Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Frugal Confession

Brothers and sisters, I feel compelled to make a confession.  You see, I've developed something of a bad habit.  There is an area of my spending that I have allowed to go unchecked, and I think that it's time to come clean about it.

I love to buy clever t-shirts.

I just found this shirt, and I'm dying to buy it.
If you get both references, I'm probably in love with you,
as you're probably my wife.

Whether the shirt comes from Woot, Tee Fury, Threadless, or any of the other myriad t-shirt sites that are represented at Shirtoid, if I love that which was referenced, it's very hard for me not to log in and buy that shirt lickety-split. 

It doesn't help my mindset that many of these sites only offer a particular design for 24 hours, thus making me feel like I will ABSOLUTELY MISS OUT by not buying it right away.  It's not uncommon for me to purchase five or more t-shirts in any given month.

The thing is, each shirt doesn't cost a lot of money.  Particularly at Woot, I can buy a t-shirt for $10 (which includes shipping).  Still, I am realizing that these $10 chunks add up.

You know what?  I think it's time to slow down.

In part, this realization stems from a recent commitment I've made to lose some weight.  While practical advice for buying clothing even during weight loss is simply to buy your correct size, I've got plenty of shirts that I can wear right now.

I want to have fun stuff to wear when I'm a smaller dude.

As such, I'm putting my t-shirt buying on a limit.  My limit is that I will only allow myself the purchase of two t-shirts in any given month.  I will also allow myself to "bank" shirts from one month to the next if I don't actually buy two.  This will leave me spending closer to $20 a month, as opposed to the $50 or more that I have been spending.  When I get closer to my ideal weight, I'll probably allow myself to spend more (as I will need plenty of new clothes).

How about you?  What small spending habits have you realized really add up over time?  Let me know in the comments.

**This post was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance.**


Kelly said...

I have a similar t-shirt problem....or maybe two. My husband has put a moratorium on buying funny t-shirts for HIM. His office has a business dress code, so he has very few opportunities to wear them, but I find it hard to pass them up. And I also tend to buy souvenir t-shirts when I travel. I want souvenirs that are going to be useful, so t-shirts are my default purchase. Maybe it's a good thing I don't travel more...

Bryan said...

I really understand where your husband is coming from, Kelly. I also have a dress code at my office, so I can only really wear my t-shirts on weekends or days off. Ostensibly, I could only really *need* 2 t-shirts at a time for weekend use (if I'm really on the ball with my laundry), but I've got exponentially more than that.