Happy New Year!
Good grief, I’m glad to see 2012 go. I realize that nothing really changes just because today is January 1st but there’s some symbolism and excitement to starting the process of a new year all over again.
I don’t do resolutions since I know myself well enough to realize that I break just about every promise I make to myself and I’m really okay with that.
One thing I’ve been trying to be mindful of for years (and I’ve written about time and again here) has been wasted money. A few weeks ago, I started a notepad on my phone to keep track of things I’ve straight up wasted money on to see if there’s a pattern. I’m not talking about throwing out leftovers, while that does infuriate me, and sometimes time is money/sanity and I’d rather use a paper plate. I’m talking about buyer’s remorse in all its forms.
Here’s the list I’ve come up with so far:
- about $100 in new shoes for the new job I got in July that ended up killing my feet (I am going to sell them to a trift boutique in the next week or so.)
- $5 halogen bulb for living room lamp that blew out as soon as it was plugged in
- $30 in the shittiest Chinese takeout ever
- Tons of craft supplies over decades on small projects I thought would become big hobbies – I can’t even begin to calculate the money
While digging around on The Happiness Project blog, I found this quiz to find out if you’re an overbuyer or an underbuyer. (all of the tips and quizzes here) I’m definitely an overbuyer.
While the halogen bulb and that crap Chinese delivery was just random chance that really chapped my ass, the shoes and craft supplies were of my own doing because… I WANT TO BE PREPARED. I hate not feeling like I’m ready to roll, which really means I hate not feeling like I have control over a situation. Another thing is, I overestimate how rewarding the project will be and regardless of having everything I need, I end up not being as into it as I had hoped.
I overestimated how dressed up I would want to be at work when I’d truly be happy to wear the same 5 outfits over and over every week. Also, I honestly had no idea how heels were going to be a no-go for my poor feet.
I get too excited, go out and get ALL OF THE THINGS and then… pffffft. It isn’t what I had expected.
I recently bought a big paint set with big plans. Since that investment, I have only done one painting for a friend for Christmas. I finally packed all my paint supplies up and put them away. There’s still some comfort knowing they’re there when/if the mood to paint strikes again. Same thing with my sewing supplies. Painting and sewing are the only hobbies I’m consistently inconsistent with.
And let me say something about crafting in general. Sometimes it’s cheaper to just buy what you want already made… if not cheaper, it may look better and give you a lot more free time. I started coming to terms with this after my knitting frenzy years ago where I made a ton of scarves for friends and then saw prettier, cheaper, more stylish ones at the store. I gave away all my knitting supplies. It’s not always about the time and money though. The process can be really rewarding too so, figuring out what’s worth the effort on an emotional level is a constant challenge and it’s a personal choice for everyone.
Last new year, I was stoked to get a new planner. I spent a ton of time online finding one that felt perfect to me (another waste) and I diligently used it for less than a month so, this year I’m not getting one. A little notepad in my purse and the notepad app on my phone works well enough for me and I can accept that now.
David’s mom is from Korea and my dad is from Serbia and we both cringe at their hoarding/overbuying tendencies which totally stems from growing up in poor rural areas. Yet, here I’ve been all along, doing it too.
This overbuying habit has been a constant battle over the past ten years or so and it’s something I’m constantly working on. Every time I get into a purging/decluttering sweep, I get sick over all the clothes, shoes, makeup and craft supplies I end up donating because the joy I got from it all was so insignificant and I think of how awesome it would be to still have that money in my bank account.
That list of beauty items I just wrote about… I still haven’t bought them because I know I don’t really need them. I’m trying to be good and trying is all you can do.
So… what are you going to try your best at for 2013?