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April 2, 2013

What I learned from giving up shopping for Lent

You guys, I did it. As of Easter Sunday, Lent was over and I made it without purchasing any new clothes or shoes for six weeks. Forty-six days, to be exact!

When I first decided to give up shopping, I had serious doubts about my own willpower. As a blogger constantly looking at cute things and other bloggers wearing cute things, I'm in a permanent state of being tempted. I thought for sure I'd cave, make an exception or beg my husband/any willing party to buy something on my behalf so that it "didn't count." Did I think about it? Yes. But I'm happy to report that I am guilty of none of those things.

And since I mentioned it so many times here on the blog, I wanted to share some of what I took away from the experience.

1. It was easier than I imagined. Seriously. I thought for sure I'd be struggling on a daily basis to resist the urge to buy something, but I honestly wasn't. Maybe it's because once I get something in my head it's darn near impossible to get me to go back on what I've set out to do. And I was determined to do this! I did find that certain things made it easier, though - like deleting those daily e-mails from my favorite brands in my inbox and simply not going into stores where I would be tempted to buy things. It's kinda like cutting certain foods out of your diet. Once you stop eating them, you stop craving them!

2. I probably make a lot of impulse buys. One of the things I wanted to take time to do was evaluate what's already in my wardrobe. And while I didn't get around to doing a thorough closet clean-out like I wanted, I did get together a bag of clothes to donate and listed some items on Poshmark. I found that a lot of what I'm getting rid of - mostly the pieces I plan to sell - were only worn once or twice. And looking back, I wouldn't buy them again. Which isn't good. From now on, I want to really evaluate every purchase I make, which will likely translate into buying trendy things less often and spending a little bit more money on quality, versatile items that will last.

3. Speaking of money, saving it is good. I'm definitely not the kind of shopper who spends a lot of money at once, but buying a blouse or pair of shoes here and there really adds up over time! And you definitely don't realize how much you're spending if you're not really keeping track. By giving up shopping, I eliminated a lot of those impulse buys and noticed a difference in my bank account! I think I may have even heard my wallet say, "Thank you."

Obviously, none of this is all that groundbreaking. It's actually quite predictable. I mean, of course if you don't shop for over a month you're going to save money and realize that there is only a small percentage of things you really want when it comes down to it. Le duh. But doing this was a challenge for me - one that I'm happy I accepted (even if it was self inflicted). I definitely learned things about myself which I, the people around me and this blog will benefit from!

If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! And thanks for holding me accountable and for all your encouragement along the way! I'm definitely looking forward to doing this again next year. Maybe we can even do it together ;)


P.S. I was originally going to combine this recap with a Tuesday Temptations post listing some of the pieces I'd like to buy now that Lent is over. But as you can see, it got a little lengthy. I still plan on sharing my wish list, however, and we'll be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. Stay tuned :)


  1. So impressed by you doing this - and it has really inspired me to do the same at some point...maybe next year! :)


  2. I am incredibly impressed with your willpower, especially since all of the stores start changing into their good spring stuff over Lent! Congrats! Maybe I'll be brave enough to try that next year!

    Haute Child in the City

  3. When I moved into my new house I made myself a promise that I would rethink purchases. Because I definitely had WAY too much 'stuff'. Buying only what I love has made a big difference for me, and for my closet.

  4. I've tried it and failed :( But you go girl! I have been thinking a lot lately about evaluating my closet and buying items that are extremely versatile and worth the money. I definitely need to do that when I switch out my wardrobe.


  5. I did the Lent fast with you and boy am I glad it is over! My wishlist/birthday list was getting quite long haha I do agree that it made me re-evaluate what I actually needed vs wanted. I feel like I got to wear pieces in my closet I would have skipped over because they weren't "new" even though they have only been worn a handful of times.

    I will be checking out Poshmark for sure! I have a lot that could make someone else happy haha

  6. You made it! Congratulations!!

    X Kenzie


  7. Congrats on sticking to your no shopping rule for Lent! Now it's def time to treat yourself to a little something special!

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

  8. Congratulations!! I gave up shopping last year for lent and there were definte times of struggling! The best part is though, now that the weather is warming up, you can purchase and actually wear instead of purchase and wait!!

    -Classy Chic & Chardonnay

  9. Nice work!! I think that is a huge accomplishment! I find myself buying things FAR too often, and I agree, it is because I spend so much time tempting myself looking at blogs, websites, etc. I am not sure I would be able to do it. But, a good start is deleting those DAILY emails. It is so hard-- every morning I wake up and check my email and am tempted to see what deals I can find. I guess they aren't good deals if I only wear the clothes once! Thanks for being my inspiration to shop less!

  10. Good job Alison! I know how hard it is not to shop.. urgh! So proud of you! : )


  11. Whoop! We did it! So excited and I loved your recap! I love feeling so accomplished after giving it up and I'm happy to report that I didn't cheat either! Go us! ;)


  12. Congrats Alison! I knew you could do it :)

    xo Nicole

  13. I'm impressed you made it that long! Not sure if I could fully not buy anything. I went a few weeks without buying anything at the start of the year because I was pregnant and didn't want to buy things I couldn't fit into. My credit card bill was pretty happy! Now I can't fit into anything, so I have to shop in order to not be naked but still trying to limit it a bit. Definitely hard!

  14. This is so inspiring and I love what you learned from it! I think of myself as an impulse buyer as well and it's something I'm trying to get away from. So excited that you did it!

  15. Congratulations! I cut back on shopping for myself in December and it was the perfect time to see the difference it made on my wallet! - J


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