Tag Archives: Shopping Ban

KonMari Clothing

27 Jan

The KonMari (Marie Kondo) craze has come back into popularity at just the right time for me.  I started this method several years ago when The Life Changing Magic of Tidying came out, but I never finished it.  I continued folding my clothing in the KonMari style (unless I was too lazy and they sat in the laundry basket until I was ready to fold them).  Either way, my drawers have been nice and folded for years.

I decided to start completely over with the clothing category, which is the first category of belongings you are supposed to sort through.  Clothing is supposed to be easy to determine what sparks joy.  What I have learned is that I don’t really have many clothes that actually spark joy for me.  That being said, I’m also doing a shopping ban this year which means I will not be replacing my wardrobe unless I have to.  I was able to pick out things I like better than others and getting rid of things I hadn’t worn in years was relatively easy.

Here’s what I started with

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It’s crazy to see everything there on a queen size bed.  How can I possibly have had that many clothes when I feel like I never have anything to wear?  Part of what you see are my work clothes.  Those definitely do not spark joy but I can’t get rid of them either.

I was able to get rid of 44% of what you see on the bed.  Those 173 items are all being donated to a local thrift shop.

Which means I kept 56%

I think I still kept too much, but I also still feel like I have nothing to wear.  One thing I noticed is that I have kept sweatshirts that used to bring me joy but now actually make me sad.  I have a collection of sports related shirts and sweatshirts that I got after a friend of mine was killed.  I wore them to remember him and at first that felt like a good thing.  Now it just feels sad.  Wearing a neon yellow and green shirt isn’t going to bring him back and I definitely don’t need those items to remember him.  I think when I am done with my shopping ban I want to buy some long flannel shirts to go over my t-shirts instead and get rid of a lot of my sweatshirts.

Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I could wear grey, all shades of grey….maybe even 50 shades of grey, for the rest of my life.  Grey and bright colors are by far my favorite, everything else I would gladly get rid of.

I reorganized what I ended up keeping and got everything all folded and put away nice, once again.  There’s a lot of room in most of my drawers now…except for the sweatshirts drawer.  I’d love it if I wasn’t always freezing cold no matter what the temperature is.

I don’t think I’ve ever had less items hanging in my closet (the entire right side is work stuff).  Nor have I owned less shoes than this since before I was 16 and worked at a shoe store.  Fun fact, at one point I owned more than 100 pairs of shoes.

In a perfect world I would own a lot less clothing.  I have a feeling I will get rid of even more in the coming year.

My 2018 Spending

12 Jan

I’ve been meaning to get around to this post for a while now, but since it’s still January I think it’s relevant.  I’m going to go over the percentages of my income that I spent, saved, and invested in 2018 and which categories I spent my money on.

In case you haven’t read my recent post titled Shopping Ban 2019 I’ve decided to only purchase essentials in 2019.  One of my major impulse buy categories has been yarn, knitting patterns, and other crafty items because they bring me so much joy.  My goal in 2019 is not to have impulse buys on anything, but especially on craft supplies…but more on that in a later post.  Go back and read about my 2019 shopping ban for more.

I have a post called How I Track My Spending which is how I’m easily about to compile these numbers and data.  I love the app and the insights it gives me.

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Ok, now for the nitty gritty! Here’s where I spent my money in 2018 (in percentages):

  • Mortgage 23.52%
  • Savings 13.57%
  • Extra House Payments (all to the principle) 7.36%
  • Independent Investments 7.36%
  • Vacation 6.79%
  • Eating Out 5.14%
  • Groceries 4.4%
  • Yarn 2.87%
  • Gifts 2.42%
  • Phone 2.2%
  • Water Bill 2.18%
  • Dogs 2.14%
  • Beachbody/Fitness 2.14%
  • Spinning 1.64%
  • Fuel 1.58%
  • Home 1.45%
  • Internet 1.2%
  • Miscellaneous Shopping 1.18%
  • Car Insurance 1.17%
  • Car Maintenance 1.1%
  • Cash Withdrawals 1.08%
  • Medications 0.96%
  • Knitting Patterns & Supplies (not yarn) 0.86%
  • Work 0.79%
  • Natural Gas 0.77%
  • Craft Supplies (other than knitting) 0.75%
  • Clothes 0.72%
  • Electricity 0.69%
  • Beauty 0.55%
  • Tax Preparations 0.51%
  • Entertainment 0.5%
  • Books 0.13%
  • Contacts 0.07%
  • Coffee 0.07%
  • Chiropractor 0.05%
  • Netflix 0.04%
  • Life Insurance 0.02
  • PrepDish (meal planning service) 0.02%
  • Fitbit 0.01%

Looking at my percentages overall I am pretty happy with mosts things, but I know I can do better going forward.

When I look at the yarn, spinning fiber, spinning wheel, knitting patterns, and all the other crafty things I bought in 2018 it adds up to 6.12% of my income for the year.  That is slightly less money than our 10 day vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico cost.  I’m not saying I won’t buy knitting and crafting supplies in the future, but I know I definitely want to use up a lot of what I already have and plan my purchases to be much more intentional.  I keep reminding myself that there will always be pretty yarn, and I do not NEED all the pretty yarn.

With my clothing being less than 1% of my income you can believe me when I say I do not like shopping for clothes AT ALL!  Never-the-less, I actually do have to wear clothes.

One of the biggest areas I hope to see a drastic change in for 2019 is my eating out budget going WAY down.  We have already been using PrepDish (a meal planning service) since September 2018.  I was able to pay for a full year upfront and will probably continue to reuse this years meal plans into the future, meaning it will be a one-time expense.  Eating more vegetables and healthy foods cooked at home, knowing exactly what goes into everything, has really made me feel so much better about what I’m eating.  I do still love a good meal out though.

Most importantly I want my savings, investments, and extra house payment percentages to all go up this year!  This girls got goals!

What are you guys doing to reach your goals?  Did you track your spending in 2018?  If you haven’t started tracking your spending yet, I highly encourage you do so.  If you haven’t started tracking yet we’re still early enough in the new year to start now (it’s really never too late to start).  You might just be amazed when you realize where the majority of your money is going each month.

Shopping Ban 2019

13 Dec

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I finally took the plunge and made the official announcement on my social media pages, specifically Instagram and Facebook…and now here of course.  My belongings have really been weighing on me lately.  It seems like my four bedroom house with a two car garage isn’t big enough for the two people and three dogs living here and I can’t figure out why that is.  I have way too much stuff!

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I’ve been thinking about reducing my spending, reducing belongings and clutter, and doing a shopping ban ever since I read Cait Flanders book The Year of Less.  I feel like this lifestyle fits into the fact that I really want to be able to start saving and investing a lot more money than I have been.  I really got a late start on planning for retirement and I feel so far behind.  I know I do not want to work for the rest of my life.

I feel like my thoughts on exactly what the shopping ban means for me are scattered and not as exact as they probably should be, but this is where I’m at right now.

This doesn’t mean I won’t still buy things. Food and other essentials are ok. Anything that breaks and is a necessity is ok.  Anything I find myself needing day after day that I can’t find a different solution for can be purchased.

Along with this I want to get rid of stuff too. My life feels overwhelmed with stuff at the moment.  I want to get rid of clothes.  I wish I could get rid of my work clothes because I don’t really like them, but I don’t like dressing up in anything so just changing the clothing wouldn’t make a difference.  I just don’t feel like me in anything other than jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.  I’m a simple girl.  I think I’m going to try an experiment of putting away a lot of clothes I currently have in my wardrobe (closet and dressers) and if I don’t go for any of those other items in a year then I will get rid of them.  I gained 40 pounds in four years and in 2018 I’ve lost about 20 of those pounds so I have clothing in lots of different sizes.  This alone makes me nervous to get rid of too much right off the bat.  This is also why I have accumulated a lot of crap…because most of it doesn’t fit anymore.

I have been blessed to have been given a body and mind capable of working hard. It is so easy to change up your lifestyle with every pay raise, resulting in really no raise at all.  A raise should mean I have more money leftover at the end of the month, not less.

I’m going to keep splitting my leftover cash each month three ways: 1/3rd to savings, 1/3rd to investments, and 1/3rd towards the principal of my mortgage.  I’ve been doing this for at least a year now and I really like how it works out.  I keep thinking that one my savings account gets to a certain number (I’m not sure what that number should be) that I will again take a lump sum of $10,000 and invest it straight away in one shot.  I did this the first time I opened my Vanguard account and I really like seeing that huge jump in numbers.  It’s super scary, especially because the last time it was my first time every doing something like that.  But almost three years later I still have money (more than I put in) in the account so I must be doing something right.

As far as my crafting, that is still going to be huge in my life. I’m going to finish projects I know I have yarn for. I’m going to use up what I have before I buy more. If I’m out of sweater quantities of yarn and I’m ready to cast on I will purchase only what I need for the intended sweater/garment. I will not mindlessly buy patterns, I will wait until I’m ready to make that item. I’ve bought so many I thought I needed but now know I’ll probably never make.

I have already drafted up what the crafting world calls my Make Nine for 2019.  I have all the yarn I need to make all nine of these projects and they are going to be the main focus of my knitting in 2019.  As you can see, I should come out at the end of the year with a lot more sweaters I can wear!  I’m always cold so this is a big win for me.

The sweaters, in order from left to right and top to bottom are Pavement, Breathing Space, The Weekender, Parisian Dreams, Radiate, Antler Sweater, Exploration Station, Humulus, and The Doodler.

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I want to hike and enjoy the outdoors more. I want to be present in my relationship more.

I know there are more goals I have currently, and I’m sure as I go through this process I will discover new ones too.

I’m excited, nervous, scared, confident, and calm.  I have no idea how one idea can make you feel all these things but I can assure you it can.