A Toronto Transformation

Could You go a Year Without New Clothes?

vintage prom dresses at 69 vintage TorontoWhat do you mean I don’t need another frothy vintage prom dress?

According to a recent eye-opening and kick in the ass-ing review of my last three months’ spending, I could not.

Which, of course, immediately made me want to try.

To be fair, those three months included my birthday, when I was generously gifted some funds specifically to put towards an “investment piece” I’d been hemming and hawing over for about a year. Still, it was shocking to see just how much I actually spent on clothing in just three short months.

It made me re-examine my view of myself as a fairly financially responsible person. Because the truth is, while I’ve been patting myself on the back for being debt-free, I really haven’t been putting nearly as much money as I could, and arguably should, have been away for a rainy day.

Apparently, no sooner are my essentials paid off for the month, than I head out to spend whatever’s left over on food, clothes and a retrospectively inexplicable number of trips to Shopper’s Drug Mart. I’m like a moth to an optimum points flame. Half the time I just wander in there to see what’s on sale when I need to kill time.

Looking over my spending, not only was I disappointed in how little I had squirrelled away, and what a ridiculous amount of my paycheques was going to retail therapy and lazy food shopping, but I was dismayed to realize that I’d become such a rampant consumer.

When I think about the things I value most in life, of course, most of them aren’t things at all. They’re people, experiences, nature and feelings. And while there’s certainly room there for enjoyment of stuff, fashion stuff included, I was a little crestfallen to realize just how much stuff I was enjoying, and how that might be pushing aside the experiences I’d like to think I value more.

So, while I might not be ready for the challenge of going a year without buying a single new item of clothing that I’ve seen some bloggers sign up for, I am going to make a concerted effort to cut way back on my spending, particularly in that area and go from there. Even cutting my clothing budget in half for a year would be a significant boost to my overall savings.

Luckily I hosted a clothing swap this weekend, and snagged some great new-to-me stuff from my friends, so that should keep the spending wolves at bay for a little while at least.

Baby steps, you know?

Taken in shoes I already own, of course.

Are you guys big shoppers? Good savers? Could you go a year without new clothes? I’d love to hear any saving money/avoiding buying clothes tips you have in the comments!

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9 Responses to Could You go a Year Without New Clothes?

  • Peggy says:

    I have the same problem and need to cut down my spending on clothes, not only mine but also Tate’s…I am challenging myself with no-new-clothes-until-the-end-of-the-year. Baby steps, too.

    Speaking of Shopper’s, did you know the one at Bloor and Bedford offer 20% off every Thursday for UofT students. I mean our T-card will work. I heard it from one of my fellows at the OISE but haven’t tried it yet.

    • metamorphocity says:

      Ooh. That’s dangerous information, Peggy! Although, if I’m going to spend money there, I might as well get a discount! 🙂 I imagine it would be incredibly tough not to constantly buy new adorable things to dress your adorable kid in. Good luck cutting back!

  • I recently had an eye-opening incident of my own involving sneaking in bags from an online shopping purchase and hiding them in the closet so my husband wouldn’t see. He has never once commented on what I buy – on the contrary, he is always telling me to treat myself – but it was embarrassing because it’s like every week lately I’ve had a delivery. Online shopping is my weakness and those sale emails get me every dang time. This is now my goal for the rest of the year too – no new clothes for myself!

    • metamorphocity says:

      Oh yes! Online shopping is such a temptation. I like this idea of at least trying until the end of the year. It’s less daunting than a whole year, at least for getting started.

  • Cassie says:

    I’d have to do a major clothes purge AND shopping trip before I’d sign up for a year without buying new clothes, ha! I’ve actually cut back on shopping for clothes by a lot (it used to be something I did when I was bored?!), but I’ve made up for it with drinks and lunches out. I tend to justify those because I’m being social when I do them (and I’m trying to soak up this whole grad school in L.A. thing), but that spending needs to be put on hold. Graduation will be a financial slap in the face, and I don’t want to regret not being frugal.

  • Talk about a timely post… I just came back from Hong Kong with a suitcase full of new clothes and no room in my apartment to put them! Time for a purge. And, in light of my finances in general, a new lease on how I spend my money. Eeeeeps.

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