Outfits, Thoughts

Defining expenses


This was Friday’s outfit. It was a bit warm and this polyester shirt works really well for that in-between weather temperature range. I need a jacket for going outside, but inside I’m fine with just this. It’s another reminder that not all of my fast-fashion buys are bad things as long as I keep using them and this shirt has stood the test of time. I’ve had it for round 7 years I think.

I looked at the purchases I’ve made thus far this month and the amount is shocking. I’m nearly at $300, which is the limit I set for myself per month of discretionary shopping. What have I bought?

  • 1 gift for a friend
  • 3 items from Sephora (replenishment hair pomade, replenishment blush, new eye brow brush/razor – all of these were things I needed to replace/replenish because I use them regularly)
  • 1 affogato
  • another affogato and bag of coffee so I can make some at home
  • 1 Nintendo amiibo (another gift – for Z – not necessary but fun) to use for playing Zelda
  • 2 bags of hot chocolate (these were expensive, but so worth it – it’s like drinking molten dark chocolate bars)
  • haircut
  • Saturday brunch with Z

So here is where I’m starting to get fuzzy with what I need to consider an “expense”.

Do I count the haircut, the gift for my friend, and the Sephora items as discretionary spending? If not, then I’m still well within my range. However, it is extra spending I hadn’t anticipated because it happens infrequently and isn’t budgeted into my monthly expenses. Does that mean I need to up my monthly expenses by another $100 or so to include all these “oh yeah, I forgot I need to get that” sort of spending. It’s stuff I need and use, but not all the time. With beauty products, it’s a total crap shoot because I only buy that sort of stuff maybe every 3 or 6 months (or longer), depending on the item.

I suppose looking at that list and seeing that it all only cost $300 really isn’t that bad, but again adding up all those little things made me realize how quickly I can spend money without thinking about it.

How do you treat those random-but-necessary purchases in your spending? Chalk it up to extra spending that month? Be conscious of that spending so you spend less discretionary? Throw it into your budget and that gives you more of a buffer each month you don’t buy those items? Take the total cost of what you need (roughly) and then divide it out by 12 so you have that amount “counted for” in your monthly budgeting (or however you do it)?

I also got my raise this month, so my budget needs to be re-assessed for figuring out how much more I can save each month.


These were my Valentine Day flowers I found on my desk when I got home. I don’t like red roses so Z has always gotten me ones in the colors I like for roses: orange, lavender or some mix of orange-yellow or pink-white.

I’ve been lusting over these two pairs of pants. Both are expensive. The first is navy wool pants from La Garconne. I don’t need another pair of wool navy pants, but these look so nice and casual-ish. The second pair is linen by Pas de Calais (sold at La Garconne) and they are twice as much as the first pair. I want the linen pair more. I feel like they would be a great alternative (dependent upon weather) to jeans for a regular pair of pants to wear. I’m still kinda considering the ES Clyde work pant as well.

Since the very end of December I’ve been doing much better with keeping my workout routine. I’ve not been perfect, but definitely a lot better. As a result, I’ve started to see quite a bit of muscle development in areas I had no idea I could have such strong muscles. Due to the boot, I’m restricted to mostly upper body and core strength. My arms feel…. meaty now. They are much more muscular than they used to be. Even my forearms are stronger.

As of January 1st I could do 8 chin ups and 3 pull ups. As of Friday, February 16th, I am up to 5 pull ups and 13 chin ups. My bench press weight has gone up by 20 lbs (was 30, now at 50 and stalling bad there) and my overhead press has gone up 10 lbs (stalling badly there too). I can’t seem to get many more in than 4 on overhead press and 5 on bench press, but I can do a few more reps at that amount than I used to. I still hate body rows and haven’t made much improvement there. My push ups have gotten a lot better as well.

It’s very strange for me to have so much upper body strength now. My legs were always the strongest part of my body due to running and strength training. I feel slightly unbalanced now because my legs are so weak and my arms so strong.


6 thoughts on “Defining expenses”

  1. I have no budgets. That sounds bad – so here’s some clarity: I’ve trained myself to spend when I want when I can. If I set monthly budgets, it triggers something in me to hit it. I suppose it’s more of a “buy when needed” mentality. Having said that, it’s pretty clear I’m a complete shopaholic and will be broke by the time I return from Japan. 🤣 I admire your financial budgeting and tracking. It’s always so fascinating to me to learn of other people’s’ best habits.


    1. I’m so jelly of your trips to Japan! Z and I need to budget out when we can go. Can you send me what touring company you use for your trips? It’s not that we can’t afford to go, but it seems like we keep pushing it back because we need to get brick pointing done on the house and a new front door and that bathroom reno isn’t happening by itself… at least not until I find my own Harry Potter wand.
      I totally know what you mean by a monthly budget triggering you to hit it. It’s not even necessary to reach each month – it’s meant to be a cap, but psychologically it can go the other way and be seen as a goal to reach, even if I don’t need anything! I can only give credit to Z for teaching me how to save money because I had zero self control before. I’ve gotten better over time and am really happy with how much I’ve saved up in general, so I’m seeing it as a challenge now to do better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have such a micro-divided-budget. There’s a line for gifts and a line for grooming, so that’s where I’d categorize those things (including makeup). Add up how many haircuts you think you’ll get and divide $$ by 12. You may not hit it every month and you may go over it another month, but then at least you’ve accounted for it for the year and you don’t have to worry about it hitting your discretionary line. The rest of your list sounds very reasonable!

    I like those linen pants too and they seem like they suit your style, perhaps moreso than the clydes. We all love clyde pants, but the pair you linked here have a definite “I’m pants!” vibe with their belt loops and fly that you don’t get with the elastic waist clydes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! “I’m pants!” made me laugh out loud. They do say that and that’s why I really like them. I don’t mind elastic waistbands, but I think the others look better for the office.
      I don’t know why the world I don’t have a proper budget for my haircuts. I get them so often now (every 6-8 weeks) I really should budget that out.


  3. For hair and skincare, I would set a “need” budget and then count anything over that as discretionary spending. I probably NEED to spend about $40-50/month average on hair and skincare (basic cut, SPF, drugstore moisturizer) but I choose to color my hair and mess around with untold amounts of anti-aging products. I also get gel paint on my fingernails because I lack discipline and without it, I tend to pick at my nails and cuticles all day long. I often think about where I would cut back if I had a sudden reduction in income, or needed to gather together a large sum of cash quickly. I think I would sacrifice a lot of extras in order to keep up my skincare routine. I would cut out new clothes and shoes entirely if I needed to. I’d hate having to start over from scratch with my skin, if I let it go for a year or two.

    For gifts, I have a separate account that I fund at the start of the year. I use it for actual presents, but also sometimes I will draw from it if I attend an out-of-town or otherwise expensive event like a wedding/graduation/anniversary. Thankfully I am beyond that phase in life when everyone gets married, and those who do get married now are very low-key about it. People are still having babies, though. (I have a friend who will turn 41 shortly before her due date this year – I can’t imagine it!!)

    I love those linen pants. They would also be good for spring and summer. I find European sizing so confusing, though. IT/FR/DE/UK – I wish they’d standardize. I *think* FR sizes are more generous than IT, but I probably have it backward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having a separate account for gift purchases is a great idea! I know my husband has a “Toy” account he puts money into when he wants to buy expensive games or other pricey items. I should do the same for gifts.
      Having a general budget for beauty products is a good idea too. I’ve never really thought too much about how much all of my products are because I do change some around or try out different ones, but I think I can come up with a baseline amount. I mostly use The Ordinary Company products and those aren’t very expensive at all. It’s just kinda annoying when all of a sudden I’m out of nearly everything I use, so I buy it all in one go and boom – I’ve suddenly dropped a larger than expected amount of money.
      I’m scared of European sizing as well. I’ve finally (mostly) wrapped my head around Japanese sizing, but have yet to really delve into European. I totally agree that standardizing is the way to go. Everything should have inches/centimeters! It’s so much easier that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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