One Year Purchase Review: May 2015

Before we get started, couple of programming notes: you might not have noticed that I didn't post on Monday. I've switched my posting schedule to Tuesday and Thursday. This shouldn't affect you too much if you get your updates from Twitter or RSS.

Also, I've made my annual post to my other blog, Key Episodes! This is the blog where, for each entry, I watch the entire run of a TV series and tell you which 3-5 episodes you need to watch to understand the gist of the show. Another change I've been excitedly making to that blog: original art! See if you can guess what show I did for the latest entry:

Okay, down to business. It's that time again: I'm reviewing purchases I made one year ago to see if I still have and like the things I bought, and whether they were worth it. Here are the personal items (not household goods or experiences) that I purchased in May 2015.

Hot Pink Hemp Hooded Pullover - $48

I had a reason for buying this, sort of. I'd been wanting something lightweight I could throw over a summer outfit to deflect the sun or add a little bit of a warmth. The thing is, I knew when I bought this that it didn't fully satisfy me (the color and fit were both off), but my wife had just spent a long time talking to the clerk at the hemp clothing store about our state's process for getting a sick relative medical marijuana, and she had been so nice and helpful, that I felt guilty leaving without buying anything. I probably should have picked something cheaper as a "statement" purchase.

Worth it? No.

Shock Absorber Running Bra - $29.99

I had low expectations for this because i had never, ever found a sport bra that was truly "high impact" for my larger bust. (I always had to wear two bras on top of each other.) This brand was highly recommended but really expensive, so I got new-without-tags one from eBay. Well, it blew me away. For the first time, I was able to actually run! In a bra! I'm not really sure how this bra manages to keep everything in place without squashing and compressing, but it's way more comfortable and attractive than my previous two-bra method. I just got a second one of these.

Worth it? Absolutely.

Running Sneakers - $69.97

It looks like I was on a running kick here. I got these to replace a previous pair of running shoes, which I'd gotten for free from a friend who was a professional sneaker reviewer, so they were way nicer than anything I'd ever had before. I wore them basically daily for about nine years, including for running. They finally fell apart, and I got another pair of the same brand. I can't believe I've had them for a year already--they still look new.

Worth it? Definitely.

BSC Books - $6.06

I've been gradually buying the Baby-sitters Club series on Kindle for $3.03 each. I'm not proud of it, but I do reread them a lot, so…

Worth it? Grudgingly, yes.

War & Peace, Maude translation - $5.84

I guess this wasn't a frugal purchase since you can get War and Peace for free on Kindle, but I shopped around different translations because I figured if I was going to be reading a thousand pages, I might as well enjoy the language of the translation. I did finish the book, so the $5.84 translation was a good investment in me completing my goal! Plus, the dollar-per-hour of entertainment ratio on this is really low.

Worth it? Totally.

eBird Hat - $26.23

I believe this was a donation to which I set at a specific amount in order to get a baseball hat. I've never looked good in baseball hats, but I wanted a hat with a brim to keep the sun off my face when I go birdwatching, so it seemed like fate when I found out you could get one from my favorite birdwatching site. While I don't regret donating to eBird, I probably only wore the hat once or twice, because I was embarrassed to advertise it in such large letters. Plus, the hat made my head look tiny. I've since learned that hats in dark colors are not my friend. I've since replaced this with an aqua-colored hat which, while not stylish, at least makes my head look like a normal size.

Worth it? No.

Hyperlocal T-shirt - $24

This was another sort of guilt purchase, as the proprietors of this local gift shop had talked up these new T-shirts they were getting and I'd showed so much interest that I felt I had to buy one. They were nice, but they were partially polyester, which broke a kind of rule of mine. (More than 30% or so of polyester in a garment makes me itch. Besides, they get stinky so much more easily.) Anyway, I wore this shirt for awhile and then gave it away recently. I probably got enough wear out of it.

Worth it? Kinda, but not really.

Wool Miniskirt - $45 .47

I got this for work, but after wearing it a few times, I decided it was too short and revealing and I was nervous every time I walked up the stairs, which were slatted and above a walkway. Also, I may have shrunk it in the wash, making it even more revealing. I… might be bad at laundry.

Worth it? Ugh, no, largely because of my own incompetence.

Knee-length rolled-cuff skinny jean shorts - $19.47

These had a certain tomboyish charm, but didn't really work for my body, and also I never ended up wanting to wear them in hot weather because the material was heavy and tight, which is the opposite of what you want when it's hot. Of course, I didn't want to wear them in nonhot weather, because they're shorts. I only wore them a couple of times all summer, and the rest of the time I just wore skirts or long pants. Last month, I've gotten a pair of short, non-tight camp shorts which I've already probably worn as many times, and it's only May.

Worth it? I guess you could argue the experience was worth it in that it taught me what I don't want in a pair of shorts, but, no.


Total personal spend for May 2015: $275.03
Total worth it: $111.86 9 (41%)
Total not worth it: $163.17 (59%)

Not the best numbers this month! I think the overall lesson for May 2015 was not to buy things out of guilt or for charity reasons. If I want to donate to a charity, I should donate to a charity--I never regret that. But when I'm buying clothes, I need to focus on getting the right item for the job.

I also need to stop drying my wool things.


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