Track Your "Fun" Spending Pt. 1

For the past two years, I've written numerous blogposts on saving money and maintaining a frugal lifestyle. I've talked about the importance of not carelessly spending money and having a plan in place. I've been doing pretty good with it, but I have to be honest, I'm not perfect and I'm certainly not the all-star minimalist these blog posts might lead you to believe I am. I definitely save money, but I also spend money on frivolous things from time to time (because I'm a sane human who enjoys treating myself here and there) - not to the extent where it's a problem but to the extent where I start to think of all the money I could have saved if I hadn't purchased said frivolous things. Looking back at 2017, I feel like I really purchased a lot more than I intended. However, I will say that I think it's easy to get carried away when you don't keep track of all your purchases... you don't realize how quickly things add up.

With that said, I've decided to keep a running list for 2018 of all  *unnecessary* purchases. This can include of anything from clothes to candles and plants to books, and it's purpose is to allow me to look back on it after... let's say a year or six months pass. It's totally cool to treat oneself and all but it's also important to stay completely aware of what you've bought. I think it's also important to set a yearly dollar limit on yourself. If you're trying to really save up on money, you have to set boundaries and get really organized. Create a budget if you must (highly recommended) and track all "fun" money spending.

Since you're all probably wondering what exactly I've purchased this year, I'll share with you my list to give you an example. It's not so important to be extremely specific on when and where - just an item label and price is all you need. At first glance, this list is a little disappointing and long. It's only February. What I can tell you about this list though, however, is that the majority of the items came from small businesses which was one of my goals for 2018 - to support and shop from only small businesses when possible. Another thing is that there is only one article of clothing on here: black skinny jeans - something I actually needed. I've always been a person that loves to buy new clothes and I think I've really come a long way. Ultimately, I'm really happy I've been tracking my "fun" purchases because it really doesn't feel like I've purchased that many items. It's kind of an eye opener and can now help to gauge how the following months go. I plan to check back in with you all in a few months and share the updated list! In the meantime, I challenge each of you to start tracking your own spending. You might really be shocked at how much you actually buy over time!

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