Wanna know what's chic? No debt. I'm an avid reader of Zen Habits but have space bags full of clothes, so I've decided to go on a spending freeze when it comes to clothing, accessories and unnecessary thingsss.
We live in a consumeristic society full of ads and people telling you to buy this new dress or that new hat. I believe in supporting local businesses, companies with ethical practices and individuals that create for a cause. However, (I can't believe I'm saying this) you don't have to spend money to support something you believe in. There are other ways to vote. Activism is seen as one, though I wouldn't call myself an outright activist.
Making the world a better place one dollar at a time is great, but making the world a better place one person at a time is even better. Volunteering your time or even being nice enough to help a stranger out is more fulfilling than any product. And even though people can suck and be rude, nasty or worse- if someone genuinely appreciates what you do your life is enriched for the better.
I've come to the conclusion I have so much STUFF, most of which isn't used but kept for "one day maybe". I always donate clothing when I clean out my closets, but I'm committed to donating and selling the rest of my excess with the help of my talented mom (find unworn items from my collection here) and not purchasing anything to take their place. For how long? I'm not sure, but I'm going to keep this up for as long as I can.
Why?? You're probably thinking "but you have a blog that's all about vegan and ethical things we should buy- aren't you being a hypocrite?" to which I shall say both yes and no.
Simplifying your life is the first step in living sustainably. Not buying a handmade pencil cup, not buying three effortlessly cool white tee-shirts (made from organic cotton), and not splurging on a Vitamix (though I recently got one and it is great).
Things you own don't make you 100% ethical, though they're a good place to start. I hate the word down-sizing but that's what I'm trying to do. With my stuff and my life. Cutting out toxic people, cutting out an hour on Instagram looking at things I don't need and cutting out excuses are my first steps in simplifying my life.
So what will I spend money on?
1. Food. Eating a healthy meal out is an investment in my health. I also just got a Vitamix and am looking forward to blending healthy meals from scratch!
2. Experiences. But only those that are worth it. I'm not a drinker, so I can go to a bar and sit happily for hours sipping my umbrella topped Shirley Temple. Booze isn't a priority, nor are cover fees to get into venues. Broadway shows and unique experiences are more valuable to me, so that's where I'll put my dollars.
3. Wellness. This includes yoga (I recently started!), manicures and massages. Anything that helps me mentally and physically.
Putting this out there makes me accountable and also honest. I won't stop sharing new products that are worth investing in or review items I already own.
Confessions of a Shopaholic is one of my favorite movies and I identify with Rebecca Bloomwood more than I should admit, but there's one scene that's always stuck with me. When her dad offers to sell his trailer so she can pay her $20,000 debt off she says "No! You can't sell it. It completely defines you. Completely!" Her dad then says "Nothing defines me, other than you and your mother."
That's some powerful stuff coming from the guy who dresses like it's 1985 and wouldn't know a Pucci from a Gucci.
You are who you surround yourself with and what your beliefs are. While a fabulous lipstick makes you feel good and maybe even a little bit cool, it says nothing about you (other than you have impeccable taste).
How can you cut spending in general?
Unsubscribe from all unnecessary and tempting newsletters asking you to savor the BIG SALE or use a measly 10% off coupon. I love Unroll.Me because they do the work for you.
I believe money spent on experiences and not things make a person happier. Travel, for example, is well worth the equivalent of 5 Stella McCartney bags.
Just because you like something doesn't mean you want it or have to buy it. Don't confuse "like" with "love" or "need".
I admire pretty things all the time, but I don't feel the need to own them. Admiring them gives me my fill of pretty, and unless something screams "Nicole!" it's not worth my money.
I'm not suggesting you should make a drastic change in your life like I'm trying to do, but rather evaluate on a case by case basis if what you purchase will bring value to your life. Considering animals, people, the planet and your bank account will provide a larger scope to see your options. You do vote with your dollar but don't lose your voice in the process. If what you're buying or doing isn't authentically "you" then don't bother.
This need for change in my life came from the realization that I spend too much time lusting after things I don't need for no reason other than it's cute and the Instagram filter was flattering.
I've started writing several blog posts on cute this or chic that, but I always end up asking myself "why?". Why would someone care about this? Is it adding value to anyone's life? So from now on my goal is to enlighten, help or entertain you all. Purpose is a powerful motivator, so ask yourself- what's your purpose?
Want to help me clean out my closet and get some cute things in return? Shop the items I'm selling below.