I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Stuff. How much I have and how much I want. I think it’s easy to want lots of things. All those cute outfits my friends are wearing. All those nice shoes. The bike I see on my way to work. The candles at my friend’s apartment. The cute vases with the little succulents. Sure, it’s nice to have less stuff and less attachments, but what if I really want that accent chair, or really want that dress covered in a lemon print. I won’t be able to wear it many places, but it still makes me happy. Is it worth it?
For awhile I’ve been trending towards buying less, but better quality stuff: dresses which are lined, things which have timeless style, shoes which can be resoled. I’m trying to be less consumeristic, but sometimes it’s really hard. (I really want that lemon dress, you know?) It’s hard in the city where I live and the job where I work. It’s hard in America and it’s hard as a woman.
BUT I found a good system for me. I let myself buy one nice thing a month beyond gas and groceries and rent. Definitely an indulgence still in that it’s not helping me towards my goal of financial freedom, but there’s a cap on what I can buy and I find this is a good system for me.
If I want things, they go into my excel chart – one thing per month. If I decide I want something sooner, I move the other thing out of that month. So, for example, in July I wanted to buy a black, silk dress I’ve been eyeing it for awhile. It’s expensive, but also extremely versatile. And then I happened up the 10 Step Korean Skincare routine. So I moved my dress out of July and into September so I could buy a multitude of skincare products instead. Which means 12 things a year to indulge in.
I’ve found something else which will help me spend less. If I want something nice (my black dress isn’t cheap), I divide how many hours it would take me to work to buy it (after tax!). Do I really want to devote twenty of my working hours to this dress. Maybe. But I definitely don’t want to devote 13 working hours to the lemon dress.
It’s a good tool on top of my one thing per month chart and I think it will help me evaluate my purchases more clearly than I already do. I’ll report back.
(And just so you know not all my purchases are so pricey. October is a mug I want – 1 work hour.)