Things I bought too much of in 2017:
-fabric + patterns :: I made the commitment to sew my clothes this year. Suitable garment fabric can be difficult to find, and there were a couple of times that I bought too much fabric out of fear that the fabric I (thought I) wanted would not be there when I wanted to sew with it. I ended up selling (at a loss) a bunch of fabric + patterns (some that I bought this year!), because I knew I didn't need them. Fail.
-clothes :: Um, yeah. I was supposed to be sewing all of them. I didn't buy a lot of pieces, but I did buy a some, mostly thrifted, things. This was, again, out of fear. When I thrift, I know that it is probably my only chance to buy what I see. Also, things are not (relatively) expensive. But money is money + when I sold excess things that I bought, I didn't usually get as much money for them. (I have high hopes for my list to help in this area.)
-magazines + books :: I bought 3 magazines + 3 books. Two of the magazines were bought on vacation. We don't bring laptops on vacation + these were magazines that I hadn't seen before. I couldn't find 2 of the books at the library + wanted more time with the third. This really isn't a big deal, but 4 out of the 6 purchases really weren't worth it + I want to remind myself.
And the good news:
-With careful tracking of each purchase + monthly review of these purchases, we were able to send an extra payment toward our mortgage principle 8 out of the 11 (so far) months of 2017! (Fingers crossed for one more.) We reached a significant milestone in the principal left to pay as well, which was very exciting (+ motivating).
-This was accomplished as our budget was squeezed even further. We decided to send a little more money toward retirement savings + our car insurance payment went up significantly (due to some unfortunate events). :(
-I exist mostly on the side of feeling hopeful about our circumstances + prospects for the future.
How has your year been budget wise + otherwise? Living within our means seems to offer a bit of struggle at quite a few income levels. As pay increases (if we are so lucky), often expectations rise as well...and then the new normal feels like necessity. Also, it's hard to anticipate all that will come our way in a year. I am inclined to think, however, that a look back is usually helpful. :)
Lots of love to all of you,