So, before I begin this blog post, I want to disclaim it. It is going to be long, and I think it will sound a little pretentious. The thing is that it really isn’t. This habit I want to talk about is held by people both with money and without money. I know this because I got this habit from my mom. And, I have mentioned before, we were definitely NOT financially free… we lived paycheck to paycheck. But, when we were going on vacation, I always knew we would go shopping for new clothes. It was part of the fun of the vacation. I knew that part of the vacation was the part before where we would get new clothes for the trip. And, it is a habit I have embraced as an adult. Until now, I haven’t really cared at all that it was a habit. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed getting cute clothes for a trip… to have cute pictures… that I would keep forever (or so I told myself). I guess it isn’t a lie. The pictures will be my documentation of the memories I create. But, lets be honest, it isn’t like I don’t own a closet full of clothes.
My goals are different now on the whole. I am more focused on saving and creating wealth, even if it seems slow for now. But, all of a sudden, that habit I used to look forward to, has become something I am annoyed that I have. I’m heading out on a trip soon and I have done it again. I want some awesome, insta-worthy outfits for my time abroad. So, I have purchased them. But, it has come with a bunch of negative self-talk about how that money should be going into one or more of my savings accounts, or paying off my student loans, or being given to charity. I am at the point where I can find a multitude of things that I deem more worth of the money. And, I find myself beating myself up about it. Here is what I want to do about that. This time, I give myself a pass. I’ve lost some weight and I needed a little refresh to my wardrobe anyway. I’ve worked really hard for the last many months to get where I am, given up a lot of food and bourbon along the way. And, this time it is ok.
But, here is what I am going to do in the future. Have you read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” by Marie Kondo? I read it and LOVED it!! My mom is a clutter queen and it makes me CRAZY. So, I decided to go through every single article of clothing and ask myself if it gave me joy. If it didn’t, it was given away. It was my own way of de-cluttering. I can tell you I gave away an obscene number items of clothing. That’s not the point, the point is, that I was about 30 pounds heavier then. I kept mostly things that gave me joy, but I have to be honest, nothing at that weight gave me joy. If it fit, it wasn’t something I loved. So, my closet isn’t Marie Kondo approved, of that I am sure. Anyway, I have decided I need to do it again. If I only own items of clothing that give me joy, I will have a closet of clothes that I would be excited to pack for a vacation. That means being honest with myself about the items and buying only things that look amazing on me… not things from clearance because they are $7. Not things that are a “really great deal.” If I don’t smile when I put it on, it needs to go. This is how I break the habit. This is how I continue to make the shift to saver. It’s a small change, but the amount of money itll save me in the long run could amount to a considerable amount over a couple of decades.