Spending too much in 2017 and tracking my spending in 2018

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by both Xin’s shopping reflection posts and Luxe’s post about tracking her shopping. So I attempted to count everything I bought last year (clothes, shoes, and bags). It was supposed to be simple and painless. Or at least that’s what I told myself. A few minutes into it, I realized I was completely in over my head. It felt like it would never end. The more I kept writing things down, the less excited I felt to add up how much I spent. Over an hour later, I finally came to an estimate.

How much I spent last year

Are you ready for it? Hold onto your seat and don’t sip anything.

I bought over 60 things last year and spent over $5,500.

Are you still with me? Or did you feel a punch in the gut like I did?

It’s been a few weeks and I am still so embarrassed. How did I end up buying 60 things? And, how on earth did I end up spending so much money? For starters, I didn’t track my spending at all. I kept mental notes of everything I bought and then suppressed it all so I wouldn’t have to think about my spending habits. And you know what’s ironic? I wanted 2017 to be about buying less. Even if the intention was there, I didn’t do anything different to make sure that I was on track.

Tracking my spending this year

This year I am going to track everything I buy. This way I can see what I am adding into my closet and how much I am spending. No more suppressing and no more surprises.

Since we’re in the first week of March, I figured I would just go right ahead and review what I bought in January and February. Let’s get into it.

Things I bought in January

The first two items I bought were two pairs of gray leggings (in size xs) from the brand, PACT.

I finally decided to replace the only pair of leggings I owned after it developed a hole that was getting bigger with each wear. I did some research and found that these PACT ones are made of organic fair trade cotton (farmers get paid a fair price for their cotton). They also claim to be super soft and not see through, so I was sold. My verdict: They don’t feel soft with first or second wear. The cotton needs to be worn in a bit before you get that super soft feeling. After wearing them a handful of times, they now feel super soft. And their claim that it’s not see through? 100% true. It doesn’t show panty lines either, which is a major plus. Total cost: $48 (One pair is $30 but I also got 20% my first purchase).

The last item I bought in January was this pair of James Perse sweatpants (in size 0 or xxs/xs).

I wanted a pair that would look good enough for outside wear. But my main intention was to have a pair that I could wear comfortably at home or when I am traveling. I was eyeing them for several weeks and finally decided to buy them because I saw that they were on sale on Revolve for $117 (original price is $195). They are still on sale and now I know why. My verdict: They look good in the front but are very unflattering in the back. Because the waist fits pretty oversized, it needs to be pulled up super high and the drawstring needs to be constantly retightened. With wear, the sweatpants gets lower and lower and creates this unflattering long bottom effect in the back. They are very comfortable though. Because of this, I plan on wearing these only at home. But I am disappointed that I can’t wear this outside as well. Total cost: $127.38 (includes tax 😏).

Total # of items: 3
Total spent:

Things I bought in February

The first purchase of February was this simple red knit dress (in size xs) from Reformation.

At the time, Lunar New Year was fast approaching and I needed something red to wear (red is believed to bring good luck and fortune). I already wore my one red item in my closet for two other family events so when I saw how simple and comfortable this red dress looked, I was sold. The funny thing is, this arrived later than I expected and I had to wear the other red dress anyway. So I haven’t had a chance to wear this out yet. My verdict: The knit fabric is incredibly comfortable. This is just a simple throw on and go piece that I am so happy to have in my closet. Looking put together without much effort is totally my kind of look. I can wear this with tights and boots now or wear it with sneakers or flats in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  I have decided that this will be my default Thanksgiving look. The cherry red color is festive and the shift silhouette leaves a lot of room for happily indulging at the dinner table. I might even take this with me on my trip to Italy in May. Total cost: $78.

The last two things I bought in February were these J.Crew long sleeve t-shirts in gray and off-white (both in xs).

I mentioned in a previous wishlist post that I needed simple long sleeve t-shirts. I decided that I didn’t want to wait for this Everlane one like I originally planned to, since I wanted to wear it already. It also helped that J.Crew was having a sale at the time. They are still 30% off, by the way 😉. My verdict: I’m in love with the fit. It’s not too cropped and not too long. It’s perfect for tucking into jeans.

I’ve been loving this look, by the way. It also feels silky smooth and comfortable. And because they’re made of modal and not cotton, it looks a bit “dressier” too. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to have something so simple in my closet. Total cost: $55.30 (originally $39.50, plus 30% off discount).

Total # of items: 3
Total spent:

Final thoughts

Everything I bought so far has been practical. Sweatpants, leggings, and t-shirts aren’t always the most exciting purchases. But without them, my closet always felt like it was missing some basic components. I’m hoping that now that I have my basics covered, I can consider the special pieces that can enhance a simple outfit. To make it look a bit more styled. So far, I’m still thinking about a coin necklace and a pair of white sneakers. Moving forward, I plan to be more intentional and less ignorant about my spending. In the first two months of 2018, I have bought a total of six items and have spent a total of $308.68. Let’s see how I fare at the end of the year.

Do you you track your spending? Why/why not?
What’s your strategy when it comes to shopping?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

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