No Spending Challenge-No Buying Clothes in 2013

file000665986548The average American household spends about $2000 on clothes annually. I’ve certainly cut back in the last few years, but I’ve never gone 12 months without buying some article of clothing. Since I’m working less now and trying to save more, it’s the perfect time for me to take a no spending challenge. I am not going to buy any clothes or shoes for myself in 2013.

How Can You Not Buy Clothes?

Its very simple. If you don’t want to spend money on clothes, stay out of your favorite stores. It’s almost impossible to get through a whole twelve months without buying clothing for my daughter,who grows faster than Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. I can choose to buy her clothes from stores that won’t tempt me. They don’t sell tons of things I’d be interested in at Children’s Place. I can also order things for her online. She doesn’t have to turn around in front of the mirror and make sure that pants don’t make her butt look big before buying.

I can go through my closet and drawers. If you are like me, you probably wear the same 5-10 items in rotation. Things get pushed to the back of the closet, and we forget about them. I bet I can find enough stuff hiding out in my closet to feel like I went shopping.

I also don’t need anything. I got socks and underwear for Christmas and a new pair of jeans right before, so I should be set unless I set something on fire. You can make your work clothes last longer by hanging them up instead of drying in the dryer. I’m pretty sure I can make it twelve months.

Psychological Shopping?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on retail therapy if I’ve been in a bad mood or was stressed for some reason. Buying new clothes or shoes was a little pick me up. I deserved it for all of my hard work.

I’ll tell you what feels better than buying new clothes, being out of debt. Hands down, no contest. Buying clothes you don’t need and getting a credit card bill a month later is not good for mental health in any way.

What Might Trip Me Up

My running shoes are six months old. Can they hold out for another 12 months? My knees won’t allow me to run as much as I used to, but I will pick it up pretty regularly as it gets warmer. There are two triathlons I want to do this summer, and I won’t kill my feet with bad shoes. Maybe if I need some before the end of the year, I can sell enough stuff on Ebay to cover the cost of buying a pair there, but I won’t give up my exercise to avoid buying new shoes.

A no spending challenge is a great way to save money if it is something you can reasonably live without. For 2013, I can live without new clothes. Hopefully, you can find your own no spending challenge.

What are you going to challenge yourself to spend less on?



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Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, of course, writing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of


    1. It will actually be easier than most would imagine. I don’t love buying clothes that much. If it was a challenge to not eat out for a year, that would be much, much harder.

  1. I am focusing on food as well. Having all my life fit in one suitcase 3 months ago limited the clothing anyway. Now the food is more complicated, we still need to eat but we could cut on snacks, alcohol, and other expensive products.

    1. I would imagine having to scale down your clothing that much makes you realize you really don’t need very much. Maybe I should pretend like I’m moving to a tropical island!

  2. I tend to shop for clothes every few years. I buy a lot of clothes over a course of a year then rarely buy anything for the next three or four. I essentially just wear out what I have until most of it is threadbare or has holes. Half of my current wardrobe is full of clothes that I bought between 2004-2006.

    This year, I’m trying to stay away from video games. I don’t buy too many to begin with, but they’re getting expensive, and I know that I’ll experience more joy putting that extra money towards debt than playing games in the long run.

    1. I am terrible at video games, so that has never been a temptation for me, but they are expensive. My husband has a few, but he hasn’t bought any in a while unless someone gave him a gift card.

    1. I love to go out to eat, and it seems like more of a treat if you can only do it occasionally. It is tempting to get to the end of the day and want someone to wait on you, though. Good luck!

    1. I bet is is pretty expensive to go out with three kids. Do you find yourself not wanting to buy clothes since you work at home? I’m thinking if I’m working part time, I will hardly ever have to buy work clothes.

  3. Kim, great post! I love the idea about selling stuff on Ebay to make up for the cost of the running shoes.

    Also, check your local running shoe store for clearance shoes. My favorite running shoes went on clearance in August so I picked up two pair for 60% off!

    1. I will certainly check that out if I have to get some. With our growing daughter and all the clothes my Mom sends her, we usually have a pretty good supply to Ebay or consign, so I bet that will cover it if needed. Otherwise, we’ll put that money toward our vacation this summer.

    1. I think it’s OK to have some wants with your food choices, but that has to be compensated by cutting other things. We have dramatically lowered our budget for groceries, but still buy some snacks and Diet Pepsi, which are certainly not needs. With a small child, there are also some smaller size items I buy to put in her lunchbox that might be cheaper to buy in bulk, but it just makes it easier for her to have a drink box of milk rather than having some sort of thermos that she would probably spill. The trade off is that we might have to eat more leftovers or less meat. I refuse to go over budget unless is is an absolute necessity.

  4. How about getting new shoes from someone as a birthday present?

    I rarely buy clothes and like you try to rotate my wardrobe regularly. I also ask for clothes or money towards clothes for birthday and Christmas presents.

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