resolved.

2 01 2011

i was lucky enough to come into a bit of an xmas windfall this year. nothing earth shattering (most of it went to bills and to my saving’s account), BUT i decided to give myself a small allowance to spend on whatever i wanted. DANGEROUS. it could have been anything, or everything… i have a bad habit of burning through cash without really paying attention to where it goes, or really caring too much when it’s gone. i’m all like “oh, that’s was fun”, instead of feeling the intense sense of guilt and shame that keeps most people from getting in financial trouble.

the last year has overall been a good one for my financial evolution. this was the first year in over a decade that i didn’t use my credit cards even once. i also managed to have a savings account with actual money in it for more than 15 minutes. on the other hand, i didn’t pay off my credit cards as much as i would have liked, i didn’t manage to keep the majority of the money in my savings account, and i still didn’t start an HSA.

so for 2011, i have only one resolution. it isn’t to save more, or spend less, pay off the credit cards, or even open an HSA… (although all of those things are certainly worth keeping in mind). my resolution this year is just to PAY ATTENTION. wherever my money travels should take me this year, i would like to be watchful and be thoughtful about every dollar i spend. i’m thinking about leaving my debit card at home, giving myself a cash allowance, being more careful about monitoring my mint account… but it doesn’t really matter what i do, as long as i’m being vigilant.

i decided to lube up my resolution and get started a little early with the aforementioned windfalll. instead of just throwing the money into my checking account and going apeshit on whatever i happened to find first, i sat down and really thought about things that i wanted, needed, and would generally be too cheap or too broke to afford the rest of the year. here is what i came up with:

1. winter boots. yeah, it’s maine. and no, i don’t have winter boots right now. when i gave up leather 3 years ago, i told myself that i could keep my present pairs of leather shoes until they were no longer be serviceable. well, my beloved winter boots (a sherpa lined set of knee high wedges) finally crossed the point of no return last winter… and with xmas and burlesque, etc., i haven’t had the time or the cash to get myself a decent new pair. too bad we’ve had ridiculous fucking blizzard weather since then and i have had to make do with an ineffective combo of rain wellies and big socks (uncomfortable!). let’s just say that these sexy (and practical) bad boys can not arrive fast enough.

2. beauty blitz. remember this post about personal products i couldn’t live without? well, i’ve run out of essentially all of them (pretty much except for the lip chap), and as it turns out, $17 shampoo becomes less of a necessity when you’re operating on a cash deficit. i’ve tried numerous cheap shampoos, with the end result being me having my hair in a ponytail for most of the last three months (not cute). this week, ulta was having a buy 2 get 2 free sale. after $3.50/$10 coupon from last week’s paper, i paid $27 for 4 bottles ($6.50 each!), and i won’t have to buy shampoo until well into 2012. while i was stocking up, i also bought 4 bottles of philosophy candy cane body wash on sale for $11 each (down from $16), 9 bottles of my discontinued foundation on ebay (fuck you max factor!), 4 bottles of bonne bell gel blush, and a big bottle of the only perfume (cologne really) that i ever want to smell like.

3. dancewear. ok, so i’ve been taking dance classes and performing over the last year quite a bit, and i’ve been doing it all in jogging pants and tank tops. i actually just got cast in “a chorus line” over at portland players, and truth be told, i attended the audition in a black bathing suit and a sweater i bought at abercrombie & fitch circa sometime in my early twenties. yikes. i decided that if i’m gonna continue this crazy dancing thing, i should probably buy some real actual clothes made for the task. leotards ho!

4. newspaper subscription. i’ve spent one too many times throwing myself under swiftly closing doors in attempt to grab a sunday paper before the store closes (and you thought indiana jones was the only one), or just missing the boat all together. for the next 12 months (and for a low introductory rate of $4.33 a month), my paper and my coupons will be laying quietly on my doorstep every sunday morning. lazy!

although i did allow myself a little fun at target this weekend at the 75% off post-xmas bonanza (fast times at ridgemont high for $3.75! discount lipgloss for makeup project 2011! new weekend pants!)…. but as of january 1st, these eyeballs are on serious watch. (serious.)

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8 responses

3 01 2011
sweetersalt

Those boots are super cute. I have a few pairs of “riding” type boots for wearing with skirts and skinny jeans, as well as an uber-intense pair of sorels that weigh about 27 pounds each, but I want a moderate pair of snow boots. Damn you self-imposed spending freeze!

Laura

4 01 2011
bessmarvin

back in my leather days… i had so many boots! i miss them. someone was recently telling me that they’d found a pair of beautiful frye boots at marden’s for $50 and i was seized with demented boot lust. i currently don’t have a cute skinny pant boots, and it’s super hard to find something that is comfy and cute and that doesn’t look like it was cobbled out of plastic bags. the snow boots have arrived and are adorable and seemingly comfy on first wear. but we’ll see how they do in their first real snow.

3 01 2011
cransell

I have an easier time “paying attention” with my debit card. I never quite know where the cash goes, but with the debit card, I have a record of where I am spending my money which I find helpful. Just a thought as you start your year or paying attention.

4 01 2011
bessmarvin

it’s easier for me to track where the money is gone if i use my debit card (and mint.com!), but it’s easier for me to stop myself from spending when i use cash. something about having to hand over those bills hurts me in a way that makes me really consider whatever it is that i’m buying. the card, not so much.

3 01 2011
behold, food mountain! « being bess marvin.

[…] food mountain! so i was just doing that new year’s resolutiony thing over at broke207, and i declared that this year i was resolved to PAY ATTENTION! being my money blog, i was […]

7 01 2011
InfamousQBert

regarding your makeup, be sure to keep it somewhere dark and cool. 9 bottles takes a while to use up and it would be sad to get it out and realize it was all discolored and old because you didn’t store it properly.

also, how do you feel about second hand leather? like, could you buy awesome used boots?

7 01 2011
bessmarvin

i’ve had some bottles for over 3 years now that i’ve been keeping in the fridge- still fresh! i ordered 9 bottles from ebay, and the seller threw in 2 for free! even if half of them make it through the next few years, it will still be a good deal at $29 for everything plus shipping! i am conflicted about second hand leather. on one hand, i’m not directly supporting the meat/leather industry. on the other hand, by wearing leather, that communicates the message that i think the leather industry is ok. it’s a struggle!

11 01 2011
less is more. « broke 207

[…] days ago, i made a resolution to pay more attention to PAY ATTENTION! to how i spend my money (and my time and my calories…). i also declared that this would be my […]

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