This Thursday, I’m sharing my thoughts with everyone on a little challenge I set myself earlier this year. In February, I resolved not to buy any new clothes, shoes, or accessories for a month. I realized that I have so much already, and that no matter how many times I clean out my closet, it always seems like there’s a collection of items I never wear gathering at the back. And although I’m conscientious about thinking through purchases before swiping my credit card, online shopping has definitely made me more prone to impulse buys. So I wanted to give myself time to take a step back and prune the piles once and for all, and also to give my student wallet a break!
The last time I purchased any wearables was Friday, January 9. The day before the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, I found a cute pair of Mickey sneakers at Disney and made them my one non-running souvenir of the trip. So I started February with a few weeks logged. And then February turned into March. I didn’t consciously make the decision to extend the challenge, because it turned out not to be much of a challenge. Rather, in the days and weeks after I decided not to buy anything, I just wasn’t putting myself in shopping situations much anymore.
It was freezing and snowy outside, so my friends and I weren’t hitting Bloomingdales for frozen yogurt and a spin on the shoe floor. And my daily uniform of leggings, boots, and cable-knit sweaters, covered by a parka, hat, and gloves, wasn’t exactly inspiring me to think much about fashion. But I wasn’t really paying attention to online sales or anything either – shopping just sort of fell off my radar. There was never a time I felt like I had nothing to wear. Instead, I found myself picking up a top I hadn’t worn in months (or even a year) and heading off feeling like I’d scored a find from my own closet.
My decision to make the first purchase back wasn’t a big deal either. I was finding myself looking at spring and summer running gear after a long winter. I went through a phase of losing most of my hairties (which happens to the best of us). So last Friday, April 3, I went to Twistband’s website and bought a bunch of new hairties. Not big-ticket items, but things I needed. I could have gone to Duane Reade for regular black hair elastics, but the Twistbands don’t break my hair when I ponytail up for runs, so I save on haircuts? And they’re just more cheerful. I feel like there’s a good balance between saving and spending, and allowing yourself a few little luxuries here and makes life more colorful.
I think the takeaway from all this for me was more mindfulness when shopping. I will definitely take more time to think about why I’m buying something, and likely end up bringing home less in quantity but more in quality. I’ll still make running-related purchases, both when I need to replace my shoes or shorts and when there’s something I’d really like to wear on the go – because some new running gear can really brighten up a regular workout! The key is to decide what is really worth your time and energy, since that’s what money is. That stuff is special for me, so it’s worth it!
With all the time I saved shopping, I also managed to figure out Twitter and Pinterest! Follow me at @Runner Girl 1991 and Renaissance Runner Girl on Pinterest. And that’s all for this Thursday!
What do you think about your own shopping habits? Any tips and tricks for thinking through purchases?
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5 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: Shopping Mindfully”
I’ve been working on this as well! I have made it my goal to only buy when I go into a store with a purpose. If I see something in the store, I make myself leave, and if I still want it, I come back another day. So far, it works really well, and I find I have saved a lot of money through this aspect!
I’ve never really been a big spender when it comes to clothes, but makeup is a whoooooole other story. Sephora is my biggest weakness, and it’s kind of embarrassing how much money I can shell out in there if I don’t watch myself. So I try to keep my visits limited and only go when I run out of a staple. I totally agree about the quality over quantity, though. I’d rather have 1 good thingI really love, than 10 things I’m just kind of meh about.
Exactly! I feel that way about my own weakness of cute workout wear 🙂 Luckily for me (unluckily for my despairing friends and female relatives) I never got into the makeup habit despite repeated attempts, and other than lip gloss/chapstick (Burt’s Bees always…) I wear makeup about four days a year. I know that can get spendy too!
I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! The details are over at my blog and you’ll find the questions right at the end!
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