12 in 12 Challenge

The idea for the 12 in 12 Challenge has been percolating in the back of my mind for quite a while. On the surface, the basic idea is to buy only 12 clothing related items for 12 months. The reasons for doing this challenge are simple:

·         Limit impulse buying and spending
·         Develop thoughtful consumer buying habits
·         Free up resources (ie money) for other things/causes
·         Challenge myself (an admitted typical American Consumer) to complete this challenge

Here are some of the reasons I decided to do this challenge: Possessions STRESS me out. Do you ever walk into your closet full of ‘nothing to wear’ and realize that none of the infinite ‘just ok’ outfits look good, and that just a handful of quality items is all you really need? Most people find themselves wearing the same things over and over anyways- I know I do

So why do we continue to spend without thought?

For one, it makes us happy. Who doesn’t like to purchase something shiny and new? Also, we are bombarded with advertising, marketing and cheap products. Who hasn’t been into Target for toothpaste and veered over into the clothing department. Cut to the checkout line 40 minutes later and you have a basketful buggy full of cheap, trendy clothing you were never even thinking of purchasing before this moment. Oh, and you forgot your toothpaste.

Please don’t think that I am completely trying to eliminate impulse buying or treating yourself to something unexpected every once in a while. What I (myself) am trying to accomplish through this challenge is to eliminate the second nature feeling of impulse shopping. American consumerism is such an integrated part of our society that I personally feel I need a period of detox (the 12 in 12 challenge) to consciously practice thoughtful spending.

Hopefully another positive result of this challenge will be the freeing on resources for other purposes. Mission trips, charitable giving, ministries projects, etc. There are an infinity of uses for our financial resources and the least of them is purchasing more stuff.

The rules that I have developed are pretty straight forward:

·         I will strive to buy only 12 clothing related items during the 2013 calendar year (1 item per month = easy math)
·         Clothing related items include all clothing, shoes and accessories. I am not including underpinnings (socks, hose, intimates)
·          As I purchase an item I will publish it to the blog to catalog my purchases.

Purchases of the 12 in 12 Challenge:

·         (1) Black Burlap Toms: I needed some new casual shoes. I love the Toms ‘buy one, give one’ program so I picked Toms. Plus, I got them at 20% off. Hopefully this was a good choice- we’ll see!

I will also say this: I was a little nervous (and still am) to even publicize this challenge. Some days I think that this challenge will be easy, and others I know it will be quite difficult to accomplish. I am hoping that the accountability of posting all my purchases will aid in this challenge.

Wish me luck Peeps!


  1. Great Idea, I may try to stick with the challenge also! I've already made one purchase in January!

  2. "underpinnings" <that made me laugh :-)