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365 day challenge: Do not buy any new clothes for one year

A closet full of clothes

Are you ready for a challenge? Starting on May 1st, you will not buy any new clothes for one year. Will you be content with what you have in your closet right now? Do you have everything you need?

Do you know the difference between need and want? I don’t. Usually I say I need everything. When really, I need only four things and everything else I just want.

According to Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University, I only need four things. Food, shelter, clothing and transportation. The rest of the things I think I need are really only wants. So, Dave, are you saying I really didn’t  need the mink stole I bought at the Thrift store for $35.00? Even though I have wanted a cute mink wrap for years, I should have kept my money in my pocket and paid off debt first? Right Dave?

I think Dave would say, “Yes, Pamela. You didn’t need the mink wrap. You only wanted it.”

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Starting on May 1st, 2013, 9 days from now, I am not going to buy any new clothes for one year. 365 days is a long time. I am going to take the challenge one day at a time, just like I deal with my addiction to bananas.

Today I did an inventory. I counted my clothes.  Are you ready? I was a bit shocked myself. I own 9 winter coats, 2 wool suits, 5 suit jackets, 5 jean jackets, 4 down vests,1 pair of snow pants, 1 snow suit, 1o pairs of capri pants, 14 pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of jammie pants, 8 sweaters, 12 sweatshirts, 9 skirts, 12 tank tops, 22 t-shirts, 5 pairs of sweat pants, 7 dresses, 1 mink stole, 1 1950’s crinoline, 2 house coats, 72 pairs of underwear, 26 pairs of socks and 17 bras.

I buy clothes when I am bored. I buy clothes when I don’t really need them.

Are you content with the clothes in your closet? Do you have enough clothes to last you for a whole year?

In nine days, I am going to start my 365 challenge to be content with what I have. (And no, I am not going to rush to the store next week and buy more clothes.) I will pay off the debt and wear the clothes in my closet. Just think of all the time I will save not shopping for clothes. I could write a book.

I will be content with what is in my closet.

Will you join me and not buy any new clothes for one year?

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.

I am also creating a private facebook group called: 365 Be Content Challenge. Please let me know if you want to be in the group.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Abby Jayne Faison Balderson

    Hello Pamela~
    I read in a magazine the other day about the 365 challenge and how it changes your life. I am seriously contemplating doing this (or at least trying). I have WAY too many clothes, but more importantly I have a shopping obsession that is definitely hurting my financial security. I had a hard time finding a current blog of someone doing the challenge, mostly the ones I found were from a few years ago. Can you please add me to your facebook page. My fb email address is [email protected] and it’s under Abby Jayne Faison Balderson (which may be hard to find). Good luck in your endeavor! I hope to join you soon.

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  • As I was reading, I was going to suggest you stock up on underwear, but then I got to your listing and saw that you’ve got that covered . . . very well!

    I don’t especially like to shop, so I do actually NEED some clothing – I have one pair of jeans that fit comfortably, and I wear them most of the time. I have two pairs that are a bit snug, so not as comfortable (yeah, I know that if I lost a few pounds, I could take care of that, but those jeans have been a ‘bit snug’ for a couple of years). I have two very tired bras (I HATE shopping for bras!). I buy t-shirts when the ones I have are not suitable to wear to my part-time job, church, or ‘going out’ (usually subtle grease stains are what make them ‘not suitable’). I am going to an outdoor wedding at the end of June and the only dress I own that would generally be suitable and wonderfully comfortable for a dressy afternoon outdoors is white (thus, sadly, not suitable for this event). I wouldn’t say that I am hurting for clothing in general

    If I put it all together, for my whole life, I have probably gone for several years without shopping for new clothing (not consecutively, of course). I do see a clothing shopping trip in my near future, but once I cover the above mentioned items, it wouldn’t be too difficult for me. 🙂

  • Emmy Tatem

    Funny thing… I only just read your post, but I’ve been wanting to shop for new clothes for a few weeks now. This morning I awoke telling myself “Just wait until May 1st… surely you can wait another week.” So, I had already challenged myself, but only to wait another week. Now that I’ve read your post I’ll likely rethink my actions on May 1st and perhaps take it one day at a time from that point on. (PS: my first thought was temptation…. buy, buy, buy BEFORE May 1st!!)

    • Emmy, I was thinking the same thing. What do I REALLY need before May 1st. I can’t think of anything. I did have some clothes in the garage I was going to take to the thrift store. I will just lose the 5 pounds so the summer dresses fit, rather than buy new ones.
      Just think what you could do with all the time you would save not shopping for clothes you don’t need. Unless of course you need them.

  • Janelle

    My mind is reeling at the “72 pair of underwear!” That made me laugh! I am a reluctant shopper but I know I need to buy something for an upcoming wedding. The challenge is to find something I like enough that I’ll wear lots.

    • Yes, I was a bit surprised myself. Lots of colors and styles to choose from. Let me know what you find to wear the the wedding. Could you wear a princess dress? I’ll bet you could wear that again. 🙂

  • I don’t think I’ll be joining you with complete abstinence but it will work better for me if I donate my old clothes first before I buy new. It may not be a-shirt-for-a-shirt but I’m going to try to donate 2 for every 1 I buy new. How about that?

    • Sounds good Sue. The main point of the challenge is to be content with what we have. There will be one “Free Pass” during the 365 day challenge, to use in the case of an “emergency.” You get to decide when to use it.

  • I’m thinking about it. Hubs thinks its a good idea. I know I could if I put my mind to it.

    • Kathleen, think of all the time we will save. All the time we spend shopping can be used to write.

  • I loved going through Dave Ramsey’s course. I’m pretty frugal when it comes to clothes. I did read someone’s blog a while back who did this very thing. It’ll definitely bring out more creative juices. Can’t wait to see what you do with this one.

    • Thank you Shelley,
      I am curious to see what I do as well. Will be fun.

  • Elsie

    Good luck Pamela! Sorry, I don’t think I can join you on this challenge. I know my husband would like for me to participate 🙂 I know I will buy something in a year. Yes, I do have enough clothes to last, but it’s just fun to get something new. I will say I have bought fewer items in the last year. Keep me updated.

    • Thank you Elsie. I will keep you updated. I will post updates on the first of every month. I will only survive the challenge if I take it one day at a time. I didn’t say I couldn’t buy any art supplies for a year, only clothes.