Update: No New Clothes in 2011 Challenge comments

By Wendy Mihm | Tuesday March 15, 2011

Well, it has been almost 3 full months now, and I have not bought a single stitch of new clothing in all of 2011!

But I have to tell you, it is getting difficult.

My sweater rotation is a little tired. My boots have done their walkin’.  I’m looking forward to the warmer weather so I can start pulling out my short sleeves and tank shirts.  However, I’m a bit worried that I’ll grow tired of these really quickly.  You see, usually I refresh them with a smattering of new Ts and tanks throughout the season, since it stays so hot for so long here in Pasadena.  Now I’m wondering how I’m going to pull it off this year without that mid-season zap.  Hmmm…

I’ll have to get creative by layering and combining them in fun new ways with different skirts and pants and, gasp, shorts!  Maybe I’ll pull in a friend to take a look at what I have to see if she can pull my things together in fresh new combinations that I hadn’t considered before.  But rather than focus on my neuroticism, let’s look at the good news.

  • In January, my Amex bill, which is the bill we put all of our regular household expenses on, including anything I would buy for myself and the kids, was almost $300 lower than it normally would be.
  • In February it was about $350 lower

That means in just two months, I have saved our family $650, simply by not buying any clothes for myself and by strictly limiting the clothes I buy for the kids to the absolute necessities$650, people.

I have also opened an Orange Savings Account with ING Direct and transferred this money, along with a large chunk of money that was just sitting in our regular savings account, earning virtually no interest.  We are trying to save for a house and now that money will be earning at least some interest (1%) instead of just sitting there as if it were just stuffed under a mattress, doing nothing.

Yes, it is very difficult at times to simply walk past tempting displays of beautiful clothes.  But here are some tricks I’ve found to make it easier.

  • Limit my exposure to temptation by not putting myself in these situations in the first place.  Avoid the mall!
  • When tempting catalogs arrive, recycle them immediately.
  • If I find myself in a tempting situation, because it’s impossible to avoid them entirely, remember, which do I want more:  another pair of pants in my closet, or a new house?

There’s still plenty of 2011 to go… Care to join me in the No New Clothes for A Year Challenge?

What would you do with all the money you save?

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