I think when anybody first moves, they get so excited to have a new place and a blank slate to work with. I definitely am that person. I love finding functional items to incorporate into my life. That being said, sometimes I jump the gun. Here are 5 regrets I have as well as my five favorite purchases since being in Spain.
- Lots of stationery I don’t use (let’s just call it about 50 Euros worth) – When I moved, there was one store that I was pumped to live near. That store is Tiger, or Flying Tiger in some places. It is adorable and charming and Danish designed, full of lots and lots of shit you don’t necessarily need. So yeah, I bought tons of pencils, pens, notepads, small notebooks and markers that I just don’t use often enough to justify the purchase. I think I was just overexcited. I do have many things from Tiger which satisfy some sort of utility in my life. I’d be happy to tell you about some of my favorite Tiger purchases.
- Yellow Purse (50 Euros)- this yellow purse is cute but it was expensive. I just don’t use it enough (or honestly ever). I’ve learned about myself that at any given point – I really just need two handbags in my life. I like something Neutral and something with a punch of color. I already had these two which are in so-so condition. I am certainly not going to get rid of them anytime soon. The yellow purse was a mistake – even if it was a cute one.
- Zoeva Caramel Melange Palette (22 Euros)- this one was such an impulse mistake. I swatched it in this dark store and thought – man – this is so beautiful. It wasn’t the palette I wanted. I already knew I was going to buy the Cocoa Blend palette from Zoeva. But I cracked under the pressure of being in a different country. Not only do these colors just not suit my skin tone or how I do my makeup – they also all look the same. Waste of money.
- Spanish Grammar Book (20 Euros) – The best laid plans. I’m generally a fan of this book. I like that there are examples and exercises. That being said, there is no vocabulary part of this book and I had to look up so many words. I was meticulous about it for a time. Then I fell off. Why? I had no accountability and I felt both stupid and overreaching asking my coworkers for help on their break. I’m sure I’ll eventually use it again but the next time I invest in a Spanish course – it’s going to be in person rather than in paper.
- Tall Boots (50 Euros) – Since I have always lived through extremely cold winters, I have no problem investing in a nice pair of tall boots. Now that I live somewhere that, at least to me, isn’t that cold – I figured I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a pair that would do the job without needing to keep me warm. Well – I should have waited and spent more money. I’ve worn these boots a handful of times – maybe 10 times so far. They aren’t comfortable. The part around the calf squeezes my calves. The foot is really narrow. They are pleather. You can’t really break them in. Wish I had been more thoughtful and waited until I found something perfect to buy.
What are the five things I am glad to have invested in?
- Quality Bedding – When I first found my apartment, I was so impressed with the quality of the mattress but honestly horrified by the pillows and blanket selection. There was this red blanket which seemed to hemmorage red fuzz and a really unsupportive pillow. I high tailed it to Ikea and got a wonderfully puffy duvet as well as the exact same cover I had in America. After a couple of months – I finally found an incredible blanket from El Corte Ingles. It was pricier than I expected to spend – around 35 Euros but honestly has done wonders for my nights of sleep.
- Electric Blanket – Something I didn’t necessarily think through when moving was just how cold it was going to be overnight in my house. Here’s the thing – while it doesn’t often get close to zero outside,my building is not particularly well insulated. My electric blanket has been an absolute savior in the nights and early mornings when my room hovers around 60 degrees.
- Nike Sneakers – I’ve been trying to get more and more miles in every week. Let’s face it – the closer I get to 30, the more important arch support becomes to me. The advent of athleisure has also made my sneakers just stylish enough. I’ve walked literally hundreds of miles already on this pair and they are still going strong. Plus I don’t wake up with shin splints or sore feet anymore.
- Picture organizer
- Tombow Collection – seriously – this has been an investment but I absolutely LOVE my Tombows. I feel like they are so versatile in expressing my creativity. They can be used for drawing, lettering and watercoloring. Plus – the colors are as vivid or pastel as you want them to be. They might be almost 4 Euros a pop but I am so happy I bit the bullet.
Sometimes when I think of the fact that I could have saved around 200€ just by making more thoughtful purchases, it makes me nauseous. Minimalism is a journey and is certainly not a simple one. It takes time and reflection to decide what has worth in your life. Now that I’ve reflected, I am making better and fewer purchases. What are some things you regret spending money on?