The process of moving into my new apartment (which I did yesterday — eep!) made me realize what a fucking animal I am when it comes to clothes. I honestly and truly do not feel bad about it — everyone has their “thing,” and I’m glad mine is clothes and not something super-expensive or damaging to my health. However, seeing that it only took two laundry baskets to transport all of Drew’s clothes to our new place made me realize that my wardrobe probably shouldn’t take up 40% of our apartment space like it currently does. I’m not sure I’m going to purge anything right now — I genuinely love and wear all of my clothes, and we do have space for them — but it would be quite silly for me to spend money adding to a collection that is beyond complete.
2. Gimmicky “Summer Essentials” I read about in magazines.
I get amped when I open up the June issue of a fashion magazine and am greeted with glossy pages of peachy-toned makeup and beauty products that they swear will change my entire summer. But the thing is, I have solid hair, makeup, and skincare routines that are inexpensive and truly work for me, so I don’t need to mess it up because ~yellow blush~ is all the rage this summer. Also, I need to avoid basically every “BuY tHiS sUnScReEn!” article, because I know how chemical-heavy a lot of SPF products can be, and like to stick to the few that are EWG approved. (Like this one — I know it is for babies, but I actually love it.)
3. A vacation.
Maybe controversial, because I know most of the world considers travel to be one of the most important and worthy causes of spending money, but I’m not going on vacation this summer for two reasons: 1) Although I love a good vacation as much as the next person, I’m not obsessed with the idea of Capital-T Travel, and am just as happy to spend a low-key summer in good old CT, and 2) I genuinely need to put my money towards other things right now that are a lot more important to me than a vacation, like settling into the home Drew and I will hopefully be living in for the next few years, beginning to pay off student loans, and working towards other goals. If I do travel any time soon, I want it to be far enough away from this point in time that I’ll be able to actively save for my vacation in the months leading up to it — we might shoot for a small trip in late December, or January 2018.
4. ~Just because~ cocktails.
Summer makes me want to get my drank on more than I already want to (which is — you guessed it — all the freaking time). BUT drinking often and drinking in public both directly conflict with two goals I’m working towards right now, so this is definitely something I’m cutting out for the summer. In general, a warm summer night makes me want to sit on my parents’ deck and sip drinks with them while all of our dogs run around, but I need to learn how to enjoy some of those nights with a cup of hot tea in my hand instead of a cocktail, for my health and my wallet.
5. Celebratory meals.
Since I’ve basically been in school my entire life until now, I’m used to summer being a time of celebration. Summertime almost always has meant a giant “break” from real life — sure, I’d pick up more hours at my jobs than I would during the semester, so I’d still be productive and often busy — but it was definitely a break from regularly scheduled activities.
This summer is quite different. Since I’ve just graduated and started working a lot more, this summer is less of a break, and more of a transition into my new normal — and the new normal is looking a lot different than my old, leisurely normal.
So, while it is definitely tempting to treat every day like a “special” day, I need to treat this summer more like a transition into a low-key everyday life that will involve a lot of healthy, homecooked meals and very little going out.
6. Too many “experiences” in general.
I totally get the “spend on experiences, not things” idea, but we all know that sometimes spending on experiences just isn’t a financially good plan either. I’ve been trying to incorporate a lot of “no-spend days” into my past few weeks, while simultaneously trying to incorporate a lot of fun into my schedule. Learning how to have a full day of fun without spending money is important to me — sometimes, when I go out with friends or have a full Sunday off with my boyfriend, I am tempted to spend a ton to make sure we get the most out of our fun day together. But doing things like cooking a good meal with ingredients I already own, going on a long, beautiful hike or going to a dog park with my puppy, or watching movies and working on DIY projects in my apartment are also good ways to have a full day of fun, without spending any money on it.
“Experiences” are great, but they don’t always need to cost money, and that’s something important I’ve learned.