Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Taking stock

Taking stock, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Thanks so much, bloggy friends, for all your feedback. I just got back from Manhattan, where I returned the dress and did a few other work related things. This segues into many thoughts I've been having about this blog, my style, and my life. (Caution: possible self-awareness overload ahead).
I've been working as a professor for just under 2 years now. I complain a lot (sorry, JRu, I know that you read this sometimes), but I am a pretty happy and lucky person. My apartment is adorable, I'm in a great relationship, my colleagues are cool, my students are a riot (even when they grate on my nerves), and I have great flexibility with my time. But I haven't quite figured out my "big girl" finances yet. I have like quadruple the income from graduate school, but more expenses. And I unfortunately work in midtown, where the number of retail shops (not thrift) is ridiculous. (Also, lots of bad sandwiches). Since I have disposable income, no children, and no debts, I haven't seriously thought about how to allocate my income. And then sometimes when I've had a rough day, I'll look at clothes and all of the sudden, there goes hard earned money. Oops.
Sal, Elaine, Academic Writer and others commented that the dress might not be my style or easy to wear in multiple ways. I realized when putting away clothes last night that I have a lot of clothes. Many which I love but don't wear often. So I want to challenge myself, and use this blog as a way to stay accountable. A lot of other bloggers have inspired me to consider shopping ban, or a shopping plan, or something like that as a goal to guide my clothes spending (Sal, Alyson, and Jesse.anne.o all come to mind). I don't think I'd do so well on a total ban, and I still want to spend money on textiles as I learn how to sew, so I going to commit myself to at least 6 months of Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephone's Thrifty 365 challenge. (This would be more like Thrifty 182 but it lacks the same pizazz).
After I bought the mod-style dress (and a couple "work clothes"- all have been returned) last week, I came home and Blokey and I sat down and figured out a budget plan. We have generous allowances for food, entertainment, etc. (there's no hairshirts going on here). I am limiting myself to $20/week that can accumulate to spend on frivolous things, but it must be thrifted or some raw materials that I can use to create my own clothing/accessories etc. I will even try to make all my own non-monetary gifts (should be interesting, with a few babies on the way). I will allow myself shoes, underthings, socks, etc. and some items like workout clothes that may be better off new, but that will all have to stay in the budget. I have, of course, complete support from the fella. (He has a "fun things" budget too, but he'll probably spend his on guitar, music, and computer things).
For now, I am saving up my weekly allowance to go thrifting with Anne in Chicago in few weeks (academic conference). Wish me luck as I start this journey.

Dress: Brooklyn Industries
Socks: Target
Boots: MIA


  1. I somehow missed that post 'til now. It's a very cute dress but I hear you. I think what you've resolved to do sounds great!

  2. Good luck! I've had to cut down on shopping too, since it was getting out of control. I was a serious impulse shopper, but I've gradually gotten to the point of paying my credit cards off and putting about $600/month in savings. It was rough at first, but I really like having extra money now in case I need it. Like Sal said in her post a couple weeks back, it's nice to not fret about a dinner out or an unexpected expense, and I definitely used to. The first thing I started doing is exactly what everyone told you to do with that dress - ask yourself if you really need it, and when/how/where will you wear it?

    The nice thing about all those clothes that you never wear is that you can use this outlet to find new, fun ways to wear them so they get back into the rotation. It's almost as fun as buying new :) You can do this, and you have a ton of knowledgeable and supportive people who can help you along the way!

  3. I had a similar realization around last december that I was really shopping more than I should. I was shopping just to shop, when I didn't even wear all the clothes I own. So I put myself on a shopping ban, I could still get something if I needed it, but I no longer let myself treat shopping as an activity to do when bored!


  4. loooove the dress. i like it more than the last one.

    Also, I know I used to make fun of you over this but you're were totally right about $$$. Somehow I have less money than in grad school. WTF!!!

  5. Well, for all I think the dress is cute, I won't blame you for being thrifty. I try to budget myself pretty strictly. Good luck!

  6. Wow. What an awesome - and very challenging - plan. You can definitely do it, of course - and I look so forward to seeing what you sew!

    Also, this dress is so lovely on you, and the stripey knee socks are perfect!

  7. Do you have a budgeting/banking tool? I use Mint.com myself, and I have other friends who use it and love it.

    i love this dress on you, by the way. Very flattering on your shape!

  8. I somehow missed that post 'til now. It's a very cute dress but I hear you. I think what you've resolved to do sounds great!