My Broken Coin — a fellow personal finance blogger — wrote a post on how she spent $8600 on shopping in 2012. That led me to checking out my own stats to see how much I spent on shopping last year.
$9164.78 on clothing(!)
$4,456.99 on “shopping general” (mostly Amazon.com, yikes)
$1,272.98 on “sporting goods” (camping stuff for my vacation)
$858.67 on makeup
$811.76 on hobbies
$187.81 on electronics
That’s ridiculous as it doesn’t even include my food costs. Now, I choose to live in a place where rent is $650 / month with roommates so I can afford the overrages of my shopping addiction, but I’m not sure that even adds up anymore. A 1br apartment that’s comparatively nice to my current shared 3br would cost me $1800 a month minimum, and in this location probably more like $2200. So I could spend $18600 more in rent, or, well, clearly I can spend that all on clothes, makeup and household items. Or I can just force myself not to shop for anything other than necessities for a year.
Last year I let myself be tricked by the growth of AAPL. I kept checking my networth and while I wanted to save $50k last year from income and investment growth, I didn’t factor in how one stock would grow so sharply only to then drop soon after the conclusion of the year. Now, instead of being over $200k and well on my way to $250k networth, I’m still watching each paycheck bring me back up to the $200k mark as my stocks drop. That means this year I need to be much, much more frugal than last year. And it starts with curbing my shopping addiction.
That is going to be hard because I just told myself that I need new clothes for work to look more professional, but I can probably make due with what I have. I’m on a serious diet right now and I’ll be losing a lot of weight this year, so there’s no point in spending money on clothes until I actually get to a stable weight again.
So far, in 2013, I’ve spent…
$723.45 on shopping
$415 on electronics (iPhone 5 + gift for sister)
$143.68 on makeup
$125.72 on clothing
$38.95 on shopping general
… that’s not perfect, but if I stuck to that rate of spending I’d spend $8681.40 in 2013 vs $17k. It would be better if I could spend under $300 per month on shopping, or even less. I do have a shopping addiction (even if I don’t buy fancy designer clothes, $17k per year IS an addiction) and if I want to hit my $250k goal this year, I’m going to have to put a lid on it. That $17k spent last year could have bought me a new car this year. Ugh, now I’m upset at myself.