Apr 29, 2014

April Budget


For a few months now, I have been grappling with a couple of issues when it comes to shopping and writing a personal style blog:

First of all, there's no doubt about it, I love to shop!  However, I am a teacher and am therefore working with a relatively small budget.  In order to not spend too much money, I tried a few tactics that actually made my shopping habits less healthy.  I would attempt spending freezes where I spent absolutely no money on clothing for a specific period of time.  However this led to binge shopping when the freeze was over.  I don't feel good about this.  And ultimately I don't feel good about constantly wanting more and more clothing when I truly am happy with all of the clothes in my closet.  I know that there are healthy ways out there to enjoy shopping for new pieces while not going overboard with the spending.

Also, I know that I sometimes feel jealous and frustrated when I read blogs and I see these lovely ladies constantly wearing new Tory Burch boots or carrying the latest Kate Spade bag.  I just wish I knew how they could afford these luxurious items!  For this reason, I want to be completely authentic and transparent when it comes to my purchases.

So, I've decided to develop a clothing budget (duh, right?) and I've decided to tell you about it once a month to hold myself accountable.

I looked to the blog J's Everyday Fashion for guidance as to how to set a clothing budget.  J's suggestion is to spend 2%-8% of your income on clothing.  Since I'm on a tight budget when it comes to living expenses, I shot for a budget of approximately 2% of my annual salary.  This means that I have $1,000 to spend on clothing each year.  Now, $1,000 felt like an overwhelming amount to keep track of so I decided to track my spending quarterly.  That means for each three month period, I can spend $250.  Although I do plan to rollover money to the next quarter if I don't spend it all.

Alright, now that I've explained to you my reasoning and budget, let's get down to what I purchased this month!

Blouse: c/o Stitch Fix- $68
Shorts: Old Navy- originally $26.94 but with Gap Card points, $0
Denim Jacket: Old Navy- originally $34.94 but with Gap Card points, $0

Total Spent in March = $68
Remaining Quarterly Budget = $182

The blouse is definitely on the expensive side and I'm not entirely comfortable with how much I spent on it.  However, as I explained here, I've told Stitch Fix to send me less expensive items from here on out so hopefully I won't be spending so much money on one piece in the future.  I had a bunch of Gap Card points saved-up so I decided to use them on some basics.  These shorts are super comfy while still looking nice and I can't wait to wear them when the D.C. temperatures become sweltering.   I mentioned before that I was looking for another denim jacket in a darker wash.  This jacket fit the bill and I've already worn it once!  I can tell that it will be a favorite piece to remix.  I also ordered a few pairs of pants but I'm not yet sure if I'm going to keep them.  If I do, I will include them in my May budget post.

Alright, thanks for letting me get my feelings about shopping and money off of my chest.  Stay tuned for how I continue to use my established clothing budget!

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26 comments:

  1. I feel the exact same way about shopping and budget and all that (especially on a teaching budget!) It's amazing what maintaining a shopping budget can do. I've been doing it for over a year now and it's made such a difference in my habits. I spent a lot this month, compared to what I have been lately, and it felt weird! Keeping such close track of my purchases has really made me more aware of what I have and what I don't really need. Good luck with it!

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    1. With only a month of budgeting under my belt, I totally agree. I can't tell you how many things I passed-up on this month that I probably would have purchased before. May is my birthday month so I'm anticipating lots of birthday coupons and will therefore be spending a bit more this month.

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  2. Whitney, I am so proud of you. I am embarrassed to post what I actually spent the last couple of months lol. That floral top is beautiful though expensive. The 2 items you spent $0 on, make up for that expensive top. Love the dark wash Denim Jacket. =)

    Enjoy all your new beautiful pieces in good health!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ada! Several months ago, I too would have been embarrassed to admit what I'd spent on clothing. Even though budgeting is hard, I already feel better about myself!

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  3. I think it's really great that you've started a budget. I have been budgeting for almost 2 years, and not only has it helped a lot with the feelings of just buying to buy and wanting more and more, but it has set me up to be in a lot better of a place financially. I also do the quarterly budget, and I find it works out better than a monthly one does since you can spend a little more one month and less the next. Plus Kate Spade does have plenty of huge surprise sales every once in a while if you're ever wanting to spend a portion of that budget on a new bag :)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear about everything you've achieved through budgeting because I'm looking to achieve those same goals. Not to mention, being able to afford Kate Spade does sound pretty good :)

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  4. Welcome to budgeting! I've only been doing it a few months and it's changing the way I make impulse purchases. My budget number is really arbitrary, but it just makes me feel more in control that I know what I bought and how much I spent. (Plus, aren't reward points great? I have about $50 stored up at Old Navy to buy some summer staples soon!)

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    1. Reward points are pretty amazing! Plus, for some reason, I'm even pickier about how I use them than I am with money. I feel like I have to buy something special with my "free money."

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  5. wow - you did AMAZING. I did less than the opposite of amazing. haha. i think everything you got is fabulous and classic and more staple pieces than some pieces i bought.

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    1. Thank you! It helps that I gave up shopping for Lent so I really couldn't buy anything for the first half of the month. May is going to be a little bit more expensive since it is my birthday month and I plan on using all of those birthday coupons coming my way!

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  6. Being on a budget has helped me so much! I wish I could splurge on Tory Burch and Kate Spade, too. I've been trying so hard to put aside money every month so I could get a new bag and now that I could, I don't want to! I worked hard saving all that and I don't want to spend it on one purchase now! haha!

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    1. Wow! That's really cool that budgeting and saving has had such an effect on you (although you should splurge every once in awhile)!

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  7. I can totally relate to you about the whole budgeting thing, Whitney. I've been doing it for over a year now, and while I still have rougher months, I think that keeping a close eye on my purchases and spending has really helped me to tailor my closet to include only things that I LOVE and/or NEED. I have far fewer clearance impulse buys these days, which has done wonders for my bank account :) I'm starting to really love everything in my closet and feeling like there are lots of mix-and-match pieces that I can wear and re-wear in many ways. It's helped me to define and refine my personal style as well! I'm glad you're starting to track - I can't wait to follow along!!

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    1. I know what you mean after only one month! I've walked away from so many things that I would have bought before because I just don't LOVE them enough to use my preciously budgeted money. I can see how this will create a really well put together closet!

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  8. Good for you for taking control of your budget!

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  9. Budgeting has helped me a lot! I do a monthly budget, but then I let it roll over from month to month, so sometimes I spent a little less and then a little more. I think it's really helpful to realize that everything is a trade off. If I buy this $10 top, I might not be able to buy something I want more next week. And writing up the details each month helps put some perspective, too. When I look at my budget posts from the last year and a half, I can see which things I ended up regretting, and which things ended up being smart. Hopefully I will keep learning from that!

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    1. Being able to reflect on previous purchases is something that I didn't even think about! Now I'm even more glad I'm trying this budget thing!

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  10. You did great - I love that blouse!

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  11. I'm with you...I always want more and then feel guilty for wanting more. And how do this girls always buy such expensive items? I'm a big TJ Maxx and Marshalls shopper so I can get a good deal on designer clothes. That top was kind of expensive but totally cute and worth it!

    http://kacieskloset.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's my question exactly! Haha. I've never quite mastered TJ Maxx shopping. I feel like I never find anything good when I go. Any tips??

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  12. This is actually SUCH a good idea for keeping to a fashion budget! I might have to (read: must) create my own to help squander cyber sale temptations. Thanks for the inspiration!
    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

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    1. I used to have a serious online shopping problem...until I realized that I actually missed shopping in real life. Now I try to limit my shopping to in stores most of the time!

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  13. Good luck with your budgeting! I've found it's easier to stick to when you put it on the internet. :)

    ~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life

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    1. I agree! Much more embarrassing if you have to admit to cheating on your budget to a bunch of readers!

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