up on that college fund or retirement fund. The possibilities are endless – just by challenging yourself to not spend anything on new clothing.
So, how does this work without you breaking down in the middle and going on a shopping spree? How can you take up the no-buy challenge, practice mindful spending and come out richer with a leaner and clutter-free wardrobe? Here are some tips that can help you.
Take stock of all the clothing essentials in your wardrobe. Are they in order? Make sure you have enough (if you have 12 sets of clothing to wear without repeating it over a week, that will more than do) and make sure items like underwear, socks, coats, and others can’t do without them’ are in good condition. If not, spend a little to stock up when you begin and commit to saving at least 10 times the amount you will spend on this.
To keep you on track, get yourself an accountability partner, someone who can help you control your spending urges such as a dear friend who may also pick up the challenge or your spouse who is also invested in saving up some of that family budget. Don’t forget to continue to maintain all your expenses consistently on NumReceipt to manage your newly determined financial priorities.
Think you will get bored of the same old clothes in your wardrobe? Then, check out what others taking up the challenge are doing. From running gift culture-based events to organizing a clothes swap party, there is no limit to how you can get creative with your wardrobe. Educate yourself about the fashion color wheel and start pairing your attires differently to give a sense of newness. Borrow that jacket from a friend for that office party while not minding to lend her your favorite barbecue dress for the weekend. It’s all in the mind, remember.
A small tear making your pant unusable? A ripped out button? Opt to have them fixed at a tailor instead of giving them away at the second-hand shop. Or better yet, learn a new skill and try to fix your clothes.
Finally, don’t forget to make it all a game so that it’s fun and easy to do. Every time you get an urge to buy a new cloth, go online and decide which one you might have bought and obtained its price. Put that money away in your savings account and use the NumReceipt app innovatively to capture it as a new kind of expense – only you would have ended up saving the same!