Starting 2015’s shopping year

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.

CPW add

adding CPW columns

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.

basics & incurs 2015I 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.


6 thoughts on “Starting 2015’s shopping year

  1. Hi Mo, I like the idea of the ‘returns’ column.
    I think I will add that to my records this year, as it does use up time and energy buying and taking back unwanted items! It also puts me into temptations way when I am back at the stores returning things!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been tracking cost per wear for a few years now, and I find it to be highly informative. I keep a calendar on my dresser and jot down what I wear. It only takes a second, and you can put the information in your spreadsheet whenever it’s convenient.

    I may be guilty of rationalization, but I consider the cost of online returns in the transportation part of my budget. I admit that I really don’t like to shop in stores, but I find that people who loathe online returns don’t seem to mind running up the road to buy something or running up the road to take something back. There’s a cost to that too, in both money and time.

    I consider alterations in cost per wear, as well as cleaning if something needs to be professionally cleaned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think about the fact that driving to stores is a cost, especially because for me that is 45 to over an hour for any store besides Ross or TJ Maxx. The main reason I shop online is due to my isolated location. But I still track those return fees, because they do add up and should not be ignored.
      Alterations have been pretty few and far between, so one line has worked for me. But I can see the value in tacking them on to each item’s purchase cost to keep the CPW more accurate. Might have to make that change. Thanks!
      I don’t dry clean but maybe once a year, so that’s a non issue for me. Again, it would be like adding up the Tide and Bounce I use, to use your gas to drive analogy. Minimal at best. 😉


  3. I like the idea of starting your 2015 wardrobe shopping season at the beginning of the seasons, rather than with the calendar year. It really makes a lot of sense to me for where I live because we had summer in September, October, and part of November – and just in the past couple of weeks have actually had any type of weather that you might think of as fall! HowEVER, I will be in the midwest again this winter (just like I was last winter) and so not only does my wardrobe budget year feel “off” to me – but my wardrobe for winter is all wrong for the midwest winters as well! I just feel so confused trying to figure out what to pack – and also feel sad that I’m not going to get to wear my “regular” So CAL winter clothes – it will be 2 years in a row – so some of them are going on the 2nd year without ever being worn. Yikes! I hate that! Doesn’t make my CPW look very good!


    • Ha! Story of my life. Buy a great fall item in Sept for Tahoe, promptly move to FL for a year or more, and not get to wear said item for a full calendar year or longer. Spiegel leather jacket, for instance. I wore it once on a trip back home to Tahoe in March and then not again until this November when we’d moved back. A year+ old item with 2 wears!
      Let’s just say, I get it 😉


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