Let me tell you what the biggest adjustment to being married has been… saying NO to clothes. I know that is very trivial but it’s HARD for me, a fashionista who for most of her twenties could virtually say yes to most things due to incredible retail discounts and not much care for savings. God has a sense of humor, however, and I married a Financial Advisor. I know… HILARIOUS.
In all seriousness though it has been a very healthy and needed life change. I can fill an entire walk-in closet by myself and have an entire dresser of accessories. While that is very fun, and I hardly wear the same thing twice, it is a little stressful and honestly doesn’t allow for other things in life to be enjoyed. I think it is good to think twice when in the store and while yes girl “treat yo self”… maybe you should treat yourself with something that lasts… like no credit card debt, enough money to go on a nice vacation, or enough money to put down roots and buy a home! These are very new revelations I have been having so no judgment if you go for it and buy those new boots or handbag! I just am saying that in America, the land of excess, we should stop and think before we swipe. These three things have helped me immensely put a huge hold on my spending.
Take the emotion out of shopping.
I think so many times I am buying because I am riding a high. There is “shopping therapy” for a reason. That new sweater that would look so cute for our family Christmas, may actually be a fabric that doesn’t wash well and that I will not be wearing next year. That blogger on Instagram looked so cute and minimal wearing an adorable necklace in her perfectly styled photo, but it may not be something I would wear on an daily basis, not making it worth the cost. Taking the emotions and envy out of purchases makes it a lot easier to say no.
Have an accountability partner.
As a past retail sales person it used to drive me crazy when women would have to call their husbands or get their shopping buddies approval before they purchased something because “Um… sista… that dress is SO cute on you and SO on sale why would you not buy??” Not because I wanted the sale, but because in my mind I would have no problem taking that little number home with me. Now however, when I’m about to say yes to the $8 top that won’t last… I call my husband. And he says, “Babe you don’t need another top even if it’s $8, put it back.” And I say, “But BABE, it’s $8????” And he stays silent.. and then the joy of the purchase is gone, because the happy feels go away and I look at the $8 shirt and realize I hate the fabric and it’s really not my style! Bringing in the people that know you best helps you stay level.
Know your budget and stick to it. Period.
Now this is something I needed my husband for because I want to hide under a blanket when money gets brought up. Numbers make my head spin! When you have goals and limits, however, it keeps you focused. It gives you a reason to say no when you had an employee snap at you and a customer roll their eyes at you and you are really hungry and just really really want that $20 sweater!! Knowing that my husband and I want to get out of debt before we have a family and move to our dream city makes me want to say no even more. Because long term its going to be worth it. My baby fever is stronger than my shopping addiction. Period.
This is all a huge adjustment and it definitely takes time to adjust spending habits, but its totally worth it. Because we don’t need so many clothing options. There is so much waste in the world caused just by unused clothing that hurts the environment in the first place during manufacturing! Lets take a step back and think about what else we can do with our time and money and really even our thoughts. This doesn’t mean I will never be shopping again, but it means I will be a more thoughtful shopper in 2018. Even though we want it all we shouldn’t have it all.
Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”