Resolution Update: Spending

Hello everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Now that January is over, I wanted to update you guys on my New Years goal of the month. I want to state first and foremost, I tend to be a bit private when it comes to money matters and I imagine most of you guys out there are the same way. In this post, I'm going to be a bit more general but I'll try to be specific where I can.



Since the goal of the month was to work on my spending habits, the first thing I did was go to mint.com and find out where most of my money was going to. If you've never heard of mint.com, I highly recommend it! It's extraordinary and an excellent way to keep track of the money you spend and helps you with your budgeting. I found out that a whopping 10% of my monthly salary on clothes. That doesn't sound like much until I read that the average family spends 2.8% of their income on clothing. I realized maybe I should get my priorities in order.
So first things first, I plugged in the money I had to spend every month no matter what (fixed costs, if you will) like rent, student loans, bills, etc. Next I thought of the money I was spending on clothes and thought of ways I could cut down on that, until I realized I have way too many clothes and such as it is and I probably don't even need to be spending more on it and instead reinventing ways to wear the clothes I already have. So... I quit shopping cold turkey.
This was oddly easier than I thought. I just avoided going to the shops I usually frequented for about two weeks or so and after a while I stopped thinking of wanting to buy new things. A friend wanted help shopping for a new dress to wear to a wedding during this time and I was afraid that if I went with her it would trigger my inner shopper. Surprisingly, it didn't. I found I didn't really want to buy anything so badly. So to all my shopaholic readers out there: There is hope!
Once I figured out how to exercise self-control, not only did I have a lot of money left over every month I put away a lot more in my savings. I successfully saved twice what I used to per month - crazy what a little self-control can do, isn't it? Another point for for the shopaholics out there: more money means money to buy investment pieces rather than fast-fashion!
To break down my month and to provide you guys out there who may be struggling to rein in your spending, let me list a few bullet-points:

  • Find a way to track your expenses and create a budget: I mentioned this app earlier but I can't recommend it enough - mint.com is just an excellent way to keep track of how much you spend! They send you a weekly email about how much you spend. If you create budgets, it will tell you when you go over or whether or not you are close to spending all of the money in a particular budget category. 
  • Make do with what you can: During this time, I found that I actually didn't need as many things I thought I did which in turn led to finding old gems among the things I already own. I also DIYed a home project (I'm planning a post on that soon). I found myself not even wanting to buy new things because it seemed so unnecessary. I think a lot of people will find that the things they already have is more than enough to get by. 
  • Give thought to cost-per-wear when making a purchase: A lot of times, I would only buy clothing that I knew I wouldn't wear much outside of my blog. This was an incredibly uneconomical way of making purchases and honestly, doesn't make much sense. Once I stopped buying only for the blog, I was forced to get creative with my outfit posts. I tried winterizing my summer clothes and, like I mentioned in the above bullet, I found old clothes I forgot about. 
  • Spend money on what matters: This month wasn't a complete spending freeze per-say. I spent a weekend with my family and I paid for dinner. I didn't really think of it as a frivolous buy at al because I don't get to spend much time with my family and I wanted to pay for a good experience that was sure to be a good memory to my parents as well as for me. I think that's a good thing to do - spending money on lasting memories rather than fast fashion. 
Do you guys have any tips on sticking to budgets? I'd love to hear them! 

6 comments

  1. Good tips for saving! I have heard of mint.com but have never checked it out. I'm also in a bit of a spending hiatus and would love to start tracking my money to see where it's all going, haha!! Thanks for sharing your little money story! It was nice to hear what works for you!

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva

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  2. Great tips! I use mint.com and I love it! It's so satisfying to keep on top of my budget and see each category maintain green month after month.

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

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  3. I read an article about how much you should spend on clothes each month and I was completely shocked by the figure. I can assure you that I'm also spending more than I should be, but I haven't tracked my expenses like this before.

    Great tips though!

    Jackie

    Something About That

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  4. I LOVE Mint, it's such a good app for tracking spending...as much as I hate it for reminding me of my mistakes sometimes haha.

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  5. I am trying to be a super saver this year as i am trying to buy a house!! Good tips! xx


    CLAIRELOUISE

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  6. Good luck with yoru saving! I'm definitely trying to be more mindful of what I buy. I've started tracking my purchases on the blog. It helps me to make sure it is something I really will wear multiple ways. I have too many "must have" pieces in my wardrobe I thought would have a high cost per wear..that really don't! I'm trying to wear more of what I own and buy less too. A good goal to have!

    Away From The Blue

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