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Fiscal Fasting: The “No New Clothes” Clause

7 Oct

To catch you up:

I just moved to NYC and I’m paying with for my MA (and my rent) with loans.

As a result, I really make an effort to spend money only on the things that really matter (like rabbit food, books for additional research, and wine).

Here are a few rules I’ve established in order to help cut unnecessary costs:

  1. drink wine only when I’m in; and only beer when I’m out.
  2. no new clothes, shoes, or accessories. only undies (cause a girl deserves to be so fresh and so clean, clean).
  3. never buy more than 3 thrift items at a time. unless you’re at a stoop sale. and in that case, rob those bastards blind.
  4. one splurge item per grocery trip. (also known as the “pick cheese OR cookies” rule)
  5. never, ever waste food.
  6. buy organic only for the most important fruits and veggies (and all animal products)
  7. only eat out on very special occasions… or pizza. if everyone is meeting up for dinner and drinks, join them for the drinks; and drink only beer (see rule 1).

A lot of my food rules are so that I can maintain my ethical standards of consuming. It’s a double sided coin: being aware and conscious of what I spend my money on and, also, what I put in my body. So, as you can see, this is incredibly important to me to maintain. That means I have to cut corners elsewhere. It means I drink cheap beer (but still not PBR… for ethical reasons), but I get to continue to boycott Kraft and other shit-tastic companies.

The rule I’m really excited about is number 2: no new clothes. The gist is: for one whole year, no buying new clothes. It’s simple right? Mostly… so far. Inspired by the Great American Apparel Diet, I started on September 1 (the day that the GAAD’s marathon ended) and, so far, no temptations.

There are a few “guidelines” in regard to the diet that I’m working out still. Can I buy used clothes (I vote yes)? What about gifts (think about Christmas here people)? What about gifts for OTHER people? What about socks and underwear and things you just can’t buy used (only in emergencies!)?

My boyfriend has already threatened to send me new dress socks… heh heh.

Of course, if I fall off the wagon and splurge on something adorable the point is to bring it to the forefront of the conversation, reflect, and then continue not buying things. It’s not a “see how long you can last” thing, but a “try really, really, really hard to not indulge for a year” thing.

I’m hoping I can keep it going for much longer than a year. Given that I’ll be here for two, I think that’s a great goal. Luckily, my wonderful mother gets my great, classic, professional pieces at Christmas, so that certainly eases the pain.

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Any other general rules for saving money? Or input on the rules for the diet? I could use support/tips/partners and I’d be happy to open up the blog to those that want to participate and blog about their experiences with it.