The Summer of Living Frugally

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I recently came to a Major Fashion Milestone. I looked at my closet and not come up with anything I needed. Skinny black pants? Check? Range of well-fitting denim? Summer day wedding ensemble? Slinky black cocktail dress? Dress to wear to Important Meeting in the winter? Summer? Plus shoes/bag/outerwear to go with? Cheeeeeck. It's a good thing too, because I ran out of closet space in my little apartment about three months ago.

On Sunday – the eve of the Official Start of Summer here in the U.S. – I reached another milestone: I gave up my credit card. In a shopper's life, this is kind of a major deal – not the least of which because it completely cuts off those spontaneous, I-can't-believe-I-just-found-this! splurges. But, it's been something I've been thinking about for a while – for starters, the buzz surrounding the "consume less stuff" movement has reached a deafening roar and I couldn't help but start to earnestly listen – and now just seemed like the right time to make a change and really commit to it.

So until Labor Day (at least), we will be working on Responsible, Less Impulsive, Smart Spending. What does this mean for the blog? Not much. Perhaps an emphasis on appreciating and experimenting with what I already own (more outfit shots! Whoooo!). Maybe more exploration of low-cost resources, like thrift stores and secondhand shops. And perhaps some regular updates on my progress and what I've learned during this little experiment. That's probably about it. I just wanted to let you know, in case future posts about Very Cute Shoes were accompanied by some rather loud, frustrated grumbling.

Okay, then. Bring on the savings!

{Photo borrowed from here.}


Johanna said...

I'm 100% with you on this venture. Going sober on credit cards is the new black, don't you know?

Hyperchondriac said...

i'm with you. except i didn't give up my credit card. i did, however, make a solemn vow (in writing via my blog) to not buy anything new unless it was from a thrift store or secondhand shop. or an update on current wardrobe via a visit to the tailor. problem is i got so used to how good (and comparatively cheap) tailors were in Singapore! its hard to find someone who won't charge you an arm and a leg to alter your pants these days. i think i might have to learn how to sew if i'm going to survive my year-long experiment. any suggestions on where i can find cute clothes? or perhaps a recommendation on your fav thrift stores?

Righteous (re)Style said...

Robust congratulations on this decision and thanks for mentioning the environmental aspect of this move, as well. Many people don't think about how many resources (energy to produce/transport, water to grow cotton, oil to produce synthetics, etc.) are wasted when they buy things they don't need or that will not last past a season.

Before I buy anything NEW, I always ask myself 2 questions: 1) how many years can I get away with wearing this (is the quality/cut/style lasting?) and, 2) if I decide that I don't like it or can not fit into it anymore (ick!), will I be able to resell it (is the style unique or classic enough, and will the quality last, that someone else would want to buy it?).

I am bit more free with my secondhand and vintage stuff - but it is hard to find things that I love often, so it isn't much of an issue.

Good luck. Looking forward to hearing how you progress.

Anonymous said...

Right ON, lady!

I, too, am fortunate enough to know the marvelous feeling of having completed a wardrobe. It's kind of stunning to realize that there's nothing left on the list of "needs" ... and that the list of "wants" is dwindling. Stunning, but also liberating.

I will admit that this realization has merely slowed my shopping, and the thought of going cold turkey is just too much. But I admire your commitment, and look forward to updates!

Brooke said...

I love the idea of more outfit shots! I think you should post them everyday!

Always In Style said...

More power to you -- and I'm anxiously awaiting more outfit shots!

Anonymous said...

Wow - that's a very admirable decision!! I don't know if I can do it but am also saving up for a three week vacation so I really should try. That said, I would like to think I have been better at controlling impulse purchases, by updating my outfit with occasional shoe or bag purchases every season and mixing/matching existing outfit accordingly. Can't wait to see your outfit - don't mind me if I steal some ideas from you. :)

Marissa said...

Smart, smart, smart! You'll have to change your bio now that "overspender" no longer applies. Gawd, I need your will-power!

Eyeliah said...

Good luck! I know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is a good blog.
I myself gave up my credit card back in March and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I'd finally paid off all my shopping binges and got rid of the 17% compound worries that swirrled in my head. So from now on, I'll only lust after the things I want "right now" which was a luxury my cc provided me with and start a savings plan to get them. I've found that after some time of saving for that item, I usually forgo the item all together for something more expensive, made well, and that I'll appreciate for years (big splurges rather then F21 binges). It's worked wonders!!!

Good post! Yes yes indeedy!

Jennifer said...

hi. late to visit this post but i am all in favor of quality vs. quantity. if you've got it, yeah, use it and love it. isn't that why we buy the stuff, to use it? every purchase i think, this is it, this is what i need, and then no sooner have i bought it than i am looking for the next item, which tells me it's the buying, not the having, that i'm looking forward to. bad editor, bad bad editor. i'm making progress though, i really am.
good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I am bit more free with my secondhand and vintage stuff - but it is hard to find things that I love often, so it isn't much of an issue.
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