Reassessment of my Shopping Habits

January 31, 2013


Happy new year everyone! It’s still January, at least here in Canada it is, so it’s not too late for me to wish you all the best for the upcoming year.

Year 2012 has been quite eventful for me, starting with the opening of this blog. In fact, Tonight at Noon has completed its first year of existence as of five days ago! No, it doesn’t seem like it at all since I haven’t written that much, but I’m not giving up in any way. Blame my temporary Candy Crush Saga addiction for my lack of updates and please expect more posts from me this year!

With all new years come resolutions. I never really fulfill all my new year resolutions, but I always seem to come up with some anyway because it’s the thing to do as you wait for midnight to come, right?

Normally, every January, I reassess my consumption habits. Last year was the year I favoured quality over quantity. In the years prior I had made many regrettable purchases, most of which ended up in a storage box under my bed waiting to be sold or given away to other homes. In 2012, I have acquired items that I feel really represented me and that integrated into and consolidated the rest of my wardrobe really well. I was in fact able to check off a few items I had been on the hunt for, notably a beige trenchcoat (Zara), a navy peacoat (BCBG) simple black leather ballerine flats (Banana Republic) and a black leather satchel. I am not saying I will stick to these specific pieces forever, but I truly do believe they will remain with me for a while and, as stated, go with everything I already have or will acquire.

My favourite and most fulfilling purchase of the year was probably my Coach Court bag, which fits all my necessities including my Nexus 7 tablet (a much loved birthday gift), but still remains compact and comfortable enough for me to carry around without any strain thanks to its crossbody strap. I’ve acquired it from eBay because I insisted on getting an older iteration of the bag, which is not only cheaper but also made in the U.S.A. and of thick leather, as opposed to the newer version currently in stores which is manufactured in China with thinner, lower-quality material. This particular one is from 1997, not quite vintage yet. It was pre-loved and needed a little bit of TLC upon receiving it, but I love, love it!

Coach Court Bag

Coach Court Bag

Purchasing things that I really liked and at (mostly) better quality was successful in that I didn’t have to get rid of too many pieces during the year. I did, however, spend just about the same amount of money due to higher individual prices. So my purchases will go through a much harsher decision-making process in 2013. This would apply to clothing purchases, but also makeup and beauty products, on which I splurged a lot last year. The following are habits I need to adopt in the new year.

  1. Assess wants vs. needs The most obvious aspect I should take into consideration is whether an item is a want or a need. Pretty simple and quite often repeated over and over by just about anyone discussing shopping habits, and yet I always forget about it. Often I give myself excuses like, Oh I could use an extra top for work or I got a good grade on my assignment I should reward myself with something fun. It’s so, so easy to make excuses for any action, so I really need to focus on whether I need a particular thing. I keep a concise list of fashion needs that are required to achieve a more streamlined, easy to coordinate wardrobe, without falling into the OMG she wore the same outfit three times this week category. When I look at that list of needs, I need to tell myself that anything else would not be worth it.
  2. More thrifting I’ve always quite admired and envied anyone who had the patience to scour through racks and racks of clothing at thrift stores, and finding something great only once in a while. But patience is a virtue, and I imagine that when you find a treasure for a bargain it must be a real treat. I want to thrift more this year, as it presents many advantages: inexpensive items (compared to retail stores), higher chances of finding something of good quality and reduction of carbon footprint. Boom.
  3. Avoid sales I consider myself a savvy shopper who tries to find the best deal she can on a particular item. Seasonal sales, however, tend to lure me into making impulse purchases that are final sale and end up under my bed because I didn’t like what I bought so much after all. Unless I’m looking for a particular item, I really want to stay away from retail stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, during their seasonal sales. But if I didn’t purchase something at its full price, I probably didn’t want it that much.
  4. Keep track of expenses It’s easy to lose track of how much you spend when you use debit or credit cards. I made it a goal this year to track each and every expense I make so that at the end of each month, I can look at which category of product I’ve spent the most on and thus need to set a budget for. I’ve done this for the whole month of January and it’s proven to be really useful in keeping me from spending the extra $2 on a coffee. I use the Toshl Finance application on my phone to do this.
  5. Set up a budget for planned expenses In other words, save up for what I really want and forget about the rest.

Here’s to hoping I will stick to my newly-instated rules!

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Fashion, Myself, Photos, Things I Like, Thoughts

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