Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Repeat After Me: I Do Not Need to Spend $100 on a Dress

Athleta Jura Dress_JPEG

{Screen shot from Athleta’s website}

With unemployment on the horizon for me, I’ve been thinking a lot about thoughtful consumerism.  Expect to see more blog posts on that topic over the next few weeks!  I hope that’s okay with you.

Here is a basic truth: I do not need any more dresses.  During my time in Texas, I have built a nice dress collection to keep me clothed during the hottest months.  Add tights and a sweater and many dresses can transition into fall and winter without skipping a beat.  I have every reason to be satisfied and content with what I own now.

But then, you know, there’s the human condition, our wandering eye, our rambling desire to acquire.  I’m fighting that desire these days.  It’s in my best interest to be (mostly) pragmatic about what I buy these days because I don’t know what my financial future holds.  Will my savings need to last for three, six, NINE months?  Nine months of regular spending for me is about $16,000.  That number makes me pause.

This week, hopping around the interwebs, I found the Athleta dress you see up at the top.  It’s so cute, isn’t it?!?  The print, its wrapping around the waist, the flattering v-neck…so cute.  I’m having hard time not ordering it right this very moment so it can join its dressy cousins in my closet.  But then I started thinking of its $100 price tag in terms of what a hundred bucks could buy instead of another dress.  How about:

* A week’s worth of groceries plus a meal or two out.  (Of course I would list food first.  Of course!  Who do you think I am?)

* A really good shop at Target for all the essentials like contact solution, body wash, etc.  I always feel good when I’m well-stocked at home.

* A night or three of lodging for this summer’s road trip, depending on our accommodations.

* About 30 gallons of gas for the road trip.

* Two new pairs of summer shoes from  I actually did this last month, and my new shoes are destroying my feet.  I’ll break them in eventually, right?  Also, note to self: lab tape is not a good substitute for the right band-aids.  Second note to self: add band-aids to Target shopping list.

* 1/4 of a plane ticket to Michigan.  (I just bought one of those too.)

* Three dresses from Target.  This one kinda defeats the point of this list, but I have to remind myself that my clothes really do last a long time even though I don’t buy them from fancy places.

How are you doing with your spending these days?  Are you having a hard time not buying ALL THE THINGS?


Chrissy (The New Me) said...

I like that you figured out how much your life costs on a monthly basis, and I like that you break down what you could spend that $100 on instead! I have been doing this with most purchases lately, and it really puts things in perspective.

I've been pretty good with spending lately (AUSTERITY MEASURES!) and I'm proud of that, though it's mostly because of necessity and not choice. Can't spend what you don't have! (Although, actually, I think a lot of people do, and that's a huge part of the problem!)

Rosiecat said...

Thanks, my dear! If I could give one money tip to every person, it's that you need to know what your lifestyle costs. That knowledge is so powerful. It's the foundation for any realistic financial plans. Perhaps I ought to repeat myself a little bit and write a post on my very simple method for tracking and grouping expenses...

AUSTERITY MEASURES! You and Nathan are awesome. I may follow your example and write a little post with some of my modified austerity measures for living summertime on a slightly leaner budget :-) Nothing too drastic, just a few tweaks here and there.