More Gloomy Day Musings

We survived Hurricane Irene! Our neighborhood doesn’t seem like it was affected. There were a bunch of leaves in the street this morning when we peeked outside but no branches and thankfully no trees down. Barney is okay!

We checked in on our friends and family and everyone was okay, despite the flooding on Staten Island 😦

It’s gloomy in the aftermath of the storm, but also beautiful. I woke up today refreshed from 10 hours of sleep (glorious!) and flipped open my laptop. I was ashamed to see three tabs open, each with loaded shopping carts. During the storm last night, I shopped around on my favorite sites and some new ones too. I am such a sucker for coupons. Every time I see a good coupon, I feel compelled to buy stuff just for the “savings.”

I’m a recovering shopaholic since… April 2011. That sounds lame, but it feels like it’s been such a long time!

Before ST and I got married, I had the most horrendous spending habits. Since laundry was my most loathsome chore (even the drop-off service), I only did it once per month. Rather than doing laundry more often, I’d just go out and buy more clothes. I have tons of dresses, tops, pants, and shoes that I’ve only worn once (who am I, Paris Hilton?).

This is what my side of our closet looks like:

Last week, I bought two pairs of shoes for fall…

Update: I returned the Dolce Vita booties on the right.

Tía Winnie lent me this adorable blazer while we were in Hawaii and I decided that I too needed a blazer. Here it is, tags still on:

I bought this shirt last year and promptly never, ever wore it. It still has tags on as well. Side note: I tried it on out of curiosity and it’s loose! High five!

And here is a jacket (never worn) and a plethora of dresses that were only worn once.

That quick survey of the closet was definitely sobering.

Prior to this relapse, the most effective way for me to stay on track was our goal of purchasing a home in 2013. As I find myself justifying frivolous purchases lately – usually with thoughts to the effect of “I need it,” “I’d be crazy to pass up this deal!,” and “I don’t have anything like this” – I think it’s time for a tougher crack down.

A quick Google search returned a lot of great resources. Get Rich Slowly offers lots of practical tips:

  • The 30 Day Rule. If you really want something, add it to your shopping list, wait 30 days and see if you still want it at the end of that time period. For me, an overnight wait is usually enough to curb the urge to spend.
  • Create a shopping list. This works! Create a list of items you need and restrict yourself to buying only those items. Currently, I have boots and cardigans on my list.
  • Tax yourself. For every purchase you make, tax yourself 10% to add to your savings account.

These are some of my own:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Whenever I see a friend or a random girl in a cute outfit, I always tend to think, “Why not?” Everyone’s financial situation is unique. A 21 year old who lives at home wears most of her assets on her back – not so for 27 year old me who has her eyes set on starting a family. I don’t need something just because someone else looks cute in it.
  • Save more money for FB. The more money I spend on myself, the less I will have to buy you a nice home, a bomb-ass nursery, cute clothes (although tía Mel has already vowed to always keep you looking proper), a fancy camera, and vacations.

I think I needed to write this post to get myself on track again. The change of seasons is always an excuse to shop.

The Recovering Shopaholic was brave enough to do a one-year shopping ban. She is now one of my heroes. I think maybe I can do this but in small steps – I don’t want to set myself up for failure. Perhaps 3 months? That seems doable.

Kendi Everyday started the 30 for 30 Challenge in which she chooses 30 pieces from her closet (tops, bottoms, shoes, anything) and makes 30 outfits from it. During this time, she abstains from shopping in order to cultivate an appreciation for what she has and to assess her real needs. Some people are so creative!

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About elbrooklyntaco

I'm a lover of urban living, thriftiness, and blogs! The concept behind this blog is to document the growth of our family and our adventures living in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn.

7 responses to “More Gloomy Day Musings

  1. Kim

    I just closed my windows of full shopping carts 😦 there’s not much to do when you’re stuck indoors for 2 days ..

  2. Pingback: Rainy Day Entertainment « El Taco

  3. Ooooh this hits home for me, I totally curbed my shopping recently because I quit my cushy finance job to start a business….and we’re paying for a wedding…..and we want to buy a house. Ouch, it’s going to be a pricey year! Funny thing though, I used to spend almost all of my lunch hours shopping online, but now I really don’t feel the need. Plus I lost 10 lbs because I’m around to cook all our meals, which has drastically cut down on our food budget too. Suh-weet!

  4. Pingback: Salvation Army Coat Sale « El Taco

  5. Pingback: Salvation Army Coat Sale | El Brooklyn Taco

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