Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Giving Up Clothes for the New Year

Don't be frightened. I'm not going nude. Well, not yet, anyway.

I haven't made a New Year resolution since Jimmy Buffet and Martina McBride recorded "Trip Around the Sun" in 2004. But this year I'm breaking my resolution "to never make another one," to give up buying myself clothes. I'm also giving up haircuts and new makeup.

I could tell you that I'm doing this because I want to learn to appreciate what I have. I could also say that I've spent the last year trying to "buy" self-confidence with the things I put on, that I want to teach my children to be comfortable in their own skin, and that I need to learn to love my body as it is. Those things are all true, but the real reason I'm doing it is because of money.

I haven't checked the numbers, (I don't really want to know) but I bet that if I were to add up all the money I spent on clothes, haircuts, and makeup this year, it would be well over $500. That's a lot of spending, and for what? So my 3 year old or infant can say, "Pardon me for saying so, Mommy, you look simply fantastic today! Is that a new top? Eyeshadow?"

I have a whole drawer of makeup, most of which I never use. My closet is packed with clothes, but I only wear the t-shirts. And my haircuts every other month cost upwards of $50. I have plenty of shoes to get me through the year, too. I'm going to spend the next 12 months cultivating independent (free) self-confidence, because the buzz I get from buying a new thing to make me look fabulous is wearing my wallet thin.

Tomorrow I am going to Target to buy some socks, underwear, and a new case of mineral powder, because I'm low on those and it's my birthday. But that's it for the year. If my new socks get holes, I'll borrow from my husband or wear sandels. If I run out of face powder, I'll just have to go natural. If I run out of underwear.... well then I'll have to break my resolution. (But I'm not anticipating another pregnancy so I shouldn't have any problems on that front.) No new dresses in the summer, no new jeans in the fall. The money I'm not spending can go toward student loans, buffering the grocery budget, and paying for all the clothes that Elliot will be wearing this year, because babies need a new wardrobe about every 3 months.

Here's to all the old and gently used things in the New Year. Once I get the hang of not buying, I'm sure it will be a happy one.

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