No Spend Year, August+September Reflections

Reflecting back, September was another tough month for me in regards to my no spend year. In my July reflections I talked about how I realized that clothes shopping in particular was a slippery slope for me. Even if some of the “exceptions” were in my rules. Back in July I allowed myself to purchase items for a trip, which was an exception in my rules. I also began using my Poshmark credit to purchase items through PM, using it as though it were like a gift card – which was okay in my rules.

Throughout August, things were good. I guess the PM credits were allowing me to feel like I could still get new items, but not spend money. But then, towards the end of August I started purchasing items on PM even if I was a few dollars away from being able to purchase the item (I guess hoping I would “make it up” through my future sales.) As I headed into September it got worse. A couple dollars off turned into, “it’s only $5 off,” then “it’s only $10 off.” Again, the slippery slope effect took hold and I was about to roll down the hill out of control! So, I have decided it’s best to no longer purchase things with my PM credit moving forward.

An outfit I purchase with my Poshmark credits

While I would consider this month a “fail” with regards to my no spend year, I did learn from the experiences. What ultimately ended up happening is, when I was going into the Poshmark app to manage my items, I would see items I liked. I would then “like” the item. (If you’re not familiar with the Poshmark app, it’s similar to social media where people follow you and you can follow people who have the same taste in clothing). One of the tricks to selling on PM is to offer deals to people who “liked” your items. I use this trick to get people to purchase my own items. Sometimes the deal is just too good to pass up! So, moving forward, I will no longer scroll through to see what’s out there. And I will no longer “like” items.

Another thing I noticed is how purchasing clothes is almost like a drug – not only with the slippery slope – but when I purchase an item, I’m excited for it to come in the mail. I’m excited to style it with other items in my closet. After I do that, and wear it out, it’s like the excitement is over. I realized it was similar to the effect of a drug, because I noticed I was more likely to scroll on days where I had a bad day, or I was stressed out. I need to learn healthier behaviors in dealing with stress and negativity in my life.

The other thing I noticed, or remembered from when I shopped prior to this no spend year, is it was sucking away my time. Perhaps not as much as shopping in stores, but it still was a time waster. With PM, you really do need to ask any questions before purchasing an item – like “does it fit true to size” or asking for specific measurements. Even just making the decision – making sure it fits with what I thought my needs were with regards to my closet. Then, just thinking about the items in general – when will it arrive, will it be what I thought it was going to be, how am I going to style it. Prior to being on PM in this no spend year, I remember the freedom of just NO NEW CLOTHES coming into my house.

A couple of good things came out of the experience I’ve had over the last month and a half. First of all, I’ve mentioned this previously, but I do feel like I’m really honing in on my style – what I gravitate towards and what I like to wear. I did a closet clean out over the summer, but I’m thinking I need to do another sweep through my closet. I’m still nowhere near having a capsule or minimalist wardrobe, but I do feel like I’m weeding out items more ruthlessly than I had in the past. And I am adding items that I feel like more truly reflect the direction my style is going.

I’m also really thinking about what I should do moving forward after this no spend year. I have another few months to decide what I would like to do after this year is over, and I’m certain it will not be allowing myself to go on a spending spree! I truly want to be more intentional with my clothing purchases. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like, so more to come on that for sure! I do like using PM as a resource to purchase clothing second hand. I highly encourage everyone to check it out! I have enjoyed being able to sell my own clothes on this platform. I have also had great luck with the items I have purchased.

Really quickly I wanted to touch on the home decor piece of this no spend year. If you’ve been following my journey, then you will know that this aspect has been MUCH easier than the clothes. I’ve come up with creative ways to rearrange items and use what I already have. This month I took over my son’s office since he moved to college, and I wanted a new piece of artwork for that space. I printed out a photo I took over the summer on our trip to Hawaii, and put it in a frame that I already had on hand. I have to admit, fall is the toughest time of year to not purchase home decor. I LOVE fall decor! But, I have restrained myself. The one thing I allow myself to purchase that may be considered home decor is candles, and I have to admit that I may have went a little overboard on purchasing fall candles this year! But, rest assured, they will all get used!

The last couple of months have been a bit bumpy, but I’m going to learn from the experiences I’ve had and move forward! Hoping that heading into the holiday season won’t be tricky/difficult! THREE MORE MONTHS TO GO!

No Spend Year, July Reflections

Well, here I am officially more than halfway through my no spend year. July was another month in which I really struggled. Looking back, I think I made excuses and to be completely transparent, I feel like this is the month that I have failed. But, failure equals learning. I am beginning to realize that failing is okay. Not “okay” as in don’t try, but as in failing at something leads you closer to success as it is an opportunity to learn how to do things differently moving forward.

This is the backpack I got for our trip. I did get it off Poshmark with my credits.

Let’s start by talking about a couple of the “rules” which I made that led to the choices from this month, that looking back I might have done differently. The first rule was that I could buy things for special occasions, unless I already had something that worked. This month, my husband and I took our son – who just graduated from high school – on a special trip to Hawaii to celebrate his accomplishments and to spend time with him before he went off to college. Usually when we have a trip like this, I like to purchase things specifically for the trip. I like to have new outfits that work well for whatever location we are going. The first thing I purchased for this trip was a new backpack. I don’t own a backpack. I usually use an over-sized purse for my carry on item, but we would be doing several hikes which I would need a backpack. With this item, I could have used one of my husbands old backpacks, but that wouldn’t have looked cute/feminine 🙂 so I justified that it was necessary to have my own.

I purchased these dresses and sandals for the trip as well.

I also chose to buy a few new dresses, as I did not have any lighter colored/summer specific dresses. Looking back, the dresses were not necessary as we ended up getting take out most nights as we were really tired after the long day doing active things. The two times we went out was to very casual restaurants. I also bought a new pair of shorts, as I only had one pair that fit me comfortably. I had gotten rid of several pairs of shorts that didn’t fit me during a closet clean out. I also purchased a linen shirt that I thought would work well in Hawaii – looks and for the climate. Lastly, I purchased a pair of sandals. This was one item that I didn’t really need, but I was going for a specific look and the sandals I owned did not look right with these outfits/dresses. I say I feel like I failed this month because I know I could have done without these items. I had a specific look in mind for this trip, and I justified it by telling myself that these pictures would last a lifetime. Even as I type this, it seems a bit ridiculous, but it’s where my brain was at when purchasing these items.

I purchased this shirt and these shoes with my Poshmark credits from what I had sold.

Another “rule” I gave myself is that I could use gift cards to purchase things. I do have a gift card to an online clothing boutique, which I still have not used. I have sold several pieces on Poshmark, and had “credits” – which I talked myself into believing was like a gift card. I did use my credit to purchase a shirt and a pair of shoes. The shoes in particular have been something I have had my eye on for a long time now, longer than before this no spend year. The shirt I got to replace a similar long sleeve shirt – which I liked but rarely wore since I don’t wear long sleeves often. If I’m cold in the winter I tend to layer instead. I am happy with these purchases, and I feel they fit well in my wardrobe, however in hindsight I’m not sure I should have used the credits like a gift card. Poshmark has been good and bad for me. It has been great to sell my items and get some money back, and knowing the items will be loved by someone else. It has been amazing to get such good deals on items, and it’s always good to buy clothes second hand. HOWEVER, when I go on the app to manage my items I have to force myself to NOT LOOK at what’s available. Moving forward, I would like to use this app, but only to look for something specific. It’s really hard to pass up these good deals! I haven’t fully decided yet if I should continue to look at the money I make as a gift card or not.

I continue to not really struggle with wanting/being tempted by home decor purchases. If anything, I feel like I have plenty and I don’t want more. I am learning to appreciate items I see in the store, and not have this need to take it home with me. We’ll see how I feel this fall as it’s my favorite season and I love all things pumpkin!!

This month has been eye-opening. I have learned what a slippery slope it is in justifying purchases. I feel like I am STILL – 7 months in – not at a place where I feel restrained in my purchases. I want to get to a place where I am completely intentional with my purchases, and after this month I just don’t feel “there” yet. I am hopeful that in the next five months I will continue to learn and grow.

One other thing I find myself noticing over these last 7 months, is consumerism mentality. When I was in it, I don’t think I noticed how time-consuming and distracting it was to my life. Being an “outsider” I notice people’s behavior when I am out shopping. I’m not sure I’m able to put words to what I’ve seen, but the best way I can describe it is like we’re ruled by things – our time, money, thoughts, energy. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I love beautiful things. I like putting outfits together and making my home beautiful, but I don’t want that to dictate my life. My hope is that after this year, my brain will be re-trained!

No Spend Year, June Reflections

Well, there goes another month in my no spend year! June went by so fast I barely noticed being bothered by the no spend. That’s not to say I did not see things I wanted. I looked back at the journal I’ve been keeping and there were some things scribbled down at the end of May that I was obsessing over. Again, I have really only wanted clothing items. I continue to enjoy the fact that I have not brought in any new household items, and I continue to declutter them!

Some of the items in my Poshmark closet.

This month, I started the process of cleaning out my closet. I did this a little over a year ago, but obviously more things had come in since the last declutter of my closet. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been selling things on Poshmark. It has been so freeing letting things go, and even better to get some money back!

This is the current state of my closet. I know I still have a lot, but I plan to do another declutter in late fall.

I waited quite a while in the no spend year before tackling a closet declutter. In part because I have noticed clothing is the thing I am struggling most in the no spend. As I have stopped the inflow of clothing, I’m learning what specifically my style is. I have noticed the things I gravitate towards, and the things I tend to not wear. I have also been doing this experiment where I wear items that I know I haven’t worn in a while, and if I don’t feel fabulous in it, it goes! When new clothing items were constantly entering my wardrobe, it was hard to tell what my style was and I would often gravitate towards wearing the new items – because they were new!!


I have been using Pinterest as another reference to see what types of clothes I tend to like. In the past, I used my style board on Pinterest as a place to pin outfits that would work with items I already owned. As I go back and see what I like, I’m able to weed out even more items that I know I don’t wear – usually it’s items I once liked, as I have seen my style change over the last 8-10 years, or it’s items that I thought I would like but ended up wearing them very little or not at all.


I’m still working on my closet clean out as of today. I have been struggling to know how much to keep. I tend to wear a uniform, and I like variety within that uniform, so I’m struggling to let go. I gravitate towards plain shirts – white, grey, and black, but I have a variety of styles of each color of shirt. It’s a work in progress for sure! Even for me – a fairly organized person!

Our bedroom’s new look!


The final thing I wanted to talk about is how I have continued to feel like I have so much more energy and time. I have been working on all kinds of house projects. I painted our bedroom and the trim to freshen it up. I have started to paint the trim in the remainder of our upstairs as well! I was able to get my extra clothes uploaded to Poshmark and organized so it’s easy to package them up to send off. I have actually sold several pieces! Most recently I have been teaching our youngest son to drive as he just got his permit.

No Spend Year, May Reflections

This is exciting… I’m nearing the half -way point in my no spend year! I’m not gonna lie, May was rough. I found myself fighting with the temptation to make excuses to spend. If I were to do this again, I might be more explicit in my rules so that they could not be bent.I don’t know if it was the justification in April for the purse, or if it’s just “the wall” you hit in any long-term endeavor. Have any of you have ever run a long distance race? For those of us who have, you know there is this point in the run that you have to self talk your way to finishing. You hit “the wall.” You have every excuse as to why you should stop and not finish. This is something most long distance runners know about and are prepared for. It is at this point in your commitment to finish the race that your resolve comes from self-talk, like mind-over-matter! This was May for me.

This was the dress I wanted to purchase from Altar’d State.


My story is about a dress. In my “rules” that I laid out prior to starting the no spend year, I said that I will allow myself to buy things for special occasions ONLY IF I had nothing else that woul work. Well, my son’s graduation was approaching and I told myself that I needed a new dress for this occasion. Forget the fact that I own about 12 dresses currently, and barely ever wear dresses! I believed that I needed a different one for this occasion. So, I began the process of shopping for a dress. I was going to be intentional. I was going to wait to purchase a dress after allowing at least 24 hours to marinate and decide if I really loved it. I tried on dresses at a handful of stores, and there was one dress that I really loved at Altar’d State – a store that fits the bill for ethical practices. After thinking about it a couple of days, I decided to go back to buy the dress. When I get to the register, the sales person reminds me that the dresses are buy one, get one 50% off. SIGH. I know this, and I came to the register with one dress because I only need one dress. But, in that moment I again begin to justify and compromise. I decide I will grab that other dress that I saw that would be great for our trip to Hawaii we are taking this summer. Even as I drive home I’m thinking this was all a bad idea. I think about how much time I’ve already wasted driving, trying things on, thinking about THESE DRESSES!

When I get home I try on the dress with the bra and shoe options I thought would work, and suddenly I hate it. I realize in the light of my own full-length mirror that this dress does not look good on my body type. For another two days I think about these dresses. I go back to where I had written down my “rules” and read the words again, “ONLY IF I have nothing else that works.” I know I have several dresses that could be styled in different ways to make something work. So, I TAKE THE DRESSES BACK! Yes, both dresses! I again think about all that energy I spent on this whole process, and I’m reminded of how much time I must have wasted in the past pursuing that perfect item. I want to be intentional moving forward in making decisions about adding pieces to my wardrobe, but I know I will have to learn a new way to make decisions. This whole process didn’t work for me.

In the end, I wore a dress that I had purchased for a wedding a couple years back, a dress that I don’t often wear but I loved. I felt great in it, and I was glad that I decided to stick with a dress I already owned. On a side-note, perhaps I should reevaluate how many dresses I own.


No Spend Year, April Reflections

Here I am again, late at posting my no spend year reflections for last month. Time has passed so quickly this spring. In this no spend year, I have been shocked when another month has completed! Also, as in March, there is not a whole lot new in April with regards to my no spend year. I have gotten into the habit of JUST NOT SPENDING.

I will tell you one story. One of my rules is that I can purchase things needed for big events this year. We take our children on a special trip by themselves after they graduate from high school. Our middle son will be graduating in just a couple of weeks, and he decided he would like to go to Hawaii for his special trip. I will allow myself to purchase items for this trip. A couple weeks ago I went to a friend’s Noonday Collection party. If you aren’t familiar with Noonday, they are a jewelry and accessory company which employs women in impoverished communities to make their items. They have a website, but also sell through their “Ambassadors” who set up in home parties. I have loved Noonday for many years and several of my jewelry pieces came from this business. At the party I of course saw many things that I would like, but in particular I saw a small cross body purse/wallet that would be perfect for travel. I decided not to buy it that day. A few days later, I got an invite for a fundraiser for our high school “Project Graduation” where they put on a huge graduation party so the kids have a safe place to celebrate. The fundraiser was Noonday Collection! I spent a few days thinking about the purse and decided it was for a good cause, supporting a good company, and would be a useful item for me. I could use it for the trip to Hawaii, but also for times when I don’t want to bring my purse, but don’t want to just carry my wallet. It is also a versatile piece that can be used as a crossbody purse, a clutch, or even a fanny pack (those are coming back you know?!)

This experience helped me to realize a couple of things. First, that I want to be more intentional with where I purchase items moving forward after my no spend year. I want to support companies that have ethical practices and make a difference to individuals and not just a large company. I would also like to be intentional with what I purchase. Even though I wanted to purchase that purse when I first saw it, I want to learn to allow myself to “sit” with that desire for a few days before I make a final decision. No more impulse buys. If I want something, I will give myself some time to think about it and see if it’s really something I need.

Another thing I encountered this month was discovering Poshmark. I knew about this app, where you can purchase and sell used clothing, but I had never explored it. I decided that I would be willing to part with more of my clothing and shoes if I could get some money for them. While exploring the app I found so many cute, cheap clothes! It was tempting, however I want to stick to my commitment. Moving forward after the no spend year, I will definitely use this app to purchase new (to me) clothing. It will help me to stay focused as I only look for something specific, and it is better for the environment to purchase used clothing! Win – win!!


Honestly, March and April have just flown by and I have barely noticed my habits changing. I just don’t think about spending anymore. And it feels amazing!

No Spend Year, March Reflections

This month’s post is late because I’m struggling to put together my thoughts about the progress in the month of March. This is partially because there is not a lot new from last month’s post. I still struggle with noticing some things, but I would say that I’m not feeling that “want” as much when I notice.

One of the Goodwill chairs I upcycled! I spray painted the legs and added the fun blush fur covering the seat!

I have been better at time management this month. I have enjoyed writing, reading, working on projects around the house, decluttering, and I’ve started recording and editing some videos in case I get brave and put them on YouTube! We’ll see…However, I wonder if I am more focused on projects because it’s somewhat of a loophole in my “rules” – as I have allowed myself to purchase things needed for projects. I just finished working on upcycling a couple of vintage chairs I got for $2 a piece from Goodwill, and painting a couple of side tables in one of our rooms.

One of the side tables I painted. I used items I had on hand to complete this project!

Perhaps another reason why I am struggling to verbalize how it’s going is because I have had some polarizing feelings. On the one hand, I’m getting used to not being able to buy things. On the other hand, I still feel “pulls” or desires at times. For example, I walked into Target the other day and in the dollar spot (thank you Target for placing that right as I walk in the door), I noticed these white ceramic cupcake stands for $3 a piece. My first thought was, whelp can’t get those. But then I still wanted to rationalize. My thoughts were: I literally have been waiting for my Target to have those cupcake stands in stock for over a year! They were only $3 a piece! But, I stuck to my rules – as I would use those as a decor piece – and didn’t purchase them.

Although I still have those moments where I feel drawn to something, I also see myself getting closer to a place where my habit is to NOT purchase things. I have to admit, last year at this time – when I did a three month no spend challenge for the first three months of the year – I was ready to buy something!! I thought that by this point I would have more of a “craving” than I do. I’m hopeful that as the months progress, I will feel that pull less and less, and by the time January 2020 rolls around and I have completed my “no spend” year, I won’t have the desire to rush out on a shopping spree!

No Spend Year, February Reflections

I have made it through another month of my no spend year. February was a bit more difficult than January. It will be tough to write this because a lot of my thoughts from this month are pretty vulnerable. This is turning out to be more insightful than I expected. I’m struggling as I see my true heart being revealed.

The most eye-opening thing I learned this month is becoming cognizant of the number of times I was affected by Instagramers or YouTubers direct links to items they had. I realized that I am persuaded to buy clothes more than other types of items. I guess this isn’t too surprising given my closet is the area that I struggle to keep decluttered. What was surprising was how unaware I was by the effect “influencers” had on my purchases. Which I guess is the exact reason they are called “influencers”! I noticed this month how many times I wanted things that I saw others had. In the past, I might have easily clicked on links without giving much thought to it. To this day, I’m sitting with some wants that I don’t really need.

The other thing that really struck me this month was how much I have been turning to other things to fill some hole I have where I used to shop. I feel like I have less self control in other areas – like the food I am eating, and the amount of time I spend watching YouTube or Netflix. While it has been wonderful to have some extra time, it’s interesting that I am gravitating towards participating in “indulgent” things rather than doing something more productive. It has made me realize that when we seek to eliminate some bad habit from our lives, we should be cautious that another bad habit doesn’t creep in. This coming month, I hope to be more intentional with my extra time.

I have been more okay than I expected not purchasing home decor. I am continuing to work on purging our home, and with these items I don’t want to bring more things into our home that I will just have to purge again. I wish I had that same feeling about clothes! Ha!The other positive thing that I saw come out of this month is my awareness going up. As I mentioned, I didn’t realize how much I was affected by “influencers.” Also, just an awareness of what is happening internally. I’m sure this is just the beginning, but I’m starting to evaluate why I am shopping and why I want things.


I’m hopeful that in the month of March I am able to evaluate what I spend my time on, and what I allow into my life. I also want to continue the process of examining why I like to shop. I’m hopeful that I will be able to make progress in these areas to become a better version of myself!