A Year Without Shopping

I'm happy to say that, as of the first of this month, I have successfully completed my year without shopping. It was a very daunting undertaking, but I am proud report that I stayed the course, and I'm glad to share a few tips that kept me going.

1. Remember your purpose. 
Whatever your reason is for taking a hiatus from shopping is, hold fast to it.

Example: When I began my year without shopping, I had just started my business, I was a year away from my wedding, and my income had recently taken a big drop. Avoiding shopping was less about saving money than it was about not spending money I didn't have.

2. Avoid temptation. 
Old habits die hard. If you're used to going out and buying new items relatively often, cut yourself off from the things that encourage that habit.

Example: The first week of 2013, I cancelled all my email subscriptions to my favorite stores. I knew that hearing about a great sale or new arrivals would be just too much to handle! I also didn't step foot in my most favorite shops. Going into TJ Maxx and seeing a Kate Spade bag hanging in the clearance section or eying a new stunning dress in Anthro could have the power to totally throw me off track. Being the kind of person who can't walk into a store and leave empty-handed, steering clear of stores all together was my only option.

3. Work your closet.
Chance are, if you're as into shopping as I was, you already have a wardrobe full of wonderful items. Put them to good use!

Example: Besides the financial factor, one of the reasons I decided to swear off shopping for the year, was to make an effort to enjoy the stuff I already owned. I found myself wearing pieces I hadn't touched in years, and discovering what my true style is in the absence of newly-purchased trendy items.

4. Get some "new to you" clothing. 
Free clothes are your friend.

Example: Over the course of the year, I found myself just getting tired of what was hanging in my closet. Luckily, my close friend Jessica passed a few pre-loved pieces of clothing onto me when she cleaned out her closet mid-May. I also scored some amazing pieces from my sister when I went to visit her in October. Having some fresh new items for free really kept me going. If you have a friend who is a similar size to you and also on a shopping fast, why not shop each others' cloests?

5. Don't let it freak you out. 
This process should be a challenge, but it shouldn't stress you out!

Example: There were times when I really wanted something I happened to see on another blog or in an advert. At first, I felt frustrated, or ready to throw in the towel. I just had to calm down and say to myself, "You can't have it anyway. If you still want it in January, you can get it." Thankfully, most of those sartorial cravings subsided, but I did keep a list of the pieces I wanted. Now that I can shop again, it's nice having a list of the things that I felt were missing from my wardrobe to refer to.

Good luck to anyone who is starting their no-shop journey! Has anyone else completed their challenge? Please comment below with any tips that got you through it!