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Monday, 4 January 2016

The end of the spending ban..




 So, we're four days into the year and what does that mean? Well last year's spending ban has come to an end and, in theory, that I've been able to spend on clothes for four days. So far, I haven't purchased anything.

So, how did it go?
Well, on the whole, not too shabby. A decent effort. I didn't buy any clothes, shoes or accessories (although I was very lucky to be gifted a LOT of things, which felt a little bit like cheating). I also did treat myself to a knitting pattern for a new bag, which I can't decide whether or not to count as a spend.

The one thing I did spend on was fabric, without finishing that which I'd already got stashed up. I made myself 57 dresses during 2015. And one coat.

Whilst I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about spending on fabric, I've decided that this year I'm going to keep better tabs on my fabric stash. This will mean figuring out what patterns I'm going to use some of the pieces which have been languishing for, although I don't think there is much which has stuck around for that long. Even when I've bought fabric, I've usually used it within a relatively short time, unless I'm saving it for something special. Of course, there are those which I've gone off, or decided I maybe don't like as much as I'd originally thought, and for those I'll try to find something else to use them for (a present, maybe) or I'll get rid of them via my Insta-sale.

IMG_5361One thing I found very helpful was to take part in clothes swaps during the course of the year. #frockswap2015 was great fun and something I'd definitely take part in again. I also swapped some clothes and accessories with some of my penfriends, as well as IRL friends.

I do need to own up to a couple of spends in the George homeware section - a festive bedding set and two reindeer cushions proved impossible to resist, and then when it came to Christmas, guess who forgot to take them out of storage until it was too late. I guess that just goes to show that I didn't need them.

Would I do it again?
One of my friends asked me whether I'd be carrying the spending ban on. For reasons of personal circumstance, it didn't prove to be the great money-saving scheme I'd hoped it would be, but that's not a reason to count it as a fail.

 I don't think I want to continue it into 2016, but I'm not exactly planning a huge spending blowout, either. I think it's worked to make me consider things a little more before just buying them, as I would have in the past. I've been browsing some of the sales online, but haven't actually got as far as buying anything just yet. as I don't feel as though I really *needed* them. I haven't yet looked at the Lindy Bop sale, though....


Have I changed my habits?
I was a little worried about this one. Have I transferred my spending energy into things like fabric instead of ready-to-wear clothing? Well, in a way, I suppose I did that when I took up dressmaking, but I don't spend as much on fabric as I used to on clothes. So, perhaps that means that things are going in the right direction.

I was at a show at the NEC in November and spent on some fabric, which was all around the £5/metre mark. I tend to make a dress from 1.5m, so that's less than £10 per dress, which is a lot less than I would spend on a high street garment, I guess. A step in the right direction?

As for 2016's goals, I'm not sure just yet. I think rather than resolutions and "I'm not"s, I'm going to make myself a list of things I'd like to do. I'll keep thinking.

What are you planning to do this year?

17 comments:

  1. Congratulations on completing the ban! I'm completely in awe, I've done three 3-4 month-long bans and have always found them tough towards the end, so managing 12 months is incredible.

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    1. Thank you - to be honest, my personal circumstances changed a lot during the year which meant that spending money was out of the question, so that made things a lot easier.

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  2. My goals are to make plain / easy to wear shirts, simple skirts including a button up 70s style, make my puppy's soft-toys instead of buying, make a trenchcoat and a blazer, only buy fabric I have a purpose for, make bags as they're always useful and I have the new cath kidston book, I also really like sewing heavier weight fabric! Also. I found myself trying to 'use up' fabric, rather than really loving it, then I would ended up spending hours on a garment I wouldn't wear/much. I think your 2015 goal was good as the dresses that seem popular in the shops, you can sew yourself and better fitted

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    1. I have quite a few sewing goals, which are projects I'd like to tackle or complete.

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  3. Woah, well done Char! You made it! I couldn't even begin to think about how difficult it'd be for a year (100 days, max!) The Lindy Bop sale is dangerous, I bought my bridesmaid dressing on a drunken whim the other night! Oops!

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    1. Ah, well buying them in the sale is probably a good choice, though!

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  4. I think that sounds pretty successful! And spending money on fabric rather than RTW sounds like a much more cost-effective way of doing things. You have to just do what works for you I guess.

    I also am trying to avoid 'I wont's' this year! I wrote a post about good things I'm going to keep doing, rather than put pressure on myself to do 101 new things.

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please

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    1. Thanks! I think that's true. I have noticed that RTW dresses have been getting more expensive. I've given myself some goals to try and achieve, rather than cutting things out.

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  5. Well done!! You did well to stick at it! I'm not sure I could! Obviously it helped being able to make 57 new dresses, like one new one per week but that still isn't the same as being able to go shopping and saying "I'll have x, y and z and a few v's"!!
    I sincerely want to try and NOT buy any clothes or shoes this year because I really don't have room for them, I've got far too much and I think CBC will just go mad but I.can't bring myself to ban myself as I tend to go crazy otherwise!! I thought maybe I can only spend £10 a month and combine months for something more expensive but again, I'm not going to be too insistent!!!x
    I spent £46 in the sales on a pair of black boots, Tatty Devine earrings and a patterned shirt (plus 2charity shop jumpers on the 23rd) but other than that, resisted somewhat!!x

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    1. Thanks - I think that a change in personal circumstances last year helped me to stick to this, as there was just no way I would have been able to buy anything frivolous anyway. I too am running out of space, but the new shelves will arrive soon, so that shoudl help the shoe room to be tidier!

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  6. I would say spending on fabric is really spending on a hobby and totally fine, no different to spending on baking equipment, gym membership, cinema or whatever you enjoy. It's just that you get to wear the product of your hobby.
    I guess although it isn't sustainable year after year, I'm sure you'd learn important lessons and be wiser in the future. I certainly couldn't commit to a whole year and I'm sure the fact you had been gifted a few things helped ease the need to buy. Nobody ever buys me clothes or shoes 😂
    This year I'm hoping to to try and be a get a bit fitter. I took up running a little bit last year, completing the couch to 5k think, and once it warms up a bit, I'd like to try a bit harder with that.

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    1. I think that the gifts definitely helped. I'm also hoping to work on my fitness too, this year.

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  7. It's amazing that you made it through an entire year without spending on clothes and accessories. I think after eleven + months you deserved the Christmas bedding as a little reward. Even if you didn't save loads of money, the positive is you made a ton of new clothes that nobody else will have, which I bet fit you perfectly, and you're more likely to wear. I wouldn't have made it through a month without spending on fashion or beauty. Well done! xx

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    1. The frustrating thing about that is that I forgot to even use it and have now put it away for next Christmas!

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  8. You did amazingly well! I find spending bans just make me think about spending. Making your own clothes is a far better option in my opinion, not only are do you end up with a completely unique wardrobe, you also take a step away from fast fashion.
    This year I'm trying a seasonal capsule wardrobe that allows spending at the beginning of each season, so far so good but I have a way to go yet!

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    1. Thanks, that's a good way of thinking about it, I guess. I did make some of my own versions of dresses which I'd seen. I don't think I could cope with a capsule wardrobe.

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  9. Well done. I really couldn't or wouldn't want to do it for that length of time. I'd go crazy without new shoes all year and nobody ever buys me shoes, so I'd have to miss out. It would be that, that would get to me most, that feeling of missing out on something and then I'd just spend the next few years searching for the things I'd really wanted (I already do as it is) and probably pay more for them! Seeing as I don't actually have a life, I'm lucky (!) that I don't spend money on things like travel, food, going out anywhere, so the majority goes on things like shoes and clothes and makeup. For my sanity, that's important as superficial as that may sound...sometimes stroking new shoes does make me feel a little less sad, though I realise it's not going to heal me! Now that I don't get out to shops, I don't have the big Primark hauls I used to, so I suppose I've had more to spend online on shoes. I don't blame you with the Asda stuff, amazing cute deer stuff this year, I got them too! I'm thinking you must own a thousand dresses rather than hundreds? I have a lot(ish) and though I haven't counted them, I'd think there would be a couple of hundred, but making more than one a week as well as the bought ones? Wowzers, well done.

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