So a few days ago I wrote this post about purging the kids summer clothes to 10 shirts and 10 shorts each.
And then Mark went on the record and said “I’m game for the 10 item challenge if you are?”
I said “Hang on!”
From there we launched into a pretty interesting conversation. But I need to backtrack a little here and give you a bit more info…for clarity sake.
My dear husband is a bit of a, ahem, “collector”. But he is a frugal collector – other than maybe a pair of jeans I don’t think I’ve seen him buy clothes anywhere but a thrift store in the last 5 years. He gets excited about the hunt for the bargain and the deal and before you know it he had 77 polo-style shirts.
Yes, I counted them. I harassed him about that fact, mostly in loving fun, for…well a long time. From time to time he weeds out some clothes here and there but I would venture to say that he has more individual pieces of clothing than I do.
So the other night when we were talking about excess and need and the issue of the kids clothes came up and I was trying to explain to him why I was hesitant to accept the 10 item challenge.
You see it’s not just excess that bugs me, it’s “waste”. The kids had tons of clothes that they never wore. Why am I packing and unpacking them every season if they never wear them? They just take up room in the drawers which are never organized anyways. The kids complain that they can’t find room for their clean clothes and blah, blah, blah.
Of Mark’s 77 polo shirts there were probably 15 that he wore on a regular basis.
The fact that there is stuff we don’t use taking up space is what makes me CRAZY!
My clothing collection, on the other hand is regularly culled for clothes that are faded, no longer fit well or that I just no longer wear. When I shop for new clothes I shop the thrift stores, the discount chains like Ross and the clearance racks of places like Old Navy.
So in the midst of our discussion Mark pointed out that he hasn’t bought any new clothes in a LONG time. And he’s right – it’s been months since he picked up any clothing in the thrift store.
Then he challenged me on my new clothing purchases and how much I spend. I stopped and thought and told him that honestly I don’t think (besides birthday gift cards) that I have spent more than $350 in the last year on clothes.
“SEE, you could buy an iphone with the money you saved,” he said.
“But you won’t LET me buy an iphone because you won’t pay AT&T’s plan prices.”
Then he laid down the gauntlet.
“If you go a whole year without buying any new clothes I will buy you an iphone.”
He’s up for the same challenge. I think he thinks I can’t do it.
(Now, later he went back and added a caveat, lest Dave Ramsey disapprove, that it will be a used iphone that he’ll unlock for me to use w/ T-mobile. Although I heard a rumor that iphone might be offered through Verizon in June.)
I asked if I had to wait the whole year for the phone and he hasn’t decided yet. I say that if I go 3 months (which would put us at June) I should get the phone then.
So we’re still working out the rules, thanks to some Facebook friends but here’s what we’ve got so far.
- Buying clothes for the kids does not count, it is only clothes for us.
- Shoes count too.
- Not sure about purses but I’m guessing he’ll say yes.
- We may purchase ABSOLUTELY necessary items – socks, underwear, etc. w/ agreement from the other party that they are necessary.
We still have a few rules to work out. Like are alterations acceptable (cutting pants into shorts, etc.). I think they should be as long as I’m altering with items already on hand.
So we’re going to iron out the details but here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to invite you to join me! Maybe you’ll want to take the money you would normally spend on clothes and donate it to a worthy organization like World Orphans, Charity Water, World Vision, Compassion, etc. I’ll even make up cute little blog badges for us and we can blog about our ups and downs.
What do you say? Will anybody join me?