As part of my preparation to start this blog and really address my compulsive shopping problem, I decided to take a good look at the cold, hard facts of my situation. To do so, I turned to QuickBooks, where I was able to find information about my spending for the past ten years. What I learned was both surprising and depressing!
The Numbers in a Nutshell
In a nutshell, I have spent close to $50,000 on clothing, accessories, shoes, and alterations from 2003 through 2012, with an average of $4762.56 in these types of expenditures per year. For some people, this sounds like a lot of money, while it may seem reasonable or perhaps even low to others.
A few other pieces of information will help to put things into perspective:
- My budget for each year was usually around $3000, so I exceeded my budget every single year – and sometimes I even spent over double my budget!
- I have worked from home for all of these years and wear only workout clothes or lounge wear two or more days per week.
Even My “Best” Year Was Bad…
In terms of shopping outlays, my best year was 2009, when I only spent $3,466.33 on clothing and related expenses. My worst years were 2005 and 2006, when my expenditures were $6608.59 and $6161.04, respectively.
During this past year, 2012, I spent the fourth largest amount, $5250.34. While I did better in 2012 than in 2011 (when I spent $5673.29), I still substantially exceeded my budget. Clearly, I have a problem!
Money is Only Part of the Shopaholic Puzzle
Awareness is the first step toward change, but money is only one piece of the puzzle for a shopaholic. In my next post, I’ll look at how many clothes I have and how often I wear them. I know that those cold, hard facts are equally as sobering as the budget numbers, but I need to face the truth in order to change…
Track your spending on clothing, accessories, and related expenses for at least a few months and review the numbers. If you use a financial planning program such as Quicken, QuickBooks, or Microsoft Money, review your shopping expenditures for as long a time period as possible.
What you discover may surprise you. Don’t beat yourself up about it. That never helps anyone to change. Simply ask yourself if what you spent was reasonable for your budget and lifestyle. If not, what would have been a more reasonable amount to spend?