Accessories and nail polish neatly placed on a white tabletop
Simplicity, Wardrobe

The 1 year shopping fast

Yup, I’m jumping on the bandwagon: I will start a 1 year shopping fast as soon as I get back from my summer holiday. Actually – if I am being completely honest it might be only 10 months, or 11, but it will still be a good stretch of time and in any case 1 year sounds much more impressive than 10 or 11 months. In the past I have scoffed at people doing this, claiming it to be too extreme and a complete overkill, but over the past few months I have come to the conclusion that I think it would do me good. Why?

  • I can’t physically fit more clothes into my closet. This is an embarrassing thing to admit, but it has come to this. After a summer of record heat (which lead to some necessity-driven clothes shopping) my closet is now full to the brim of excellent, well-fitting clothing, appropriate for any season or occasion. Blizzard-proof parka? Check. Flip-flops? Check. Party dresses? Every-day dresses? Semi-formal, semi-casual, fun and flirty dresses? Checkity check. Unexpected wedding, funeral or bachelorette party? Got them covered. PJs and sweatpants and t-shirts, oh my. Trust me, I’m good.
  • I want to save money. I love nothing more than to watch my savings account grow, and since we still rent our apartment I would very much like to boost my savings for the day when we’re ready to buy. I also want to travel to NYC again next summer, and the flight + hotel will probably cost me around $2500 unless we stumble upon a great deal or decide to try Airbnb. In any case I would really like to fatten up my bank account. This is also why the shopping fast might last less than a year, as I’m keeping it up until our next summer holiday.
  • I feel slightly out of control. Not in a shopaholic, reality-TV, ready for an intervention kind of way, but I have recently noticed a pattern where I buy a thing only to immediately want a different thing instead of just enjoying the first thing. Which is ridiculous. I’m a control freak at heart, and I don’t like myself when I act like this. I don’t want to be that person. The world needs less of that person.

So there you have it. I want to stop the madness and save money while doing so. There are, however, exceptions. I know myself well enough to know that I can’t go a whole year without buying a single item of clothing, shoes or accessories, so I will have to set some ground rules.

1. I can buy socks and underwear, but within reasonable limits. This means that there has to be an actual need. No buying them because they looked cute.

2. Buying replacements for worn-out items is fine as long as I don’t already own something similar. I can’t imagine I’ll need to do this with any clothing, but I might have to replace shoes somewhere down the line.

3. No cosmetics unless I need to replace something that I use every day. Have you seen my makeup collection? Complete overkill.

4. Digital books are fine, but remember the Kindle library. I have a bunch of books saved that I have yet to read.

5. I have a free pass to buy a nice winter coat and a black oversized wool sweater. I was supposed to buy them last winter, but didn’t find any that I liked. Also, if Topshop finally decide to re-release their Baxter jeans with a 36″ inseam I will place an order ASAP, because #Leggygirlproblems.

6. No eBay or Etsy, unless I’m buying a present for someone or need to replace a makeup item that I can’t buy locally.

I feel good about this. It isn’t a spur of the moment thing, and I know I can do it because I have done it before (for shorter periods of time). I’m not usually a fan of extremes, but the benefits of doing this will be huge and I can’t for the life of me see any drawbacks. There will be other luxuries, like getting my hair dyed and buying the occasional caramel macchiato, so it is not like I will be living like a monk – just slightly less like a first world brat. I will of course keep you posted every step of the way.


21 thoughts on “The 1 year shopping fast

  1. I really like the reasons you state for starting a shopping fast. I concur with the wanting to save money, and with the “feeling slightly out of control” parts. Like you, I’ve been feeling in 2014 like my focus was constantly on my next purchase instead of enjoying the last one.

    After only one month of fast I already see a difference in how I consider and enjoy my items (whether it is clothes, tea cups, I started reading books I bought last December…) and on my bank account.

    The only difficulty I’ve faced so far (after the missed start that is), is that I don’t have everything I need for every occasion as you state from your closet. I still have wardrobe “holes”, for example I bought winter boots for snow and hikes only last winter, I have very few summer vacation items, and I seriously lack of elegant, simple party items (because I don’t party, mainly).

    I don’t sweat over it because necessities (even social necessities) are on my “allowed” list, but it puts me in a situation of temptation to buy other things. And I noticed I feel more susceptible to temptation now that it’s forbidden. Maybe I should have done like you and waited until the end of the summer, as the situations I have holes for were all happening this summer…

    Anyway I’m eager to hear how it goes for you, 6 months sounded a lot for me, a whole year seems a very long time, and I’d love to see if you learn anything about yourself from this :)

    • I really do think I’m all set. For example, my green winter parka has seen better days and I considered retiring it and buying a new one, but I think I’ll just try to go without and see how it goes. I still have the red blizzard-proof parka, the gray man-coat, the gray Marant-esque coat, the leopard coat, the giant faux fur Narnia coat.. something tells me I’ll do just fine.

      I do feel ready to start the fast already, but knowing myself I’m better off doing it when I get home from Greece. Holiday shopping is a beast of it’s own, and since we’ll stay for two weeks I am sure to stumble over something that I’d like. I’ve not budgeted it as a shopping trip though – beaches and food all the way :)

  2. Det er braaa, jente! Jeg er så ikke der, mest fordi jeg har vært blakk i 2,5 år nå og ikke kjøpt så mye…. nå har jeg norsk lønn igjen, hurra!

    Lykke til!

  3. I am so on board with this. I feel simultaneously nauseated and hypocritical with the amount of stuff I’ve been buying and own. I really need to do a shopping fast too – I always try and justify my purchases by purging old items, but I think I’ve reached the point where I can’t justify or purge anymore!

  4. go Maja! :D i can totally understand the reasons for doing a shopping fast, especially if you do have what you need and don’t need to buy more ‘just because’. looking forward to reading your updates :)

    • I hope I’ll be able to articulate something entertaining from the experience! A whole year, it will be a smorgasbord of first world problems. I can’t wait!

  5. elina says:

    Sounds great! I’ve been thinking about doing something similar. I don’t think I could stretch it to a year (or 10 months), mut right now I’m thinking from the beginning of September until the end of the year. I just have so much STUFF even after all the purging I’ve done that I just can’t imagine what I would need. I even have four pairs of the Baxter jeans!:D Not that not needing anything has stopped me from buying before.. But maybe it will this time :) My exceptions are new goretex (or similar) trainers for the upcoming fall and a new wool cardigan for work. That’s it.

    Looking forward to your updates on this :)

    • Thanks Elina! And four months is a great start, you can totally do it. The pre-Christmas sales are tricky to avoid, but there are sales pretty much all year these days, so in the grand scheme of things you don’t really miss out :)

  6. I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to make-up and clothes, but I tend to spend money on rather silly things. Giraffes for instance. Rather than starting on a fast, I would like be more aware of my purchases and actually buy things that I’m in need of. Sports bras would be a good place to start.

    • Hahaha, giraffes! Love it! And we all need good sports bras, so that’s a good place to start. I’m terrible with mine, I really should throw some old ones out and replace them. Eep.

  7. Go Maja! The NYC trip sounds like a great goal–it’s a trip I’d like to make as well, so to me that would be a powerful motivator.

    Looking forward to hearing how your journey develops, so good luck and carry on :)

    • Thanks Kristina! The plan is to do regular end-of-the-month updates, but naturally I won’t do one for August since the fast has only lasted for a week so far :)

  8. Samme her! Men min shoppestopp gjelder ‘bare’ klær og sko.
    Årsakene mine er omtrent de samme, bortsett fra at det er oppussing i heimen som blir det store pengesluket de neste månedene, ingen utenlandstur. Og denne gangen skal både jeg OG min kjære la være å handle. Forrige gang jeg hadde shoppestopp holdt jeg i ca. et halvt år. Og vet du hva den største overraskelsen var? Hvor utrolig deilig det var å slippe å føle at jeg bare måtte innom butikkene for å titte… Altså – ikke bare penger spart – men masse tid også! Vinn, vinn! Lykke til og god ferie!

    • Å kikke i butikker er ikke svakheten min, for den er HELT klart nettshopping. Det er så fort gjort, man trenger ikke gå ut døra en gang! Og flere av nettbutikkene lagrer jo betalingsinformasjonen, så da trenger man ikke finne frem lommeboka en gang.. Men jeg håper og tror at selvkontrollen skal holde ;) Oppussing er jo kjempespennende, lykke til med prosjektet! :)

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