I’m trying to up my savings game. In my book, the first chapter is always an honest look at where I stand.

2017 and 2018 were two years of no-buys and subsequently going overboard on shopping for me. January 2019 was one on the extravagant side. I spent:

January 11$85.50 at Pact Apparel — Pact is an ethical clothing company that produces reasonably priced, well made basics. The problem is how I buy. I wanted knee-high socks; I bought six pairs ($20). But that’s not all! I added sleep pants ($14) even though I already own two pairs for alternating wash and wear. I added a sweater ($24), which looks embarrassingly like another one I own. Lastly I bought yoga pants ($17.50) that I’ll only ever wear at home.

It was debatable that I needed to spend $20 (I had no knee-high socks and wanted some for winter), but I impulse spent $65.50 more.


January 11— $290 on Etsy — I support buying from makers, and this lady was great to work with. She took my measurements for a custom version of a children’s sweater from her store. She’s communicative, and I chose my own colors. I definitely don’t need another sweater though. This was textbook unnecessary purchase.


January 11— $97.10 at Saks.com — This was a planned purchase. Though there remain damning circumstances: 1) It’s a “lucky” bracelet for the boy that I wanted because of a Chinese superstition. Translation: Why did I need to buy this? No reason. 2) It’s the second lucky bracelet I planned, as a “fun” alternative to a subtler, more “everyday” bracelet. Translation: why did I need to buy THIS? NO reason. 3) $97.10 is only the money I spent, but I also used credit card points. The boy once said “you should always spend your points; you can’t invest them”. I let myself think “always spend your points, constantly”, even though it really means “always spend your points instead of money when possible“. 4) I found “dupes” on Etsy for a fraction of the price but rationalized that I liked this one best.


January 12— $118.39 at Book Book in NY — We went inside because I saw Michelle Obama’s memoir on sale for 20% off. I ended up leaving with several more books and some cute cards (that I don’t need). This was a window shop (glance, really) turned impulse buy.


January 14— $261.95 at Luis Morales.com — This was planned bracelet 1. (Say it with me! Why did I need to buy this? NO REASON!) I bought it directly from the designer’s website (with real money) after failing to buy it (with points) from a store where it went out of stock. I also found a decent Etsy dupe but felt bad ripping off the designer. Why didn’t I think he’s ripping me off when his designs can be had for 1/10th of his prices? I don’t know! But there would be no moral conundrum if I steered clear of unnecessary buying in the first place!

January 26— $296.40 at Vince.com — Vince has baby-butt-soft knits (I know because I often changed Mini’s diapers back when). I like Vince so much that I get targeted ads for them. On this day, I clicked through “just to look”. I bought 1) a sleeveless blouse, which, while I don’t have any in this color, I do have a lot of more generally. 2) A beige sweater that I desperately do not need another iteration of. And 3) a camel scarf that is so soft, I don’t really regret buying it. But I also can’t really defend the purchase any other how.


January 29— $58 at Neiman Marcus.com — embarrassingly the $58 only includes money I spent, not points applied. I bought a lot of items (enough that I’m too lazy to list them now, though I wasn’t too lazy to add them to cart then!) I didn’t need by combing the sales section for whatever caught my eye and was in the right(ish, ugh) size. This type of scraping the bottom of the sales barrel behavior is a lot of who I used to be on here, but it isn’t part of who I want to be.


January 31— $192.71 at Vince.com — I bought the camel scarf in navy for the boy as a Valentine’s Day present. Even though I originally planned to give him lucky Bought It for No Reason bracelet 2 for Valentine’s Day. And, even though I know Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday designed to push merchandise and drive consumerism. Still, I wanted to spoil him a little. I know, however, that I can’t keep using buying for others as a flimsy excuse for scratching an itch.


So here it is, all– the bad, the worse and the ugliest. Next month I’ll review February spending to stay accountable and transparent. I’m getting up where I’ve been trippin’ up!


(S)LOW BUY: January 2019 Spending Breakdown
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2 thoughts on “(S)LOW BUY: January 2019 Spending Breakdown

  • February 17, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I think budgeting can be like dieting. Too tight and it can be prone to binge episodes.
    To really sustain budgeting for a long time, you have to have a goal. What is your goal for budgeting ?

    • February 19, 2019 at 10:22 am

      My goal is to change my behavior as a consumer. I’m almost treating the savings as an “outside in” fix. By that I mean, I buy a lot of frivolous things (though never to the point of amassing consumer debt as I don’t believe in owing for owning) because I’m uncritical of my buying. So I want to just start with an arbitrary superstructure of “spending less, saving more”, that I’m hoping will over time make me a more careful, judicial consumer. By “outside in” I mean start with buying less, and do that by examining more closely what I’m buying, why I’m buying it etc. I don’t just want to be frugal. I want to research and be knowledgeable of where my money goes, and what products I bring into my home. I want to eliminate purchases that don’t make sense, or aren’t the best, most efficient version available to me. I also want to use my money to support whom I choose. I’d always rather give it to a person, so ordering less and tipping a larger % that kind of thing. Nearly a year ago I stopped getting near daily coffees. And now if I’m out and about and I decide to get a beverage in a single-use container, I always tip $5, even if it’s just a $1 bottle of water. Not wanting to spend that $5 helps deter me from buying single-use and creating waste (as soon as I’m done with the drink), but hey if I succumb, someone’s going to be happy for it so it’s not the worst either.

      That’s a lot of rambling haha the short of it is I’m just trying to do better because it’s possible to do so.


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