Financial

Shopping Ban: 11th Month Review

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 11 months. It’s surreal that I have managed to track so many details, refocus where I spend my money, and save more at the end of the day, while still enjoying life. I still have work to do, change doesn’t happen overnight, but progress is progress.

May itself was pretty low-key, spending-wise. No birthdays, no major holiday expenses, and no trips. We went to see The Cure (which was awesome!) but I bought those tickets back in December, so the only concert expense this month was for the sitter.

What I spent money on:

  • More L’Oreal Mascara on 5/22 cost me a whopping $7.19. I told you it was a light month.

10 Piece Category:

Added nothing. 1 piece remains for my last month. Will I splurge on some amazing shoes or come in under my target for the past 12 months?

Items Sold:

This one had issues. I ended up deleting my PoshMark account. Earlier in the year I had a buyer return something and I felt I got ripped off. They said it had a stain on it that I never saw, and when I got it back, it was covered in pet hair, had masking tape on it, and the material had been damaged where someone had scrubbed the ever-loving crap out it so it was destroyed. I complained but to no avail.

This month, I had someone buy a purse I had listed–clearly stating it needed some polish on the bottom corner. They asked me to cancel citing the needing polish as the reason. Again, buyer 100% protected and I was left with no recourse. I’m not going to say the whole site is bad, but after dealing with a couple bad apples, I got too frustrated to think it was worth it anymore. The whole bundle feature pissed me off anyway–people were adding stuff left and right to their bundles but would never buy. I don’t want to spend my free time fielding nonsense questions from looky-loos.

Maybe I’ll find a decent consignment store that I’ll take things to, but in the same regard, it’s also good motivation to not be careless with my purchases–it’s gotta be stuff I’ll keep for a long time to make the cost per wear worthwhile.

In the meantime, I donated everything that wasn’t considered designer to the Ronald McDonald House, along with a bunch of the kids’ clothes they’d outgrown. Tax write-off, and the people who get that stuff need it way more than I need the cash.

Closet Clear Out:

I’ve done what I set out to do. Even with adding things here and there–I’m down to 450 items net in my wardrobe. Holy cow, I can’t believe it. The last three things I dropped were:

  • 2 shirts
  • 1 watch–the battery died and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t wear it enough to spend the money on another battery

So I’ve hit my 450 mark, a 23.47% total reduction. I’ve removed 138 things from my closet. From now on, I think I’ll make this a quarterly event where I make an effort to get rid of the fluff. My plan is to not buy more fluff, but things will go out of style, get damaged, or I just no longer wear. It happens. I’m glad I hit this goal and I have yet to REALLY miss anything I got rid of.

Starbucks:

I got back on track. Only a $25 reload.

Savings:

A normal month. Yay.

  • $150 to my Roth IRA
  • $1250 for my regular savings
  • $600 from my writing gig

YTD Summary:

  • Money Spent: $7.19 in May, $1017.83 YTD
  • 10 Items: $0 in May, $1317.12 YTD; 1 item remaining
  • Items Sold: $0 in May, $213.05 YTD
  • Closet Clear Out: 450 items remain, 138 removed total (3 for this month); 23.47% total reduction.
  • Starbucks: $25 in May; $401.28 YTD

Final Thoughts:

Fashion is going through a phase where everything is starting to recycle the early 90s. That was when I originally came into my fashion consciousness, for the most part, so I have zero interest in choker necklaces, flannel, or baby doll dresses with black over the knee socks and chunky boots. Maybe that’s making things easier for me right now, maybe it’s not.

I’ve got 37 days to go to make it officially one year. That seems like a drop in the bucket, but it’s also easy to go off track because I’m so close to the end. This month will be the time to make sure I don’t lose focus and give myself an excuse to celebrate for finishing this project, or allow myself to use the excuse that it’s so close to the end that it won’t matter if I splurge. July 6 is the end and not a day sooner.

And even then, when I do finish, I will keep the more critical eye on my spending habits. I like seeing the results, so I will keep doing the behaviors I’ve developed over this past year. I will continue to improve, practice, and evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and what I need to adjust.

I have big dreams and I can’t pay for those dreams with clothes, shoes, handbags, or jewelry. Sure I want to look my best, but I will not fill an emotional void with stuff, only to regret it later when I’m stressed out about paying for everything and not having enough to save.

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