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Everything that comes into my home is inventory that I have to manage.  Whether I buy it or accept it from someone else, I am now in charge of tracking, using, and caring for that thing.  This includes things like groceries of course, but it also includes physical items that stay for the long haul.  My capacity to deal with this stuff is lower than most - that's why I'm a minimalist.  I see nothing but stress when I look at a cluttered room.  So I decided to really stay on top of this over the last 10+ months, not only to keep my overall inventory low, but also to create less waste and buy things more mindfully rather than just accept things that I throw away later.

Depending on how closely you track my monthly posts about planning, which includes my budget and spending tracker, you may already know about most of these things.  But I think it's interesting to share again anyway so you can see everything, in one spot, that I bought during the 2019 calendar year so far, possibly to be updated at the end of the year again.  It may be a little hard to track during the next month because of my birthday and Christmas but I'm going to try, so I thought it best to get the easy part out of the way, which is the last 10 months.  This is just a stuff tracker, and tracking all purchases and gifts was a goal on my 101 list so I'm happy to check this one off.  To see everything I spent on bills and services (like Hawkeye's grooming, my haircuts, etc.), you can refer to those monthly posts.


January

I didn't buy anything in January.  Although all of 2019 was a no to low spend year for me, January was the month where it was a main focus.  I tried to make only one or two main focuses each month this year, because then I could dedicate more energy to it.  January was Whole30 and not having access to my debit or credit card.  I did carry cash but I didn't end up using it on anything since Whole30 was so strict in terms of food and drink (which is where I often spend too much.)  So other than a couple of bills, I just didn't spend money this month.

February

Contacts.  I wear contacts that you throw out every two weeks but let's get real, it takes me like a month to remember to actually switch them.  So I buy two boxes at a time and it lasts me over a year.  I've still got plenty.  Cost: $215.

Valentine's Day gifts for John.  I thought about not including gifts on this list because it's not like it's stuff I bought for me, but it is still stuff.  And for John in particular, it's stuff that lives in our house.  This isn't a big holiday so it was pretty simple: two space bags for an extra set of bedding for the firehouse, and a sheet set and comforter to go in them.  I started this year with over $300 in Amazon gift cards so this cost $57, but it came out of that gift card money and not my monthly budget.  Cost: $0

Valentine's Day gifts from John.  As far as 'things I acquired' this month, it's just what I got from John for Valentine's Day, which were things I requested.  Namely, this set of reusable grocery bags.  (We also went to dinner on a gift card I got from my parents for Christmas, and he paid for the extra cocktails we got before dinner.)  He also bought 2 baking sheets, 2 baking pans with lids, and silicone mats that we had been needing for a long time.  Cost: $0

Vase.  John's grandfather passed away at the end of 2018 and John's sister bought his house.  Which meant that early 2019 was full of moving everything out so she could move in in March.  We like to keep our home minimal (especially after John was the main person moving all the big furniture out - he's more a minimalist than ever after that), so I tried not to accept too many things, but we did get a really nice glass vase that belonged to John's grandma.  Cost: $0

4 candles.  Betsy came over for a blog day and brought my birthday/Christmas present with.  They've already been burned by the time of this post, obviously.  But they came and were loved and used!  Cost: $0

Total Items Acquired: 7 (counting things like the candles as one set)
Total Gifts for Others: 4

March

March was another lovely month of not buying anything outside of bills.  John did (March Madness bracket and squares) but I'm not counting his spending here.

I didn't acquire anything in March, mostly because I turned down a ton of free St. Patrick's Day clutter.  Every bar wants to give you beads and shirts and shot glasses and tons of other branded and green merchandise.  I just don't need it, so I refused it all.  John accepted a couple of things but I conveniently forgot to remind him to pick them up when he left them on a bar top towards the end of the day.

Other things of note: I bought a e-gift card for Steph for her birthday but I had that Amazon money, so nothing physical ever changed hands.  And technically, I ordered it back in December 2018 to be automatically sent on the day.  Does that count as stuff?  Did I even really buy it?  Did I even buy it this year?  I don't know, but there you go.

April

Anniversary gifts for John.  Lagavulin 16 year scotch, to be exact, which is $100 a bottle.  Again, this is a consumable and not stuff, as well as a gift, but I committed to tracking these anyway.  I also got him a whistle with a fire logo that's also a bottle opener because he coaches junior high football and needs a whistle and beers to deal with that job.  It cost me $10 but came out of that Amazon gift card money.  Cost: $100

Anniversary gifts from John.  I got sandals and a new dress, which I think are truly the first items I've gotten all year that are both physical stuff that will remain in the house and solely for my own personal benefit.  These were on my wish list because last year's sandals bit the dust and I had to trash them over the winter, and I wanted an additional dress that was appropriate for work since I only had 4 and another would just make my life easier.  Cost: $0

Other things of note: I also went to Beth's bridal shower but didn't count the gift as 'stuff I bought this year' because I got something off her registry at a deep, deep discount after Christmas in 2018 and kept it for the occasion.  For the rest of April, it was simultaneously hard and easy to not spend or acquire anything.  It was hard because I started my new job mid-month, and of course I wanted things like a new planner and some new clothes (which I didn't need, of course), just general 'treat yo self' type things.  But was also easy not to give into these impulses because I didn't work for the first two weeks of the month, and obviously wouldn't get paid until the end of the month, so I was living off savings.  A move that will definitely keep your spending in check.  As did watching $10,000 leave my account to pay for our new deck.

Total Items Acquired: 2
Total Gifts for Others: 2

May

Here's where things started getting tougher to do so than the other months so far.  Everyone wants to make plans when the weather turns nice, plans that involve shopping.  We had a ton of rain so that helped me spend less, but I did have to talk some people out of expensive outings (and talked my mom out of the outlet mall!)

Planner and pens.  I got a new 2019-2020 planner in the mail along with a set of pens, but since it was PR, I didn't spend anything on it.  Cost: $0

Other things of note: I did not spend money for Eric and Beth's wedding, which was the first weekend in May.  (a) It's John's brother, so I feel like wedding expenses fall on the person whose family member or friend is getting married, meaning John paid for the gas to get to Indiana and food we ate outside of the actual rehearsal and wedding dinners.  (b) I won $300 in the fantasy football league in 2018 that Eric runs and rather than collect from him, I told him in January of this year to just keep it and think of it as a wedding gift, since there's so many expenses that come up leading up to a wedding.  As far as other traditional wedding guest costs: I wear nothing but dresses as it is and do own a pair of nude heels, so I had clothes to wear already.  Plus I always do my own hair, makeup and nails, so no expenses there either.  And I don't ever take wedding favors so I didn't come home with any clutter!

Total Items Acquired: 2 

June

New console table.  I feel like this was really the first true time I spent money on stuff I didn't technically need.  When we got the deck installed, they also replaced the flooring in our sun room and added french doors, which finally made that little room usable (note: although the deck and doors and the new flooring we also got in the basement would technically be stuff, it's physically part of/attached to the house now so I'm not counting it for this post.)  John has eventual plans for a TV and a bar in there or something, but when it was first done I knew I wanted a little table in there to place serving platters and such on.  Could we have lived without the table?  Yes.  Do I regret the purchase?  No.  We use it constantly and it looks great in that room.  We have so little furniture and decor as it is so I don't mind one little table sneaking in this year.  Cost: $115.01

Mascara.  I feel sort of bad that I'm supposed to replace it every 3 months and it's clearly been at least 6 ... but not that bad.  I just paid for it with cash I got from the grocery budget, but it's about $5.

Mildliners.  For work, but still.  I ordered them and paid for them since our normal office supply place doesn't carry them, but then everyone loved them so the office manager ordered a whole bunch.  Which means I don't have to pay for them anymore, win.  Cost: $5.99

Total Items Acquired: 3

July

The Threads of Fate Book of Days and Shadow Oracle Deck.  Again, not something I spent my own money on so the cost was $0, but still - items acquired.  Absolutely worth the space they take up in my home, but I'm sure you've seen them ad nauseam on my Instagram, so no need to rehash here.

Birthday gift for John.  I got him this ridiculous handmade, personalized bags set (cornhole) he wanted, complete with bag storage and laminate siding and rope lighting.  Cost: $350 (I know.)

Set of new towels.  We replaced our old ones.  Cost: $117.82

Garage door remotes.  We've never had any for some reason and since we finally cleaned it out enough to park a car in there, it was time to get them.  Cost: $4.95

Total Items Acquired: 4
Total Gifts for Others: 1

August

Halloween decor.  John got me a couple of things from Spirit Halloween, namely Hocus Pocus themed coasters, a candle, a hand towel, and a blanket.  Cost: $0

Total Items Acquired: 4
Normally I don't track Halloween decor but it was literally the only thing in August so...

September

New leash.   I had to buy a new leash for Hawkeye for the first time since I got her the first leash 9 years ago.  We caught a husky running loose around our neighborhood.  Hawkeye can be carried and doesn't run away from me anyway so I took her leash off in order to rope it around the loose dog's neck.  Success.  No owners in sight and no tags so we had to take him to the police station, and I left my leash on him since he was already contained and settled down with it on (and he was a big boy).  Bye bye, old Hawkeye leash.  But you did a good job for years and went out with a bang, saving a lost dog.  Cost of new leash: $11.54.

Total Items Acquired: 1

October

I did not buy or acquire as much in October as I anticipated!  I had a large chunk of money set aside for this month because we throw an annual Halloween party and just generally decorate from top to bottom, but it turns out we had almost everything we needed to decorate and serve, and what we really needed to buy were food and drinks.  Plus I also put deposits down on our Disney vacation this month and seeing that money leave my account made me not want to buy anything else.

Chafing dishes I really wanted these for party hosting purposes so I just bit the bullet and bought our own because we don't have anyone in the family to borrow these from.  I'm happy we have them - we do host enough to make it worth it!  Cost: 129.99

Solar lights The front of our house looks too dark so I wanted to brighten it up.  I love these solar lights, they work great and look pretty.  Cost: $27.99

I didn't track the other things acquired related to Halloween because I don't track Halloween decor the way I do everything else in the house.  Oh well.

Total Items Acquired: 5

November

It's only the 13th and my birthday isn't until the 20th so I think this will change wildly by the end of the month, but that's an update for January 2020, along with whatever else I buy or receive for Christmas.

Dress.  I did some decluttering and got rid of 5 dresses, 3 of which were fall/winter ones. That left me short so I added one more to my collection (I like to have 5, so I can wear a different one to work each day). Cost: $25

Total Items Acquired: 1


Number of things purchased or acquired: 29
Number of things that were gifts for others: 7

I don't think that's bad at all!  I would like to do better in 2020, but I feel good about the progress I made so far this year.  I just have to keep birthday and Christmas under control.