Low Buy Challenge Check In (Halfway Point)

August 23, 2020



Although the true halfway point of my low buy challenge passed, I’m wanted to check in again about how things are going.

There’s been a few ups and downs but I’ve dutifully kept to my goal of buying less and have some great tips that could help you curb your own shopping habit.

What I Bought

Since the last check in, I’ve bought five more items of clothing for a total of eight purchases this year. This is huge win for me considering I had purchased 35 things at this point last year!

Most of these were replacements for closet staples that had worn out such as a black silk tee from Cuyana, beige Gigi sandals from Sam Edelman, black block heel sandals, and a chambray button up. The only completely new purchase was a simple black dress from Brass Clothing that’s perfect for work.

What’s Helped

Hands down, tracking wears has helped me the most with this low buy challenge. Every morning I open up my trusty Excel doc and mark down what I’m wearing. This small act serves as a daily reminder of all the wonderful things I already own. Plus, I see what gets the most wear, which has helped me make smarter purchases.

Keeping a wishlist still proves worthwhile. I now bookmark links of favorite items to a wishlist folder and then go through the list every once in a while. Most of the time my desire for these items wanes and I end up deleting them from the list. It’s a good way to keep my shopping urges in check.

I can’t deny that COVID-19 played a role in how little I’ve spent on clothing this year. There were a few months during lockdown where I was worried about losing my job. The fear of an uncertain financial future made it easy for me to pare back my spending and put most of my paycheck into savings.

My Relapse Moment

While I was researching low buy challenges, I read somewhere that you eventually lose the urge to impulse shop around month six or seven. I’d say this is generally true although I had a relapse when stress hit an all-time high in late June.

After months of dealing with pandemic-related stress, the George Floyd protests erupted around the world. My heart broke each time we learned about the murder of a black person and I threw myself into the honest yet messy work of being an antiracist.

All these emotions needed to go somewhere and that somewhere ended up being seven spur-of-the-moment clothing purchases. I ended up returning everything but it was a good reminder that stress triggers impulse shopping for me. This made me more aware and I’m now trying to rely on healthier stress relievers like going for a walk or doing a quick yoga session.

Moving Forward

Overall, I’m pleased with how this low buy challenge is going. I’m getting smarter about how I spend my time and money. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about my emotions and how to process them without resorting to shopping.

That said, my perfectionist personality has a tendency to take these challenges too seriously. I’ve noticed myself getting intense about the rules and unnecessarily beating myself up when I’ve made a mistake.

In these last few months, I’d like to loosen up a bit. Ultimately fashion should be fun and we could all use a more fun in our lives this year. I’ll be back in a couple months with news on how it’s all going!

P.S. Read the post that kicked off my low buy challenge and my first check in from earlier this year.