Save. Spend. Splurge.

Challenge for 2014: No retail (new) shopping for my wardrobe until November

Note: This is a challenge not a goal or a New Year’s 2014 Resolution, both of which I loathe making. Basically, it won’t make me break down in tears if I don’t meet it.

Let’s get it out there that I am more of a spender than a saver when I don’t work.

Then I am more of a saver than a spender when I do work because busy (soon-to-be-formerly-childless) people do not have idle time to browse online or go to shops to “browse”.


Y’hear me?

Anyway sinceΒ Black Friday and sales in general are pretty awesome in November, and leading up into the month of December, I felt rather cheated by my impulse (read: stupid) shopping because by my estimations, had I waited about a month or so, I would have spaved about $500.

  • Pssst!Β Spaving = Spending to Save.

I was also taking the time to read this article about why we’re so materialistic even if it makes no sense to us (hint: buying experiences means a lot more satisfaction for our brain than stuff).

I still get a very good sensation from purchasing things and the sensation lasts long after I have the item (same goes for when I go on vacation), but maybe it’s time I evaluated myself a little harder.

Anyway, I had a little epiphany when I read that article and contemplated the sales of Black Friday, weeping deep down inside and tweeted:

(Can you hear the hesitation and doubt!?)

Most of my good friends who really know me well like Asian Pear, and Revanche were probably secretly and not so secretly thinking:

Psssh! Are you kidding?

No way. *doubtful looks*

YOU?! Hell would sooner freeze over.

I mean, even Kandice was doubtful on Facebook!!

Ahh.. how well they know me, because they clarified what I meant by “not shopping”:

But I was thinking that it would make perfect sense because of these reasons:

  • I will be busy with Baby Bun and if not, I will be (hopefully) working because working stops shopping
  • I am not banning myself 100% from shopping because….
  • …I would allow THRIFTED or secondhand clothing to pass (hard to find my size/style anyway)
  • It would only be January 1st 2014 to Black Friday 2014, just in time for deep sales
  • I’d keep a list of what I want during the year, and cross off or de-lust by the time November comes
  • …and @singlemaΒ (whom I adore) totally threw down the gauntlet at me for this:

My exception is thrifting or secondhand stuff, but she doesn’t do that, so she gets an exception too of her own choosing.


If I have to hold myself actually accountable on the blog (no matter how weak and horribly impulsive I am as a shopper), and I have Single Ma backing me for motivation on this challenge..




Also, Single Ma wrote a pretty good post about it here. She’s my partner for this and we will be holding each other accountable even though she put her well-heeled foot in her mouth in accepting the challenge.



  • Period: January 1st – October 31st 2014
  • Only applies to my wardrobe purchases which is clothing, purses, accessories and shoes
  • Doesn’t apply to Baby or House-related stuff (e.g. pots and pans, cutlery)
  • No purchases of anything new at retail prices (even if it’s on sale, I have to stand firm!)
  • Thrifting / Secondhand finds allowed as my exception


If any reader wants to also join in this challenge informally, please leave a comment here and come back each month when I update everyone on whether or not I made it to tell me how you fared as well.

(Umm I should note that this starts January 1st 2014, so .. I kind of still have time to gorge on sales until end of 2013. )


  • Serena T.

    It’s my 1st week of a year of no non-necessity shopping for me! Looking for accountability partners and some non-shoppers to interview! Can I send you some q’s for my brand new blog??

  • Aza

    I am on iT since march and none days in april. Of course a year would be aussum not that i shop a lot. But i have a beter overviel of what i owe including bags acces and smoes, but i dont have much winter clothing donated them a while ago..

  • oilandgarlic

    I’m on a no-retail-new shopping challenge now til end of the year. I allotted myself a very small 2014 clothing / shoes/purse budget and have already spent it!
    I always try to buy on sale because I don’t think anything is really worth full-price if you consider all the mark-ups. Sometimes I lose out but I’ve been fortunate with eBay. I found 2 items I really really wanted at 50% off (or more). Yes, it was around end of season but these were fairly ‘classic’ stuff and I know my taste pretty well by now (40s!)

  • Manda

    I’m doing something similar this year, but with cosmetics because I Have A Problem. My exception is that if I use something up, I can replace it. This pretty much just applies to skincare though (not skimping on a replacement face wash, etc when the time comes!) as if I use up something like a blush, I still have plenty other blushes to go through!

  • Simply Save

    I’ll try it with you! This was pretty much on my new year’s resolution list anyways! πŸ™‚

  • Sara

    I made a list of 14 things I would like to add to my closet and don’t plan to do any shopping outside of that list unless something I currently own needs replacing. If that’s close enough to your plan, I’ll join in πŸ™‚

  • cosmogirl2100

    Oooh, I might do a version of this with my beauty products, only buying to replace. The clothes one won’t work for me as I have very limited amount (for a girl! ) and when I need to buy something, I really need it. Hopefully I’ll be too busy to browse as well πŸ™‚ Good luck!!

  • Single Ma

    Challenge accepted! No shoes, purses, or accessories (unless on vacation) until BF. Now you know how much this will hurt me, but whatev. *pops my collar* Leggo!

  • anna

    Oooh, great challenge! I love your ‘what I bought’ posts, but I have faith you can do it. I buy pre-owned stuff on Ebay (I guess it’s like thrifting?), and some of the pieces end up in excellent condition. It’ll be interesting to see the finds you… well, find!

  • eemusings

    Hmm. I have faith in you (I think!)

    I did no shopping except for necessities (replacing worn out shoes etc) in 2012 and it wasn’t that hard but I have a different personality I guess.

    I went to a secondhand store the other day and wound up buying a few things (my first clothes shopping back in NZ) and was really pleased with my finds. Almost want to make 2014 the year of only thrift shopping. I now live quite close to a number of secondhand shops in fact!

  • Emily @ Urban Departures

    If you go on a shopping hiatus, who will I live vicariously through?!! Well, I’ll try this challenge with you, though I’m starting in February- I’ve already spent a pretty number on wardrobe holes this month.

  • Morgaine

    I tried this last year but failed in March and while I tried going back, I kept failing. I feel like I got a lot of my wardrobe settled in the latter half of 2013 so I want to see how long I can go without shopping for clothes, but I’m not going to make it a challenge, per se, just see how long it lasts. Good luck!

  • Tracy

    But I oh-so-look forward to what you purchased each month clothing wise!!! Waaah.

  • Tania

    I have considered doing this. I’ve read a lot about the 365 day no shopping challenges that others have done in the past. I honestly think I can’t do it. My personality seems to rebel and eventually binge when I try anything like this so my challenges are always somewhat moderate, avoiding words like “no” or “none”. Second hand shopping can also be problematic for me too. What I am doing in 2014 is aiming to eliminate 2014 items from my home net of incoming items. So, total out – total in = 2014. I am also only buying pieces that fit into my concept of a minimal wardrobe and limiting myself on the # of pieces I keep. So, jeans for example. Rather than buying every great jean on resale that I see that fits me and my aesthetic, I’m only allowed to have a certain amount in my wardrobe, kind of a predetermined capsule (i.e. one bootcut, one skinny, three BF style). I’ve started to lose weight too so this made it easier to let go of some of the still good jeans in smaller sizes. I have capsules for my smaller sizes now and the excess is or will be sold. I’m staying away from trendy boutique and fast fashion fixes. If I do buy, it will be intentionally and higher quality items in the colors I wear most often (for me, that’s black, grey, stripes, army and plum). Even Ts (a staple for me) have to be really good quality.

    Good luck on your challenge! I can’t wait to see how it goes.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Those are too prison-like for me.. to NOT shop at all? No way.

      I honestly can’t do it cold turkey but I can do it just for retail πŸ™‚

      That said, I rarely find things secondhand that I REALLY really want these days (jeans are a hit and miss, unless they’re rag and bone leggings..)

  • AdinaJ

    I tried this last year. I lasted about 3 months, I think. Not to discourage you, LOL! I’m sure you’ll be able to stick with it. I’m tempted to give it another try but only because eBay would give me a big loophole (not new, not retail) and it’s already my biggest shopping indulgence. So, it would be like cheating the spirit of the challenge, which is why I won’t do it – I like to be honest about my failings, haha! I AM trying to be more mindful of my purchases this year, though, particularly since my recent wardrobe overhaul is almost complete.

  • Michelle

    You can do it! πŸ™‚ If you need an accountability partner, I’m here! My clothing fast is until August, we’ll see if I make it too. We’ll both have to post about the shopping sprees we go on after…of course, we’ll have saved money for it!

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