Weekly Update: Week 8

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

Besides the normal grocery store run and a tank of gas, we ordered a pizza one night this week.  It’s Memorial Day weekend, so we spent time with friends, invited people over to our house for barbecue and all that fun stuff.  We made an extra grocery run and cooked ribs, corn-on-the-cob and stuff like that on the grill.

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

  1. Saddleback Leather Document Holder.  I guess partly in due to the success of the Paper sleeve as a document holder, Saddleback introduced a new dedicated document holder.  This would be awesome to hold files and carry in my briefcase for court.

Doc holder

2. Incense Sale.  On Instagram, one of the few retailers I follow is a local apothecary.  They recently advertised a sale on incense.  I would guess I probably would have spent around $10 on incense had I gone to the shop.

Herb shop

3. Love 41 Essential Oils Pouch.  While I do have some essential oils, this pouch is versatile enough to have other uses.  I was excited to see it on sale, but resisted purchasing it.

File_000 (6).png

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $130

Running Total: $800

Advertisements

Losing My Entire Music Library

Last week, after adding new music to my iTunes library (awesome local musicians Kristopher James and Weston Howard whose albums I bought digital downloads of after I saw them live last week) I tried to add that music to my phone by syncing my iTunes library to my phone.  I haven’t added music in quite a long time, so I haven’t needed to sync my phone.  iTunes told me that the items cannot sync, because the original files could not be located.  After calling Apple Support and working with one of their customer service employees, I was told my files were corrupted and there was nothing that could be done about it.  I had over 5,000 songs in my library.  Unfortunately, after making sure I had uploaded all of the CDs, I donated my entire CD collection during my decluttering process.  I was able to re-download digital copies of albums from their original sources, but those are the only files I was able to recover, other than those I get physical copies of.  The only physical copies of CDs I have left are those that I have had autographed over the years.  Autographed books and CDs is one of the things I collect.

I have been trying to look on the bright side.  I probably haven’t even listened to many of the 5,000+ songs in my iTunes library.  I will have to try to rebuild my digital music collection intentionally and gradually from the public library–That’s where I got many of the albums in the first place).  It will be easier to gradually re-download and organize songs as I download them than to organize a collection of over 5,000 songs one-by-one.  I can also make sure to listen to albums as I accumulate them and only keep the ones I like.  Previously, I would just digitally hoard albums I would end up not listening to.  At least most of them I did not pay for in the first place and won’t pay to replace.  I mostly listen to podcasts rather than music anyhow, (the highlight of my vacation to Los Angeles in October is L.A. Podfest) and there are music streaming services for when I want to listen to something, so I’m not sure I’ll actually miss most of the music.  I’m looking at this as a forced opportunity to declutter my digital music hoard.

Checking My Privilege

A constant criticism of Minimalism is that it is a philosophy that is only for the privileged and is anti-poor. This is a criticism The Minimalists, Josh and Ryan, respond to regularly. As someone who has volunteered in Legal Aid’s intake department and the Guardian ad Litem program in my short legal career, I have immense sympathy for those of lower socioeconomic status and have used my position of relative privilege for their benefit.  It truly hurts for people to suggest I identify with a group that doesn’t.

I’m willing to accept the constructive criticism and admit that there are aspects that may seem quite privileged and many of the practitioners of minimalism tend to be quite privileged people. Indeed, I admit that I am a relatively privileged person.  All the discussion by minimalists of cars and vacations might make it seem like minimalism doesn’t have any application to the lives of lower-income people. With many minimalist commentators (and minimalism’s adherents) maintaining such a focus on the decluttering process, those that don’t have much in the first place might tune out the larger message.

I explained that most of the things I got rid of during the decluttering process were not things I purchased in the first place, due in large part to my mom’s job working closely with people in their homes who give her things they no longer want. Most of the things I got rid of that I purchased for myself were old enough I felt like I “got my money’s worth.” It would have been much harder for me to get rid of so much had I actually paid my hard-earned money to purchase all of it. As it is, it was hard not to mentally tally up the dollar figures as I made trip after trip to the thrift store with a car full of items, many of which I had paid for myself, some of which I had not.

That’s not to say I agree with everything anyone who identifies as a minimalist says. The Becoming Minimalist Facebook page posted the following article. The article, about overcoming embarrassment about old cars/small houses, etc. was very similar in tone to my previous article that discussed how avoiding the pressures from others was an important part of the minimalist journey for me. The comment section of the Becoming Minimalist article revealed some disgusting, unchecked privilege that made me uncomfortable.

File_002File_001

Many of the commenters felt the need to point out that they were able to afford better than what they had. This misses the point because they are still in the toxic mindset of competing with others—only now they are competing to see who has the least stuff/oldest car/oldest clothes/etc. It just changes who they look down their nose at and why. One of the reasons I find minimalism so freeing is that it releases us from the expectations of others. I don’t have to worry about the boy who said my car was too old, or those who said my ring was too small. My car is good enough for me. My ring is good enough for me. Their opinions don’t matter. It is my life and, at the end of the day, I am the only one (besides arguably my husband) who must live with and approve of my financial and other life decisions.

It also buys into the cultural narrative that there is some virtue inherent in being “able to afford” expensive things. These commenters feel the need to draw a distinction between themselves, who obviously has an older car because they are way more enlightened than everyone else and the person who has an older car because they *gasp* have no job/bad credit/can’t afford a car payment right now/etc., lest anyone think they are the latter.

Having lots of money is not a virtue and not having much money is not a moral failing. Many people, especially in America, believe differently, as evidenced by the many Trump supporters that state in interviews some permutation of the following: “He’s worth a billion dollars. He must be pretty smart.” Regardless of my personal political views, I don’t believe there is any correlation between a person’s net worth and their intelligence or morality. If you don’t believe me, consider the example of such miserable, morally repugnant people as Mother Teresa and Gandhi. (Obvious sarcasm here).

That doesn’t mean rich people are inherently evil, either.  Consider people like Bill and Melinda Gates, who used their wealth and fame to create a charity that, among other things, tackles global health issues like malaria and HIV. It’s not their wealth that makes Bill and Melinda Gates morally admirable people, it’s what they choose to do with it. On the other hand, living some sort of extreme minimalist lifestyle, depriving myself and my family for the sake of deprivation does not make me happier or morally superior, either. But if my minimalist lifestyle allows me to donate money to worthy causes, take a lower paying public interest job, or volunteer time to those less fortunate, that’s what counts.

I don’t have to get a new car (and a new car payment) every 2 years because I don’t care if you think my car is old or whether you think I can’t afford a newer one. Having a newer car doesn’t make me a happier or morally superior person. The main benefit of minimalism is realizing there’s no correlation one way or the other. You will cease to be impressed by the things people have and will be more impressed by the things people do.

Weekly Update: Week 7

It feels really great to truly align my actions with my values and priorities.  This week was actually a great week for that.

I also made another eBay sale–YES!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

This week, I prioritized health and went to the doctor about a lingering problem.  I have also decided to begin seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis, due to a misalignment I have not properly dealt with.

We also went out during the week, which is totally unusual for us. Wednesday night, we went to a pub and listened to some live music. Kristopher James, a singer we had previously heard and I really enjoyed was playing at a local pub, so we decided to go and have a few drinks while listening to the music.  Another singer, Weston Howard, also blew my mind.  In addition to drinks and cover charge, both local musicians playing offered digital versions of their albums for download on their websites on a donation basis.  I donated $5 for each singers’ 4-track albums ($10 total).  While I spent money, I did not accumulate anything physical, and felt good about using my money to support live entertainment.  Please check their websites out and do the same.  I promise they’re awesome!

Thursday night, we got free tickets to the comedy club.  Dinner and drinks out at the club.  Because we went out during the week, so at the weekend, we didn’t really go out or spend money.

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

1.  Lilly Pulitzer Notebook Folio.  Once again, I was bored and checked the Rue La La app (I swear I’ll delete it one day) and they were having a Lilly Pulitzer sale.  This notebook folio holds mini notebooks and agenda planners.

File_000 (5)

2.  Lilly Pulitzer Golf Umbrella.  This umbrella has a beautiful pattern and, at $25, it’s a really good price.  I already have multiple umbrellas, so I’m not sure why this was tempting at all.

File_001 (3)

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $46

Running Total: $670

Bow Wow Challenge

This week, the Bow Wow Challenge took over the internet.  Rapper Bow Wow posted a picture on Instagram of private plane flanked by Mercedes cars with the caption “Travel Day,” suggesting he was traveling via private plane.  Soon thereafter, a picture of the rapper on a commercial flight made the rounds, pointing out the hypocrisy of his social media posts.  This event led to the #bowwowchallenge, where people post on social media one photo that looks impressive, then another showing the entire, less-than-impressive story.

It’s a prime example of pop culture imitating real life.  Who hasn’t posted a strategically-cropped, overly-filtered photo that makes the situation look better than it is?  I know I have.  At the very least, most of us choose to omit posting about the negative parts in our lives.  Our social media becomes a meticulously curated “highlight reel.”

It’s been shown that social media use is positively correlated with depression.  It’s not clear whether social media use causes depression or whether depressed people tend to use social media more, but the correlation makes sense.  I have experienced the phenomenon of social media depression–Scrolling through my feed, it seems like all of my friends are getting promoted/getting a new car/going on vacation/getting married/having a baby/achieving other major life milestones.  I’ve also experienced using social media more when feeling negative emotions.

Especially when there’s nothing particularly good going on in our own lives, it’s hard not to feel like we’re getting left behind.  One thing someone told me that really stuck with me is that social media can breed unhappiness because we are comparing our “behind-the-scenes” to everyone else’s “highlight reel.”  It’s hard to remember as we scroll through our social media feeds and see the new cars/gourmet dinners/five-star vacations/elaborate weddings/etc., but it is worth it to try. This is why it is so important to be careful about our social media use.  It’s certainly something I am trying be more mindful of.

Weekly Update: Week 6

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

This week was Mother’s Day.   You’ll remember from last week’s update that Groupon had a 20% off sale and I purchased myself a haircut.  I got my mom a manicure-pedicure at the same time to treat her for Mother’s Day.

We went out for sushi with a friend on Friday night and Saturday night, we ordered Chinese food and watched Netflix after cleaning and decluttering.  Typical boring married people stuff.  (I told you last month running around every weekend was very unusual for us…)

Unfortunately, nothing sold on eBay this week, but after such a hot streak the last few weeks, that’s to be expected.

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

1. Whipping Post Vintage Tote.  I was very tempted when I found this on eBay.  Even though it’s duplicative of my Love 41 Simple Tote (even a handbag addict like myself can admit that I don’t really need more than one large, brown leather tote) I still might have bought it if I wasn’t on my year of buying nothing, telling myself I’d sell the other, then not.  There are pros and cons to each, as demonstrated by this video where these friends compare their bags.  The leather of the Love41 develops a beautiful patina, but the Whipping Post has an interior pocket for keys and/or phone, plus a flat, reinforced bottom to so it can stand easier on its own–features I have come to covet after using my pocketless, soft-bottomed Simple Tote for awhile now.  I use small clutches/wristlets/etc. to keep stuff organized in my tote, so the interior pocket really isn’t that important.

IMG_1152.PNG

2. Skagen clutch/wristlet.  I almost bought this bag before starting the year of buying nothing when I saw it on sale at Macy’s for $100.  Finding it even more discounted at Nordstrom Rack made this very hard to resist!  I have no shame admitting that, contrary to Cosmo’s advice, I still use (and love!) wristlets.  I generally keep a Lucky Brand wristlet I bought several years ago in my purse which holds the essentials–wallet, phone, keys.  If I have to stop somewhere on the way home or want to go for dinner or drinks after work and don’t want to carry the whole tote, I can just carry the clutch.  However, the area where the wrist strap connects to bag is starting to wear and come undone, but is in otherwise immaculate condition.  I’ve been considering buying this Skagen wristlet to replace it, but have convinced myself to look into getting the Lucky Brand wristlet repaired before replacing it.

File_001 (2)

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $230

Running Total: $624

Why Minimalism?

Lots of people don’t understand how having less could make them happier. 

They can’t comprehend how denying themselves that awesome new thing they want could actually increase their happiness over the long term.  We’ve talked quite a bit about the “what” of minimalism–it occurred to me I haven’t mentioned much about the “why.”  Let’s talk about how minimalism has impacted my life so far and why it is beneficial.

Less cleaning

Whether it’s the occasional dusting or more detailed upkeep like washing, polishing or conditioning, each item we own requires some level of cleaning and maintenance.  Less stuff means less stuff to clean and less time spent cleaning.  More time to focus on what’s important!

Room for more

When the closet is so crammed with stuff, it’s easy to forget about that amazing dress that somehow got shoved to the back where it’s not visible and so never gets worn.  When the excess gets cleared out, what remains are the things that bring joy and add value.  You are surrounded by all of your favorite things.

More time

In addition to the extra time from less cleaning, spending less time organizing and looking for things is also a pleasant side effect of minimalism.  Less clothes means less time choosing an outfit, especially if you choose clothes that mostly go together.  Perhaps less stuff can fit in a smaller space with a lower rent that might permit working less hours to get the bills paid or allow that extra money to be used for something pleasurable like a vacation.

More money

Being very selective about what money should be spent on can result in lots of extra money.  Not necessarily JUST from buying less, either.  That expensive briefcase might last 20+ years, whereas the cheap one might only last a few years before it starts falling apart (and I’m not just saying that because I recently invested in a fairly expensive briefcase).

Not to say that expensive=high quality.  I saw a nice looking briefcase selling for $700, but when I read the reviews, more than one reported that, the first time they used it, the hardware fell off.  It’s important to do the research.  The place I bought my briefcase from is known for quality.  They stand behind their products, offering a lifetime warranty and I paid nowhere near $700.  Investing in quality when possible can pay dividends.

More of what you want

One of the greatest things about my year of buying nothing experiment so far is that, because of my weekly updates, I am way more aware of where my money is being spent.  Because I haven’t been spending my money on tangible, non-consumable things, more money is available for all the experiences I’ve had this month like the whiskey tasting we attended, transportation to the weddings we went to last month, the tea room I went to with my friend, etc.  More money is also available for things that add value to my life, like upgrading my Google Drive storage so I can keep all my files in one place and replacing the battery in my watch when it died.

Weekly Update: Week 5

This week saw 3 more eBay sales!  Purging the excess feels good.  Feels even better to get some money while I’m at it.

This week, it finally happened to me.  Every minimalist’s worst nightmare–I needed something I had gotten rid of.  This past weekend was the Kentucky Derby and I had some friends over to watch it and drink mint juleps.  I wanted to put on my Derby hat, a large and outrageously decorated hat I originally made for the Royal Wedding in 2011, but I realized I had gotten rid of it in the recent months of purging.

File_000 (3)File_001 (2)

The 2 other times I’ve worn the hat

It was upsetting for 5 minutes, but I ultimately realized how little I needed it–In the last 6 years I’d only worn it twice.  This would’ve been the 3rd time, but being a large hat, it takes up so much room that it’s really not worth it to keep for the purpose of the occasional garden party/Kentucky Derby party.  After the initial regret, I considered: what am I really missing out on by not having this hat on for the next 5 minutes?  Not really much.  Being afraid of this happening is/was an irrational fear.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

The usual trips to the grocery store — I had a craving for tacos before I realized it was Cinco de Mayo week, so obviously, we had to get taco-making supplies and chips & salsa and have our own homemade taco party!  Other than that, we have really been concentrating on not spending money since we spent so much recently on our various trips and weddings.

There are some significant, yet unavoidable things I will have to spend money on very soon.  While we were out of town, the window regulator for the rear driver’s side window of my car broke.  We have the window duct taped it until it can be fixed, but I know because the same malfunction happened in November 2016 with the front driver’s side window that it will cost a few hundred dollars.

If that weren’t enough, it is that time of year again.  My Bar dues ($265) and yoga teacher’s insurance for the year ($125) are both due soon. *sigh*  At least I can afford all this without having to worry too much, since I haven’t been buying all that stuff I’ve been wanting.  It sucks spending all my money on boring stuff.

One thing that is not completely, but still pretty necessary is the Groupon for a haircut I purchased for myself.  Groupon had a 20% off sale for mother’s day and I will definitely need a haircut in the next few months–I try to get a haircut every 4-6 months.

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

1.  Adrienne Vittadini Duffel Bag.  While traveling recently, I’ve noticed how much wear-and-tear my luggage has been through.  A weekender bag I got second hand 10 years ago ended up getting donated.  My duffel bag from 5 or so years ago is starting to show signs of wear on the part where the shoulder strap connects to the rest of the bag, but is otherwise in passable condition.  When I saw this great-looking duffel bag on Rue La La (I really need to delete the app off my phone) I was extremely tempted.

File_001 (1)

2.  Dave Matthews Band T Shirt.  It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but Dave Matthews Band has been one of my favorite bands since high school.  I have DMB shot glasses.  No, I will not get rid of them.  When I saw this Cinco de Mayo, $5 t shirt sale, it was more than a little tempting.  I certainly don’t need another t shirt.  I have plenty.

File_000 (1)

3.  Board Game “Bad People.”  Last week visiting friends while out of town for a wedding, we spent the evening playing board games.  When a sponsored post for this game, called “Bad People” came up on my feed, I was intrigued.  This seems like a really fun game and not one of the same games that everyone we know has.  This was added to my Amazon wish list, in hopes that maybe for my birthday or Christmas, I will get it as a gift.

File_002

4.  Tea Holder/Wallet.  While traveling, I thought about how I didn’t really have a convenient, compact way to travel with some tea since I don’t drink coffee.  As we have at least one trip planned this year in October, identifying and fulfilling my need for items to make travel more convenient seems like a worthwhile investment.  This is where the tea holder/tea wallet comes in.  I could just as easily use any other bag or container.  I do not need a carrier specific to my tea bags.  I have a large wooden box I keep my tea bags in at home, so this tea wallet would only be used for travel.  It doesn’t really seem necessary.  Yet, I wanted to buy it SO much. Nobody said minimalism was easy.

 

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $115

Running Total: $394

Minimalist Weddings

Having attended two weddings in April, it’s only natural that it made me nostalgic for my own wedding. 

Long before I had heard of minimalism, I have been living the philosophy in my own life and planning a wedding was no exception.

The Knot reports that the national average wedding cost for 2016 was $35,329.  When we had our wedding in 2013, the country had significantly recovered from the recession and the wedding industry was no exception.  Wedding spending was at the highest level since 2008, and hovered just under $30,000.  These averages take into account the highest-spending markets like Manhattan, where the average is closer to $80,000, and the lower-spending markets that average under $20,000.  We got married near where we live, which is a tourist destination, so the average in our area is slightly higher than the national average, hovering just below $40,000 for 2016.  We didn’t give into the pressure and spent much MUCH less than that.

This is not to say that those who spend closer to the average or even more did anything wrong–if you’ve been saving up for years and want to splurge on this event and pull out all the stops, by all means do so.  It truly is the experience of a lifetime.  Personally, there are lots of other things I could think of to spend the money on.  If, on the other hand, you haven’t been saving up and instead take on $40,000 of debt for this one day, I question why you feel it’s necessary.

It can be very tempting to overspend when planning a wedding, especially when we hear the statistics about “average” wedding costs.  Also, there is evidence that many vendors will charge more for a “wedding” than a “family party” scheduled for the same date, so costs can easily spiral out of control.

Weddings come with lots of expectations: lots of décor, multiple-course catered meal, professional DJ, lighting, multi-tiered cake, and more.  Disregarding the expectations and doing what you and your partner want and what is meaningful for you both is essential to having a minimalist wedding.

The most important thing is to set priorities.  What is the most important thing to you?  Swoon-worthy photos?  Best, most fun reception ever?  The princess dress of your dreams?  Wedding food worth waiting through the ceremony for?  Keep those priorities in sight as you set your budget and make sure to allocate most of the budget to those items.

One of the benefits of this minimalist approach to wedding planning is that it is eco-friendly.  Some level of excess is unavoidable with these types of events, but minimizing it as much as possible is easy.  Everything we bought for the wedding, we either kept, re-sold or donated — or it was rented in the first place.

We had none of the extras people convince try to convince us that we “must have.”  There was no wedding planner, no altar, no aisle runner, no chair covers.  In lieu of save-the-dates, we notified guests of our wedding date online and sent our invitations out earlier than usual.  My wedding dress was a David’s Bridal $99 sale rack dress that required no alterations, which I sold on eBay to recoup some of the money.

Where we did spend extra money, we did so intentionally.  I chose to have professional hair and makeup, which was nice, but obviously not necessary.  I don’t usually wear makeup and have unruly hair, so I wanted professional help on my big day!  I did not, however, pay extra money for “trials” with these vendors.  I trusted them to be able to do it to my liking or be able to fix it the day of.  Instead, we spent money on dance lessons and had a choreographed first dance that wowed our guests—our first dance was one of my favorite things about the day.  My mom came over to me afterwards and hugged me, joyfully sobbing.  It’s a cherished memory.  We also spent money on a butterfly release, as butterflies are a very important symbol to me and I thought it would be a lovely after-ceremony surprise for the guests.  Much more special and meaningful things than extra décor.

One of the main challenges of a minimalist philosophy is eschewing the expectations society tends to put on us.  In a society where an engagement ring is viewed by many as a measure of success and going into debt for a piece of jewelry is expected, choosing a modest ring is almost revolutionary.  The average size and cost of an engagement ring in the United States is about twice the size (and about triple the cost!) of most other countries.

File_000

Infographic from beyond4cs.com

To be honest, I have had my engagement ring for quite a few years now, and have considered “upgrading” the setting from a simple solitaire set in plain yellow gold to a setting with some extra diamonds recently.  Minimalism made me stop and ask myself why I want to upgrade and what I would have to give up in order to upgrade.  I actually really like my ring, but, like so many people, insecurity made me feel like I need to upgrade a perfectly beautiful ring I love (and helped pick out myself!) so people don’t think I’m unsuccessful because of my modest ring.  I would have to give up things like the vacation to Los Angeles this year, and the trip to Europe we plan to take in the next few years.  It would take me that much longer to pay back my student loans.  Like so many other things I have chosen not to buy since embracing minimalism, it’s just not worth it in the long run.

Weekly Update: Week 4

This week was great for selling stuff – the week started off with an eBay sale of another item I’ve been trying to sell for a long time.  $40 in my pocket.  This time the item was something I was gifted, not something I had previously purchased, so this was pure profit for me.  I decided to go through my closet once again and found some more things I want to list on eBay.  I’ve set aside a few more things, but they probably won’t get listed until next week.  They may or may not sell, but I want to try.

At the end of the week I sold another eBay item–I had bought a round Zagg shield for my watch to protect the face quite a few years ago and had purchased the wrong size.  The shipping and fees to return it were not worth it for the relatively inexpensive item, but I ended up making my money back on the deal by selling it on eBay.  I’d had it listed on-and-off since I bought it, but had never sold it.

In addition to my eBay sales, I sold another item in person that gave me $250, which I was happy to accept.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

IMG_1055.JPG

My car started showing the “low washer fluid light” earlier this week and I finally stopped by the auto part store and bought some, since we’re heading on a trip this weekend.

Friday night I had dinner and went to a movie with a friend–just me and her, without my husband.  It allowed us to relate on a deeper level and have a conversation about all kinds of things.

This weekend was the second wedding we were invited to this month.  This one was not local, but was still in the state, so it cost us gas money, a hotel room, gift and some meals out. (Yes, we gave the couple a physical gift–old habits die hard.  I said I’m not perfect, OK?!?!  It’s my year of buying nothing, not theirs.)

We visited some old friends of mine while we were in my old college town.  We had a great weekend visiting friends, playing board games, and we did an escape room, which was a cool new experience for me.  We finished with time to spare.

HOORAY FOR EXPERIENCES!!!!!!!!!  (Next month, we certainly won’t have so many—this truly was quite an unusual month!)

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

Probably because I sold a bunch of things and had money burning a hole in my pocket, this was a tough week temptation-wise.  My Satchel & Page briefcase arrived on Friday.  It is the last package I am expecting and the last purchase made before starting the year of buying nothing.  It took quite awhile to arrive, due to the company’s Kickstarter-type purchasing method.

IMG_1057

1.  Whipping Post Bifold Wallet. I have also been itching to upgrade my wallet ever since I started looking into high quality leather products.  This wouldn’t usually be such a bad thing, except I purchased a lovely Kate Spade wallet just about a year ago, and it’s certainly is no slouch in the quality department.  It strikes me how a year ago, this wallet was the shiny, new, wonderful thing in my bag and how quickly I got bored with it and want to replace it.  A sure sign that things will never be the key to our happiness.

image1

2. Brooks Brothers blouses.  I made the mistake of checking Rue La La and they were having a sale on Brooks Brothers.  I’ve been looking for a white collared shirt, to be honest, as the one I have is one I bought in college and is probably a good 8 years old at this point.  I also saw this really nice pink one.  I can wait until the end of the year to replace the white collared shirt, though.

3.  Victoria’s Secret stuff.  To add insult to injury, the same day when I checked the mail, there was a mailer from Victoria’s Secret with multiple coupons.  Stacking these coupons can yield some really great deals and the triple points will help me keep my Angel Forever status!  This is a tough one.  I have always gone to Victoria’s Secret when I would get coupons like this and it is so strange not to go.  That’s part of how I got the Forever status.  Surely, getting a good deal on underwear and other clothing items is worth it, right?  At least that’s what I used to tell myself.  (Also how I ended up with SO MUCH excess underwear and workout/loungewear).

image1

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $140 (not including anything I would have purchased had I gone to Victoria’s Secret)

Running Total: $279