I’ve been hibernating inside all day because the weather is just vile right now – icy cold and spitting with rain. I have spent most of the day in bed under a huge pile of blankets with the heating on, trying to stay warm. And I have been reading. Pretty much finished an entire book today. It’s been a long time since that happened, I just don’t read like I used to, and I often find myself picking things up and putting things down again. But I started the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson the other week and I am completely immersed in it. They are slightly odd books and a little improbable, but clever and interesting and with a dark sense of humour.
(I will add though that I did do some good deep cleaning today, in preparation for the new year. I started in on my living room, and in particular I took all the books from my bookshelves and dusted said bookshelves and rearranged all my books as well as the pictures, art and knick knacks I have. (I’m not one for minimalism. Bring on the knick knacks.) But anyway – I remembered working in the bookshop, hours spent rearranging books, how peaceful and enjoyable it was. There was nothing better than those days when the shelves were half empty and we had a huge chunk of books to go out and it was down to me to bring them down and set them out. I can happily spend hours sorting books – making sure they are in the right order, alphabetically, making sure all the spines align, that the shelves are balanced out, spreading the books evenly across the entire set of shelves instead of cramming them in on one shelf and leaving others with hollow spaces. I almost felt a little annoyed seeing customers come and mess up my alignment, my spacing, put books back wherever instead of in the exactly right alphabetic position (ma before mc there is a difference) anyway. I had some chill music playing and my Christmas lights on and afterwards I felt so very relaxed. If only I had a constant input of new stock to be sorting and shelving. I sometimes miss volunteering at the bookshop. )
I realised I never posted my November spending recap , even though I did write it. So I thought I’d post it now. I’m not sure anyone wants to read these or why I am still writing them, I guess I’m trying to hold myself accountable.
It’s proving very difficult to reign my bad spending habits in.
Things I spent money on in November:
– Food – supermarkets, fast food and takeout. Starbucks. Only had takeout once though – trying to resist! Also didn’t have my food box this month – thinking of cancelling it to streamline this category more. Let’s still avoid talking about my love of chicken mcnuggets and chocolate when stressed and/or hormonal.
– Plastic plant pots and trays. Wanted to propagate my schefflera plant. These weren’t expensive.
– Christmas Presents. These really added up, but I’ve done most of my Xmas shopping now so finances can breathe a bit in December.
– Two new work skirts. My current work skirt, that I wear everyday, has a giant irreparable hole so I needed a new one. I had a voucher for a particular shop so went there, saw two skirts I liked, couldn’t decide between them, and so got both in the end. These will get a lot of wear though. And because of my voucher I got some money off.
– A cushion. As in a couch cushion. It was very on sale so I got it. It is awesome and I’m so glad I could get it on sale, as I really wanted it, but the full price was too much for what it is.
– Audible Membership. But no books! ‘Shopped’ my bookshelf instead.
– DIY thing. I needed some plastic spacers.
– Floor cleaner.
– Rent and Bills.
– Car – Petrol.
– Two DVDs and a CD. Desperately wanted the new VIX live DVD and to watch The Sinner. Pretty expensive though :(
– Makeup I don’t need (oops). I put in a big Revolution order on a whim. This is my one “I was feeling emotional….” purchase and although I’m pleased it’s just one, I’m still annoyed with myself about it. Not necessary!
– Skincare and makeup actually need / had been thinking about for some time. Needed a replacement for my cleanser which had run out, wanted to try out the Missha glow me range and the Etude House double lasting serum foundation. These makeup items had been on my mind for a while, and I do use base items a lot so I give myself a pass on these.
– A new skirt and trainers. This wasn’t impulsive but it wasn’t really necessary either :/
– Doctor and Therapy appointments and medication
I tried super hard last month to a) avoid impulsive shopping, b) think through my purchases “do I need this, or do I want it?” And c) say no to myself. Sometimes I was more successful than others. I think I’m allowed some things I just “want” rather than need, but not everything. I am further trying to identify why I want things, and if I will genuinely use it and love it. Versus: I want this because I’m feeling sad…. I get emotional, I get bored, I’ve been Christmas shopping so I’ve been on websites which are advertising amazing sales and limited edition Christmas sets and it’s been hard. Especially the bit about the sales. This is a terrible time of year to try and restrict spending. Still, I only had one really impulsive purchase and another which was a bit questionable. I’m still spending too much on food, which sucks, because to address that would mean addressing my complicated disordered eating habits. :/
Some other things I have noticed last month: this one was very weird, but I realized I tend to be very weak when it comes to cotton clothing. As I’ve mentioned before I can’t wear most synthetic materials and my wardrobe is primarily cotton. I realized last month that sometimes I want to buy things just because they are cotton and I’m worried I’ll never have the chance to buy that item again in cotton. Which is crazy as there are only a few items where this worry would have a genuine basis (see: my work skirts. Another reason I got them both was because they were both cotton and finding nice thick cotton work appropriate skirts can be hard) Still, I have a whole wardrobe full of cotton so clearly, the situation is not so dire. Recognising this behaviour was embarrassing but also really great – I sent back one top I’d bought because I realized I was hoarding it for this reason (“it’s such a soft cotton I best hang on to it!”) and stopped myself from buying some others. It felt good to recognise this and stop myself from giving into it. I’m going to keep this in mind now when I’m shopping “am I buying this because I genuinely need it, genuinely want and love it and will use it, or just because I feel “I might as well because it’s cotton”?”
Another thing I do sometimes, especially with Amazon purchases, is pay more for fast delivery. Not only is this worse for the environment but it’s not necessary! I need to learn to wait for my items.
Finally I am a sucker for limited edition and sales. I need to remember that something being limited edition or on sale is not a reason in itself to buy it! For the cushion, I wanted it originally so it being on sale was just a bonus. For my Revolution order, I found myself impulsively buying things in the sale, cos I was emotional and sifting through the site out of boredom. There is a difference right?
I have been trying to do better in December but my progress both right now and last month are proving…. extremely slow. This is quite hard.