I'm inspired by a tweet I saw posted by Hillary from Makeup Museum. (One should follow her meticulously researched blog which features makeup in the context of cosmetics history right away) It pointed to a Cosmopolitan article of a fashion / lifestyle influencer and the debt incurred while maintaining her life in New York and her social media.
To be sure, $10,000 is an exorbitant amount, but it got me thinking about my own personal spending habits.
When I first started this blog (holy crap, 6 years ago), it was a personal exploration of what and how I spend to look deep into my consumerism tendencies. I've made many discoveries along the way of things more concrete like what I like and why. I've also looked into the the more uncomfortable aspects of how increases in spending and obsession over specific minutiae of makeup seems to correlate to depression and anxiety. I've even spoke about the blunt financials of makeup blogging with a post about the economics of a blog sale.
$10,000. This made me think about the actual money I've spent on makeup and makeup-related things. Some bloggers are great about keeping spreadsheets to tracks items, colors and money spent. I was kind of "doing it in my head" thinking my brain would tell me when I've spent enough or when I have too much of one thing or another. I realized I must keep on playing tricks with myself because I always seem to miscalculate and underestimate what I own and how much. For instance, I always say I don't have backups of skincare and color cosmetics, but that is just not true. I also say I hate lip glosses but recently purchased quite a few.
I'm going to use this post to track my spending over the past few months. It's going to be ugly I suspect.
First, let me say I am a mid-career professional with zero debt, good earning capacity, with consistent savings for college for my children, 401K and other retirement assets. I own my cars outright and have enough liquid savings in case of emergencies. Even with this said, what exact dollar amount have I spent?
I scrubbed through my spending from November to now for relevant beauty-related spending (including hair, fragrances, makeup and skincare). These are US dollar amounts after going through my PayPal and American Express statements. Definitely some anomalies in there, like $800 for candles would be certifiably insane, except $600 were for Holiday gifts. The skincare is crazy considering only about $300 were for gifts for my mom. In total though, that's over $3000 in spending across all these categories. Regardless of the out-of-the-norm spending for gifts, $3000 is a big amount of money.
With $3000, I can buy a luxury handbag. My family of 4 can have a $100 meal every day for a month. I can buy a plane ticket to pretty much anywhere in the world. I can put it into savings and continue to contribute $3000 until I retire, I end up with $50,000.
I'm not even trying to shame myself but trying to wrap my mind around this giant dollar amount. I'm AFRAID to think about what I spend in a year, actually. Not afraid, as in I'm going to go into debt, but thinking about all the energy expending on wanting, researching, buying, attempting to use and then storing all this stuff.
I bet a good chunk were stuff I bought thinking how nice it would be share on this blog except I haven't published a new post in AGES! I certainly covet things here and there. Sonia G's (from sweetmakeuptemptations) brushes are works of art while being amazing workhorses. All the brush spend was on her brushes and happily so with no regrets. While I covet makeup, I almost never use these days. I've been very stressed and fatigued (with longer and longer commute times to work, thanks NYC subways) that I'd much rather sleep a few more winks than put on makeup. Majority of the time I am completely makeup free. So what am I buying things for anyway?
Anyone else feeling maxed out on things? Also, anyone still reading this thing?
Edited to add a link to my Instagram post (here). There's a bit of commenting on this post there if you want to check those out.