By Wendy Mihm | Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Well, it’s over.
With just one measly little month to go in my “No New Clothes in 2011 Challenge” I ended the whole thing.
Poof! Just like that.
I bought a puffy down coat, some mittens, a lined purple rain coat, a down vest with a fake fur collar, and two new sweaters. And don’t get me started on all the stuff I bought for the kids… Yikes. A coat for each, hats, fleece jackets, a scarf, waffle shirts and a pair of snow boots, just to name a few.
What the schnark happened, you ask?
1. We sold our house in Pasadena, California and moved clear across the country, to the Washington, D.C. area.
2. We are living in a temporary rental house and 97% of our belongings are in storage back in So-Cal, until we find a more permanent home.
3. Winter is coming. Actual winter, not Pasadena “winter-in-quotation-marks” winter.
Being long-time residents of Southern California, we were not equipped for the aforementioned actual winter, and so a-shopping I went! While it was pretty fun to shop again, I have to admit that the past year has changed me as a consumer.
Here’s how, and here’s why I would recommend this year-long challenge to a friend:
- I am much pickier about what I buy, and find it easier to walk away from tempting merchandise.
- I’ve learned that when I do walk away from purchases (including things online, by closing the browser), it’s easier to forget them later.
- When there is something that I walk away from but don’t forget, I realize it was probably something I really did need or want—and that has only happened once all year. Once. Think about that!
- I find it more difficult to spend money on anything, even those things that were not part of the challenge. They really have to pass muster, which has saved our family even more money.
- Now that I’m shopping again, I tire of it more quickly.
The great part of all of these things is that they ultimately save money for our family and make me feel less gripped by consumerism. Seems like a great way to start our new adventure in an exciting and beautiful part of the country. Lucky for us, many of the kid-friendly activities here in the Washington, D.C. area, (like all the great museums and monuments on the National Mall) are free, which adds even more fun to our new frugality.
We will certainly miss our friends and all the fun we had back in California, but we look forward to making new friends and new memories here in D.C. So here’s to the end of the No New Clothes in 2011 Challenge: a sometimes difficult, but a financially and emotionally worthwhile challenge. It’s the end of one adventure and the start of a new one!
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