Shopping Confessions

This past year I haven’t stepped into many stores and haven’t done much shopping for clothes. Honestly, it feels like I’ve been really good this year in not buying many clothes, but I looked at my spending over 2016 and was amazed at what I found.

The Breakdown

My husband and I have been tracking all of our spending on his free tool, Thrifty. I was able to look back and see how much money I spent each month on clothes/shoes, what stores I made purchases from, and the items I bought. Here is the breakdown:

Stores I purchased clothes or shoes from:

Cannon Beach Surf: $30 This was a last minute expense. We accidentally left the girls swimsuits at a hotel on our road trip and needed swimsuits at our next stop.

Etsy: $79.98 Two girls dresses: Christmas gifts for my twins.

Garnet Hill: $356.85 Items for my girls: summer nightgowns, winter boots, and pants.

Goodwill: $33.72 Jeans for my husband whenever he got holes in the knees of his current pair.

Hanna Andersson: $972 Mostly for the girls: dresses, pants, tights, socks, underwear, sweaters.

Old Navy: $89.03 A last minute needed outfit for myself and socks for Chris.

Patagonia: $821.55 Clothes for myself and Chris.

Rogans Shoes: $84.40 New running shoes for myself.

Stride Rite: $132.94 Back to school shoes for my girls.

Target: $84.32 Two pairs of winter gloves for my girls,a t-shirt, a swimsuit.

ThredUP: $140.79 Back to school clothes for my girls.

UMI: $44.85 Eco-friendly sandals for one of my girls.

Willy Street Co-op: $194.01 Eco-friendly undershirts for Chris, tank top for myself, and 3 winter scarves.

In total, I spent over $3,000 on clothes and shoes for myself and my family. I purchased clothes or shoes every month. I didn’t go a month without shopping!!!! WHAT THE HECK! I thought I was doing so much better than this! I had myself fooled pretty good.

Three thousand dollars could cover the cost of one of our summer road trips! That’s not a completely fair comparison since I couldn’t have gone through the year not making a single purchase, but I bet I could have been so much better!

My Weaknesses:

If you were to come into our home and look in our closets, you would not think I spend much money , a and shoes. You would more likely think: where are all your clothes? I like keeping our clothes to a minimum, so how am I spending so much money?

When I was going through my spending log, I realized there were clothes listed that I thought I bought maybe two years ago, not 10 months ago. My perception of clothes getting old was way off. A shirt I purchased 10 months ago (good quality too) should still feel new to me! Something I need to work on recognizing - being more thankful for the clothing I currently own.

Because I feel clothes get old to me so fast, I Goodwill them and justify a new purchase more often. By doing this, I always look in my closet and feel I am doing really well at not having a stuffed closet, but I’m painting a dishonest picture for myself.

I also love buying clothes for my girls. Little girls grow fast and every year I need to buy new shoes and clothes for their growing bodies. Their growth spurts are good excuses for me to click over to Hanna Andersson and find something new and cute for them to wear.

My favorite stores are Patagonia and Hanna Andersson. They have amazing quality items and are eco-friendly focused. I love Hanna’s Organic Long Johns. And I am in love with my Patagonia Happy Hike Studio Pants - I literally wear them every day. My love for the eco-friendly means that I am willing to pay more for these clothes.

I don’t want to sacrifice eco-friendly purchases to bring my spending down, so here is my plan for 2017.

My Eight Hundred Goal

My goal is to spend under $1000 on clothes and shoes in 2017. That is a lofty goal, cutting my spending to less than one third of this year. This is how I am going to do it:

  1. Make every purchase intentional. Sometimes when I am feeling down, I look for clothes that will lift my spirits - that is how I spent $100 on a new pair of eco-friendly jeans that are too skinny for me to wear comfortably and I now avoid wearing them.

  2. Shopping more thrift stores. My husband is already a rockstar at getting his jeans at Goodwill ($8.43/pair), but I need to be better. I don’t want to sacrifice on my eco-friendly values, so I am going to look to to meet my needs. I can search for brands I love. This could save me a lot of money.

  3. Spend smarter on the girls. I can easily spend hundreds in one purchase for my girls. Three dresses and three pairs of pants from Hanna Andersson can cost me over $200 before tax and shipping. So I am going to focus on replacement purchases from thrift stores, using or a local resale kids boutique.

Do you know how much you spend on clothes and shoes every year? Would you be surprised by your spending habits? It’s so easy to convince yourself that you are doing better than you really are. I’m glad my husband created his Thrifty tool, otherwise I may still be spending thousands of dollars on clothes each year without realizing it.