Spending $$ in 2017?

fuji xt2
A potential 2017 purchase…

So the 2016 No Buying Resolution is going strong. I didn’t update at the end of July because I thought those posts were getting boring and repetitive. I’ll do a combined update at the end of September for all three months and then an end year update in December. Don’t worry I haven’t fallen off the wagon or anything. 😉

That said with 2017 rolling up fast I’ve been thinking about what I should do next year. Do I go back to my normal pre-2016 routine or do I start another No Buying Resolution for 2017? On the whole I have not minded not buying anything new. The extra money saved has been helpful towards meeting my financial goals and I have not felt deprived at all. Having said that there a few items I’d like to buy. Most notably a new camera.

You may have noticed fewer posts and crappier photos on blog this year. My quality point ‘n shoot died leaving me with a waterproof mediocre point ‘n shoot plus my DSLR. Carrying the DSLR on fast and light missions is zero fun and it takes too long to deploy so that leaves the crappy waterproof camera. Hence the poor images and my lack of stoke to post more.

So my thought is to do the following for 2017:

  • during 2016 collect a list of items that seem worth buying
  • ponder on the list and prioritize the items
  • at end of 2016 decide upon a budget for new items
  • in Jan 2017 buy items on list in order of priority up to the total value of budget
  • start a No Buying Resolution for 2017
  • repeat steps above

This process allows me to buy some new stuff each year, but only to a fixed value and only after many months of consideration. That takes the impulse buying/retail therapy urge out of the equation so my choices should be better.

That’s my plan for now! 🙂



3 thoughts on “Spending $$ in 2017?

  1. As much as sounds neat to pre-plan and budget out a 2017 splurge, that feels like it would make a no-buy 2016 all about what stuff you could buy because you didn’t spend that money and saved it instead. I’ve also found that when I over-analyze it, the bigger purchases always end up being stuff I’m not totally happy about because I think past the gut-preference and end up with something expensive I don’t totally love.
    I’d try and do a finite number of things that you do really want to get and replace that you’ll wear out (a relatively small SLR which is more packable, and a couple of lenses – find the cutest pelican case it fits in) should be fairly straightforward to justify.
    I think the ‘needed a couple things which count as capital expenditure and will pay for themselves in terms of value added and enjoyment without harming savings goals’ is a really sound argument for picking that stuff up – then go back to regularly scheduled programming since you haven’t missed it.

    FWIW, I’ve found myself indirectly on a low-spend 2016 (I got luxurious and replaced some worn out tires and bought myself a saddle for my hardtail which actually allows me to feel my lower extremities after a 20 mile ride – as a self-gift for finishing my Master’s), so I’m exceptionally interested in what you find yourself considering.


    1. I’ve been finding that waiting and taking time to consider purchases has been helpful at weeding out my emotional wants from the more practical needs. Having to wait months to buy something gives me a lot of time to ponder my options and removes the “retail therapy thrill”. Saving more money in 2016 has been great. That money is invested and working for me, which is the key to getting somewhere financially. I’m not going to be successful at this long term if I don’t find a way to let myself buy some stuff that’s simply desirable. I’m just being honest with myself and how my brain works. Having a system forces me to account for these purchases and evaluate them against each other so the true priorities. I’m not sure the system I’m proposing is the best one or the one I’ll stick with long term, but I need to try something and see what I think then adjust as needed.

      Good luck with your low spend 2016. A saddle that doesn’t rip you apart and fresh tires seem pretty reasonable! 😉


      1. As a close of the year update, my Minimum-Spend 2016 went down utterly in flames over the past week, although lightly used full-carbon bike/wheel don’t appear all that often.

        I also discovered that I can experience 80% of the ‘new item thrill’ just by doing the complete comparative analysis of getting a new big ticket item, and then simply keeping my existing one running off the lessons learned from that. I actually did a whole semester project on engineering decision analysis, and chose ‘new MTB’ as the example for mine, which was actually too complicated for the course as I executed it. Really narrowed down that my logical options were to look at a Yeti SB5.5c, ’17 Enduro29, or upgrading the frame on my current whip. Learned a lot, ceased lusting after 95% of the bikes I have been lately, then focused time and effort on really looking closely at those two bikes. Got to check them out in person (both in XL no less), and was really impressed, but on short rides never felt so captivated that I wanted to part with that money.=
        When this deal showed up, I had a handy value-performance decision making (Kepner Tregoe matrix) tool already built, and it blew away even my existing bike (with light upgrades) to achieve what I wanted, so I went with it.

        The two macro strategies of evaluation/accountability come from opposite ends.
        The simpler one is the ‘cheeseburger’ approach, where I compare any purchase against the pile of chicken sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers, $1 side salads, and Goodwill $0.99 store pickups I could have made, which is exceptional at keeping me in line with smaller purchases, but loses out on scale for big picture stuff. This can also be done in hours of take-home pay per labor, but after getting a rather steep raise I’ve noticed that I tend to accumulate shiny stuff like a mockingbird flashing a parent’s credit card each time that happens.
        The other one involves setting and tracking larger financial goals, which is far more useful when dealing with larger stuff. If I have some large relative figures of stuff I know I need to save for (e.g. an automobile that doesn’t triple in value when installing a bike or a rifle case), and that spending the right amount makes me happier and more financially better off on, and then comparing relative worth on that one. Then comes other things like hitting my Roth IRA maximization and 401k match as a first goal, then setting aside spending cash for anything I expect to need to replace (auto maintenance, new computer, what little clothing I wear out, ammunition which is stupidly expensive because I’m too lazy to handload), but taking the time to add that up and include that in my monthly/annual expected expenditures, then take a realistic look of how my historical spending lines up does a really great job of locking some realism to that – and has shown me that the accessorizing of hobbies always costs more than the primary capital items.


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