Welcome to Money Diaries, a series where our #WomenofStyleTheory community gives us a candid 30-day all-access pass into their personal journey with money, fashion, and lifestyle.
In this series, our Project Manager Joy Ng shares her 2-week journey with money, fashion, and food, and how her spending habits changed as she coursed through the pandemic. Without further ado, let’s begin!
Hi, Joy! We’re ecstatic to have you onboard in this series of Money Diaries. You’re about to start tracking your expenses with us! Are you in the habit of keeping track of your finances?
I do have the habit of tracking my expenses! I’ve actually tried many ways to do so from downloading apps to creating notes, but I think what works best for me is allocating certain amounts for each of my spending categories like food, fashion, and entertainment.
How has it changed since you’ve started renting clothes from Style Theory?
Before Style Theory, I shopped a lot more and purchased from many fast-fashion brands. But after a few months of renting, I realised that my shopping habits actually changed! I didn’t get the strong urge to shop online whenever there is a sale, and even offline, I started looking out for pieces with better quality rather than shopping out of trends and impulse.
I even challenged myself to not rent the same item more than once for as long as I can to maximise my subscription!
Has your attitude towards money changed since the pandemic happened?
It definitely shifted. Pre-pandemic, the bulk of my daily expenditure would be for transport, weekday meals at work or with colleagues, and weekend leisure and entertainment. When the pandemic started, I was able to allocate more budget for self-care since there was no need to go to the office and I was able to cook my own meals at home.
Joy’s Week 1
It’s just my first week of tracking, and my biggest expenditure this week goes to my insurance bills. Apart from that, I was thrilled to find a great deal for my skincare products that was 3x more affordable than usual. Score!
I spent my week mostly working from home, but I spent one of the days heading over to our co-working space at the Second Edit Showroom. For my Style Theory Box, I picked out casual tops for the week and kept things light.
One of the highlights of working in our Showroom is that I got to eat my favourite Blanco Court beef noodles! With the social distancing restrictions in Singapore, it’s not super convenient to dine-in these days, so I’m really grateful I got to enjoy my noodles in the restaurant this week.
The first week was a food lover’s dream. I ate all of my favourite food! I made some raw bars for snacking, spent time with my family over a hotpot, satisfied my long-time Korean cold noodles craving.
I was feeling lazy to pick out new clothes from my Style Theory app, so I went with items that I rented before. Since I had no special agenda for the week aside from going back to the office for a day, I rented my go-to dresses from Keepsake and The Fifth Label. Other than that, this week’s highlight involved booking a staycation!
On the downside, my indoor electrical plug unexpectedly broke inside the socket. There was nothing that I could do on my own as we needed to replace the entire socket. It wasn’t the best way to spend but it was a good reminder to always have a budget for emergencies like this.
Joy’s Week 3
It feels great being outdoors and in nature! This week, we went to Jurong Lake Gardens. It’s rare for us to travel all the way to the west and it was my first time there so it was a great experience. After staring at computer screens for 24/7, I finally got my long weekend break. Prior to that, I also spent some time getting my hair and nails done. It definitely feels good to treat myself once in a while!
Work wise, I rendered extra hours to clear the week’s to-do list so I can R&R in peace and avoid a mountain of backlogs when I get back. With my staycay in mind, I became more productive and managed to finish my workload on the night before our trip.
For the entire staycation, I made sure I’d have one dress for date night, one casual beach ‘fit, and one weekend themed attire. I arranged for my box to be delivered straight to the hotel room so I could pack light, and I redeemed an extra piece for this week’s box!
Thanks for bringing us on a 30-day journey with you, Joy! Looking back on your month of tracking, did you notice anything new about your own spending habits?
I don’t think anything surprised me over the past weeks since I’ve been tracking my expenses. But it definitely made me realise the importance of having some sort of emergency fund, no matter how big or small the amount is.
What’s one lesson you’ve learnt about budgeting you’d like to share with our readers?
There are definitely many ways to save or maximise your money. Explore and find which best fits you! I’ve realised in the past that I dreaded budgeting because I followed the ‘norm’ when it comes to how much of your expenses should go to each category. Instead of following what everyone is saying or doing, you should be comfortable and even excited to play with your expenses.
Enjoyed Joy’s Money Diaries? Stay tuned for more Money Diaries blog entries coming up soon!