Sunday, April 1, 2012

Five-Item Challenge: Success!

   You've seen me talking about my Five-Item Challenge on this blog the last three months. In case you haven't, here are the details:
    So I decided to take on a 5-item Challenge for the months of January, February, and March. This challenge allows me to buy only 5 items for the next three months including accessories, but not including necessities like underwear and socks and items purchased with gift cards (thank goodness!). There is no price limit, but I obviously want to do the best I can in the savings department. This will hopefully cut down on my spending for the next three months while putting a lot of thought into my purchases focusing on needs vs. wants and paying close attention to the quality of items.
     Did I make it? Well, obviously from the title of this post, YES! There was one exception made, namely a pair of replacement pumps, but otherwise, I stuck to it. This is what I purchased for the last three months:

The five items:  

1. Rich & Skinny Wax-Coated Legacy Jeggings in Red, $88.


2. Ann Taylor Silk Button Tab Long Sleeve Blouse in Bright Royal Blue, ~$71.


3. Matt Bernson Waverly Flats in Patrino, ~$132 with cashback.


4. Theory Gratilla S Trousers in Legal (Black/White) Houndstooth Fabric, $84.

photo from

5. MICHAEL by Michael Kors Flex Mid Pump, $80.19 on sale and with cash back.

     Other items purchases, but not included in the Challenge because they were purchased with gift cards:

Club Monaco Liz Flare Pant in Dune/Khaki and Alesia Silk Blouse in Almond.

     Final item purchased and not included in Challenge because it is a replacement for ruined pumps and not something "new", LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amelie Pumps, $85.55:

Photo from Piperlime.

   The total for three months, not including the RL pumps is: $455.19, which comes out to approximately, $151.73/month. Not bad! It's quite a bit less than what I had been spending in months previous (including the RL pumps, the total for three months is: $540.74 or $180.25/month).

   Overall, I'm very happy with my purchases. I have to admit, the challenge was difficult, especially in the beginning. Particularly as a blogger, it's easy to suffer from "consumerism".  But as time went on, the challenge became a bit easier. I am already very picky about my purchases, but this challenge made me even more so. I tried extremely hard to purchases things that I would get a lot of use out of, and that were versatile. I didn't want to "waste" one of my items on something that I was only going to wear very rarely or was going to fall apart after one or two washes.

    I highly recommend taking up this challenge at least once. You might not be successful, but it's the effort and the process that counts. And who knows? You might actually end up with only five items!  I, for one, thought for sure I wasn't going to make it (although, my gift card exception certainly helped a bit). You can make up your own rules, but try not to change them mid-way otherwise you're cheating! :P

    I haven't decided if I want to do this again for the the second quarter of the year. If I do, I think I will allow for accessory purchases under $15 to be excluded, but otherwise keep the rest of the rules the same.

     Anyone tempted to take on this Five-item Challenge in the near future?

    UPDATE: Michael Kors Flex Pumps returned after a shoe disaster, so in the end, I have one item left over!

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E_Cha said...

congrats! this does not seem easy. there are so many sales going on right now as seasons are changing... but, i am inspired..and i will start today..three months, five items...

Cher said...

Good luck to you! Let me know how you make out. It's HARD in the beginning, but it will get easier!

Jessy said...

Great idea, Cher! I'd probably make it six items so I can justify TWO items per month. LOL Shopaholic, I am. : )

Amber said...

congrats!! i couldnt do it. i find myself constantly buying and selling things. i am trying to make more thought out purchases. i love the waverly flats, very comfy. i wear mine all the time :)

Cee said...

Nice job, Cher! It definitely took a lot of willpower on your part the last three months. I KNOW that I won't be able to do it if I continued blogging and Twittering. If I wasn't, there's a greater chance, but I still can't say for sure. Big kudos to you!

witheachpassingday said...

Congratulations! I need to do this. 

TOBeautyReviews said...

Congrats Cher! I think I would be ok with the challenge. When it comes to shopping I'm pretty much a "go all out" or go "cold turkey" type of girl :) For clothing purchases I have still only bought boots and shoes since January! But I'm kind of waiting til I hit the US for vacation to go crazy LOL!

Cher said...

LOL. 5-item limit AND a budget? I don't know about that. I have a hard enough time keeping to 5-items and keeping a budget individually, let alone together! hahah.

Cher said...

Hmm, well if you sell things, maybe you can do a one-in-one-out rule. If you sell something, you can buy something that's not included in your 5-items?

I love my waverly flats. Other than my Sam Edelman smoking flats, they are the only flats I can wear that don't rub, cut, or hurt my arches. So when I find a color I like, I have a hard time resisting the urge to buy!

Cher said...

It's so hard when you blog, isn't it? I'm trying so hard not to fall into that. It makes my blog a little boring because I don't have a lot of "new" stuff to wear. It's such a constant battle!

Cher said...

You should totally try it! :)

Cher said...

I've done cold turkey before. It's excruciating, but it was out of necessity. When I started doing contract work, I certainly made up for it. LOL! That's the thing with cold turkey I guess. Makes you want to binge afterwards. :P

Christian Louboutin said...

Love the black slingback so much !

Melissa said...

You've inspired me to start this challenge! I'm kind of scared that I won't make it but I need to start saving money!

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