Hung up on clothes | First quarter reflection

I’m sitting here looking at three dresses on Target.com. They’re super cute. One – a flirty, mint green number – would be perfect for spring and summer. I could wear it to my cousin’s wedding over Easter weekend. The other is a simple elbow sleeve Little Black Dress. The third is a royal blue version of one of my favorite fall/winter dresses.

The total cost $60.80. They’re on sale, and shipping is free. Good deal, right?

I can’t deny it’s a good deal, but I can deny that they are necessities. They’re clearly wants. I already have three or four LBDs.

After the financial fast, I promised not to buy any clothes until April 1. I succeeded. Now, it’s April 8, and I can’t bring myself to buy the dresses. Then I said that I would not buy clothes unless they were high quality. I think they are.

But I could spend that $60 elsewhere. On a medical bill I didn’t expect to be so high. On reducing debt. On gas. On anything but these dresses. I have Michelle Singletary’s voice in my head saying, “If it’s on your ass, then it’s not an asset.”

I did perfectly fine wearing what was already in my closet from January to March. What is my hang-up now? Do I think the deal is so good that I have to get it? Do I think these dresses should be a reward for not shopping for three months?

This week, I started looking into the movement to work with a closet of 30 or so items. I was amazed at what these folks accomplished with a clean and lean closet. This woman’s capsule wardrobe of 33 items suited her just fine (pun intended). This woman’s minimalist wardrobe was full of fun pieces, including the Target dress I’m trying to get in blue.

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She wrote: “Wouldn’t it be great to open your closet and LOVE every single thing in there?  Yes, it would!  And we do that by filling it with just that – things we love, not things that are cute.”

If anything, I need to purge my closet. Not add to it.

I’ve done a lot over the first quarter to get on the right track. I’m grateful for those tiny successes – paying off a few charge cards, not using credit cards and amassing half of the $1,000 emergency fund.

But I need to do more.

I need to freelance more. I’m not really sticking to a budget as much as I’m tracking my expenses and not going all willy nilly with spending beyond my bills. The envelope system is looking pretty good right now.

Let’s see what this second quarter brings.

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2 Comments

  1. Love this post! I’ve been trying to budget a lot lately as well, but my struggle comes from trying to “reward myself” by buying things after a particularly trying day or week at school. How do you deal with cravings to buy things?

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Laura. I know your struggle. First, I try to implement the 24-hour rule, in which I wait at least 24 hours to buy a big or unnecessary purchase (that may not cost much). So if I see something one day and still feel strongly about that item a day later, then I’ll get it. During that 24-hour wait, I’ll also decide if the purchase is a need or want. Usually, if I’m questioning it, then it’s a want. I think the best move would be to see what money I’ve allotted to such purchases in the budget first. If I have enough money left in that category (or envelope if you’re using the envelope system), then I wouldn’t feel guilty about that purchase. But I’m soooo not there yet. Ha ha! I need more budget discipline for sure.

      You might like this link, Laura. It’s a list of “21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself Right Now.”

      Reply

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