June 2016 Month in Review

Household Report

Last year, our household budget was blown because we bought plane tickets for two separate trips to Canada. This month, it's because we bought a new mattress.

We were going to wait until we got to a new place, but then I had the bright idea that if we got it now, we could get the movers to bring it up the stairs to the third-floor walk-up we're moving into next month. We got one of those online mattresses, so we wouldn't have a delivery person associated with the purchase itself. We just got this and haven't used it yet, but if we like it, we hopefully won't need to buy another mattress for years. I got the mattress we're using now when I moved into my first post-college apartment in 2007, and my wife recently informed me that her feet routinely hang off the end, so it was time for an upgrade. Much as I've bragged about how small a space I can sleep in, we've now gotten… gasp… a queen size.

We have a long, long wish list for after the move, and I'm just hoping we can pace ourselves and don't feel we have to buy it all at once in July! We still need to get a larger bedframe and (non-flannel) sheets for our bigger bed, so those should be the first purchases. Changing the size of the mattress is kind of bedrock thing with a lot of consequences, it turns out. But it's also an opportunity for us to make joint decisions about something that affects us both, rather than my wife inheriting decisions I made in haste at the age of 22.

Personal Report

This month was a little more in control than last month, but still not ideal. I spent $552 out of a budgeted $500. An improvement from last month, in which I reported spending $887 (though, to be fair, that's down to $735 after some returns.)

My June purchases were mostly clothes, big shocker:

  • Two work dresses, both used from ThredUp. One is an exact copy of my favorite work dress, and the other is a very similar style. I now have 4 work dresses, which makes sense since they are my favorite thing to wear in the summer. I feel pretty good about these because I know it's a style I rely on for work, and the dresses, which I can't distinguish from new, were only $20 each.
  • Two merino wool sweaters on major sale. I actually just got these on the 29th. Until then I was on target to hit my month budget. But I know I will get a lot of use out of these in the fall and winter. Pullover sweaters were my go-to work top this past winter, and lightweight wool is my favorite material because it's warm yet breathable, so it works in a range of temperatures. Again, I'm pretty proud of this bargain because these retail for $100+ and I think would be worth it at this price, but I got them for $25-$35.
  • Speaking of wool, my most major purchase was a wool hoodie which I bought to throw on over summer outfits to keep warm during those random times in the summer when it's shockingly cold, like if I'm by the ocean or in Maine or it's nighttime, but it will also work in the fall and spring and everything. The hoodie is cute and casual and lightweight yet toasty-warm, exactly what I was looking for, but it was $100, which I consider very expensive for a hoodie! Still, this was a planned and thoughtful purchase, so I don't feel shame.
  • A necklace from a craft fair. I haven't worn it much, but it was a style I'd been looking for without much luck on Etsy, so it was definitely a worthy experiment. If nothing else it proves to me that I should stop looking for/buying necklaces of that style because I have a good one now that I don't wear too often.
  • An infinity scarf from a secondhand store. This has actually turned out to be a great accessory for work, as it adds flair to an otherwise basic dark dress or top and skirt outfit. I'd like to get more scarves.
  • A shockingly comfortable top, again from a sale. I got it because I liked the color on the website and while it wasn't AS amazing in person, the material and cut were soooo cozy. I'm of the mind that lounge clothes should be stellar lounge clothes, not just demoted "out and about" clothes, and this definitely fits the bill, while also being nice enough to wear out and about (though not to work).
  • A couple of things from Goodwill, including a cheap lightweight cotton hoodie which I got "just in case" the wool one didn't work out and I still needed one for my trip to Maine, but then liked enough to keep. I probably shouldn't have gotten a "just in case" thing, but it was only $5.50.

Do you see me working to justify my purchases? I'm still too close to them to see which were worth it, as they all seem good to me now. I guess I'll see in my One Year Purchase Review next year.

One positive thing is that I caught myself doing the same thing I did last month, where I suddenly decided I needed a pair of dark wash jeans, only this time it was about a navy blue shirt dress. I guess I saw a good one in a picture or something, and I decided I needed this thing, and went looking for it. But at some point I thought, "Do I really need a shirt dress?" And I called off the search before finding something that satisfied me (though not before ordering and returning a couple things). I get these holy grail quests in my head, and the process of finding it is enjoyable to me, but the thing itself is often not worth achieving.

I've said this before, but what I really need to do is stop online window shopping as a sort of mildly brain-occupying activity when I'm between tasks or listening to a podcast or watching TV. I find great sales, or I fall in love with expensive things, and I can't resist, even though I really pretty much have enough clothes now, for work and play in every season. Also, if I have patience, I often end up finding things that I like just as well at Goodwill. (I give myself a pass on recreational Goodwill shopping, since it's cheap and often social, and it's secondhand so it's not resource-hoggy.) Online shopping for specific needs would be one thing, but most of the time, now, I don't online shop because I need anything in specific, but because I enjoy the hunt. No suitable replacement activity has "stuck."

Maybe I need to start a jigsaw puzzle.


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