Why Tracking Purchases is Important & How to Do It

Last weekend, I spent several hours updating my purchase list for the year. This task took such a long time because I hadn’t done it in over four months and had to hunt around a lot for the pertinent information.  Since I had put off the update for so long, it ended up being a much more surprising – and depressing – experience than it should have been.  This has highlighted the importance of updating the list regularly, at least once a month, in order to increase awareness and hopefully prevent myself from getting out of control with my purchases.

purchase tracking

Tracking your purchases can help you control your shopping. 

Even though I update QuickBooks (what my husband and I use for our accounting) every one to two weeks, I still have a tendency to keep myself “in the dark” in terms of what’s going on with my shopping. I may know the financial numbers and even be able to stick to a budget, as I’ve done for three plus years now, but I often lose sight of how many items I’m buying and how they are or aren’t working for my wardrobe and life.

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Hello 50! and August 2016 Balance Goal Update

As I write this, it’s just three days before my 50th birthday and this post will go live on the big day.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!  As it has gotten closer and I’ve had other things on my mind, I’ve become less stressed about moving into a new decade and more accepting of it.  As many people say, it’s only a number, plus it’s better than the alternative!

Birthday Reflections

It’s hard to think that I probably have less of my life in front of me than behind me and that perhaps my best days are in my past, but I’m trying to develop a more positive perspective on it.  I don’t know what the future holds and many people have told me that they are happier and even healthier in their later years.  Plus, as my husband says, on my 50th birthday I will be just one day older than the day before!  He loved turning 50 and it didn’t bother him at all, so maybe I need to follow his example.

I’ll share more thoughts about my birthday after it has passed, as well as what I want for myself in this new decade of my life.  But today I’d like to give you an update on how I’m doing with my theme for 2016, balance.   My last balance update was about two months ago, so I feel it’s time for another one, as these reviews help to keep my yearly theme top of mind (and hopefully remind you of your goals and where you are with them as well).  Rather than go through all of my balance goals one by one, I will instead share my wins from the past two months, as well as my challenges.

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How I Shopped the 2016 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

For many years, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) has been my absolute favorite sale.  I’d look forward to the sale all year and go online to check out the offerings shortly after midnight on the first day of “pre-selections” for Nordstrom cardholders.  I would usually make multiple purchases before the sale was over, both online and in the store. Over the years, I’ve spent far too much money at this sale and have often bought things that I later regretted purchasing.

2016 nordstrom anniversary sale

Do you shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every year?

NAS Blog Posts Over the Years…

Every year since starting this blog, I’ve done a post about NAS.  The first year (2013), I opted to skip the sale entirely, which was empowering for me at the time and proved to myself that I could successfully resist shopping temptation.  The following year, I went back to the sale with good intentions, but encountered some of the same difficulties I had in the past, spending too much time, energy, and money on the process.

My NAS post last year was about FOMO and the marketing messages that Nordstrom used to trigger our fear of missing out and get us to shop more.  I shopped the sale last year, too, but ended up returning the lion’s share of what I bought.  Fortunately, however, I spent a lot less time on the experience and didn’t feel that I overdid it, even in the face of the intense marketing messages directed toward Nordstrom shoppers.

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A Year Later: May through July 2015 Purchase Review

Earlier this year, I started a new feature in which I review my purchases a year later to see how well (or not) they have worked out for me.  Although I periodically reviewed past purchases previously, I got the idea to review things from a year ago from Mette of “The Yogastic Shopping Planner(see her most recent edition HERE).   Sometimes my purchase updates will cover just one month (as my last one did – I bought a lot in April 2015), but most of the time they will encompass two or three months – or even longer, as was the case with the 2014 review I published last week.

2015 Year in Review

Today I’m going to look back at the items I bought from May through July of last year. Those were fairly moderate shopping months for me, so it made sense to cover them all together.  I will share some basic numbers, let you know what I still own, and reflect on which purchases were good and bad and why. I’ll close this update by encapsulating the lessons I learned from reviewing the items I purchased a year ago.  I hope that reading this update will inspire you to take a look at your purchases from a year ago to see how well they’re serving you.   Taking the time to do such a review can be quite eye-opening and is well worth doing.

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Two Years Later: 2014 Purchase Update

I have done quite a few purchase updates on this blog over the years. I feel it’s helpful to look back at what we bought to see which items were successes and which were failures.  When I first started doing such reviews, I did them a few months down the line.  However, I’ve come to understand that such a time interval is not long enough for a true analysis in most cases. Thus, I started to review my purchases a year later beginning this year (see HERE and HERE).  A full year gives us enough time to see what we are and aren’t wearing and how it’s working out for us.

Since I didn’t do too many purchase updates in the early days of the blog, I thought it would be fun and interesting to look back at some of my earlier purchases. I probably should have started with 2013 (the year I started “Recovering Shopaholic”), but I opted to look back at what I bought in 2014 for this post. I will share my shopping wins, failures, and a few pieces for which it’s not an easy call.  I’ll also point out some patterns and lessons among the hits and misses that will help to guide my future purchases.

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Two Months to 50: Gray Hair Transition & Balance Goal Update

Two months from today, I will turn fifty.  As I lead up to that milestone birthday, I’m periodically writing about some issues in my life and things I’d like to change.  In today’s post, I’ll update you on the hair issues I wrote about last month. I’ll also bring you up to date on how I’m doing with my balance goal for 2016 and highlight some ongoing issues I’m experiencing in that regard.

I’m bound and determined to be in a better place in my life by the time I blow out those fifty candles (well, maybe just a “5” and a “0” on my cake will be a better idea).   Although I have some trepidation about turning the big 5-0, I feel that it has also been a blessing for me, as it has lit a virtual fire under me and is pushing me to make some important and long overdue changes.  It’s like a crash course in personal growth and for that I am very grateful.

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Still a Shopaholic?

I have been writing this blog for almost 3.5 years now (here’s my very first post, from January 2, 2013).  When I started, I thought it was perhaps a one-year endeavor or maybe two years at the most.  I believed that through setting goals and rules and writing about my motivations and behavior, I would overcome my compulsive shopping problem in relatively short order.  I never expected to attract as many readers as I have or continue the blog for as long as I have.  But the readers came (for which I’m very thankful) and it hasn’t been as easy for me to recover as I thought it would be.

shopaholic behavior

This was a typical scene for me before I started this blog…

Earlier this year, I published two posts on the topic of recovery, both my own and in general:

I also shared insights from my private Facebook group on the causes of members’ shopaholic behavior.  These are all great posts that I’m quite proud of, but I’d like to further the discussion today and get more personal about the state of my recovery.

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