Monday, November 16, 2009

You can't take it with you

Photo credit: Myself, storefront in NYC, March 2009

" Maybe it'll stop you trying to be so desperate about making more money than you can ever use? You can't take it with you, Mr. Kirby. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends. "
- Grandpa, 'You can't take it with you' (1938)

I've been pretty fluid with money the last couple of months. My new job requires me to a) drive a lot and b) be in business dress for most of the week, and I've had to make up for the gaps in my wardrobe.

It used to be that whatever college apparel, random good purchases and Nikki’s castoffs would tide me over, but my new work calls for more suits, sweaters, hose – things that many post-collegiate women have to deal with buying all the time. Add to that a mix of stress and triggers (people at my office do quite a bit of online shopping) and you’ve got a bit of a spending monster.

But I feel like I need to rein it in a little before it gets out of control. Jeremiah and I aren’t in major debt or terribly anxious about our finances, but we are making sure that until both of us have full-time, salaried jobs that we don’t spend frivolously. I hate using the word recessionista or frugalista or anything with the suffix –ista attached, but that is essentially our financial philosophy right now and will probably be a guiding influence through most of our lives.

Part of this is based on the fact that I impulsively bought a new pair of boots yesterday and felt pretty guilty about it. I don’t own a pair of boots (I was never a fan until I saw these), but I don’t necessarily need these boots and I don’t need to add more bulk to my increasingly scary closet. I don’t beat myself up often and I’m not that big of a penny-pincher that I can’t enjoy shopping. But I want to get these “I want, I want, I want” demons out of my psyche.

So I decided last night, as I was folding our laundry, that before I decide to add anything else to my closet, I will wear every item in my closet at least once. This will allow me to:

1) Re-fall in love with items that I don’t use all the time (like my orange Akris dress!)

2) Come up with interesting clothing combinations (especially since it’s finally getting colder) that will be reflected in the daily photos

3) Realize which items I finally need to ditch. (This might benefit Nikki because we often get each others hand-me-downs. Hooray for being the same size!)

4) And maybe it will make realize that acquiring things isn’t going to make me more than momentarily happy, and that I should be spending more time on things that I actually love: reading, writing, photography, trivia, hanging out with my friends, family and my husband.

So this will be an interesting experiment, and – I hope – I will learn a lot about myself and the ways I should spend and save.

1 comment:

  1. this is something I definitely struggle with as well. Something that I find helps is when I'm looking at an item of clothing and I get a hunch that's it has the potential to be a total impulse buy, I make a mental list of 10 things I love or am thankful for that have nothing to do with money what-so-ever. this sounds dorky and very chicken-soup-for-the-soul-ish but it works.

    thanks for your sweet comment!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts with Thumbnails