First of all, yes, I know: I’m a month late to this game, if we’re going to take the post title literally. And, yes, I know that I’ve slacked on the monthly shopping recap front as well. The truth is that neither shopping, nor the recapping of it, has been at the forefront of my priorities in the last couple of months. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve still shopped – a lot, if we consider July as a case in point. I just haven’t felt inclined to write about it. Reading other people’s budget posts last month did, however, give me the urge to do a quick tally of my year-to-date numbers, and after doing the math, I figured I’d might as well share it with you.

So, here we are: numbers coming at ya!

Let’s start with the big ones. Between January and July of 2014, I spent $2,462 on clothes and accessories. The estimated retail value of my purchases added up to a whopping $10,223, which means I paid, on average, about 24% of the original “on paper” value. This number tracks very close to last year’s figure, although I’ve spent considerably less overall (and bought fewer things) this year. My bargain hunting mojo is going strong.

The total amount spent in 7 months breaks down to an average of $351/month, which seems a tad high, but adjusted for 2 expensive purchases (more on that in a minute), it’s actually pretty modest ($188/month). I don’t have a predetermined budget anymore, but I try to keep my clothes spending under the “5% of net income” threshold, and (even on the high end), I’m comfortably within that limit.

I had two expensive purchases this year, which skew my numbers significantly. Both were purses, in case you couldn’t guess. Alone, they account for almost half of my year to date spending. The other half was spent on 40 items, to give you a sense of proportion – these cost, on average, about $33 each.

So, this year, I bought:

10 tops
5 skirts
9 bottoms
11 dresses
8 jackets
2 pairs of shoes
2 bags
3 accessories (jewelry)

Not bad, I think, considering it was a year in which I lost over 25 lbs and changed 2-3 dress sizes. Needless to say, I’ve also “purged” a lot of clothes from my closet this year, although I haven’t kept very good track of the numbers. I would say that, while it probably wasn’t a “one in, one out” situation, it was close. And I put “purged” in quotation marks because I finally learned my lesson, and am no longer getting rid of everything that doesn’t currently fit. I did that last year with pre-pregnancy clothes, and then had to re-buy a lot of things after my body changed, again (a year and a half later than I expected). So, things that are good quality and were good bargains (primarily work clothes) are staying put in my overflow closet for the time being. I am taking a few things to the tailor (primarily pencil skirts) to be altered, but I’m calling the rest “insurance”.

And there you have it – all the numbers and then some.

14 Comments on Mid-Year Shopping Reflections

  1. I enjoy reading your thoughts on shopping. I think August is a good time to stop and reflect because we’re heading into a whole new season – one that, for me, I particularly like to shop in. I need to stop and think about what I want to buy for fall and that should start with thinking about what I already own.

    • It’s been tough, though. I have a short list of things I actually need, and I cannot find them anywhere for the life of me. (Well, not to my specifications and within my budget, anyway). It’s driving me bonkers – especially as there are a ton of other cute things I find (and buy, sigh) in the meantime.

  2. I really like these numbers posts, especially the retail versus spent $. 24% of the retail price is great value.

    • Thanks! I like crunching the numbers, and it does make me feel better about all the shopping that I do. A big part of it is the bargain-hunting aspect, I have to admit.

    • I’ve done a few posts in the past, but if you guys are interested in more, let me know. Here’s one of the more comprehensive posts:

      I would add that, currently, my fave thrift stores are the VV on 34th Ave (the one on 82 Ave is still decent, but I don’t go there as often because it’s farther out of my way) and the Goodwill on 52 Ave.

      I have had an amazing run of thrifting luck in the past week, so I am now gearing up for a (hopefully comprehensive) sweep of Edmonton area thrift stores. I’ll try to do a post or series of posts if I get the time. The thrifting here is fantastic – definitely, definitely worth checking out if you have the time.

      You should also check out The Spirited Thrifter, who is another Edmonton blogger who features thrifted style exclusively. She has a lot of tips as well.

  3. Wow! 25 lb weight loss! That’s terrific! Were you actively trying to loose weight or did it just come off through being busy and eating well? You look amazing!! I still have my pesky 20 extra pounds from spending a year on site rotation in the great white north. Weight fluctuations are the worst for my closet and spending habits. Having clothes that are too small in my closet also makes me feel guilty all the time… So I stuff them in suitcases. And usually discover them again prior to beach vacations 🙁

    • Gosh, I wish I could lose weight without trying, but no. At the beginning of the year, I did about 2 months of a modified Whole 30 type eating plan, and used the MyFitness Pal app to track my calorie intake. I had actually given up hope of losing that extra baby weight (my youngest was almost 1.5 when I started), so it was a pleasant surprise that it worked. I’m happy about the weight loss, but it’s done a number on my closet. In the last 5 years, I’ve gone up and down too many times to remember now (from a size 2 to a size 10). I’m happy with my current weight, so I hope it sticks … but I have my old clothes on standby, just in case.

    • Most of the things I purged just didn’t fit because of the weight I lost. A few others were just part of what I’ve come to realize is natural turn-over: every year or two, I tend to replace certain non-essential/core pieces – whether to get a different colour, or a different print, etc. A small scale wardrobe re-fresh, if you will. Since most of my clothing is second-hand, I only feel a little bit guilty about it (cost-wise, or environment-wise). Otherwise, I do try to keep as many of my core pieces for as long as possible.