Monday, January 3, 2011

The No-Shopping Ground Rules Pt. II - The Fine Print

I shared the concept of my year (almost) without shopping to some friends, and the overwhelming responses involved words like 'brave', 'bold', 'seriously!?!'

I shared the concept with my husband, and he jumped about three feet in the air with a fist pump.

Which led to a discussion of: how exactly is this going to work?

Me: "Well, I try to avoid buying new clothes for a whole year, and with the money we save, I can get this really great digital camera, or we can go on a vacation, or something like that."

Husband: "Just how much money do you spend on clothes?"

Let's not concern ourselves with petty details, just stay at the 40,000 foot level, okay? But I do agree that there have to be some guidelines.And there has to be some leeway for slip-ups, or else this New Year's Resolution will be done before the month is up.So here's what I've come up with:

The Fine Print

  • In the event of emergency (big job interview, loss of luggage, Half-Yearly Sale at Nordstroms) purchase of new clothing for the principal (who will heretofore be referred to as the Shopaholic) will be permitted. However, any expenses incurred during such "emergencies" will be subtracted from the total sum of estimated annual savings.
  • The Shopaholic shall not use any gift cards belonging to her husband to buy clothing for herself.
  • The "Year (Almost) Without Shopping" experiment  pertains only to the purchase of  new clothing, shoes and accessories for the Shopaholic, not food, clothes for the kids or other truly necessary items.
  • However, this does not give the Shopaholic free license to start spending more in home decor, fine wine or other fun things.
  • In the event of a 40th birthday, the Shopaholic will be permitted a purchase equal or less than the value of one month's amortized savings.
How does that sound? Should I have my attorney look it over? Oh, I am my attorney.

Part I of The No-Shopping Ground Rules is now a featured post on BlogHer!


  1. Love it! Will be following your progress. I am currently on a two month semi-voluntary "hiatus" from shopping as a result of overexpenditures occurring in the last four months of 2010...

  2. This is great! As an added incentive, could you take the cost of the clothing you "would have" bought and add it into some sort of separate account? And at the end of the year you can do something special with all the money you have saved up (like take that great vacation) . .

  3. i love the husband's reaction--those poor guys--they just don't know (especially when we wives take care of the credit card payments :-)

  4. Molly- let me know how those two months go!

    Susannah- That's the idea. I have an estimate of my average monthly expenditure, and every month I "accrue" that much for a big thing at the end of the year. If I buy stuff, it will be subtracted from that month's savings.

    doki- *hehe*

  5. Grace, you have inspired me to unsubscribe to all (well almost...) of those tempting emails. Surprisingly difficult to hit that unsubscribe button on my favorites. But it makes me feel so virtuous! Not sure I have the strength of character to actually calculate what I have spent the past year. However, shopping-in-the-closet has been overdue for a while. Thanks for the inspiration! Now you have an awesome responsibility to stay on that self-imposed pedestal!

  6. Thanks, MJ! We all need a little moral support. I just unsubscribed to Anthropologie, which was difficult, because it is just fun and interesting to see their ideas. We'll see how well I do on my self-imposed pedestal... but even if we just cut back, that's still an improvement, right?


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