Februblah

After 1st snowfall of the month.

This month has been rough.

We had three major snowstorms and the temps remained so cold that after all this snow fell on February 1st it is STILL on the ground here on February 28th. It’s been melting a lot finally over the past few days, but it’s been rather surreal having snow on the ground for a solid month. Everything being white and grey and cold has really taken a toll on me – and our bank account.

  • 1st – snowfall
  • 2nd – more snow – continuation from previous day – really slow moving storm started Sunday and finally let up early Wednesday morning after a mix of snow/sleet. Total 14 inches. It was an 8 inch layer of powder over the rest being crusty, snowy, ice.
  • 11th – more snow – only 3-5 inches expected – we got 10!
  • 15th – Water company, who had been working on replacing the water lines in our neighborhood for a month came to the door to say we were being switched to the new system now. Two hours later we noticed our heater wasn’t working and there was a moat in our basement. Both the hot water heater/ furnace died on us and a severe cold snap was two days away.
  • 16th – Nearly $3K later both water heater/furnace were fixed
  • 17th – insanely cold weather
  • 18th – more snow – another 8 inches
  • 19th – 1st vet visit for Yuki, who has been limping since January. Nothing seemingly wrong, so an anti-inflammatory drug was given and makes Yuki bounce-of-the-walls bonkers. Her limp doesn’t get better because she’s crazy.
  • 25th – 2nd vet visit with x-rays and blood work taken – Dr said nothing is showing wrong, so maybe it’s a pinched nerve in her back or slipped disc since she’s showing no symptoms on her legs at all. Change of medicine so now she’s in a coma all day versus cracked-out hyper. Total vet costs + meds: $900+.

I’ve not run even half as much as I did in January. The brutal cold of this month wiped me out mentally/emotionally that I had no desire to even attempt taking care of myself physically.

Although we took a huge hit financially this month, my personal spending was next to nil. I spent around $26 buying breakfast sandwiches/donuts/coffee for Z and myself earlier this week after dropping off Yuki for her x-ray visit. I don’t really count “joint” or “family” related expenses against my personal account since these are issues that would have to be taken care of no matter what. They are necessary expenses and are paid for by our joint account. The breakfast expense is going against my No-Buy since we really didn’t need it. It was an instant-gratification-EFF-this-awful-month meal. We also bought pizza this weekend, but Z paid for that.

Having our water heater and furnace die on the same day and going a night in the cold was really upsetting. I can’t say we were in any dire situation like the people in Texas at the time, who had no power nor even water for much longer than us, but the pervasive cold weather after our little crisis here kept me on edge. I’ve felt like I can’t get warm no matter how many layers I put on. It’s already back up to 80F in Texas. It finally reach 40F this week and felt like a damn heat wave.

We don’t blame the water company for what happened to our hot water heater. We may very well have had a small leak already and the water pressure change being switched to the new system was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back in the case of our heater and caused the leak to get much worse. The fact that the furnace died the same day seems like the two are completely related. That being said – there’s nothing that indicated in any way the water affected the furnace because all of the wiring, circuit boards, etc are elevated in it and weren’t touching the water at all. The only thing we can think of is the fact that both were replaced by the previous owners at the same time so both are around 10 years old, which is near expiration territory. Z still thinks somehow the incidents were related and one caused the other. The furnace just needed a new power board, which the heating company charged $900+ for when the board itself only costs around $170 (Z looked it up online). He was pissed off he paid so much for what amounted to a 15 minute visit when he knew he could’ve replaced it himself. However, we were in a time crunch due to the next storm heading our way and we didn’t want to another night without heat and risk our pipes freezing. Since we didn’t have any guarantee we could get a circuit board as fast as the heating company could, we just bit the bullet on it financially.

It’s been raining all day here and although most of the snow is melted, it’ll probably be a few more days before it’s all gone. I really hope this is it for this winter and we don’t get any freak storms in March or April. Historically, that’s been known to happen with winters like this. Every 5 years we get dumped on – repeatedly.

I’ve also had a lot of work stress as well with projects. It’s been an incredibly crap month all around.

February Spending

sapphire

This month was significantly more expensive than last month. There are some things I’m leaving off because the biggest thing I’m trying to curb is my wardrobe spending, so most other things get a pass – to a degree.

  • Bass penny loafers – $67.99: Yep, I bought a pair. They had a sale on the factory outlet site that had the right color of brown with a rubber sole. Still breaking them in a bit, but I think they’ll be good slip-ons in time.
  • Muji clothes – $151.25 : Returned everything and lost money (shipping to me and shipping back). Doing returns for Muji feels horribly antiquated compared to most every other company. They don’t have a return website, you literally just mail back the items after hand-writing a note on the packing slip. WTF? Get with the program Muji – create a damn return page. I’ll most likely not be buying clothes again from them.
  • Lo & Sons Waverly 2 bag – $173.60: Returned this as well. Even though the dimensions on the site made it sound like I could fit my A5 size notebook in it, the bag didn’t come close to opening the zipper pockets all the way. Plus I couldn’t snap the inner pocket closed when my XR iPhone was in a slide pocket. So that was a total NOPE.
  • Italic wallet & candle – $92.00: Liking the smaller wallet a lot. It’s forced me to only keep what few cards I actually need and I don’t carry change anymore and now know I never really needed a coin section to begin with.
  • Norstrom Rack – $33.94: Bought two bras, but am going to return one because it was too small.
  • JetPens journal accessories – $79.64: While I’m not counting my Hobonichi purchase this month because I’m considering that a very good and worthwhile investment I’m using quite a bit already, I am going to dig myself financially for buying a bunch of stickers, stencils and washi tapes for decorative purposes.
  • Apple (in-game purchase) -$33.90: I’m still bad at buying Leaf Tickets for Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.
  • Etsy – $142.15: I bought myself a sapphire ring. I got a bonus so I used some of that to pay for the ring. I’d been wanting to get myself a nice simple ring with my birthstone for a while and when the KHIM shop had a good sale going on I jumped on it. My ring is with white gold, so it’s the bottom one from the photo above.

Total spent: $774.47.  Returned: $327.85. Actual monthly spent: $446.62.

Looking at those numbers is slightly terrifying and giving me a serious reality check. And that’s not even including the Adagio teas, the Hobonichi Techo Weeks, and a few other items that I’ve mentally put in my: “I would buy these things no matter what” category.

Part of me also knew this month would be bad because I’d been taking a hard look at things I’ve got and realized I am ready now to do a proper shopping ban. Knowing that I let myself got a bit wild spending to get it out of my system. I’m still working out the parameters of the ban so I’ll post about it later, but for now I’m realizing that this monthly spending report is a good way for me to kick myself in the ass and get my financial bearings back.

 

Saying no – most of the time

Yuki is not impressed

It’s almost February and I thought I’d do a spending recap for this month.

  • Clothing: $90 – Everlane skinny jeans and Everlane long sleeve tee.
  • Amazon: $54.06 – Jane Iredale lip stain in pink and eye lash extender mascara.
  • Apple: $46.62 – Game app (my unhealthy relationship with Animal Crossing Pocket Camp has been affecting my spending lately with buying game items)

I’m not including the one time I’ve ordered UberEats nor the new pillows I ordered in this spending. I needed new pillows and sometimes take-out is just what we need for stressful work days – so I consider it a sort of mental health type of thing. The three bullets above are definitely things I did not need in the slightest, but I bought them. $190.68 cents worth of unnecessary items. I don’t regret any of them, but it is eye-opening for me to see the numbers like this. I didn’t even spend much this month. I know I’ve done much worse in the past, but seeing how those three bullets add up is really making me think I need to pay much more attention to my extraneous spending.

For some reason I’ve got it in my head I really need penny loafers as well. I’m not going to spend any more money this month, but for the past several weeks I keep looking at these from Bass:

The left one is the natural sole and the right is their easy sole, which just means it’s made out of rubber and is more flexible instead of the typical stacked leather. I like the look of the natural, but know the easy sole may be more comfortable because it’s more flexible. What got me thinking about penny loafers? To be brutally, stupidly honest – a character from an anime I really like. *head*desk* The character is a professional and she always wears the same black suit and penny loafers. I love the her wearing black and brown together. Seeing the loafers on her made me think when I wore penny loafers when I was younger. I had one pair I wore to death. They were the typical wine colored ones like these, but with a leather sole:

wine

I prefer the cognac or brownish kind more these days and I think they would go better with my current wardrobe than this traditional color. But I don’t really need them! Aside from idolizing Akane Tsunemori (the anime character), the classic look of penny loafers – along with the weather – got me thinking about wearing more of a uniform at work and sticking to basics, classics, comfortable jeans. A simple look to put on repeat. I came to the brutal realization lately that I really didn’t need to buy 90% of the clothes I’ve gotten over the past two years I’ve had my slightly more professional job. I can easily get away with wearing a nice top and the same jeans and that’s it. The one Yohji suit I got was a good investment for conferences and client visits, but most everything else… I could’ve easily done without. I don’t need penny loafers to make my ideal uniform in my head! Talk me out of this!

Now for something I did buy, which shocked me:

Even though I returned the last pair of Everlane jeans and swore off the brand for jeans entirely I still couldn’t quit the idea that maybe, somehow, there was an Everlane jean that would work for me. I finally found it in the “authentic-stretch” skinny jean. I don’t know what the heck “authentic stretch” means, but the contents of the jeans are basically more stretch than the other pairs I’ve tried. They are thinner than my trusty Grana Japanese slim style ones ( I really wish Grana would bring those back), but they are nice enough. I do like the mid-rise is higher up on me than my Grana’s. That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever need another pair. Between the trusty Grana’s in blue and the new skinnies in washed black I’m covered for jeans. I also got another long sleeve tee in the new green color that just came out. I have a black one that’s horribly faded, but the fit and softness can’t be beat, so I caved when I saw they came out with a green color. Lately I want everything green and brown.

Another item that’s been catching my eye is the teddy-bear looking cardigan. Almost every brand has a version of it now whether it’s fleece or polyester or whatever – it basically looks like someone skinned a teddy bear. Some of them look meh, but a few have me thinking maybe I’d like one – but I already have three perfectly good cardigans already and I honestly don’t wear them too much! I’m saying no to the poor fleeced teddy bear.

bleh

Yuki is not amused at my first-world-shopping-problem plight.