Friday, January 13, 2012

The spending strategy for 2012



Resolution: Post every single purchase I make this year


Background/blathering ... 

I posted in-depth about my spending thoughts this time last year. You guys, I think a lot about shopping/spending/consuming. I won't re-hash that here because I think I covered it pretty thoroughly.

Basically, in 2009 and 2010, I did the shopping hiatus inspired by Joslyn. Last year I tried to mix it up and gave myself an annual allowance. That failed, miserably. By which I mean, I got lazy and just didn't enter anything in the spreadsheet and pretty much forgot about it I started thinking about 2012 resolutions. It was a good idea, but I'm not so great with month to month follow through.

I'm thinking I should just look to Jos again, since she seems to come up with the best ideas. Last year she resolved to honor her stuff and then started operation simplicity where she blogs about what she's acquired + some inspiration.

In that spirit, I'm committing to post all purchases here, for the entire year. This means every single thing I buy. I'll tag them with "purchases 2012" so I can pull them all together at the end of the year and see what I'm doing. I'm also hoping that the listing part of it might make me think twice about my purchases. You know, like when you write down everything you eat. Which I'm not doing, but should possibly consider. But I would need to wait until I finish decimating our gingerbread houses.

Rules, for myself:
- All purchases other than food or necessary toiletries have to be posted (toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. = necessary, new mascara = not necessary)
- I'll reserve the right to hold off on posting about gifts until after the recipient has received them, but I'll make a draft post right away so I don't forget

This will either be really embarrassing or really awesome.

I've also developed a list of items that I think would be the best use of my funds. I don't plan to go on a shopping spree, but I'll be keeping my eyes out for these in the future. I realize it's a little shoe heavy. I just don't do much shoe shopping and it has become apparent that I'm deficient in a few standards.

On the potential list for this year -
flat boots in brown (to mix it up a bit and to take a bit of the stress of my grey pair)
good black flats
- rain boots (I've never owned a pair and I never remember that I need these until it starts raining and I spend all day at work with wet feet - a commitment to public transit requires foot protection)
round toed black leather pumps (wish I hadn't even seen these because they are ridiculously good in person and I won't ever be able to buy them, might end up settling for these if they go on sale)
a couple more pairs of jeans (may have gotten a jump on this at the Barney's sale, but I'm still debating returns it's really hard to justify premium denim if I still find myself reaching for my F21 jeans instead)
a couple of versatile tops, ideally in silk - sometimes the tees don't quite cut it.
a clutch that is large enough to sometimes transition between daily bus commute + happy hours (this one, specifically, if I can ever make a decision about color). I need to be able to carry my giant wallet, assorted lip stuffs, phone + kindle. I seriously considered a hipster backpack but decided I wanted to get away from the giant bag issue altogether. So awkward in bars.
good cardigans are always on my list because I wear them to death. It's what happens when you live in a temperate climate and work in a building that overcompensates for the weather. I need LAYERS.

70 comments:

  1. This is a great idea! I'm thrilled that you're doing this. I think a lot about shopping/consuming/spending too -- I have a spreadsheet where I log all purchases including bills and the month has to be under a certain budget I've allotted. I've even broken it up by category and made a budget for that too! My method is definitely not for everyone, but I'm glad to see someone else out in the blog world who at least cares :)

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    1. Stephanie, you are amazing! This is my budgeting dream, but I can never seem to muster up the stamina to stick with it. My budget is incredibly rough (basically, I have my automatic withdrawals for savings/retirement and then I feel okay about spending most of what's left, when I really could be saving a bit more).

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  2. looking forward to seeing the progress! it sounds like a great idea to me. as far as black pumps-- i can't recommend the cole haan (with nike air) enough. they are a bit pricey, but you will have them forever, especially with a good cobbler. the rubberized sole and extra padding inside makes them even better. you'll wear them every week!

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    1. Ohhh ... I'll have to check those out! Thanks for the recommendation. I never, ever wear pumps to work (lab = closed toe, full coverage shoes at all times, heels not recommended), so I've ended up with only fun pairs that aren't very practical for a lot of outfits.

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  3. One of my resolutions is to grow my wardrobe with classic pieces so I'm excited to see what you buy.

    I also love talking about personal finances and wish more people did too! So much so that I post all of my financial info and how my husband and I manage it on my blog: www.risingshining.com

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    1. Yay for people who are interested in finances! It's a dorky obsession, but I love it.

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  4. I love this idea! Plus, you'll probably make sure to really pick out things you heart so that you can post about them!

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    1. Hopefully! It should definitely limit some of my embarrassing purchases.

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  5. I think this is such a great idea. Sort of like keeping a food diary when you're on a diet. And as someone trying to curb her own spending, I may have to borrow this plan!

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    1. Exactly like that! I'm hoping it will curb my spending in a similar way.

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  6. As far as rainboots go, Hunters are my favorite and incredibly reliable. Expensive, yes, but after a year in Boston and my pair of $40 rainboots splitting up the back on consecutive days, they were exactly what I needed.

    Consignment and thrift stores are my favorite places to buy cardigans; once you know a "good" brand or material that you like, you in effect know what you're looking for. You have to be patient, of course, but it's something I always keep my eye out for, and it's definitely rewarded me with some steals, cashmere and otherwise.

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    1. I've definitely considered Hunters, but I'm wondering if it's silly to buy such high quality boots when they'll get so little use. We only have a handful of rainy weeks every year, so I was thinking I might shop around for a good bargain.

      I may give in and get the Hunters though, especially if they'll last forever!

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    2. Also--if you're looking for fun lab shoes, I have loved Simple's sneakers - really comfy, cute colors, great ethical business practices (though sadly they're taking a break from making shoes, what a bummer).

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  7. for round toed black pumps, try the corso como delicious (i think this season it's called the "del" but it's the same shoe). they are extremely comfortable. and it's a brazilian company that does a lot of work to raise labor and environmental standards within the country. so you can feel good about dropping $100 on them!

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    1. Those are a great option! Marking it for later.

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  8. Have you ever shopped at Crossroads Trading Company? There are a few in the LA area and they have a really great selection of gently used finds. I bet you could find everything on your list at a fraction of the retail price.

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    1. I'm embarrassed to admit that I tend to shy away from used clothes shopping. I used to be really good about it, but I seem to have gotten more and more impatient and I can't bring myself to devote the time it really needs. But I think that Crossroads is a bit better curated, so I should probably give it another go!

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    2. Crossroads is AWESOME. I buy all my 7 jeans there for $15-20.

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  9. I love the idea of keeping track of all purchases in 2012! Thanks for giving me the idea before we were too far in to the year to remember everything. I went on a shopping hiatus while I was engaged and I really enjoyed it! I was also lucky enough to get ALOT of what was on my shopping wish list for Birthday/Christmas this year so I have no excuses to be good in the shopping department. Love the blog!

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  10. The Jackie cardigans at J.Crew are my favorites--they really hold up well. I've had three for almost five years and they're in great shape. To date, only one button has needed to be reinforced (after many, many washes, of course).

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    1. I'll check those out! Thanks for the recommendation. I have a couple of J. Crew ones I love that I've nearly worn through.

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  11. What a fantastic idea! I feel you on the big bang thing. I love the look, but hate dealing with it in bars, restaurants, etc.

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  12. Godspeed and may the power be with you! You'll be my touchstone when I feel the urge to consume.

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  13. you are a brave brave girl. I am very inspired.

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  14. I find it difficult to balance my love of beautiful things with my desire to not purchase things out of some kind of quest for happiness. Blog reading sometimes makes that even more difficult sometimes. I'll enjoy keeping up with your posts.

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  15. Zara has shoes in nice styles and quality leather, at pretty reasonable prices. Last I checked online, which was yesterday, they're currently having a fairly massive sale. You might be able to find both your flat brown boots and black pumps. G'luck!

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    1. Off to check that out shortly! I have some Zara clothes but no Zara shoes.

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  16. I have a really great pair of Steve Madden brown flat boots that I love. I tried finding a link for them, but no luck.

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Janis! I'll do a bit of sleuthing. We have a great shoe store that frequently has past seasons from well known lines - they might be a good place for me to look.

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  17. LOVE this idea for keeping track. HATE that I'll never be satisfied with any black pump now that I've seen those Lanvins.

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    1. Consider yourself lucky you didn't see them in person! They are 100000x better in person. Sigh.

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  18. These are the best black flats..worth the money...seriously: http://www.shopbop.com/eddie-elastic-topline-ballet-tory/vp/v=1/845524441886754.htm?folderID=2534374302125571&fm=browse-brand-shopbysize-viewall&colorId=12867

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    1. Thank you! Those look simple and comfy. I might need to splurge on them. I just want something that will hold up.

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  19. This is such a great goal! Can't wait to read about it!

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  20. Hi Rachel! I've admired Joselyn's simplicity blog and been thinking about my purchases for the last year too...

    re: rainboots, not sure if you were looking for a suggestion. But I too, contemplated the Hunters, yet found that with so few LA rainy days, I couldn't justify it. I ordered a bunch of pairs from Target to try. The style that they have a lot of versions of is really bulky and really shiny/rubbery looking. However, they have a few versions that are slimmer and actually have cushioning in the sole to be kind of comfortable for walking/commuting. I thought they came in at a good price/good design and have held up well for two winters. Unfortunately, it looks out of stock at the moment, but Target usually restocks regularly. http://www.target.com/p/Womens-Solid-W-eyelet-Utility-Rainboot-Black/-/A-12930512
    Good luck with the plan for the year!

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    1. Thanks, dear! I'll be checking those out for sure. I was wondering what the Target boot options were like.

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    2. I have the normal target rain boots (merona I think?) and I love them. One pair got kind of ragged with 3+ years of wear and gardening so I just bought another. I live in LA too and I just can't justify hunters.

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  21. Hmm I said practical when I meant to say classic. To me heels are never practical. But they're pretty right?

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  22. Great goal :) good luck!

    http://fashionssis.blogspot.com/

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  23. Can't wait to see what you find for good black flats. I've been needing a pair myself!

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  24. Rachel-

    I echo the statement about Hunter boots---even though you won't wear them a lot they will keep forever so totally worth it. just choose a neutral color (mine are the navy, which I love). I finally broke down and bought some last year when SF had torrential rain.

    For black pumps, try Seychelles. They don't always have plain black, but if you can find some they are by far the most comfortable heels I own. It's something about their wider/chunkier heel I think. I also have a pair of the Cole Haan air black pumps and they are probably the most comfortable you can get for a thiner heel.

    good luck!

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    1. I love these recommendations - thank you! I've tried on a few pairs of Seychelles and been impressed. I'll check and see what options they have.

      And I might end up splurging on the Hunters and then just hoping that they'll last the rest of my life. Because I don't need to wear them very often.

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  25. This is a great idea! You really have me considering doing it as well! I really need to start setting a budget but I NEVER stick to it so maybe this will really open my eyes! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I'm doing " a year of living frugally " this year. I'm not buying anything! ( well,yes to toilet paper and deodorant, no to mascara, like you) so far, I've only purchases stamps ( I have to mail things, right?)
    Good luck!

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  27. This seems like such a wonderful idea! I think it will force you to really choose your battles, ie-purchases. I have been trying to watch what I buy and focus on more investment pieces. So far it's working, but we'll see how January goes!

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  28. Hmm my original comment didn't show up! If you're looking for a pair of classic black pumps, check out the Ann Taylor Perfect Pump. They compare favourably to the Louboutin simple pumps - google extrapetite's blog for a comparison!

    Bonus: Ann Taylor often has sales. I think there's one for 40% off right now...

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    1. I second the ann Taylor perfect. I just bought them after hunting for the perfect black pump for AGES. I paid about $80 for mine, they're always having sales.

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  29. loved it last time you did this, glad you're doing it again. I might think about doing it too.

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  30. Glad to see someone else has to battle to not spend too! I'm writing down all I spend this year its the only way I seem to be able to stop myself.

    Good Luck!
    Lotts x

    http://lottsandlots.blogspot.com/

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  31. Ah I should have trusted you and not clicked the link for those Lanvin pumps! If I saw them in person I don't even know what I'd do...

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    1. It's such a risk - the shape is crazy gorgeous.

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  32. Budgeting better is on my mind for 2012 too, and I love this idea! I may try to blog more about my purchases as well.

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  33. my rainboots are from target and made riding the subway on rainy days much less frigid from the ankles down. you'll love that purchase!

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    1. Another vote for the Target rainboots! I'll have to check them out. I figure if they aren't getting heavy use, an inexpensive pair might still work for me. Right?

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  34. Rachel, Loeffler Randall's rainboot is on sale! (At $98, I'd say it's a good investment! It comes in army green and taupe.) I look forward to following your spending strategy. I'm always on the lookout for good ideas. Recently, I discovered this one, a money system in which you print out a calendar and put an X on days you spend money on nonessential items. I'm curious to see how many X's I'd accumulate in one month, eek. xo.

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    1. Nice! The only thing freaking me out is the final sale part. So hard with shoes!

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  35. go for the metallic clutch! that way you can dress it up or down. and my rainboots from target have been sturdy enough to get me through three SoCal rainy seasons.

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  36. yay for shopping with intention. for round toed heels, i recommend campers. i got these this year and they are sooo comfortable, more comfortable than many of my flat shoes. it might be a shorter heel than you are looking for, but they had a higher heeled one in the store.
    http://www.camper.com/en/eshop/producto.xhtml?option=21241-001

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  37. rachel, this endeavor sounds way intense. i am intrigued/horrified.

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    1. that's basically how i'm feeling about it as well, actually.

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  38. I am so excited about this. I can't even tell you.

    (I've have Target rain boots, too. Year 5, and it's only now time for new ones.)

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  39. I have the vivier clutch and i really like it but if you are planning on doing bars etc i'd suggest something with a strap - it's just easier and it'll make you less sad if you don't get beer all over it (i know).

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  40. YES, Rache, yes. I'll be following along gleefully. You've inspired some serious thought here about how best to balance Wants vs. Needs in years past, and 2012 will be no different.

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  41. this post is SO inspiring. you are my hero.

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  42. These are pretty darn close to the clutch you like!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/kslademade?ref=seller_info

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  43. I like your commitment to tracking your spending. I'm actually sort of doing the same thing, but going a little crazy, I suppose, because I'm not buying ANY new clothes in 2012. Yeah, it's a little crazy. But it's going surprisingly well so far.

    Catherine
    FEST

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  44. I need to follow your ways! I am horrible at tracking my spending and I think your idea is great! I can't wait to hear what you will be getting people. I will be basing my Christmas list off of you!
    Amanda

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