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My No-Buy Challenge // Six Week Update

My No-Buy Challenge Update

It’s been about six weeks since I started my No-Buy Challenge, and it’s high time for an update! In case you missed it, in early September I decided that I was sick of all the stuff that was coming and going from my life, so I decided to simplify. I started a No-Buy Challenge for myself, just to see how it might feel and how it might affect me. And truly, I’m (mostly) loving it.

If you want a review of the guidelines I created for myself, you can check them out right here. For a quick refresher: my no-buy restrictions are pretty much only on items for myself. No new clothes/shoes/accessories, home decor items, craft items that aren’t for a blog post, styling items, and so on. Ryan and the kids are exempt, because it was my idea and I don’t want to foist it on them. Also, the kids are growing at insane rates and I feel like every other week their clothes are too small. Things like travel, dinners out, consumables, essentials (toiletries, gym memberships, household items), are all fair game.

And as far as how it’s going, I would say… pretty well? As of now, I’ve slipped only once. We were in Disneyland and Ryan was getting his first Mickey ears — the final person in our family to get them. I was all swept up in the Disneyland vibes and Maggie and I were trying on the rose gold Minnie Mouse ears. (Yep, those in the picture above.) Without even thinking of it, I put my Minnie ears on the counter to buy them while Ryan was getting his Mickey ears, and the cashier rang them up together. We literally wore our ears around for a few hours before I actually realized I had randomly bought something for myself. See how reflexive it is?! Crazy.

That being said, I definitely have triggers that make me want to buy. And one of the biggest is Target. The other day we went to get a nightlight for Maggie’s room, and I just about had to slap myself to get out of the fall boot section. There was also a sweater that I would have absolutely purchased if I weren’t doing the challenge. The irony is that I have at least 5 pairs of boots and all the sweaters I need, but I really wannnnted those sweaters and boots at Target. And I guess that’s the point of this whole thing, right? To better appreciate what I already have, and make sure that I use it?

The other thing that I’m finding is that I’m actually wearing more of the things that I already own. I’m trying to put old jewelry and bags into the rotation that I haven’t used in months and months, and it’s really fun! I’m also trying to create a kind of capsule fall wardrobe out of what’s already in my closet, and it’s been a good exercise in creating different combinations of outfits from what I own.

I do have one question that I need some advice on. I had a pale chambray shirt that is one of the staples in my wardrobe — like, I probably wear it at least once a week. Maybe more. It finally died after lots of patching and washing and sewing on extra buttons, and I had to throw it out a couple of weeks ago. And I really, really want to replace it. Is that fair game? Or is that one of the things that I suck it up and deal with, because challenges ain’t easy?! I’d love your opinion. Let me know in the comments! And if you are joining me on the challenge (I know a bunch of you are!), let me know about how it’s going for you as well! xoxo

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12 thoughts on “My No-Buy Challenge // Six Week Update

  1. Buy the shirt! You clearly did what you could to fix it and have gotten a LOT of use out of it! I think it’s fair game to replace it. Love this challenge! I am trying to really examine things before I buy them. I am trying to stop buying clothes (I work from home 4 days a week for crying out loud! How many clothes do I NEED?!) I’m trying to save for a house, so I’m using gift cards, credit card points, etc. to kind of “pre stock” the big things (I live with my parents now so I need A LOT of stuff to move out on my own!) but I’m trying to be purposeful about it! It’s always good to look at what we spend our money on! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Purposeful buying is definitely the point of it for me too! After a while it becomes sport for me if I’m not conscious of it so it’s been an awesome exercise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! xo

  2. I say buy a new chambray shirt! I think the challenge is a great way to cut down on impulse buys, but a shirt that you know will be worn frequently is an intentional and mindful purchase. I think that makes it exempt from the challenge.
    Thanks for sharing this challenge and the update!

  3. My personal rule is one in , one out (or more). I start by making a list of items that don’t fit anymore/can’t be mended and that I want to replace. Then, I only buy/sew those items. I’m a sewist (as a hobby), so I know how much time and ressources go into every clothing item in sold in store. It’s a small way to make sure I take part into the fast fashion industry as little as I can. It’s also much better on my budget than when I used to buy clothes to treat myself or just because they looked cute. All of that said, we all have our own parameters and starting to be conscious about our habits is already a huge step in the right direction. Way to go Chelsea! (also, you should totally replace that shirt! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! The fast fashion thing is where I really started to notice that I was participating way too much, and it just doesn’t feel great. I really wish my sewing skills were stronger so that I could mend/sew more than I do. Something to work on. (And I totally replaced the shirt!) 😉

  4. Buy the shirt! I’ve been mulling the idea of the no buy challenge…I’m sure my husband would be thrilled ?

    1. Give it a go! Even for a week or two. It’s a truly fascinating experiment and kind of opens up other conversations that you never even realized were underlying. 🙂

  5. It’s a tough challenge but a great one! We own so much and are so used to consume that it’s hard to change. Don’t you have another shirt you could wear? I’m very much into buying “used” clothes now. I mean ones that are clearly hardly worn or never. I can buy two or three clothes for the price of one and I feel like consuming better. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    1. Absolutely! We don’t have a ton of great secondhand clothes shops around where I live, but I definitely troll sites like ThredUP for good stuff. That’s a great reminder, thank you!

  6. I love hearing your No-buy story!
    As a textile engineer my heart is torn apart on a regular basis seeing all those clothes getting produced and sold but never worn.
    My own rule for buying clothes (and pretty much everything else) is to not buy it right away but take a picture or just keep in mind. And if I think about the item on several occasions later, I will go back and buy it. For example, I tried on a sweater a few days ago and thought about it every day since. So maybe I will go buy it next week. The other stuff that I saw and liked a lot and already forgot about is definitely not what I need in my life.
    Also I limited my wardrobe space which helps a lot to focus on the stuff I already have!

    Hope you have a great experience!
    Love, Rahel

  7. Buy a shirt! My rule of thumb is that if you are replacing something that broke, it’s different than buying something that you don’t need. This is especially true if you wore it out.