Brass Tacks: My $80 (Feb - August 2011)

Back in February, I tried to start documenting my clothes shopping budget (which is $80/month) to keep myself honest about how much I was spending and if I was spending aligned with my values (vegan, labor, environment). With half a year under my belt, let's see how I did.

In February I bought: vintage shoes from Secretlake on Etsy, a dress and a skirt (sweatshop) (reused & sweatshop. vegan.)




In March and April I bought: a jacket, a sweatshirt (both reused) and a tiny shrew (art) (reused. vegan.)


In May I bought: a With Care pin and bow-tie, a dress from The Clothes Horse (reused) and an American Apparel skirt (jerky company, minimally made in the US) (handmade. vegan. reused/labor.)

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In late May I listed a bunch of items I wanted, and chose to spend my June money on a pair of Melissa Anglomania Ultragrrl shoes. (vegan. labor. eco.)







In June I also stole Grace's goal of saving an extra $100 per month. Through creative definitions, I am on target. ($100 paid to teach a workshop and $500 from a secured credit card I canceled and had the deposit refunded.) I will need to find another $100 between now and December to make this goal for 2011. I had planned to take the $$ for clothes I sold at Beacon's Closet but I just couldn't do it. The credit was a better deal and I know I'll use it. Also. I mean, come on. Mentally it's like FREE CLOTHES so I can't let go of that. I know that is horrible brain math but I don't care.


In July I got stuck in the rain twice in one day with canvas shoes on and ended up buying 2 pairs of pleather oxfords at the shoe store next to my office so I'd have dry shoes (and also because they would be good for bike-riding). They were an impulse buy and while vegan, I'd have preferred to shop around for a brand with better labor practices. (vegan. sweatshop.)

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I also broke down and took money out of savings to buy a sweatshop skirt and sweatshop shorts because they'd be easy to bike in and I was sick of not having appropriate clothes. I think that was +$40 spent. (vegan. sweatshop.)


In August I bought: a Vanilla & Lace dress (handmade. vegan. labor.)



Overall, I'm pretty happy with how I spent my money. There are a few sweatshop items that I'm not proud of but given how inundated we are with sweatshop labor items, it's not a tragic failure. Lotta room for improvement though.

For future months -- I find myself poking through my wishlist again. I have an entire list to look for while thrift shopping, a tailoring list and then an entire retail list as well. The retail wishlist includes good brands like Vaute Couture and Everday Apparel. Now I just have to keep my eye on the prize.

Comments

  1. Well done, thou good and faithful budgeteer!

    Are the Melissa shoes comfortable?

    I've been eyeballing the Vaute Couture lookbook, but I really need a jacket, not a coat. I want a new purse, but I haven't found one I feel good about.

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  2. I quite like this post. After a few unsuccessful stops and starts....my shopping fast lasted fully for a month. Which sounds ridiculously pathetic, but it was trying to get over my thriftshopping thinking (so cheap, such a bargain, so bought it even though didn't need it)...that was difficult. We saved a heap of money too (which means I wasn't being as thrifty as i thought i was!). Since then, I clearly ask myself is this a "need" or "want". the main value I look at when shopping is environmental...which means I have to see an absolute need for it and it can't be new unless impossible to find thrifted. So far, this is working great. And in part my friend, I have you to thank for the concept of aligning spending with my values. So Ta!

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  3. @Rebekah - with both of my Melissa shoes, I had t use a shoe stretcher since they tend to be narrow while my feed a wide. After that they have been comfortable and I wear the flats a LOT. The funny thing is that when I put first put them on, before they "warm up" to my body heat, the shape is still slightly narrow but the longer I wear them, the more comfortable they are! I got mine as new-in-box off Ebay for $80 so I didn't pay full price.

    @Teeny - I have struggled (am struggling) with a lot of the same issues you mention and the process you went through not only sounds familiar to me but also makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the kind words re aligning spending to values!

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  4. I really enjoy your shopping accounting. Thanks for modeling how to put my money where my politics are, as much as I can.

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  5. http://www.mcbub.com/cheap-wholesale/Motorola-Q/?sort=3

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