Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Seasonal Change

Ah, fall is in the air. Or at least, it was yesterday, but today and tomorrow it's supposed to hit 80 degrees! Either way, I think this is a lovely time of year in New York. It's sunny, not too humid, and the city seems to perk up, somehow, after the lazy days of summer when it's too steamy to think about anything but the beach, and lots of people are away. In the fall, everyone is back and all the cultural things are gearing up for new season. And who knows, we could even have a subway series.
So this feeling of renewal is affecting me. Soon I'll have a new home to really shake things up, but in the meantime, there are a few other ways the change of seasons might affect my finances.
First of all, I am newly resolved to try to eat more cheaply, and right now I am living in a place that is slightly better equipped to do that than where I've been over the past two months. I've had breakfast at home and brought my lunch the last 2 days.
Secondly, there is the issue of fall clothes. This is always the dangerous time of year. The fall clothes start hitting the stores in mid-summer, when it's too hot to think about trying on a sweater. But now that the weather is getting cooler, wool and suede and cashmere are no longer making me want to run away screaming! And that is just in the store windows... fall is when all the CATALOGUES arrive!
Fortunately, many of my usual catalogues have not been forwarded, but the ones I have gotten have a lot of dog-eared pages. The Boden catalogue, often the perpetrator of such pseudo-British atrocities as multi- colored- floral- design- printed- on- velvet cardigan sweaters, actually has a lot of cute stuff this season-- shoes, pants, shirts and some yummy suede belts that I want in every color! And yay, straight-legged jeans are back! (Though I can live without those ones that are super-tight and go all bunchy- yuk.)

Add to these temptations the fact that 90% of my fall wardrobe is still in storage and you can see why I might want to blow my year's clothing budget! A small spree would not be out of line: year to date I have spent only $440 on clothes, out of my total budget of $2500. The only problem is that whatever I buy has to fit in the suitcases I'm living out of.

And with the year coming to a close, I have to start thinking about whether I'll make my goal of maxing out my 401k contributions, as I'll probably have to hike up the percentage to do it. And I'll need to make sure I contribute the maximum to my Roth IRA too, though that can happen early next year too.
And there is holiday gift-giving to plan for...and holiday travel...

How about you? Do you find that certain times of year make you want to spend money, or change your financial habits?


Anonymous said...

wow, that sweater IS atrocious!

Single Ma said...

Wow, I thought it was just me. There MUST be something in the air when fall comes around. Out with the old and in with the new! Who said that anyway? LOL

I'm planning to do an inventory of my closet this weekend, take my signature pieces to the cleaners, have a few pieces repaired, some tailored, give some away, throw some away, and revamp. Spring cleaning is for the house, but fall cleaning is personal. Ha!

I also need new undergarments, accessories, and of course...SHOES!! By the time fall kicks in and winter is whispering, I'll be good to go. I love love love this time of year.

I'm budgeting about $500 total. The best thing about shopping is the thrill of hunting for bargains. Come to DC and join me. :-)

KMK said...

Something about "back-to-school" shopping persists, even though there is no more 3 month long summer vacation for most of us. As for me, I've been suit shopping for a job interview coming up, and then end up with such bad body image issues that I go buy something I don't need just to cheer myself up. I'd been doing so good!

mapgirl said...

I love autumn season clothes the best. I think fashion designers really do their best work for fall. But I think my tendency to spend money and splurge is seasonless. I've got to tighten the reins again.

I'm sorry to hear you're still moving around. For some reason I thought you'd be in your new digs by now. I hope all is well!