Here's what I bought for myself this month. It's worth nothing that the only things I bought post-election were luggage. FLIGHT FLIGHT FLIGHT
Necklaces - $80
Huh, that looks like a lot to me now. Buying two necklaces for $40 each seemed a lot less expensive, somehow. Anyway, I got these as two options to wear with my fancy outfit for the wedding I attended this month. I ended up wearing the one I was less confident about before ordering, so I'm glad I got them both. But I think they will both see some regular wear, and not just on fancy occasions (which are rare). I'm trying to accessorize more to improve my work fashion sense. Right now I just wear a lot of navy and gray basics, and it's pretty boring.
Boots - $116
This actually breaks down as $90 for the boots and $26 for insoles. Should I have been picky and returned the boots that weren't comfortable enough without insoles? I don't know, all I know is that Bean boots come in navy blue and hot pink now, and I NEEDED THEM.
They also both count as "seduced by sale" purchases, since the boots are normally $120 but I preordered them on sale in October, and the insoles are normally $50 which is arguably way too much for insoles but they were half-price on Cyber Monday which brings them down from "ridiculously expensive insoles" to "pretty expensive insoles." Only the best for my delicate tootsies.
These purchases were almost certainly not warranted.
Winter accessories (gloves, hat) - $23
Okay, I have a lot of knit beanies already, but my beloved Carhartt is too big for my head, so I got the brilliant idea to try a youth size. IT WORKED! And it's such a charming shade of hot pink. New favorite hat. I also didn't technically "need" more gloves, since I have mittens and glove liners, but gloves are still nice since the liners are sometimes not enough and the mittens are sometimes too much. (But really, it was spur-of-the-moment. I got caught out the first cold day without gloves, so I dashed into a store to grab some.)
Wall charger - $18
I got this to charge my new(ish) phone at work. By the time it came, though, I'd realized I have another charger already (from my e-reader, which uses the same kind of cord), so I guess I didn't need it. But it's kind of nice having two at home, since my wife and I were previously sharing one. What happened to hers? I don't know.
Backpacks - net $127
Okay, I admit to having a backpack obsession. I used to be able to get by with one backpack. Now I have three: Basic, Hiking, and Luggage. This month, with some models I'd been eyeing on sale, I upgraded the Hiking pack and added the Luggage pack. The reason I specify "net" is that it breaks down as follows:
-$75 for Hiking Backpack
+$45 for selling previous Hiking Backpack
-$97 for Luggage Backpack
The hiking backpack is the 20-liter version of the 9-liter pack I got last Black Friday. Its small size was actually a major draw for me at the time, since I wanted something that I could just carry, say, a pair of binoculars and a jacket without adding a lot of bulk. After carrying the pack on increasingly long day hikes with more and more supplies (water! lunch! camera! rain gear!), I quickly ran up against the size limit. It turns out that it wasn't a small pack I was after, really, but a comfortable and compressible one.
I guess now that my hiking pack has nearly as much capacity as my "basic" pack, I could probably get rid of the basic one and just use the hiking one all the time, but I haven't quite reconciled myself to carrying something with whistles and ice pick attachments dangling off it on the subway.
The Luggage pack is a new addition which is part of my Daydream of Being A Person Who Travels. To be fair, my wife and I are currently planning a vacation, but I don't really travel enough to have fancy luggage. I usually get by okay with my basic backpack; that's enough for everything if I'm just going somewhere for a weekend, and if I need more space, I grab a cheap old duffel which is still looking good after 15 years (which gives you an idea of how much I use it.)
But on a recent trip, it occurred to me that I have it backwards wearing a light backpack and carrying a heavy duffel by the handles. And Practical Cranberry Nut Roll recently came back from a vacation extolling the joys of not checking any baggage. You just land in your city, and off you go with everything you need on your back. Since the trip we're currently planning is going to be that type of trip - Explore a New City, Hopping From Couch to AirBnB, Frequently Carrying All Your Things - I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get the most out of Big Backpack Travel.
Standing desk mat - $52
Something at work left our department so I stole his convertible standing desk. I got this anti-fatigue mat to help me stand for longer. This is part medical since sitting for long periods can sometimes exacerbate my pain issues… but it's also just kind of a silly, trendy thing.
Ebooks - $36
More than usual! I had some pain this month, and when that happens, I often turn to books for comfort. Some of these were not available at the library, because they were niche books sold directly by the author. Some, I could have gotten from the library, but I was too lazy. But I don't mind. I'll probably read or reference all of these books again.
Misc clothes - $36
Nothing at Goodwill this month! Shockingly. I did not need $36 worth of additional underwear--I have enough--but the patterns were so cute.
Total: $498. Since I give myself a $500 budget, you'd think this would be okay, but that budget is also supposed to cover things I didn't report here, like the $130 worth of eating out I did.