This month has been illuminating.
As seems typical, very few of my purchases will remain in the house. I've bought gifts for friends' birthdays and supplies for Spin Matsuri and other hooping events. I think I can justify these things without guilt. I splashed out on a trio of Uniqlo shirts & a pair of purple leggings to fill in little gaps in my wardrobe - I've already worn all of them but I could have survived with out them, so that was a fail. I bought a hat at a flea market. The woman and her smiling baby made me feel good about it, so not too much of a fail.
I also put together an emergency kit in case of earthquakes - resupplying our stock and adding some new essentials. That is a "I hope this is never consumed" item that I do not regret or feel at all guilty about shopping for.
Tod & I started tracking our daily purchases, including monthly bills & transportation costs. Basically anything that comes out of our wallet gets marked down in a notebook at the front door. It is surprising how much money we spend, even without many durable goods. Our daily average is 12,000 yen for the past month. That is pretty amazing, since I don't think we spend huge wads of money. But I guess I have the notes to prove we do.
Where does it go? Well, utilities are high, we don't skimp on groceries, we are generous with gifts and we eat out a couple of times a week. Trains and taxis cost us 34,000 this month; utilities totaled over 30,000; I had a 5000 yen hoop class; the emergency kit set us back 8,000 yen; Tod's workday lunches about 1000 yen daily. So anyone who thought I was going to ruin economic recovery by not shopping...you were wrong. I am still spending plenty of money.
At least not too much of our cash is spent on things that persist.