Essays & Confessions/Shopping Smart

Literally Every Single Unnecessary Purchase I've Made So Far This Year

By | Friday, April 13, 2018

Have you ever heard that saying nobody’s perfect? Omg, me neither. It’s like, the least common phrase in the world, I’m pretty sure. I bring that common saying up on this fine day because all I want to do is reveal all of the unnecessary purchases I’ve made so far this year. Why would I do that, you ask? If you have been feeling guilty about that expensive bottle of wine you bought for Valentine’s Day or that “New Year, New Me” online subscription box you thought was a good idea — don’t. We have all spent money on something we didn’t need this year.
In fact, it’s too late for you to dwell on past expenses. It becomes too late the moment you leave the store and carry with you an item some people might judge you for buying. An item that no one has the right to judge or shame you for buying. Not even yourself.
I like to reflect on these expenses every once in awhile to make sure that I’m not spending recklessly and also to determine whether or not I should reevaluate my budget again. Doing monthly or quarterly check-ins can help you focus on bettering your financial decision-making for the rest of the year, or appreciate those purchases for what they were: Wants. It’s perfectly okay to have wants. Especially given how hard we work to allow ourselves to buy those wants. Particularly without going into debt and without going over budget.
After all — we all make silly decisions when it comes to our money. None of us are safe from wanting a quick bite to eat rather than cooking a meal at home. None of us are safe from splurging on a want that was never in the plans. It’s hard to always be “on” with your finances. When it comes to wants and making those unnecessary purchases, at that moment, you decided they were worthwhile. So — maybe they were.

Here is a list of my unnecessary purchases so far in 2018. Prepare to see a lot of smoothies, coffee, and calories. With a side of zero shame. (Note: these are all in CAD.)

  1. Shellac manicure, $43.14
  2. Brunch for me and two friends, $68.22
  3. Avenue coffee, $13.60
  4. Booster Juice, $16.01
  5. Smoothie, $7.35
  6. Avenue coffee, $17.84
  7. Cookies by George, $19.80
  8. Chips & chocolate, $3.24
  9. Subway, $5.14
  10. Avenue coffee, $5.78
  11. Smoothie, $7.35
  12. Booster Juice, $15.44
  13. Avenue coffee, $19.38
  14. Avenue coffee, $19.36
  15. Eyelash extensions, $69.88
  16. Tim Hortons, $3.77
  17. Booster Juice, $19.06
  18. Pizza, $22.99
  19. Booster Juice, $7.72
  20. Freshii, $11.53
  21. Freshii, $22.64
  22. Candy and chips, $10.97
  23. Audio Book, $9.95
  24. Starbucks card reload, $25.00
  25. Clothes from ASOS, $63.17
  26. Starbucks card reload, $25.00
  27. Starbucks card reload, $25.00
  28. Eyelash extensions, $40.00
  29. Sushi, $45.00
  30. Gift for family, $85.00

Total spending on wants in Q1 of 2018: $748.33 CAD ($594.76 USD)
On average, I spent $250 CAD ($199 USD) per month on wants, or what I would consider my “entertainment” spending — and I am 100% okay with that amount. Why? Oh, I’ll tell you why.
This type of spending supports my mental health
For those of you reading through my list and noticing the amount of “Avenue coffee” purchases there were in the first few months of 2018, I know it might seem like a lot. However, every single one of those expenses was worthwhile for me for one reason: Avenue is my happy place. Since moving to Fort McMurray, it has been hard for me to find anywhere that reminds me of Calgary — until Avenue. Therefore, I go there once every couple of weeks to work, relax and feel at ease. Feeling less lonely and feeling closer to home is well worth the $75.96 CAD ($60.37 USD) I’ve spent at this coffee shop so far this year.

I don’t spend money on many things other than food
A few years ago, this list would have been filled with clothing tabs, liquor store runs, cash withdrawals for the bar, and taxi rides around the city. That’s changed. I’ve changed. I typically only go out with friends one to three times every few months and I don’t like to buy new clothing at all these days. The only things I bought that weren’t food on that list include a clothing purchase for an upcoming event, a manicure I splurged on after a rough week, an audiobook that my husband and I wanted to hear, and eyelash extensions. Of all of these purchases, the most out-of-character splurge would have to be the eyelash extensions. (And although it might seem silly to pay for eyelash extensions to some people, I’d say this has been my favorite purchase in 2018. Doing this has helped me save a ton of time and a ton of money on not having to do my makeup or use my makeup that I usually feel is necessary. I finally feel confident without makeup, and happy to leave the house barefaced.) The $162.97 CAD ($129.53 USD) I’ve spent on “stuff” over the past few months seems pretty insignificant considering that dollar amount used to be what I would spend on one weekend just three short years ago.
Because I don’t need a reason
I spent $72.93 CAD ($57.96 USD) on smoothies this quarter, and I don’t need to explain myself. I spent $85.00 CAD ($67.56 USD) on a congratulatory gift for my family members who just moved into their new house, and I don’t need to explain myself. I spent $75.00 CAD ($59.61 USD) reloading my Starbucks card so far this year, and I don’t need to explain myself. Not every financial decision we make needs a reason. If you can afford to make these decisions and feel good about spending this money — you don’t need a reason.
I want to stop shaming people for their spending habits and start supporting them for knowing what those spending habits are. I want other people to understand that although it’s important to save, budget and plan for your future, it’s also important to enjoy your present. I want nothing but financial success for every single human being on this planet. However, I also understand that financial success is defined personally, uniquely and significantly different to every one of those same human beings.
I am guilty of shaming people for spending money on “silly” things and judging others for their “crazy” financial habits, and I don’t want to do that anymore. As long as you are achieving your goals and are genuinely focused on bettering your money — you’re doing everything right. I could have easily saved that $750 of unnecessary spending towards a financial goal — but I chose to spend that money appreciating my happiness and celebrating my personal achievements. None of that spending affected my savings or financial efforts — but you wouldn’t know that unless I just told you, because we don’t know unless we are told.
Has anyone ever shamed you for spending money on something that you felt was unfair to be judged for? Let me know in the comments! 

Image via Unsplash

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