December 3, 2011

Pajama Musings - The Bookshopper

This week I realized that it's been a while since I last mentioning how my frugal year is coming along. To those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, you might want to check out my initial post about it. If you're too lazy to click the link, here's the short version:

My friend Sarah talked me into a full year of "only shopping the essentials". So I'm good on food and toilet paper. Stuff that's not necessariy (as we already own it in a dozen different variations) are a big NO. On the upside (otherwise this would have been too cruel) we are allowed to spend money on luxuries such as clothes or DVDs or books from money we make selling old stuff.

Long story short, at first I wasn't overly thrilled, but the idea really grew on me. In fact I am going to continue my frugal living in 2012. If I learned one thing this year then to recognize what I really need and what I merely want. Of course I allowed myself some shopping with the money from my sales, and it will shock you just how much I made ... so many things I once wanted and never used or got bored of, it's a shame, really. I looked back on the year and of the € 1.067,65 (told you, it's shocking how much stuff has accumulated mostly from unnecessary shopping sprees) I spent € 673,39. Now take a not so wild guess what the lion's part of those purchases might have been?

As is evident from my IMM posts I invested some of the money into books. Not as though my TBR stacks would be so terrible small *hahaha* but you know how it is. I bought myself an eReader and plenty of books. Roughly € 270,00 have been spent on bookish things, including the € 100,00 eReader. Now you're impressed, right? Thought so.

You know what's funny? I bought more books for giveaways or RAK than for myself. Good thing that these are expenses that I'm allowed to make - it is more blessed to give than to receive, after all - and wouldn't you know it? I was equally blessed with receiving books through giveaways and RAK! Bottom line, those books stacks won't be shrinking anytime soon, no matter how frugal my life is, ha.

What happened to the rest of the money? Let's see. While I have been shopping my closet I did add a few pieces to my wardrobe, totaling about € 155,00. To think that I used to spend more than that in a month than I shelled out in a whole year, my oh my! I also noticed how I invested quite a bit into DVDs - about € 145,00 - and only bought one CD for € 15,00 which didn't turn out to be the best shopping decision of the year. At first I couldn't wait for the new Tori Amos album to go on sale, a month later it would have cost only € 10,00, and adding insult to injury, I don't like the CD anyway *sigh*. And then a fair amount of money was spent on knickknacks such as calendars for next year, a cute key fob, a USB-stick, etc. so as you can see, except for potatoes, hankies, and shampoo, I really put each and every of those little things onto my frugal-expenses sheet.

And of course I haven't spent all the dough I cashed in through my sales which means I've still got plenty to spend on more ... things. But these days I'm definitely choosing more wisely than I ever did before, and frankly, I enjoy my purchases a whole lot more too.

Are you a shopaholic at heart? Have you ever thought about seriously reducing the money you spend on things? Not just on books, but in general? Let me know!


  1. Well done! I've planned to do something similar this year...but different. I made a post a few days ago with my 2012 goal of "total book buying ban". Yikes! I'm at the stage though, where if I never bought another book ever again, I'd still not run out of reading material from what I already have. So no book buying. But, I can win, I can be 'gifted' or I can swap books. It'll be a breeze :D

    Reading your post though has made me want to up the stakes a bit. I've got a house full of stuff I just couldn't live without, only to find that once I had aquired it I quickly lost interest. So...I'm going to take a leaf out of your book and (unofficially) extend the buying ban to everything except the essentials. However, to balance that out - If I haven't looked at something or needed it for 6 months or more then it's gone. I'll try to sell it. The money I make can be spent on treats that are worth having... although still not books...I have to stay strong on that one otherwise I'll be back where I started!

    Thanks for planting this notion in my head! :D

  2. Yay, frugality is contagious!
    It's neat how I inspired you to add a little extra frugal fun to the book buying ban you planned for 2012. Actually I've already made some bookish New Year's resolutions myself and I plan to go on a ban (at least) for the first six months. Truthfully, I could go on reading for the next three years without running out of new books, so I should be fine. I might even extend it to a full year. Or maybe not, hahaha!

  3. My "big" problem has always been that of buying too many books :) in September I decided I would not buy any book till the 1st of January, but my wishlist has now expended to so many books I have no idea what to cope with that in the new year... I might have too many trousers or bras (loool) but nobody has complained about that (so far). I am still thinking about my issue with books, I am even about to say that it is a real addiction :)

  4. I AM a shopper at heart but try to cut down personal expenses out of necessity. That being said I spent a lot on technologu items like a new netbook and a phone. But in terms of books and clothes I have been very good. I hardly spent any money on either.

  5. I am a shopaholic, you know that. But, despite my postings that make you think otherwise, I've curbed my spending quite a bit in the past two years. Having the household income cut by 2/3 will do that. :) However, I get really great deals when I do shop. But I've always known where most of my money goes- into plane tickets to visit the family.