Financial

Shopping Ban: 3rd Month Report

September is over, and while I keep waiting for fall to arrive (seriously Texas, enough is enough), I’m now 25% through my project. It’s starting to feel more like a routine than concerted effort, even though I still occasionally take a big picture look to make sure I’m putting the most effort in the right places. I’ll admit I still occasionally put a ton of stuff in my online shopping bag. But I always put it on a wish list instead and go about my day.

Here’s how September went:

What I spent money on:

  • Moisturizer–another item I threw in with my grocery budget, so I have no idea when I last bought it. I went with the store brand this time because my usual Neutrogena with sun screen was out of stock, so I saved a couple bucks at the same time. $6.68
  • Rodan + Fields–yeah, I know. It’s expensive. My college roommate is a rep and I buy it from her. It’s a pretty decent product, I’m supporting a friend, and the product stretches a lot further than I thought it would. $158.59 spent, and I last purchased this on 5/20/15.

10 Piece Category:

Remember how I dumped all my pencil skirts last month? I ordered 5 from Nordstrom’s with the intent of keeping one… after making a list and sitting on it for a week. I chose a basic black for versatility and it was $74.69 with tax. I didn’t think twice about returning the rest, despite a couple in cute patterned fabrics.

8 items remain.

Items Sold:

No one bought anything this month. Bummer. But I’ve picked up quite a few followers and I’ll add more listings from the items I’ve pulled from my closet. We’ll see where things are next month.

Closet Clear Out:

I went through all of my short sleeve tops, some of my long sleeved ones, and a few random things in my dresser. I realized I have a problem buying cardigans and solid color cashmere sweaters. I’m making it a point to make sure none of my 10 items falls into either cardigan/cashmere sweater categories.

I eliminated 32 items this month:

  • 7 black shirts/sweaters
  • 2 brown shirts
  • 4 green shirts
  • 6 blue shirts/cardigans
  • 1 red shirt
  • 4 purple shirts
  • 1 pink shirt
  • 3 grey shirts/sweaters
  • 2 cream/white shirts
  • 2 pairs of workout pants

This leaves me with 500 items (net after adding my new skirt back into the total) and only 50 items to go to reach my goal. Next month I plan on taking a small break from my closet and focusing on jewelry instead. I know I have stuff in my jewelry cabinet that’s either damaged or I never use–I’m pretty basic about jewelry (other than my watch obsession–I wear every watch I have regularly) and I tried to fight that for a while. Now I accept that I’m just not that girl and won’t waste money on things I won’t use, even if they are pretty and I’d like to imagine myself being a little more “glamorous” than I am.

And another issue I didn’t realize taking this on? LOADS of extra hangers. I hate to throw them away because they’re plastic and terrible for a landfill (especially when they’re perfectly useable), but I need to do something with them for two reasons. First, I don’t want them to be any kind of excuse to buy something I don’t need. Second, it’s clutter in my laundry room and I hate clutter. If you have any ideas, please share!

A small sample of unused hangers
A small sample of unused hangers

Credit Card Payoff:

This month I applied $750 to my 0% interest balance, leaving me with $7000 to pay off by July 2016.

I did a break even analysis (yeah I know, nerd alert) to see if I was actually making the right choices about paying this off over time instead of pulling money from savings–turns out I can put an extra $2000 away by July 2016 if I pay the debt off in full next month and redirect debt payments plus my usual amounts toward savings. I’ll change my approach next month.

Starbucks:

I kept the Starbucks card in line at one $25 reload again. I spent a little extra on my debit card for those soda can-esque refreshers (SO good on a hot afternoon) a couple of times this month, so my total expense came out to $35.98.

I went on the 4th ($5.47), the 7th ($5.30), the 11th ($5.47), the 14th ($5.47), the 15th ($5.68), the 18th ($5.47), and the 25th ($5.47).

Savings:

I said I’d make up for last month and I did. With a few added bonuses from some quarterly distributions. 100% back on track and on my plan.

  • $100 to my Roth IRA
  • $313.16 to my 401K
  • $1202 to my regular savings ($300 owed to myself from last month, $450 for this month, $375 from a quarterly distribution I get from an investment, and $77 from another investment)
  • $250 to savings from my writing gig

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $165.27 in September, $316.82 YTD
  • 10 Items: $74.69 in September, $304.18 YTD; 8 items remaining
  • Items Sold: $0 in September, $106.40 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 31 (net) items in September, 88 YTD. A 14.97% total reduction
  • Credit Card: $750 in September, $2000 YTD
  • Starbucks: $35.98 in September; $110.98 YTD

Final Thoughts:

Next month might be a doozy–my daughter’s birthday (and party) will happen, we’re going on a weekend trip, and I have a few family birthdays to plan for. I have it all budgeted, but I need to pay close attention to make sure it doesn’t get carried away.

Our A/C unit and sprinkler system seem to be having some issues, too, so we’ll have to have someone come out and look at both which means I need to be ready for those potential expenses. The joys of home ownership, right?

And then the Christmas present frenzy begins–I try to spread those expenses over three months instead of piling everything up on my credit card in December. I have my budget set and ideas for almost everyone on my list. I was spot on my budget last year and I see no reason I can’t do it again.

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