My Clothing Addiction Was Killing My Credit

I used to be the girl who would head to the mall every Friday after my classes. I always had plans to go out that night or the next day and I certainly couldn’t be seen in anything I already owned. If I could just buy a new outfit at Forever 21 for $20 dollars then why would I bother putting together an old one that I was so recently photographed in? Maybe I did it because I needed a way to feel more confident in my own skin. Maybe I needed to spend to overcompensate for another emotional issue. Maybe it’s because society pushed me to that shallow of a level. Maybe this, maybe that. No more maybes. It was clearly because I was full of excuses for why spending money I didn’t have was okay. Justification is the enemy of so many people battling debt.

Before you bother asking, yes, I paid for every single one of those outfits with my credit card. I thought it was more important to look fashionable than pay my bills. My shopping problem got so bad I actually had over 40 pairs of jeans at one point. I had so many t-shirts and dresses that I didn’t even know if I’d worn them before. Some still had price tags attached. I wouldn’t think “do I need this?” at the store. In fact, I wouldn’t even bother trying it on. If it was my size, it was in my closet.

That’s when things started to change. I had to move to a different city, and I had to share one closet with my fiancé. Share a closet? You’re kidding right? I mean, where was I going to put all of my shoes, sweaters, and skirts? That day I had to sit down and sort through my clothes. Something I hadn’t seriously done in over 5 years. If I had taken inventory on that day, I would have made a few of you sick thinking about my clothing collection. A collection that had almost become a hoarders dream.

Not only did I have high-fashion items and budget-friendly pieces but I also had an unexplainable amount of workout clothes. My soccer wardrobe was larger than any other girl’s entire assortment of outfits. In that moment, I realized that it was time for me to purge almost everything.

Why did I have 5 pairs of white soccer shorts, 4 pairs of black skinny jeans, and 6 little black dresses? Only old Alyssa knows. And only old Alyssa knows why I made so many of the irresponsible financial decisions that still affect my current journey.

Since that day, just over a year ago, I have cleaned out my clothing collection 3 times. I am constantly removing pieces that I never wear and donating them to those in need. Since that day, I have not bought a new outfit (besides one bridesmaid dress, and one new work skirt). This has been a huge accomplishment for myself, because going to the mall used to be one of my favorite activities to pass time. Which leads me to the question, why do we spend so much time at the mall?

While growing up, my mom always took my sister and me to the mall to treat us to something special if we hadn’t been together in a while. This gave me the feeling that I should reward myself by purchasing a new outfit. Is that any excuse? Absolutely not. However, if you have any sort of bill, credit card payment or loan that is due, why are you putting yourself in that position? Are you going to the mall to fulfill yourself emotionally, or do you truly need something?

I used to be able to provide myself with multiple excuses regarding why I had to spend the money I was spending. But when it comes down to it, justifying your spend is a joke. And if you have to justify it, you should automatically be aware of the fact that it’s obviously not an appropriate purchase.

What are some old spending habits that you’ve kicked to the curb? How did you do it? Let me know in the comments.