The Shopping Diary.
2011 marked the first full calender year of keeping the diary and I've found it insanely gratifying and educational. Now before I begin I am aware that to some, keeping a diary of what you purchase, how much it cost, etc. seems not only immensely self-indulgent but also like an incredible waste of time.
I'll explain why you're wrong in a minute. But first!
A shopping diary was an idea I read about once obviously well over a year ago. I can't remember where but it seemed like it was "not only immensely self-indulgent but also like an incredible waste of time." I decided to give it a try anyway because I was constantly stressed about money, where I was spending it, what I was spending it on, how much I was spending, and if it was all worth it or not. The Shopping Diary allows me to figure out whether my guilt is misplaced or justified.
The Diary is made in excel. The categories across the top are as follows;
Retailer - Where you actually purchased ex. J.Crew, Macy's, Forever 21
Brand - The actual brand of the item ex. Store Brand, Jeffrey Campbell, Steve Madden
Description - Sometimes this can be taken directly from the receipt but it has to be memorable ex. L/S Faux Leather Jacket
Color - ex. Black, Brown, Camel
Size - ex. 39, L, 8
Retail Price - This is the full price of the item at retail ex. $139.00, $59.00, $100.00
Sale Price - Also purchase price, what you actually paid for it minus taxes and shipping ex. $59.99, $139.95, $19.95
Disc % - (Sale price / Retail price) - 1 ex. $19.95 / $139.00 - 1 = 85%
Notes - This is important. This is where you make comments on the item. Everything I buy starts with a "?" until I've worn it. Then the "Notes" say "worn". If it sucked it'll say "returned - and the reason ex. "too small, poor quality", or "given away - and the reason"
It's a lot but just think of the information about yourself and your buying habits you're getting here.