Today is the first day of winter, and the start of my 2015 shopping year. I’m switching to a more seasonal approach, to see if that doesn’t help curb the constant flow of ‘wantsies’.
This year I am going to try adding 2 new columns to my spreadsheet. Seems I can learn how to use one, if I poke around long enough. I put in a Cost Per Wear column, and a times worn (necessary to compute the CPW). I am pretty analytical, but not so structured that I mark down every item I wear on a daily basis. I do figure I can at least remember to note when I’m wearing the newer things brought into my closet.
So I won’t be trying to figure out older items’ CPW retroactively. I have my ‘hit list’ of things over $20 CPW from prior years I can carry over. But, starting with new purchases, I will try tracking cost per wear this year. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. I already see my cheapest item has been worn most. This does not surprise me. I know I tend toward wearing the deals and saving the ‘good’ stuff. Perhaps eyeing my CPW as the year unfolds will impact this tendency of mine, for the better.
I’m also going to try differentiating the online purchases from the in-person buys. I expect the purple (in person) purchases to have a much lower rate of return. Perhaps, again, seeing it in front of me in print will hit home a need to change my approach and shop more B&M whenever possible. Also adding a side column of returns. I (we?) tend toward ‘out of sight out of mind’ thinking when it comes to items we don’t keep and add to our wardrobe. But if I keep a running list of the ‘misses’ and ‘almosts’ it will again give me a visual reminder of the effort and time I’m putting in.
Those are the new tweaks to this year’s shopping budget spreadsheet. Time will tell if they are helpful, or just cumbersome. Ideally, I’ll be shopping less frequently, so the extra column or two shouldn’t be a big deal.
What I am keeping and carrying over from last year are the Basics and Incidentals at the bottom of my budget. I don’t have these listed on my shopping wish list for the year. They are more the unspoken needs.
I have rough estimates filled in, but as I buy things, I replace those estimated amounts with the actual prices. Ideally, I end up in the $250 range for the basics, and $150 for the incurred expenses. You can see I have my first real expense in the returns column. I’m sending back the colorblock jacket that was just too boxy. Found a loophole that is cheaper ($2.95) for store credit and if you wait 60 days without using it, it then gets credited back to your original form of purchase. Regular return is $6.95. Is it worth the $4? I dunno. Maybe not. But when I see I only have $75 to play around with for the whole year’s returns, it does give me pause.
So, that’s my 2015 budget spreadsheet. I’m budgeting about $1300 for ‘regular’ items. Approximately 26 items at an average of $50 each. Additional $400 to cover the basics and incurred costs. A total of $1700 for the year and hopefully 30 or less items. That’s the rough goal. The actual dollar amounts are not as important to me as buying less. Buying what I really will wear. And buying what I actually need, even if it’s not the ‘fun’ stuff to buy. (I got caught short on banquet uniform wear, for instance.) That will be the real struggle.