Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Metaphorical Piggy Bank

In the face of such mustard madness, the brown version seems almost... sensible?  Could these be my new winter shoes?  Or will commonsense prevail?

Backlash shoes from Poetic License (a sub-genre of Irregular Choice)

I saw the yellow ones on the feet of a vintage style bloggerGorgeousnessnessness!
Or how about this Heyday Clothing  Bow Blouse in pink... teamed with red swing trousers - ooh!  Pink and red?  But it works!  There are better pictures on the model's blog here.
Of course, I cannot possibly pay good money for ready-made clothes in the vintage style.  Why would I do that when I can make my own?

And therein lies the dilemma.

Self Stitched September has fallen hot (well... cool) on the heels of Me Made June, and all I can see in my Flickr sets are pictures of me wearing my clothes, the same clothes, over and over again.  Honestly, I am so ready to cheat on my pledge just to look at something different!  Which is pathetic.  Would I have noticed if I wasn't taking my "outfit" photograph every day?  I doubt it.

I decided it would be OK to reward myself for being self-stitched for another month.   I have been putting aside the £s I used to spend on a daily latte coffee, thinking I would buy myself a treat.  A dressmaker's dummy sprang to mind!  In August and September (so far) I have already saved £49. 

But the problem is, this caffeine-denial has coincided with other expenditure:  yarn, fabric, more yarn.  And I get all tied up in knots about whether I have already spent the "extra" £49.

Do you have a budget for stitching materials?  I don't.  I just buy things and feel guilty or don't buy things and feel deprived.  I am hopeless case.  I badly need a philosophy, or rules to follow, like "You can spend £100 a month on yourself".

But how much is too much?  My wardrobe is still full of clothes, despite sending the majority to the charity shop.  And I still have a crisis in the morning when I realise I don't have any brown tights or black socks or um, mustard shoes.

Making clothes is my "hobby", but it is also the way I get new things to wear.  So... does that mean that my clothing budget should equal what someone else might spend on their hobby plus what they might spend on clothes? 

I used to view my daily coffee as the equivalent of FL's pint of beer at the golf club.  But what if I said that a game of golf costs £20, so at a conservative estimate a golfer's hobby costs him 3 x £22 per week?  Good golly Miss Molly!  That's £66  x 4 a month!

Now please don't get me wrong, FL does not grudge me the £s I spend on clothes or fabric (and it's my income that pays for it anyway) , and he has pretty much given up golf now anyway... I am just trying to find a way to measure what might be reasonable.  And I am floundering.

Go on say it:  "Roo, get over yourself and seize the day!"

Does that mean I can buy the yellow shoes...?


Gaylene said...

Yes. Yes, it does.

mooncalf said...

Don't know if it helps but it strikes me that we have similar wardrobe needs (office wear, weekends, disappointingly few full-length evening gowns) and I spend abut £150 on clothing a month.

That includes clothes, shoes, coats, bags, undies, tights, hair clips - the works.

You might need more because it is colder where you are :)

Minnado said...

I spend very little each month, under ten pounds but I am not working at the moment so don't have the money and can get away with unlimited scruffiness. I am now scratching my head to remember what I spent on clothes when I was working...I remember being envious of my sister who is a nurse as she had to wear a uniform tunic supplied with her job and only had to provide trousers and a pair of flat sensible shoes from her own budget. Maybe people who HAVE to wear a uniform feel differently but I thought how great to have any sartorial decisions made for you, plus a great saving on not buying work clothes. Obviously not enough reason to go and train as a nurse.

Those shoes are fabulous, definitely you should buy them.x
Those shoes are so fab.

opakowana said...

Of course you have to buy the shoes, or - as my daughter used to say to me when she was about 6 - you'll regret it! (then she moved onto "you can always return it", then "you look almost young in that", then "you look almost slim/tall", hrehrehrehr...it always worked on me :))))

Tanit-Isis said...

I've been eyeing those shoes, too. It's a good thing mustard isn't really my colour... ;)

I spend a lot more on fabric than I used to on clothes (thrift-store shopper here). But I think your assessment of clothes money (minus whatever you can't make---shoes and tights come to mind) + hobby money = fabric and pattern and yarn money is plenty fair. You're the one who knows your finances, and how much you can justify for "fun money". Alternatively, what's the cost of another hobby you might take up---say taking an art class? Around here they're at least $100/month. Not including supplies.

Annie said...

Conquer the guilt - make 'I'm worth it' or some such your mantra until you know in your heart that you are truly deserving of such mustardy magnificance/brown brilliance - and then buy, buy, buy :D

*Anyone with the mettle to wear either pair of those splendid shoes deserves them m'dear ;)

Susan in Dulwich said...

I don't know if you read the Yarn Harlot's blog, but she says that knitting (and in my mind stitching of all sorts) should be considered part of one's entertainment budget. For me this makes sense - it is a good reflection of the fact that I get a lot of hours of enjoyment from the process of making things. Her explanation is much more articulate than mine here.
I don't have a fixed entertainment budget or a fixed clothing budget and tend to operate as you've described - deprive myself (and sometimes feel deprived) or indulge (and sometimes feel guilty but sometimes feel like it was a really good /useful purchase which also makes me super happy). I always feel guilty about the expensive item that doesn't get used...but I'm always delighted with the good-quality item that becomes part of my standard clothing cycle. This hold just as true for the items I have handmade as it does for the (now fewer) items I buy.

twistle said...

maybe start from the other end of things, do you have everything else in a budget that you stick to? - add a line item per month in that doesn't cut too deeply into what you save, and is realistic for getting something useful every couple of weeks, if it's expensive and useful, maybe it will eat an entire months worth?

Lizzi said...

Buy the shoes.........(you know you want to). :-)

Cathy said...

Is it too simplistic to ask what you can afford? Some months might have a big fuel bill, or a holiday to be paid for , or something the kids need...sometimes you just have to buy mustard shoes!

Sandy said...

What is the price of a therapist? How often would you need to see him or her if you weren't doing your hobby of sewing and knitting? Factor that cost into your decision-making and I hope it works to your favor for those glam shoes!

christinelaennec said...

I think you should buy the shoes because they will make you so happy! You can budget and justify a million ways, if you want - but if you can afford them you should.

Urban Rustic said...

Re red and pink.
Just yesterday my daughter showed me a picture of a Geisha wearing a bright pink kimono with an undergarment of red and the obi belt was red too.We both said how the red brought out the pinkiness of the pink and it looked wonderful if you see what I mean.Pink and red ,blue and green are not supposed to be seen together but they do work.

jessica said...

I think if you are crushing on the yellow shoes then you should get them and not the brown ones, because the brown ones will never feel as delightful as the yellow (and worse case scenario, you may find yourself always slightly dissatisfied with them)

Is there really a better time in life to buy mustard shoes, anyways??? Haha. I would be seriously tempted by those too if I could wear heels that high! Alas, can but admire them on other women.

In terms of budget/fabric/yarn ... I totally feel you on that one. Especially when I was keeping myself on a really tight budget in my early 20s, the guilt would get to me all the time. Nowadays I tend to indulge myself a bit more, figuring that if this is what makes me happy and keeps me feeling creative and in touch with myself, then I can afford to give myself the treat of $18/yard (or even $35/yard, on occasion) fabric instead of $3/yard or $5/yard. In the end the difference is not all that great ($6 for a skirt vs. $36 ... I mean ... in the grand scheme of things, and considering the 5-10 hours I'll wind up investing in making a skirt), but how it feels to me is SO different. It's that difference between a "squee!" every time I put it on, and a "eh, all right."

Life can be hard enough as it is. I think we're allowed to judiciously go easy on ourselves!

Linda C said...

I agree with Jessica. Buy the mustard shoes. The brown ones look good- but, if you really wanted the others, every time you wear the brown, you will think about the mustard and be sorry you didn't get them. Beautiful shoes- how high are they?

Sigrid said...

Have you ever noticed how sometimes it is the "impractical" purchases that make all the basics that much more wearable. So get the yellow shoes already.

As for budgeting, I think that the money spent on yarn and fabric is doing triple duty: entertainment, clothing, mental health. That means you can spend more on shoes, right?

Roobeedoo said...

So that's pretty much unanimous: buy the damned shoes and stop your whinging, woman! ;)

feresaknit said...

Yeah, buy the shoes and stop whingeing and after reading your newest post before this - if the shoes would make you feel better - seize them heels. It was also good to read that it's not only me that does that short of trade off maths. :D