Closing 2014 – What I bought

In keeping with my wanting to switch to a more seasonal shopping approach, I am starting my shopping year on December 21rst, the first day of winter.  It’s very close to the calendar year anyway, but since I can tend to get technical, I want to make it a clear set starting point.  That means this year is wrapping up in 3 days.  Seems like a good time to take stock of last year’s purchases before going forward with next year’s shopping plan.

2014 part1

2014 part2

2014 part3I ditched the two a month item limit ever since a halfway successful attempt at it the prior year (2013).  This was my first step in attempting to move away from a constant feed of items, by not making a monthly limit.  I wanted it to be more organic.  But . . . it didn’t really work either.  At least, not as well as I’d hoped.  Part of the issue is too much time on my hands, plain and simple.  When I am off work, I have WAY too much time to surf online, hunting down the next great thing.  When I get in the swing of a busy life, shopping naturally takes a step back in the priorities of my daily activities. So, when I’m working, the shopping automatically decreases.  Thank god!  lol

This last year I had no item per month limit but had a rough goal of around 30 or 40 items and under $2000.  Missed on both accounts.  But not by too much.  I bought 47 items and spent $2085.  Now, some of those items were flip flops for the pool to swim laps for my triathlon, and work uniform pants and shoes, but I counted them.  Some were birthday and Christmas gifts, that I bought with gift $$$, but I count those too.  The only thing I don’t count toward my item limit is gym/workout wear, sleepwear, and underwear (the 3rd picture listing items below the blue line).  Things not meant to be seen by the general public.  I do, however count those costs in my budget.  After all, they aren’t free!   Also in my budget are return shipping fees and alteration costs.

The major reason I went over budget was a need for a uniform update.  That was $50 of my $83.  I don’t tend to have too much trouble staying within a dollar budget.  My trouble has historically been just too many things coming in.

I did a little bit of reselling through both eBay and a local shop over the year. Revenue made from clothes sales was deducted from my total budget.  Those notations in the margins are either credits from resale or notes that the item was bought with gift $$.  Also, the color bars are yellow for worn once or not yet at all (bad) or red for sold off or purged (also bad).  I don’t want a lot of ‘churn’ in my closet.  I know not every piece is destined to be a closet all star or stick around for 6 or 7 years, but my personal goal is not be buying throw away fashion that is only worn a handful of times one season and then purged.

That said, we all make mistakes, and it’s only to be expected.  Actually I figure the only way to be mistake proof is to not take a risk.  That’s no fun either.  Last year’s mistakes account for about 10% of my items.  Not that bad, but 5% sure would be better!  I don’t have any set goals in this category.  Just want to be mindful and try my best to really think through purchases in the hope that mistakes become even fewer and further between.

2015 list

That’s how I ‘spent’ my 2014, hee hee. The nitty gritty, down to the last sock.  I have a plan for 2015 and have already slated many of the items to be bought down the line.  Planning in advance, but still with plenty of leeway for items that strike my fancy on the spot.  My biggest change I want to affect is buying less.  I know I have enough.  But I also know I like clothes and want to have some new things each season.  The trick is in the balance.  My plan of having just enough slots to fill for each category before I’m done for the year I hope will help curtail the sheer amount of new coming in.  Here is what I, today, want to buy in the coming year.  It may change tomorrow, and then again next month.  That’s okay!  As long as I don’t buy more than the number of lines I have allotted, I can change my mind 20 times over.   Blue was bought ahead of time (oops!) with coming xmas cash I know I’ll be getting.  Actually the graphic sweatshirt is going to come up on eBay on the 21rst, so it’s not really jumping the gun.  If we’re getting technical and all . 😉

That’s 2014’s shopping summary.  Coming clean, as it were.  Did you have a plan?  A dollar budget or item limit or both?  Did you succeed?  If not, are you happy with the progress you’ve made?

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10 thoughts on “Closing 2014 – What I bought

  1. Mo, thanks for sharing this. I’m doing the same thing, starting my new shopping ‘season’ the day after the solstice. My plan for 2015 is to try to buy less per season – right now I’m aiming at 24 items per season; I only tracked this part of 2014 but I averaged around 40 (!) – while keeping my budget the same. Less thrifting and cheap pieces, more ‘investment’ items (as much as I hate that term). I haven’t made a year-long wishlist like you have, but I do have a list of things I need to replace or upgrade, and items I think will make a helpful addition to my wardrobe. (BTW, this is Laura/rhubarbgirl from YLF.)

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  2. Hi Laura! Good to see you. I’ve been reading a few blogs where many of us are trying the seasonal approach and I hope it works out for all of us! If I can shift my focus, and maybe have less frequent trips but that result in mini bounties, maybe that well quell the desire for a longer period and feel more satisfying than one item at a time, a few weeks apart. Kind of like a nice, full meal instead of a handful of calories every hour. I hope!

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  3. I’m working on a calendar year, because our weather really doesn’t follow the typical seasons very well. But, I will shop with a seasonal focus. I’ve never had a budget or item limit for clothes shopping (because I bought so little for so many years). I spent quite a bit this year and replaced much of my wardrobe, which is fine. I have the money and I needed the closet revamp. However, we are getting closer to an early retirement, and I think I need to figure out what a realistic budget and closet turnover will be going forward.

    I’m thinking about a very different approach this year. Not sure it really makes sense, so all feedback welcome! My thought is to focus on building a certain number of killer outfits for each season. Many of the outfits and several of the individual pieces I already have, so I should just need a few pieces to complete enough outfits each season. Note that I’ll still have plenty of mix and match options with other items in my closet.

    So here’s what I’m thinking of shooting for each season in terms of number of killer outfits:

    Spring: 6-work / 4-casual
    Summer: 12-work / 8-casual
    Fall: 6-work / 6-casual
    Winter: 6-work / 8-casual

    In theory (not completely sure it’s realistic yet), this means:

    Spring (Mar – mid April): (3-6 items)
    Summer (mid April – Sept): (5-10 items)
    Fall (Oct – Nov): (3-6 items)
    Winter (Dec – Feb): (3-6 items)
    Basics: (undies, camis, gear, lounge, etc)

    Ideally, shoes will be in these item limits; however, since foot surgery I’m really not sure how much of my current shoe wardrobe will still work once the swelling subsides. Needless to say, that remains an unknown that may have to be addressed separately.

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  4. Yes, that makes sense to me. I also have rough ideas of a few new looks for each season instead of thinking of pieces in isolation. The 5 piece French wardrobe idea is similar to what you are thinking – that you add 5 carefully selected items every season to your existing closet. You might look into some blogs on that.

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  5. Hi Mo,
    Thanks for sharing! I only spent 780 euros this year, because I sold a lot of clothes, shoes and boots and bought most things secondhand. That’s the good part. The bad part is that I bought 112 cheap items, I regret about 60% of those purchases. Those were mainly the secondhand purchases. Because they are so cheap, I just buy them, even though they are not really me. I am going to focus on that next year!

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  6. Mo, I really miss your wardrobe management posts. I did an item and dollar budget last year. I went over in items but stayed within the dollar amount. Overall, I bought less and bought better. I don’t want a lot of churn in 2015, but I will want some new stuff. I have an item limit but no dollar limit. I’m not tying it to monthly purchases, but I will need to pace myself or I’ll run through my item limits too early in the year.

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  7. I did not track the dollar amount of my purchases for 2014 (I wish that I had.) I intend to track it in 2015, as well as put myself on a budget – and stick to it. That’s as far as I get when it comes to planning my wardrobe. I love to be ahead, rather than behind, when it comes to trying out new trends – and so I have to keep my options open! 🙂

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    • I think you can absolutely be on the front end of trends and still have a budget! Probably the sacrifice would have to come in having less. But if you are head over heels with your cutting edge trend piece, I think that makes up for quantity.
      Any way you like to approach your wardrobe, keeping track is eye opening. Even if you don’t actively try and change how you shop, it will show you things you might not realize.

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  8. I really enjoyed seeing how you track your purchases. I went through my own spreadsheet and organized the items by month, as you have here, and I was able to see different patterns than the way I was tracking it. I was able to see the sales driven purchases, the dry spells when nothing appealed to me, and the desperation purchases when I hadn’t prepared for an occasional and needed something it a hurry. I’m hoping to have fewer items come into my wardrobe this year, and planning to purchase seasonally. Thank you for the inspiration!

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