Friday, January 29, 2016

One Year Purchase Review: January 2015

This is going to be the shortest purchase review yet, because I was out of work for much of January 2015 and making minimal nonessential purchases. After I got hired at my next job, I had to wait a few weeks for the next training date before I could start, which, while not ideal for cash flow, was pretty excellent, I have to tell you. I have happy memories of spending last January playing Dragon Age and eating Greek yogurt and delicious, delicious Vitamin D gummies.



We did make one major important "purchase" after I was hired again: we paid off the last of our student loans! This was definitely a good decision. It has been huge load off our minds to not have that debt anymore. Now our only debt is the mortgage on our condo.


Onto the nonessential purchases:


Wool Stuff - $74.31

This was a Smartwool merino wool base layer and two pairs of Smartwool socks at markdowns from Sierra Trading Post. Given that we were just embarking on a monster winter, these purchases completely make sense, and this was a good price for them. I now know that I like my Minus33 expedition weight base layer a bit more than the Smartwool one (though, granted, it was twice the price). I've also learned that Smartwool socks tend to wear through within a year. But you live, you learn.


Money Well Spent? Yes, I think so. These were things I used a lot during the winter, and still use frequently now (though the socks are now worn). Though I'm not sure I would make the same purchases now, I did my best with my dollars given what I knew at the time.


Google Play Store - $13.49

This was for the complete series of "Episodes," an English sitcom about the superficiality of Hollywood.


Money Well Spent? Probably not particularly? The show is kind of funny but also kind of depressing, and pretty short; not worth almost two months of Netflix. But how was I to know? The reason I bought them was that I hadn't seen them, and there was no other legal way to get them, and the clips I'd seen were funny, so I don't know how much I can fault myself.


Girl Scout Cookies - $8

I can't resist buying two boxes every time I see Girl Scouts. It's the rarity factor, even though it happens a few times a year. I'm not usually big on prepackaged treats, but I love Caramel deLites.


Money Well Spent? Yes.


Fancy Haircut - $45

I got a haircut before starting my new job, to get rid of Unemployment Hair. I haven't gotten a professional haircut since. My wife has been giving me home haircuts with Wahl clippers. Although we'd been doing home haircuts for a few months, on this occasion, I decided to spring for a fancy haircut as a "new job" present to myself. But it wasn't all that fun and, honestly, I'm not sure I really notice a big difference between a professional haircut and my wife's.


Money Well Spent? In retrospect I know I didn't need to spring for a salon haircut, but I'm happy that it confirmed for me that I don't actually like going to the hairdresser and that home haircuts are my preference, not something I settle for.


USPS - $2.01

This was shipping to send my niece a little book I made about zoo animals.


Money Well Spent? Absolutely.


Summary

Total Money Spent: $142.81
Total Money Well Spent: $84.32, being maximum strict
Total Money Poorly Spent: $58.49, although I'm not really mad at myself for any of it


Lessons Learned:

  • I like getting my hair cut at home.
  • Digital entertainment costs are usually pretty low, even for pay-per-episode stuff, but since there's plenty of programming on Netflix, which I already subscribe to, it makes more sense to take risks on shows I may or may not like there.
  • Smartwool is fine, but it's not my favorite merino wool brand.
  • Girl Scout Cookies Are Always Worth It

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