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12 in 11 clothing challenge: savings jar motivator

Posted by on Monday 7 February 2011 in anti-consumerism, less than 12 clothes challenge | 1 comment

Taphophile has come up with a great idea for staying motivated during the “12 in 11” clothes challenge.

An artificial limiting-yourself challenge like this can feel like self-denial for the sake of it, which isn’t exactly a good motivator — but Taph has decided to flip that on its head.

How do I keep motivated and show results? While the seven things challenge is partially about reduction, there is a cumulative total that helps measure progress. It is the external indicator of inward progress.

Enter the “savings” jar. Each time I overcome the temptation to buy clothing which pre-challenge would have come home, the value of the item goes into a jar. This creates a visual reminder of progress and ensures there will be cash on hand when the perfect garment appears or to pay for repairs I can’t make myself or buy materials to transform already owned garments (there are some tops and shoes which need dying).
Unravelled: This challenge is, well, challenging

As I say in her comments, I’ve been avoiding looking at things to avoid temptation but if I do struggle over something in the future and decide against it, I’m going to start a savings jar like that — I might use the proceeds to fund an expensive, good quality item that’ll last, something I’d find it difficult to spend so much money on in normal circumstances.

It’s a similar to what I’ve done for funding our automatic chicken pophole door at Alice‘s suggestion – amongst its other advantages, the automatic door lets me sleep in late, which I like, and I’m paying for it in retrospect by consciously denying myself other little treats which I like (eg random chocolate bars/cans of pop) when I get a random, passing craving. Admittedly I’ve only got about £10 in my fund for that because I’ve got out of the habit of even wanting that stuff most of the time but it’s a start :)

Anyone got any other motivation tips?

One Comment

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  1. Cat

    I want to applaud everyone’s effort to reduce that amount of stuff that they use. There are many reasons people accumulate stuff and many ways to reduce. As for me, I think about (1) what I really need versus want, (2)how much is “enough”, and (3) whether it fits into my lifestyle. For example, I need about 4 pairs of washable pants for everyday use. I wear the pants twice and wash weekly. The pants need to fit, be comfortable, go with my color scheme, be machine washable, and affordable. I like to be as green as possible so I stick to natural fabrics and thrift store finds. One pair of my four are wearing thin so I’ll be looking to replace this one pair. I’ve done the same exercise for most of my other clothes and will probably wait for my local thrift shop to have bag sale before I go shopping. If I’m lucky, I’ll get most of my clothing needs satisfied with one shop and $3.00 a bag.

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