It’s January 20, well past the time of making new year’s resolutions. Actually, it’s pretty much right around the time when people realize that they haven’t kept theirs or that they just can’t face drinking another glass of weird juice or dealing with the hassle of going to the gym and that maybe it’s time to table the resolution or try again next year. I’m not much one for making resolutions, which is why just getting around to writing about my goals for the year near the end of January. Here are a few of the big ones I plan on tackling this year.
Honey, you’ve got a blog that’s got shopping in its name, I can hear you thinking. How are you going to shop less? Well, as it turns out, I’ve kinda let the shopping get out of control in recent years. Not “I’ve got credit card debt now” levels of out of control, but out of control in terms of buying stuff I didn’t really like or that didn’t really fit, in large part because it was 40% off of at (fill in name of store here).
Shopping less is so far proving not to be that big of an deal, but it is January, which kinda doldrum season for the stores, so we’ll have to wait and see how things go in February and March. Having a capsule wardrobe definitely helps keep the urge to shop at bay, as I keep telling myself that I have all that I need.
When it comes to actually planning out future wardrobe needs, I’m giving myself limits. My style hasn’t really changed over the years, but I have been able to refine what I like more and what I want from clothing, and that has helped me to reduce the urge to buy items “just because.”
Doing a major closet and house purge last year also helped me see that I never use what I buy, quickly tire of it, or just don’t like it that much. For example, although I used to think that I liked cotton button front shirts, I’ve realized that I hate the time it takes to iron them and that it’s difficult for me to get one that fits right off-the-rack.
I’ve also become more focused on quality, which means I’d rather spend more on a better constructed garment than less on one that literally falls apart. Focusing on other financial goals, such as paying off my student loans (more on that below) and saving up to travel to Paris for a month will also help me not shop so much. One of my goals last year was to unsubscribe from all of the sales emails I got on a daily (or sometimes even multiple times a day) basis. I did that bit by bit over the year, and it not only did it mean fewer emails for me to open or just delete each day, it also meant fewer siren songs of “40% off! One day only!” Out of sight, out of mind really does hold true when it comes to sales.
Read About the Same
Last year, I set a goal to read 50 books. I read 45. But, I’m not disappointed in myself, because some of those books were big or dense and took a while to really read. I’ll still track what I read this year, but I’m not going to focus so much on a number. Instead, I’d like to focus on “quality over quantity” (as my dad used to say when looking over my remedial handwriting assignments. Yeah, I needed extra practice learning cursive. Talk about wasted effort). Pictured above are a few of the books I’d like to read or re-read this year. Some of them are pretty big or just dense, so I just won’t be able breeze through them. As with last year, I’m hoping to use the library or re-read titles I already own, instead of buying new ones.
Here are some of the titles I hope to read (or re-read) in 2016:
- Infinite Jest (I read this about 10 years ago, and would like to revisit it)
- 2666 (another big one, and another re-read)
- The First Bad Man (this one is waiting for me at the library!)
- The Fashion System (I’ve had this for years, but haven’t gotten to it yet)
- The Remains of the Day
- NW (been wanting to re-read this since I finished it)
- A God in Ruins (and might as well re-read Life After Life, while I’m at it)
Pay More Towards My Student Loans
This is a blog about shopping (and sewing). But, I still thought it worth mentioning that one of my goals for the year is to really focus on paying down my student loans. I’ll keep it short, because you probably don’t want to hear about money nonsense.
I’m 33. I finished undergrad almost 11 years ago and got my masters 8 years ago. I put my big grad school loan on an income based repayment plan a few years ago, and while that was helpful in lean times, it is pretty much the same thing as throwing that money into a black hole, since the amount I pay monthly on the plan doesn’t chip away at the principal.
Ugh. Maybe I regret that decision, but there’s no time for that — I’m in the situation I’m in and I’d like to fix it. I’ve read lots of people’s stories of paying off their loans in 1, 2, or 3 years. I won’t be going for anything that dramatic. My goal is to pay off the tiny bit that’s left on the undergrad loan by the end of March and to focus on paying off my grad school loan (which is much bigger) within four or five years.