Another No Buy July (No) Shopping Challenge and Why You Need a WHY

Hey friends, I’m back at it!  Well, I’m actually not at it if that “it” pertains to shopping for clothes. I just started my third ever NO NEW CLOTHES shopping challenge or clothes-spending freeze or clothes-shopping fast. No matter what you call it, it’s a chance to step back and take an assessment of why I/we want so much stuff and what I/we can do about it.

I announced this challenge on Instagram last week and lots of ladies are either joining me in doing it and/or reading the Uncluttered Bible study on the YouVersion Bible App. It’s based on the book Uncluttered by Courtney Ellis. We’ve also been talking about it in my IG stories. So if you’re needing a little more daily encouragement or thought-provocation, join us over there too.

Although not much has changed since I did my first No Buy July, I want to tell you about my WHY and why, if you’re going to embark on this No-Buy Journey, you need a WHY too. 😉

No Buy July and a plus size denim and white blouse outfit. #inspiredliving #choosejoy #plussizefashion #plussize #plussizeover50 #midsize #midsizefashion #whitesquareneckblouse #straigtlegjeans #straightleganklejeans

For those NOT interested in this shopping challenge, see the links for this look at the bottom of this post.

Are you feeling it too?

This leads me to believe that there are probably more of you who feel as overwhelmed by overstuffed closets and anemic wallets as I do. On top of that, the euphoric feeling we got when we clicked, “add to cart” and saw the delivery truck pull up doesn’t last very long once it’s inside the house. 

My personal goal this time is to get to the end of August without purchasing any new clothes. That’s two months and I’ve already justified purchasing some bras and underwear. Oops! 

But I’ve had some wins too.

But, can you even believe that I went “window shopping” this weekend and didn’t buy anything? Me EITHER! 

Mr. Dimples wanted to walk around after we ate out on Saturday, so if I had caved, that would have been on him, right?!?! 😉 He knew how tempted I would be, but I stood strong and even reasoned myself out of camo joggers that FIT in an XL (cuz’ I tried them on, even)… ON CLEARANCE! Who am I?

Identify Your WHY

I’ll tell you who I am, I’m a girl who has to remember her “WHY”, every. single. second.  I wish I was joking about that. 

But, identifying your WHY is one of the most important steps in this type of self-challenge exercise. It can make the difference between success and failure. Write it down so you don’t forget it and you can refer to it in weak moments. Make it your mantra!

I may have to tape mine across the front of my computer screen – DEAD CENTER. 

For instance, giving up my beloved Dr. Pepper isn’t at all about loosing weight. If it was, my desire for it is greater than my desire to be thin. But, my dad is diabetic and when I think of the toll it takes on a body and the painful neuropathy he endures, my WHY becomes greater than the desire for the soda. It’s still not easy, but it’s helps.

My WHY, This Time

My No Buy July WHY has to do with MORE & LESS – Bringing LESS STUFF into the house creates MORE…

  • MORE – time. Managing clothes is not a job I enjoy. And it shouldn’t be a job!
  • MORE – money. Because in full transparency, I have a debt I’d like to pay off. Also, I look around and see very little to show for what I spend.
  • MORE – space. I know people convert entire rooms into closets. But I don’t want my love of clothes to become greater than my love for the space to accommodate family and guests.
  • But ultimately, not fixating on myself and the next new thing I want, because let’s face it, I need nothing, creates MORE space in my head for more important things like family and friends, and PEACE and REST. 

You might be interested in what I learned from my previous No Buy July.

Challenge before Peace

When we challenge ourselves, in any way, we’re going to learn things about ourselves – Things that we might have thought weren’t true or that we don’t like.

A couple of weeks ago, if you had asked me if I was an emotional shopper (or Dr. Pepper drinker) 😉 I would have told you “NO WAY”. But in fact, in the 10 weeks without “The Dr.” and 2 weeks without shopping, I have experienced the strongest temptations for both when I’m feeling stressed or tired or even when I’m just procrastinating. 

Recognizing that fact doesn’t take away the hankering, but I now realize all the “add to cart” is a COPING MECHANISM. Aha, moment! 

But, it helps me to see where and when I need to find a coping strategy. Because stress isn’t going to go away.

Can you relate?

Is any of this resonating with you? If not about shopping, about something else in your life? You’re gonna need to know why your giving it up even if it’s for a short season.

and will you too, be joining me on this journey? If so, follow me on Instagram and we’ll keep the conversation going and keep each other accountable. 

Help Me Out

But even if you’re not joining us, can you help a sister out? When I really want a Dr. Pepper, I will sometimes grab what we call “A Fizzy-Lifting Drink” (a can of  Ice Mountain cherry carbonated water). But the online shopping demon is literally at hand or in my face the majority of the day.

What are some habits or actions I could use to replace the shopping habit? Because napping all day isn’t always feasible.  😉

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Matthew 6: 28-30

One last thing

I know it goes against what I’m “preaching” today, and if you’re trying to do the No-Buy July challenge, GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE COMMENTS and talk to me Girl!

But for those not joining in on the fun 😉 and since my earnings (to help pay off that debt I was talking about) come from affiliate links (and this classic look begs to be copied) I’ve included links to this look below. (You can probably copy it from your closets.) 😉


The exact top may be sold out in white but available in other colors. The same goes for the jeans but I’ve linked the same brand and style. Sizes: BLOUSE 0X; JEANS 18W


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  1. Donna M

    Oh my gosh, Paula- you hit the nail SQUARELY on the head with the “adding to your cart” feeling!! When I shop, I love finding clothes that I think will make me feel better. And then the package comes and I’m SO excited!! And then I take it out, look at it closely, and more often than I care to admit to anyone, I’m no longer loving the item. And buyer’s remorse sets in BIG TIME. I think about how much I’ll actually wear something I don’t love, wonder if I should just give it away, and most importantly, how much money did I spend on it that I could have saved. I hadn’t been following you on Instagram (and can’t for the life of me figure out why not!!), but am now, and I will join you and others on this journey!!

    As for your Dr. Pepper addiction, mine is Coke. I’m ever so much better if I don’t have one, but once I do, it’s sick how I want another. My solution is to NOT buy any and have it at my home. When I’m out, I try taking a deep breath and say “water please” when asked if I want a beverage. “Coke” comes out of my mouth WAY too easily! I wish I had a viable solution for you, but for me, it’s abstinence, baby! LOL!

    Thank you for your post today- see you over on IG!!

    • Paula

      You’re right about the soda Donna… abstinence has to be my recourse. I’m approaching 3 months without so I’m doing okay. But I’m finding stress triggers that “need” one mentality.

  2. Anne

    I’m not doing the no shop challenge, but definitely trying to work on cleaning out stuff I don’t wear. I do know that my shopping for clothes is because I’m trying to look better in the overweight body I don’t love.

    • Paula

      You can look great whatever your size Anne, you just have to find pieces you love and that feel good. We’re not gonna look skinny so might I suggest you get on Pinterest and search “Plus size outfits”. Or “plus size casual outfits” and be inspired by women who look more like you. We can get fashion inspo from thin women too, but in the beginning, it’s important to compare apples to apples. It really does help build confidence.

  3. Lama

    Thank you for this post – it is so refreshing and uplifting to read especially with the #Nsale madness going on with other bloggers/ influencers pushing the Nordstrom sales like its the Second Coming of Christ. Sigh……
    I agree, we seem to buy things we can’t afford to impress people who don’t care. I am trying to be more mindful about what I buy and ask myself “Do I really need this? and why?” Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement to do a no buy July. I am hoping to donate the money I would normally spend on “recreation therapy” on a local Christian charity to support unwed/ unplanned pregnancy mothers to have their babies. I am putting the money in a glass jar to get a grip on how much I do spend; it is easy to forget once it goes on the charge card. I am guilty of picking up extra stuff at the local Walmart or Dept store because “its so cute!” As for your Dr. Pepper cravings, I’d suggest trying the Bubbly fizzy water drinks. The pineapple flavor is my favorite for summer. It has no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no calories but tastes great over ice!

    • Paula

      I LOVE the concept of putting the money you would spend on clothes in a jar. Fabulous!

      And you’re hilarious! It’s not lost on me that I’m doing this during the #Nsale. I also have to keep reminding myself that although I want to make money as an influencer, my main focus is to encourage women to live an inspired and confident life. Clothes can certainly help us feel more confident, but they don’t fulfill us.

      I like the Ice mountain Cherry bubbly drink the best.


  4. /

    Love this post! I also jumped on the No-buy July project (wrote a blog post about it) and Love, love Dr. Pepper. It has been my drink for many many years until I was introduced to ‘Zero sugar Pepsi Mango’. Give it a try. As to my why? I have a strong desire to create a handmade wardrobe and refuse to buy any new clothes since the beginning of this year. Enjoy the Summer . . .

    • Paula

      I haven’t heard of that drink Neti, I’ll have to see if I can find it. Also, what a great and creative goal. Do you follow Anita by Design – I’m almost sure you do. Her wardrobe of handmade clothes is awe inspiring!

  5. Rune

    Well I just realized you were on Insta, followed you, accidentally looked at the Home feed and bought an oversized linen blend shirt from H&M.
    Yesterday I checked the feed, freaked out and bought four dresses from the same place.

    I need to hermit-up and just not look for the rest of my life 🙁

    • Paula

      😂 Its okay Rune! If you’re really struggling, what if instead of going cold turkey, you step yourself down from shopping for clothes. Set a weekly limit of one or two items… put things in your cart(s) all week long then go back on one allotted day and decide which if the items made the cut.

      If you watch my IG stories from today, you’ll also see a thought I use when trying to abstain. Just know if you pass up on something today, or even all month long, they’re will always be more new things that you’ll love when the shopping fast is over.


      • Rune

        In my defense, two of those dresses were under $25, the other two were under $20, and then 20% off of that. 😃

        Also I’m pretty tall and they were pretty long, so CLEARLY purchase was a genetic imperative, probably.


  6. First of all, yes this is the cutest look! Love it! A lot of time, I add things to cart is because of wanting more, be more like someone else or feeling like I deserve something. I have gotten really good at getting things that add to my closet, that I will wear a lot (for example the white dress I am wearing today I bought at Target 2 months ago or so, I have worn at least 8 times, each time a different way. However that doesn’t justify me something almost every week. It all does add up and I realized after our trip to Arizona how much I want to go on a trip abroad again, therefore I should spend less and save more. I really do like creating new outfits from what I have so I will work on that till the end of August and I am thinking of making a big effort after that to really focus on 2nd hand shopping since I discovered two new consigment stores. Thankfully they are 30 minutes away so not the closest temptation. After 10 days of no shopping it is getting much less tempting to shop. There is one person whose stories I have to skip as she shares these amazing amazon deals and I get tempted if I look at them.

  7. Liz

    Just found your Instagram and love it and you! Late to the party for “No buy July”, but going to do this in August. I have done a challenge with myself like this, and always feels so good when done. I usually try to do it and not buy anything for myself in November and December, so I can focus on my family and experiences at that time! So happy to have found you!!!

  8. Good morning,
    I just found your sight. I have really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far.

    From one fluffy girl to another thanks so much.

    • Paula

      You are welcome. Funny you should have commented on this particular post. I’m contemplating another No-But month (or two) in January and February. 😁

  9. Veronica


    I am debt free because of the following3 rules:
    No debt
    shop my closet 1st
    stick to a budget no matter what

    I got rid of over 176kilos of clothing & I love clothes….. stop being a slave to the fashion industry- it’s all about getting money out of Ur hard earned cash find a seasonal method that works for you
    I have 12 basics year round & add 6 seasonal items – it works

    my basics are
    2 toppers trench coat & black leather jacket
    6 tops white shirt, strip tee white & black tees & chambray shirt & boat neck top
    4 bottoms( can include a dress as 1 option) black dress, dark denim, white jean & black trouser

    all classics no Trend items
    then add Ur trend/colour items 6

    2nd I was 18 stone am now 10. I am diabetic,

    I no longer drink any sodas just simple water with lemon

    I feel great & happy, I am not saying the above to be arrogant or big headed.

    If I can do it- you can do it too, you will struggle & fail at times but the more you do it the stronger your be……..

    • Paula

      👏You are wonderfully inspiring Veronica! I’m currently standing in front of a large pile of close and getting ready to go through them.

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