30 Day Spending Challenge // One Week In

bicyclette_beautyinthesimplethings It's been just over a week since I started my 30 Day Spending Challenge, and I'm happy to report that I've actually found the process to be easier than expected. This whole exercise for me is about changing my mindset about money, and because this is something that I've identified as being important, I've been dedicated to making that change and sticking to my "rules". I wanted to share some of my thoughts so far, as beyond just not spending money, this challenge has encouraged me to think about a lot of things that aren't usually top of mind, and topics - like money - that aren't always easy to discuss.

I like challenges. They get me excited and force me to think about things in a new way in order to tackle a new problem or barrier. One aspect of this challenge that I’m especially excited to take on is that of really getting creative within my own wardrobe, with what I already own, and coming up with new ways to wear pieces that I feel like I’ve had forever but still love.

As the former owner of a boutique where the entire business was based upon selling stuff, this process feels somewhat hypocritical at times. And the entire premise of the fashion industry, especially these days, is based upon convincing consumers that they need the latest and greatest style, and they need it now. But that’s what leads to a consumer culture, and to the idea that in order to be stylish, to be able to put together a good outfit, we need to constantly be buying new pieces. Trust me, I fall into this trap just as much as the next girl, it just takes a peek at the row of little white dresses or the stack of vintage-inspired tees in my closet to see that. And sure, I owned a boutique, which meant that my relationship with shopping was different than that of most, but it still creates certain tendencies, regardless of what kind of access you have.

Social media makes it even more difficult. We’re constantly bombarded with things to buy and add to our wish lists, via Instagram and Pinterest especially, and in a culture in which it’s already difficult not to constantly compare yourself with the “girl next door”, I think we often adopt the mindset that having that new pair of shoes or the perfect throw pillow will undeniably make our lives better. Instead, this challenge has forced me to appreciate and find beauty in the little things, appreciate what I already have, and focus my time and energy on more important things.