March & First Quarter 2016 In Review
I know I'll never live out of one bag, so why do I front?
Forgive me, March, for within you, for I have sinned against frugality.
I subscribed to a meal service so that I would not have to pack my own lunch for work.
I bought expensive hiking clothes for all the hiking I so rarely do. Many of these things could have waited, but I was spurred most lustily by sales and scarcity-inducing warnings like "Only 1 left in stock!"
I bought Kindle books. I even bought one that I could have gotten out of the library.
What has become of my frugality, O March?
March is an expensive month for me, historically; it's when I broke my frugal streak last year. I might say that I should plan for expensive Marches, since I seem to get "spring fever" and spend ahead for spring and summer in those months--and/or scoop up stuff on winter sales--but it's not exactly like I'm breaking a frugal streak right now. My January and February have also been overspent this year, though nothing like March.
I think that I've been doing some emotional spending: buying things because I was stressed, sick, bored, and/or not spending my time the way I want. By buying things for the life I want, I get to pretend I'm living it.
It has been a bad move for me to get back on Reddit and surf /r/onebag, paradoxically, even though these people are much more minimalist than I am; I end up wanting the high-end, highly packable merino wool clothing that they love, even though packability is not really a feature I need in my clothes (I don't go places that often!). Besides, I already have a lot of clothes. It's not like I'm replacing my existing clothes with highly packable merino wool everything, I'm adding to my already bloated casual wardrobe! That's the opposite of what a one-bag person would do.
Even if I do want to eventually get to a perfect travel capsule, there is absolutely no rush. Like I said, I have no immediate plans to go anywhere.
I spent enough in March to use up my entire April budget, and while I don't think it's realistic to spend $0 on myself in April, I need to think about how to structure things so that I spend less. After all, I don't actually need anything, especially with all the stuff I bought in March.
First Quarter 2016: By the Numbers
HouseholdTotal January Spend: $3,389.44
Total February Spend: $3,972.32
Total March Spend: $3,265.16
PersonalTotal January Spend: $609.75
Total February Spend: $570.95
Total March Spend: $718.54 (This includes some uncleared returns, plus one package I haven't received yet, and may return things from)
"Cut out the Middle" Resolution UpdateWith Nut Roll's and my resolution to only buy one expensive wardrobe piece per month this year, which we decided in March, I should be able to stop spending so much on my wardrobe--at least within the same month. I must admit that in March, I've already been working on my item for April, and have already bought and returned things. Here's what the calendar looks like right now:
January - [pre-resolution]
February - [pre-resolution]
March - navy pinstripe work pants
April - nylon hiking pants (have been working on this already!!)
May - minimalist ballet flats
I have also bought and/or am planning to buy a few items that fall into the mid-range. I got a linen blazer, which was previously on the list, for $30. While not top of the line, I decided it was good enough, in direct opposition to the resolution! I also got a merino fashion scarf for $35, which is reasonably expensive for the type of item it is. It's not that I was looking for a deal. I suppose I would count this item if I were being really good.