So my verdict is in, and no, living with a capsule wardrobe probably did not help assist me in spending less or shopping less in the end.
But it still had it’s benefits. I’m more mindful in my shopping, my style is more refined, getting dressed every day is enjoyable and easy, I am better presented most days, I’ve saved a good amount of money and payed down some debts.
My shopping ban was rewarding and as much as I relapsed twice, I learned so much. First of all that I could even do it! It put me in the savings zone which I’ve learned I prefer well over the feeling of guilt after over spending! I look forward to being back in that place!
I will continue with living with a capsule wardrobe, and I will continue with my shopping ban for now, but a few things are about to change with my approach to living with less and trying to tackle my over shopping quadrums…
Before I decided what to change with my approach, I reviewed my goals that I set in this post (one of my favourites).
These were my financial goals from the outset, long and short term:
To pay an extra $20,000 off the mortgage over the next 23 months – still on track. I’ve been putting 25% of my after tax income off the mortgage, on top of the regular down payment. I was setback for a fortnight due to over shopping at capsule rotation time, however will get back on board this week.
To save a lump sum for a new chapter in life – haven’t started this savings account yet as our overseas trip was a priority. Once we’re back all of my savings will contribute to these plans.
A trip to Japan in late 2015 with spending money and all expenses pre saved and accounted for – Goal achieved. We fly out in two weeks, paid for, and my $2500 spending money has been saved and accounted for by yours truly, I will also be paid whilst I’m away
A trip to Cambodia in 2016 to visit Siem Reap and Angkor Wat – change of plans however I aim to have a 30th birthday party next year which needs saving for
Financial freedom whereby every cent of my pay is not accounted for or “spent” in advance – This has been achieved and continues
To invest in property – change of plans, we’d rather pay off our current mortgage although maybe very long term?
To start a retirement fund that is not touched under any circustmances. I’ve been contributing fortnightly and have a small fund of $356. It’s not much at all , I know, but I am really proud I haven’t even been tempted to touch this! I have just increased my fortnightly donation by 11% and hope to increase it further.
Pay back some small personal debts. I’ve paid back $1700 in personal debt. I still would like to pay some extra off our mortgage to pay get ahead after some frivolous spending leading up to our wedding.
Purchase a maximum of 50 clothing items between April 2015 and January 2016. I’ve already purchased 63 and it’s September!
All in all, I must admit the outcomes were still quite positive and I had made some great great leeway until the capsule wardrobe Spring rotation hit me for six (apologies for the very Aussie sport reference there).
To further review, here’s a few things that I disliked about the capsule wardrobe process and I felt contributed to some shopping mistakes:
- The strict dates around when to shop and not shop
- my failing to budget for when I could shop again
- the uptightness around deadlines, numbers and dates
- feeling restricted and neglecting stored clothing that may have worked well some days
- the shortening of the lifespan of items due to a sense that new fresh seasonal items were needed at the end of a capsule wardrobe period
So in assessing my goals, achievements, setbacks and my experience, from now on…
- I will continue to live with a small wardrobe (for me that means 35-45 items not including shoes, bags or accessories)
- I will instill no dates or deadlines around when I can or cannot shop.
- I will however self impose a shopping ban until December for financial reasons, I can’t really afford, nor do I need to shop at the moment especially with a trip to japan and a domestic trip all within a 5 week period!
- My goal is to spend no more than 8% of my after tax income on clothing between 1st Dec 2015 and 1st Dec 2016.
- I will transfer 8% of my income per fortnight into a clothing account to ensure I budget appropriately in the future and spend within my means. This is a lot I know! But I have spent more than this in the past. Budgeting is my biggest downfall so I think this will be my saviour, especially seeing it on a fortnightly basis!
- No more capsule wardrobe “rules”. If I want to take something out of storage I will, if I feel like doing a rotation I will. If I feel like adding one or two or four new pieces I will, as long as it’s within budget.
- I will continue to uphold the 10/10 rule and anything that is less that a 7 out of ten due to being poor fitting, not suitable colour or no longer sparking my joy and attention, will be stored or donated.
- I will continue the one in one out rule, any new purchases mean another item needs to leave the house.
- I can shop whenever I like within this budget, however I will continue to aim to shop at the beginning of each season.
- I will no longer shop online at all as half the time the items that arrive are a disappointment, ill fitting and just waste my time sending them back, asking for a refund etc.
- I will only make purchases when alone. I am happy to shop with friends but I will take time to consider and go back alone to make the actual transaction as friends can influence my decisions too easily at times.
I feel really positive and think this new, balanced and thank-goodness well budgeted approach will sort me out! Having a generous, realistic and measurable budget will remove that feeling of restriction and deprivation. Having the choice to shop if I want may take away the relapse when it comes time to change my wardrobe for the new season.
I’ve also sold a few more items from storage and returned 2 items that aren’t perfect and aren’t needed, giving me back $427!
…Onwards and upwards!