Give Up Clothes And Save Cash

I’m throwing down the gauntlet and officially declaring 2016 a clothes-free year.  Stop it, you know what I mean 😉  In my not-so-frugal past, I have frequently gone on what I like to call buying binges.  I would go for months without purchasing a thing.  And then, one weekend, I would fall off the wagon and drop hundreds on some new threads.  I have made a decision to officially banish any and all shopping sprees from my life. 

Hopping On The Bandwagon

clothes ban

Goofy pose during the wedding rehearsal last October.

Yes, I’m hopping on the clothes-buying ban bandwagon.  I dare you to say that fast three times!  This is something that many fellow frugal friends have done, and are doing.  The most popular being Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods.  I believe they’re well into their second year.  Kudos to them!

This really shouldn’t be a stretch for my frugal self.  I honestly think the last time I bought myself some clothes was just before my wedding.  I needed a dress 😛  I did, however, want to buy myself some new hiking boots on our honeymoon in Vermont, but I decided against it when I saw the price tag.  Instead, I decided my almost new trail-running sneakers were up for the job.  And, I was right.  I’ve been using them for all of my hiking needs.  Let’s face it, I’m not climbing Everest.  Yet.

closet anchor

Under pressure.

I’m going to go ahead and declare the commencement of this blessed event as being retroactive on January 1st this year.  After all, I know I haven’t bought any clothes for a few months.  Unfortunately, since I rarely have any money earmarked for clothes, this probably won’t yield a noticeable difference in our monthly expenses, but it still feels good knowing I am actively NOT spending unnecessarily on clothes I don’t need.  I probably have enough clothes to last me the rest of my life.  Sadly, I’m not joking.  Check out my closet anchor.

One Step Closer

Mr. MMM is on board too, with the exception of a new pair of sneakers this spring.  Mini Monster will participate as well, unless she needs something special that we can’t find on the black market.

Implementing a clothes-buying ban is another step closer to our early retirement goals.  An educated guess is that I have spent approximately $500/year (or more) on clothes for myself.  Using that money to pay down our mortgages or invest for our rental properties will inch us closer to financial freedom.  I’m excited to embark on yet another frugal challenge.  We’ll see if I have what it takes!

Are you ready to embark on a clothes-buying ban?  Remember, there is strength in numbers.  I’d also love the company.

Bailey Gato BW

Mad Money Cat – Minimal Style

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  • Brittany Jan 20, 2016, 4:00 pm

    I’m trying to do this too for myself, (I should lose a little weight and I will have hit the clothing jackpot…stubborn baby weight!) My hubby is set for decades (seriously he is the same size he was 15 years ago). How are you going to do this for you child? Is it just new clothes? My kids are 6 and 2 and I do not get many hand me downs at all.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 20, 2016, 7:59 pm

      I hear ya with the baby weight. It took me forever to get it off, and I still have a bit to go. And we’re talking about a second one. Yikes! As far as our daughter goes…we will likely still need to buy things here and there for her. She’s 6. Hand me downs happen, but not as often as they used to. She got some clothes for Christmas and will likely get more for her birthday from relatives. We also get creative with Amazon gift cards that find their way into our lives. 🙂

  • arakelian Jan 20, 2016, 10:44 am

    I donated what I have not used in the last one year.
    Now I have one jeans for more than 3 years; I still have a second pair of pants and some skirts (home made, did we count as bought or not? 😀 ).
    I have a rule: I am not buying something new until I will eliminate something old – and now all my items are in good and usable and love-able condition so … there is no room for something new. But in springtime I will “eject” some winter clothes …

    In plus, I am scanning periodically my closet, if I see something in bad state I am writing on the list and follow to buy at next reductions (or second hand). I keep 4-6 combinations in mind and prepare Sunday evening for next week.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 20, 2016, 1:03 pm

      That’s a great plan! I think being methodical about something like this is the best way to approach it. Obviously we will need to buy clothes again in the future but, for now, we’re set for quite some time.

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House Jan 19, 2016, 3:08 pm

    It’s month 14 for our ban. I’m like you–I have plenty of stuff. You can do it! 😁

  • memorialbenchstories Jan 19, 2016, 10:13 am

    Thanks for the excellent post and setting a goal for one year at a time will at least be achievable. In my quest to save for our financial independence I mostly avoid buying clothes, although I slip up in charity (thrift) shops occasionally (I’m not perfect but support from blogs like yours is really helpful). However, shoes are a tough one to deal with; I wear them and they wear out. I needed new walking boots this month – essential wear for Scottish mountains – and agonised over whether to get cheap boots that might fall apart after being immersed in Scottish peat bogs for just a short time or spend money on good quality (expensive) boots that might last the tens years that my last pair did. The latter option won out and that’s $174 I won’t see again.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 19, 2016, 11:47 am

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. That being said, I would definitely opt to purchase more expensive clothes/shoes if it meant they would last longer. Good decision!

  • Mrs. Paradise Jan 18, 2016, 5:36 pm

    Sounds awesome, I’ll join you! Another goal would be to clean out my closet, it would be so much easier to find things! 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 19, 2016, 9:51 am

      I keep putting off the big clean out, too! I promised my niece she will have bags full of newish clothes to go through after I get my butt in gear and clean out the closet 🙂

  • Mortimer Jan 18, 2016, 5:15 pm

    I just bought myself a new pair of jeans (at Costco! $20!) after using only one pair for the last 18 months. I got a couple new shirts for Christmas. So, I should be set for at least the next 18+ months. Wager accepted! In fact, I’ll try to make it two years and commit to patching these jeans to try to make them last even longer. Five years might be pushing it… But you’re right that a year isn’t really even challenging. Good luck!!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 19, 2016, 9:50 am

      Five years is definitely pushing it…but, one year is almost laughable anymore 🙂 One year at a time!

  • londonminimalists Jan 18, 2016, 10:39 am

    I’m definitely in (well be default considering I’m doing a no spend year!) and will cheer you on! Good luck. M

  • Howto$tuffYourPig Jan 18, 2016, 9:00 am

    I purged most of my clothing a couple of years ago and have not purchased anything new since. I enjoy my paired down and simplified wardrobe. Most of us don’t need the amount of clothes we own to begin with and I only plan on buying new items when the old items wear out. Excellent post!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2016, 9:06 am

      I really think a year-long ban isn’t impressive anymore. I suspect it will be super easy for me to achieve. Maybe I should shoot for 5 years 🙂

  • Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor Jan 18, 2016, 8:25 am

    Happy clothes-buying ban! I have declared an official ban, but I really have stopped buying clothes I don’t need in the past two years, since the birth of my 2nd child. I replace my jeans when the knees are ripping down the legs. Anymore, I have a hard time finding exactly what I want–“mom” appropriate jeans in juniors’ sizes, and perhaps a pair of shoes that works all 4 seasons!? My husband did get me a new wool sweater for Christmas, since I had outrageous holes in the elbows of my favorite one.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2016, 8:53 am

      Mom jeans in the junior section made me laugh 🙂 I always forget how old I am and find myself drifting towards stores geared towards teenagers. I love the idea of this ban. And I’m so glad I have company! Kudos to US!

  • youmeanme Jan 18, 2016, 7:49 am

    Love this idea! I’m attempting my own version of Project 333. My aim is that when I want a change I’ll shop my clothing bins.

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