Thursday, February 25, 2016

Making a List and Checking It (Often)

A year ago I wrote about how Matt and I each have an allowance.  It's been a wonderful system for us and I'm so glad we implemented it.  I look back at our early years of marriage when we spent more freely and, while we definitely had more spending money with two (full) incomes, we also wasted a lot more.  And I'm pretty sure I buy more clothes now than I did then but now without guilt!  We're on our 3rd year of allowances and there's no turning back anytime soon.

The problem, for me, is that I usually feel like I should spend all my money each month.  I rarely had any carry over month to month unless we were having a spending freeze.  Not that I wasted it but I could always find something to buy if I knew I had some left at the end of the month.  I have gotten a lot better about my shopping but it's hard to say no to a $9 Target shirt when I know I have the money (allowance) for it.  Clothes that two years ago would have been my good shirts are now just my normal every day clothes because I have a lot more stuff that I like.  But I also don't wear all my shirts every (2 week) laundry cycle which drives me a little crazy because it seems wasteful.

So, I've decided, this year, to restrict myself even more with my allowance.  I've been doing more closet purging (because I'm always doing closet purging) and really trying to think about what holes I have or what I could buy to expand what I do have.  I'd also like to buy some higher end clothes (...for me, still not expensive).  Basically, I'm cutting myself off from basic cotton shirts from Target, among other things.  I'm keeping a list on my phone of the clothes I'm looking for, by season, and only letting myself look at those things.  No browsing Target or Old Navy for new arrivals just to see what strikes my fancy.  I'm only looking for specific things.  My current list for spring/summer looks like this:

1) Nice summer dress for niece's wedding 
It's the first wedding for Matt's family in 8 years and the first (close) family wedding (either side) in 8 years I won't be wearing a bridesmaid dress to.  That means I need a nice dress.  We're almost 5 months away from the wedding but I've already started looking.  And somewhere other than Target.  I know, be shocked.  I am.

2) Chunky Heeled Sandals

1 | 2 | 3
I have no good reason for wanting these.   Especially when I hardly want to admit to how many pairs of shoes I already own.  None of these are quite right for what I have in mind (I have to be able to walk in them for one thing which rules out #3 pretty quick) but it's also February and there is currently snow on the ground (as I write this, maybe not by the time it posts).  I have time to look for sandals.  Where would I wear them?  I DON'T KNOW.  Work.  There, valid.   I work with all guys, I'm sure they don't notice my feet (it took weeks for anyone to notice I wasn't in a walking boot anymore) but I would be excited about cute shoes.

3) Cross Body Purse
I have a lot of Target satchels (see here, here, and here) and I love them.  They look professional and are huge so plenty of room for my stuff (wallet, phone, keys, lotion, etc.) and Luke's (church books, his winter hat, toys, crayons).  They've all held up well to a lot of use.  But they aren't the most practical for errands when I'm trying to keep on eye on a boy who refuses to sit in a cart (most of the time), browse, consult my shopping list, and check everything on Cartwheel (at Target).  I would like a cross body purse for that even though one could argue that I don't need another purse.  I like this one from Target:

But REALLLLLY keep hoping they will get more spring colors.  Specifically the "retro pink" of this satchel (that I already own in two different shades of blue.):

It's beautiful and something different than all my other blue or green purses!

4) Swimsuit
top | bottom
Look at that fantastic 30 second photo merge job I did there (sarcasm).  I haven't bought a new swimsuit in 5 years despite spending a decent amount of time in them over the summer, especially last August with some hot lake weekends and our Alabama beach trip (it was the most evenly tan I have ever been or ever will be).  I decided some pieces of some of mine are finally getting worn out enough to warrant a new swimsuit.  This is my current front runner but it's subject to change while I watch sales.  But those bottoms would go with a top I have with missing (worn out) bottoms.  Bonus. 

5) Field Jacket
Target Utility Jacket | Old Navy Field Jacket
We're headed back to New York later this spring (just booked our Amtrak tickets!) and I would like a nicer than fleece jacket to wear.  These field jackets are all over the blog world and I'm getting a little convinced.  As always, watching sales and even then it's a lot of debating.  I don't know if I'd go with green or a gray (Target has one).  Something to watch and maybe convince Matt to get me for Easter?  Maybe.

6) Walking Tennies
1 | 2 | 3
Luke calls his regular (only) shoes tennies so now we all do it.  I'm sure I taught him that as well as calling his sunglasses "sunnies".  Getting to decide what your kid will call things is pretty fun.  Except he names a lot of things too, like his sippy cup "bobby" and our infrared heater "beep beep".  He really loves both of those things, actually.  You wouldn't think a kid, or anyone, could love a heater but he claims to.

Again, this one is New York's fault.  Both of our previous trips have been during colder times (early April and October) and I wore boots the whole time (my sister was shocked by my one jeans and one pair of shoes packing).  This time I'm really hoping for warmer weather.  We don't want to freeze while drinking Jamba Juice (if you ask Luke what we're going to do in New York he says "drink Jamba Juice".  As far as he's concerned we're going on a long train ride just because Target is "out of Jamba Juice".).  I have a lot of flats. More than I reasonably need but I'm not sure any of them will be comfortable enough for all the walking we will do (my sister can fondly tell you about the almost 12 hours straight we spent on our feet on our last trip).  So, nicer tennies I could wear with my skinny jeans.  Thinking about it.  Looking for the right pair.  Or I might just suck it up with my flats and come back with blisters.  That wouldn't be anything new.  I put bandaids on my boot blisters right before I called our social worker back to find out we got Luke.  Bandaids, ice cream, and Central Park.  Maybe that's the magic formula for getting another kid.

But not just for New York.  There are plenty of days it's warm enough to not need boots but I still want to wear socks, which I can't (don't) do with any of my other flats.  So, useful.  They would keep my feet warmer.  This is important because my feet are usually cold.  Actually, the other day Matt was telling me he had cold feet and I DIDN'T.  It was literally a first in our entire marriage.  That really needs documented because it will likely never happen again.  But other than that one brief moment, I often have cold feet.

7) Green Pants

Modern Ankle Pants
I finally jumped on the colored pants train last spring with some coral pants, followed by olive pants last fall.  I'm eyeing some spring green pants for this spring/summer although these from Target are a little brighter (in the picture) than what I had in mind.  I will very likely order these at some point to at least try.  They look identical to the coral pants I bought last summer and I like those.  I wear them to work, church, and, if we had any, dressier occasions. 
So that's it.  All the clothes shopping I hope (plan) to do for the next 6 months.  January-July of 2015 I bought 30 items of clothing/accessories so if this is all I buy I'm doing pretty good!  I'm sure I'll come up with more things I "need" but I'm really hoping to keep it to just these things.  If I come up with any winners I'm sure they will pop up here at some point!

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