Check in Time: The Year of Austerity

Remember my New Year’s Resolution to stop buying things? Well, since I started my resolution on November 26, I’ve reached the halfway point. Hurray! Let’s see how I’ve done.

Here are the forbidden purchases (in no particular order). The original assessment is in italics and the update is in red.

  • Books. I have 52 unread books on my shelf (perfect for a year!) and dozens more I want to read that I know are available in the local library. There are over 200 in my Amazon wish list, but it’s not like they are going anywhere. I can still buy them in 2018 or 2019 or any time in the future, barring some Orwellian government taking over American. I bought one book because it was for an activity with a date. And, I don’t feel bad because it’s a book I adore and wrote previously that I planned to buy a copy to keep. I bought another book, also one I had previously owned, because I was in Portland and, therefore, was at Powells and, therefore, had to buy a book.
  • Clothes. I started a new job in June and did a radical little clothes experiment – actually wearing everything in my closet! I worked 55 days before I repeated a top or summer dress. And that didn’t include all my long sleeve tops, long sleeve dresses, and sweaters. And that didn’t include the 200+ items I gave away to a friend in massive closet purge. Even the amount of outerwear I own is absurd. With clothes, there’s a special line of thinking that I must follow, and it’s that I will never be satisfied because there is always something else. If I went on today and spent $10,000 on everything I want, I would be happy only until the next time I looked at their site because they bring in new styles every week. And then there would be more stuff that I didn’t have but felt I needed. So I need to focus on what I have, not on what I don’t have. I bought two pairs of jeans. Not with my own money, not even with a gift card I earned through a loyalty program. The gift card was a gift and besides, my favorite pair of jeans that I’ve owned for five years is perilously close to ripping open and leaving my backside showing in public some day. 
  • Shoes. How many pairs do I own? 40. Seriously? I mean, I’m no Imelda Marcos, but seriously? I bought one pair of running shoes out of necessity. The support in my old ones was non-existent and since I’m running the Bolder Boulder again just three days from now, I really need proper sneakers. I’m pleased to say that I found my exact model shoe again on Poshmark for half the normal cost.
  • Accessories. There is literally nothing I need. So many bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and scarves. I bought one pair of earrings because they were $4. I’m OK with that slip-up. Also, a friend gave me a scarf as a gift.
  • Notebooks. I love pretty notebooks. I used to not want to write in them until I had the perfect thing to write, and then I realized that’s ridiculous. Pretty notebooks are cheap and easy to come by; why not start using them? So I did. But then I went overboard and bought way more than I was able to use. Maybe if I spend less time shopping, I’ll spend more time writing. So many temptations but I purchased none. I did receive one as a gift, from the same friend who gave me the scarf. She’s a good friend for filling that craving just the right amount!
  • Tea. So much tea, so many flavors. I definitely have enough to last until next fall, maybe longer, especially now that I work in an office and there is plenty of free tea there. I do most of my tea drinking in the office still, so my stash is largely in tact. But the fancy teas did start running low, and, fortunately, my parents gave me a Teavana gift card for my birthday. I’m sensing a buying pattern here…keep the gift cards coming!
  • Body products and cosmetics. Thanks to a five-year-long obsession with Birchbox, I have easily enough body lotion, soap, gel, conditioner, styling products, coverup, mascara, and other things to last a year. I only bought one tub of fancy lotion because I had some Birchbox points left to use and they gave me a coupon for my birthday. It was my birthday! I deserved it. 

I have been spending a bit more money going out than I did the past two years now that I’m a single gal, but that’s OK. I’d rather spend the money on experiences than things, and I got a nice raise in March. So why not treat myself?

And how are you doing on your resolutions?

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