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.


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.