Personal Finance + Shopping = A Crazy Me.

What is it about autumn that makes me want to buy new clothes?

Oh that’s right: The scarves. And the hats. And the leggings. And the jackets. And the layers. Ahhh yes… the delicious layers.

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But I’ve become really, really weird when it comes to buying clothes.

Ever since I started paying attention to my money, I find myself walking into a store with my defenses up. I wander around the aisles of pretty clothes and begin to talk to myself: Does this shirt go with at least two pairs of pants I own? Will this scarf match most of my outfits and jackets? Will I be able to wear this dress in more than one way? Am I considering buying this because I love it or just because it’s ridiculously on sale?

I even calculate what I call “Cost Per Usage” and figure out the price according to how much I would wear something. For example, a white camisole for $10 probably costs me about a penny each time I wear it. The jeans I bought on sale a few months ago for $30 have already cost me $1 per use. This past summer I bought a dress for $60 that I wore twice, so it cost me $30 per use. I know, I know. I’m a dork.

However, I get tired of thinking about it. I wish I could just walk into a store and not think about how if I buy these bright yellow tights, that’s $15 that could have gone to my Emergency Fund. (And let’s be honest, can you really pull off that color?)

Am I the only crazy girl out there who thinks these things while shopping??

{photos: anthropologie}

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  • MPP, you have done so well with your goals. You are on track according to what I see on the sidebar! I don’t know killing yourself with cost per usage calculations is worth it.

    That said, I do have a “Willing to Pay” price for certain things. I refuse to pay more than $10 for a top (I don’t like too much going on in my shirts…just one color and some sleeves), or $60 for a dress…so I know that if I go beyond that price, then and only then should I be thinking about how often or even if it could be worth that much.

    Moreover, I’m really only motivated to spend when there is a sale, or I get a coupon in the mail. So maybe you can consider a list of things you want, and make a plan to go there once you have the incentive to do so!

  • haha. This post is so me. Sometimes I drive myself crazy! I get all excited to go shopping because I genuinely need some new clothes but find myself wandering around the store saying “too expensive, too expensive, no, no, no” and then I come away with nothing! I feel your pain.

  • I think the most important thing is to set a budget for clothes shopping. I’ve been browsing several pf blogs and I swear that I feel more encouragement to spend than to save! (Actually did a post on that topic) I think, in general, fall clothing is just so much better and more expensive.

    I definitely spend in spurts. Some months, I don’t do any shopping at all. And then I go a bit crazy a few months later. However, I usually manage to stay on budget. Even if someone spends $100+ on clothing per month, I try not to let that influence my spending. Everyone’s budget and needs are different.

  • I had never considered a “Cost Per Usage” but that’s definitely going to be on my mind the next time I’m shopping!

    But there are times when I consider how much I LOVE something despite the practicality. Not often, but it happens. :)

  • OMG! This totally happened to me too when I started clawing my way out of debt! I need to think of a name for this…how about “The Female Shopping Abandonment & Debt Payoff Syndrome”. LOL

  • I’ve stopped “just looking”. So now I don’t really online shop, or go to the mall, or anything. I just find it a little tiring. If I already know I shouldn’t be buying anything, there’s no point in tempting myself.