Friday, January 13, 2012

31 Days of Nothing Challenge Update-The Need List

Boy I've just been going to town on this whole getting frugal thing. I've realized how much impulse shopping that I do that I can't afford. It's not so much my tried and true staples, but the things that I haven't tried...the little eyeshadow I pick up and didn't end up liking, or the shimmery powder that ended up in my daughter's play make-up because it was sparkly and not shimmery. And seriously, what did I need with another shimmery powder anyway?

Another buying issue is clothes and shoes. I love to find a really unique top or some quirky shoes that have such a distinct look that I can only pull them out so often. I work at an office with a business casual dress code, so unique and luxurious clothing is not only not necessary every day, I would feel pretentious dressing like that every day. Sure I save those clothes for special occasions like a wedding or our yearly sales summit, but the problem is, I barely have enough basics anymore to get me through a week. I splurge on a jacket that I might wear once a year instead of buying things I need. It's a weakness of mine and here I am finally realizing it and admitting it in front of you all...and to myself.

Remember when I obsessed over my family photo shoot here? I went and bought us all new clothes head to toe. Did I need to do that? NO! One of sister-in-law's bought her family $1.00 polo shirts from a sale rack at Wal-Mart and my other sister-in-law declared to me that she was wearing something they already owned and pulled out some black shirts from their wardrobe. They all looked fantastic. I could've easily done the same thing for my family but I went out and spent more money than I care to admit to you all.

Going through the 31 Days of Nothing Challenge, knowing I wasn't to buy anything that wasn't absolutely necessary, I kept making a little mental list of things that we do need. For example, one of my daughters really needs a few layering T's for the winter months. Another one of my daughters needs a new skirt for church. We need a few new organizing tubs for the basement. I started to think, ok so you like to shop, maybe if you make this a real list, you can remember to buy the things you need instead of the things you don't.

I do love the thrill of the hunt. I love thrift shops, garage sales, Von Maur clearance racks...I love finding that jewel in a pile of junk....and I must say that I am quite good at it. The only problem is that it can lead to a lot of clutter. Another thing I need to work on is even if it is a jewel, do I need that jewel? Or do I leave that jewel for another lucky girl to find? I have to learn to shake off the rush of finding a Hanna Andersson jacket for $2.89...because even though it was a Hanna and it was super cute, it really wasn't in my color.

So here are my new habits that I am trying to form from this challenge for myself.

1. Make a list of things that our family needs, and make it your mission to find the best deal on those which will hopefully help with the impulse buying, and feed my need to hunt.

2. After the challenge is over, give myself a bi-weekly allowance of $10 (payday) for my second hand shopping. Hopefully this will help me to think harder about my purchases, and make to make it easier for me to leave jewels behind for the next lucky girl...also leading to less clutter to deal with.

3. I can't think of a third. 1 & 2 are going to be hard enough. Ok #3 is I need to learn to give myself a break. This isn't an easy challenge and I have done rather well sticking to it and using it to see myself in a different way...oh and maybe create some new habits.

Gosh is this Chillmom going to end up an organized frugal expert? HAHAHAHAHA I wish! I leave that to the real experts...I rely on and http://www.learningthefrugal/ life, and their expertise to keep me on track. God didn't bless me with these skills, he led me to others for help!

Do you have any tips for a girl like me? I love fashion & luxury but I can't afford to keep spending this's time for a change. Can I be frugal and fabulous? Stay tuned...


  1. I use the 'Notes' section on my iPod Touch for a running 'garage sale' list. On it I put things like you mentioned above that you look for at thrift stores or garage sales. I also keep a list of things that my kids or hubby are looking for. My mom is a great yard saler & she keeps my list handy too.

    Great job on 'Nothing'!

  2. Oh how I love garage's like a sickness! Thank you!