This Ends Now
I’ve always had a slightly rocky relationship with shopping. I haven’t always had the best self control and have been known to buy something just cos it was on sale or to get home and realise I spent a lot more than I thought.
A couple of years ago I put some really great habits in place that stopped me from going overboard. I started bi-monthly shopping bans. Every second month I didn’t buy anything and it was a great way to stop that impulse shopping ‘I see it I need it I buy it’ mentally. If I really needed something or really liked something it had to wait until next month. My wardrobe was 100% full which meant that if I did buy something - it meant I had to say goodbye to something else. This often meant I was only buying things I actually really needed or that needed replacing or were a special occasion feature piece. It got to the point where I almost had to force myself to buy something even when I needed it.
I’d been in this place for a while before I started #neverendingneutrals. I got smarter with my shopping and got wiser on what styles and shapes worked for me and I wanted to empower other women to do the same. I can remember discussing what I would do about the fact that I didn’t really buy new clothes that often and would that hinder the blog. I think I decided that it wouldn’t and I would just show people what was in my wardrobe already.
I’m definitely not blaming Never Ending Neutrals or anything like that but over time - I did start to feel the pressure of having new and exciting things for people to see all the time. The thing about neutrals is that they are great for everyday wardrobe wear, but a little bit harder to stand out on an instagram feed. I bought some great feature pieces (totally ok from time to time) and then updated my basics and then started investing in particular stores that I loved (sort of hoping they might eventually send me clothes) and that all my financial investment into clothes would eventually be worth it. Over a year in and I haven’t been sent free anything haha!
So combine this increased spending, moving out on my own + buying a car .. all of a sudden my savings kind of disappeared. I hadn’t really noticed though. I just kept going.. at the same pace and rate I had been for the last year.
It hit me all at once on Thursday last week as I went to the shops with little to no money in my account, needing to buy a few small gifts and gift wrap. I often do try-ons at the shops and thought I would pop into a store (that I usually can’t afford so it’s usually safe to visit) and try a few things on to put on my stories for the day. I tried on this great top that was on sale (not the worst thing if I’d ended up buying it) and then some of their jeans for something different. Long story short.. I tried on this great pair of jeans that I happened to be able to size down in (amazing for me with jeans in particular) that were a really great cut on me.
It’s like I’d slowly over time learnt to turn the volume down on the reasonable voice in my head that said “these aren’t on sale, you already have jeans just like this.. oh and remember you’re broke” and so I didn’t really hear that voice at all when I walked up to the counter and bought them + the top.
I wasn’t feeling too bad about it initially. “Sometimes it’s worth investing in things you see and you got a $10 credit and they are limited edition jeans” said the competing voice in my head until I had to buy the birthday present and had to transfer some money from my savings. It’s like I’d never noticed how low the account was until that moment. Of course I was also booked in for a haircut and eyebrow session tomorrow too which I’d need a couple of hundred dollars for. How did I get here? “You know how” said the rational part of myself.
The whole drive home I spent feeling.. not guilty really.. but some other similar feeling that I don’t really feel very often. I realised I was experiencing a fork in the road moment. Whatever decision I made next would be critical. I would either make a choice to ignore the feeling and keep living the way I was and most likely.. stuff up my life quite a bit.. or I could choose to learn from this moment.
I’ve decided in my life to never regret things. I think I can say that because I’ve also decided to be someone who tries to learn from my mistakes. I will only regret my decision if I keep making bad ones when I know I have the power and capacity to choose something better for myself.
For this reason.. I have decided to quit shopping. I’m going on a 6 month self imposed shopping ban. I easily got to this decision when I thought about how many autumn/winter clothes I owned and how short our autumn/winter season is here in Brisbane. I have more than enough clothes to see me through to September/Spring and honestly.. I just knew deep down.. I had to do this.
I actually had this deep down knowing that I needed to do this not just for myself but for others too. I need to show others that if I can do this.. so can they. Clothes are amazing and I will miss shopping but they aren’t everything. I would never want to encourage bad habits. So for me, this doesn’t need to be forever but I know I need to establish some new healthy habits now that I have a fashion blog. Hopefully I can help you as well.