How to spend absolutely nothing on clothes – The 2011 Zero-Budget Challenge

Whether you’re among the millions of people who set new year’s resolutions or not, I’d like to invite you to take this challenge –

at the end of 2011 to have not spent any money on clothes for the entire year.

Here’s how it works:

1. If you want to buy something, sell old clothes first to raise the cash, then go ahead.

2. Gifts are exempt (you can be bought clothes and buy clothes for others – this includes if you’ve got kids)

3. No credit allowed – ie you can’t buy stuff then make it up to zero by selling stuff.

That’s it – pretty simple! Kat and I have been doing this for a while now and it’s a lot easier than it sounds. For instance, I needed to buy some new shoes (£19.99) so sold three pairs on eBay – £11, £10.50 and £2.20, making more than enough money. Easy!

Admittedly this may not be suitable for everyone. I can think of two or three people I know who either spend so little on clothes that this wouldn’t be feasible, or just plain don’t care about image, that there would be no benefit. For those guys, maybe a one-in-one-out challenge is a better idea, if anything. However for the vast majority of people I think it’s both doable and valuable – you probably have more clothes and shoes than you need, whether you admit it or not. I count myself among that.

At this point you might be thinking – why? This sounds like a lot of hassle. It is. And that’s the point!

You won’t be able to impulse buy.

You won’t be able to go on shopping sprees.

You will spend less money.

You will end up asking yourself ‘Why am I buying this?

You will end up with less clothes.

I’ve found that much like getting rid of our TV changed more than how I watched stuff, doing this changes more than how I buy clothes. I don’t have as many clothes (though I still have too many) and I don’t think as much about what I’m going to wear – when you have less choice, it pretty much follows.

To be honest, this is actually a fairly short-sighted approach to clothes shopping (or consumerism in general). It doesn’t address issues such as labour practices or environmental concerns. For example, you could sell a brand name jacket for £50 and go and buy a whole wardrobe from Primark. Don’t do that. But I encourage you to give it a go – it’s an easy way into seeing what minimalism is like, and it may lead you to more questions. Not only about clothing but maybe also about possessions, materialism and money in general.

What do you think?

Ps – if you’re interested in how to sell your clothes (or any other stuff) let me know and I’ll point you to some resources or write about it in another post.


~ by jgebrown on 20 December 2010.

4 Responses to “How to spend absolutely nothing on clothes – The 2011 Zero-Budget Challenge”

  1. Defo getting on-board with this!

  2. Hey man… I am in with this one!

    • Awesome bud – going to run a seminar on how to sell second-hand stuff on the net, hopefully beginning to mid feb. Will let you know when I’ve got a date and venue.

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