Financial

Shopping Ban: 1st Month Report

It’s not a full month since I started this on the 7th of July, but I’ll forget to post in a timely manner if I don’t use each month end as a reminder. So here’s the run down:

What I spent money on:

Sephora–I needed refills for a few things because I have awesome timing. I bought Origins Zero Oil Deep Cleaner ($21.50), Clinique Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer ($39.50), and an Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil ($23). It totaled $90.93 with tax and I’d last purchased these items on 11/9/14, 9/19/14, and 11/9/14 respectively. I’ll be totally honest–the eyebrow pencil usually lasts a couple years or more but I bought the wrong color last time and I was looking kind of silly with auburn eyebrows and light brown hair. It was a lesson learned to pay better attention, but I’m also saving the auburn pencil because I never know when I’ll dye my hair red and it’s not like the thing will go bad.Sephora

I also already bought 1 of my 10 pieces I’m allowing myself–it’s a Ted Baker navy blue motorcycle jacket. I watched it for months and it finally went on sale. I technically ordered it before my ban, but it arrived after so I’m going to be honest with myself and count it toward this project. List price was $425 + tax, and I paid $229.49. Yes, I know it’s not the best idea to buy something so soon into this project, but I will always be a sucker for a moto jacket and I can honestly say I didn’t have anything too similar to this already. If I go through this year and buy a pair of black shoes, I’ve failed. This jacket still builds on what I have so I’m not going to feel guilty about something I’ll get a lot of use out of.

Ted Baker Navy Moto Jacket – YUM!

So my total spending on stuff outside my recurring bills, groceries, kid expenses, etc. this month totaled $320.42.

The good news is I also sold a couple things. Good bye to a Ted Baker purse and a shirt I was going to get rid of–$76 total back in my pocket this month. I use PoshMark–it’s a super easy website and app to use. Take pictures, describe it, post it, negotiate directly with other users, and when something sells, PoshMark emails you a shipping label. All you have to do is pack it up and drop it in the mail box. They take 20% of the sale, but the facilitation and shipping makes it totally worth it to me. No PayPal–you can get a check or have your sale money deposited directly in your bank account. I tried selling a few things on eBay or Craigslist in the past and both were a total beating to me. My experience so far with other users has also been totally positive.

The Growing "To Sell" Pile

Starbucks–Twice a week is still kind of expensive. I may need to revisit this part of my plan. This month I went a total of 8 times and spent $36.54. I use the gift card/phone app so I can rack up points for free drinks (got one of those this month and it really does taste better when it’s “free”) and I had to reload twice, which means a real out of pocket expense of $50. If I can get to where I only reload once a month, I feel like that would be more reasonable. Let’s give it a whirl in August. It’s super hot outside, I should be crazy for wanting to drink something hot this time of year.

Closet Clear Out:

I got rid of 37 items total in my closet. This includes 5 pairs of high heels, 7 dresses, and 14 shirts. I’ve sorted them into piles to donate and to sell, and fortunately a couple of local charities I really like do donation pick ups and I can schedule one soon to get the goods out of my house. That puts me at a final remaining count of 552 items (including the new jacket), so 102 to go. 6.12% reduction in my wardrobe.Goodbye to ShoesDonate Pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also thoroughly vetted my dresses–anything that remains definitely fits and is definitely something I’ll wear more than once a year. That section of my closet looks really different than it did a few weeks ago but I’m surprisingly happy about it. It’s already easier to make a decision about which one to wear because I know they all still work and I don’t feel overwhelmed with too many choices. Next month, I plan on tackling my skirts and pants.

Savings:

As far as my financial position goes I’m starting with $9000 in credit card debt (0% interest through July 2016–$5000 of that paid for replacing our fence and totally planned, the rest not so much) and I paid $750 toward that this month. $8250 to go. I have a monthly freelance writing gig that I put 100% in savings, so this month that meant $250. I put another $250 into savings on my own, $100 into my Roth IRA, and $313.16 in my 401K (I’m limited to how much I can contribute based on some IRS factors but I max out what I’m allowed in the 401K), for a grand total of $913.16 toward savings and retirement.

All in all, I think I’m off to a decent start. I’m going into my closet trying really hard to be objective and rational, instead of holding on to something that’s no longer useful even if I still think it’s really pretty. I’m also keeping this project in mind when I find myself aimlessly wandering the internet looking at shiny and new pretty things. If I make it through this weekend, I will have successfully not purchased anything from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and, sadly, that will be a sort of milestone for me.

I’ve gone through my first half of the year shopping and added up the damage–and that’s also helping me keep things in perspective, but I’ll admit to all that in a separate post. Mostly, I’m starting to realize how much I’m setting myself back by focusing on the short term, fleeting satisfaction. Changing ones mindset is a process and I know it will take time, but I think this first month was, while difficult in terms of self control and self realizations, is something I can build on in a positive way.

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