Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 Budget

See last month's budget post here!

$1800/year, can add in gift cards and ebay sales. I targeted $600 for November and the rest to be divided out monthly. See original here.
No more than 45 items total for the year. Items must correlate with my shopping strategy.

Spent this month: $100 visa gift card, $88.07 ebay profit, $382.07 out of pocket
Totals: $462.07 out of pocket, $146.71 on gift cards, $200.07 on returns and eBay earnings.
$1337.93 left for the year out of pocket.

9 new items entered my closet this year so far total, including gifts. I can buy up to 36 more items this year.

What Came In:

I ordered a lot of things to try this month- probably in binge fashion after my no shopping month, which is sad and disappointing because I really didn't want to yo-yo yet again. This is way harder than it 'should be'.

I was, however, ruthless with my decisions and sent two very nice tops back (I will most likely buy them when they go on sale) and two dresses that were 'very nice' but not to-die for. I was all set to be on track for my budget until the last purchase, which really set my budget upside down. Here's what came home with me this month:

Black Rivet Teal Faux-Leather Jacket, Wilson's Leather, $37.41 using visa gift card so $0 out of pocket.
I bought this jacket shopping with my coworkers the very day my shopping ban ended- 3/2/14. I wasn't planning on buying anything but was surprised by this jacket, the only thing I took home that day. This jacket is very 'me'. I have an almost identical one in burgundy, so I know the style works for me. The color is just my color, though slightly darker than my normal teal it will work well in my color palette. I'm very excited to wear it with my black clothing because I didn't enjoy the burgundy/black color combination and only wore it with my grey, so hopefully I will not be 'splitting my wears' with this one. And I'm very happy to add to my jacket options- I only had 4 total. I'd say it's a 9/10.

White House Black Market Colorblock Pencil Skirt- $75.34
This skirt is amazing and is most definitely staying in my closet. It's extremely flattering and fills my 'need' for more skirts. The length is great and I plan on wearing it all year round. I only had 3 skirts (I purged a too-small skirt recently) so I'm happy to find another great one.  I'm able to wear this with all but my printed tops, so it'll be versatile in that aspect too. And did I say I love it? It's a 10/10!

White House Black Market Reversible Earrings, $21.50
I love that these earrings are reversible and stay put facing the way you want them! They're basically two pairs in one, and go well with a lot of my jewelry pieces. I really like these and am sure they will get a lot of wear. They're a 9.5/10.

White House Black Market Geometric Tie-Front Top- $40.85
This top is almost identical to the polka-dot tie-front top I got last year on sale. That is probably not ideal, but I do love the style. I really like the print and am using it to replace two of my printed geometric tops that are too small. It fits perfectly and is a 9.5/10- it's only not a 10 because I have something similar (I like this print better), and I'm afraid it may 'split my wears' of the other top since they're both black and white. I also wish this top didn't have the silver faux buttons down the front (can't see in this picture weirdly, but the other top has the same buttons too) because it makes it harder to tuck into pencil skirts. I have worn it a lot already and really like it.

White House Black Market Double Ruffle Beaded Top,  $37.99
I was planning on sending this top back to wait for sale, but it went on sale just before returning and I was able to get the price adjusted. It's pretty but the material is thin, I was worried it wouldn't be durable and decided I would only buy it on sale at a lower price point. I'm now keeping it and I like it a lot, but we'll see if this was a good decision or not in the future. It works with with a lot of things and will be especially nice later on in summer because it's lightweight. It's a 9/10 style and fit-wise.

White House Black Market Black Leather Jacket $357.05
The pictures here do NOT do it justice. This jacket is really something special- it's very fitted and the view from the back is amazing because it really highlights the waist and is almost peplum shaped. The leather is nice and soft and I can't say enough how in love I am with this jacket. The price really screwed my budget this month- I would have been very UNDER budget, until this jacket showed up. It had sold out so quickly in my size in the fall and I really was very sad I missed my chance. Them, I saw they brought it back this spring to my amazement! I had a great coupon, it's $398 originally (now $249.99) and I got it for $330.60 before tax. I refused to wait for sale on this one (I never expected it to hit sale, but a day after wearing it it did, oh well) and am not one bit sorry I went over my budget for it. It's a 10/10.

All in all, I went over my budget by a lot- $272.98 over. I spent $0 out of pocket in January and $80 in February. My original budget was $109.09 per month, and $600.01 for November to total to $1800. I'm just going to try to make it up in the future and just keep concentrating on meeting my end goal ($1800 or under). I really don't expect to be tempted much in the next months, I feel pretty good right now all considering. I have worn everything I purchased a lot so far, and feel like I am getting a lot of enjoyment from the items I have added.


I sold the following items this month (will post purges separately):

Too-small leather jacket, polka-dot cardigan, red stone necklace, printed tank top, teal ruched top (drove me insane with fit issues), and a too-big skirt. That's a total of 22 items so far this year sold. I also threw out 1 over-worn item (does not count lounge wear!) and gave 1 item away for a grand total of 24. That's pretty good considering I have only brought in 9 items all together. I've purged a lot more, but I will post about that separately as I said above.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Numbers Exercise

I've been playing with numbers again and again trying to figure out how many items in each general category is optimal for me. I think I've finally hit upon a good way to estimate.

I tend to leave my home 6 days a week, sometimes more and sometimes less.

An ideal week for me is one dress, one skirt, 4 dressy tops, 1 casual top, 2 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of jeans. Jackets would be perhaps 2 times a week and cardigans another 3 times.

There are 52 weeks a year, so these are the number of opportunites per wear:

52 times in a dress
52 times in a skirt
104 times in trousers
104 times in jeans
208 times in dressy tops and sweaters
52 times in a casual top or sweater
104 times in jackets
156 times in cardigans

Now I can divide each category by the number of times I'd like to wear a particular item in a year and that is the number of items I should own per category.

If I go with 10 wears per item, these are the numbers:

5 skirts
5 dresses
10 trousers
10 jeans
21 dressy tops and sweaters
5 casual tops or sweaters
10 jackets
16 cardigans

Please note, this doesn't count formal wear or lounge/gardening wear, but it's a great place to start for me. It doesn't take much of seasonal changes into account excepting that approximately 1x a week I would wear a sweater top and not need a cardigan, which is fair because in the summer I still wear cardigans for the AC and in the winter I wear sweaters often enough to offset no sweaters in the summer numbers-wise.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to find that I'm not too far from my estimates currently, and that makes me feel good. I need to do an inventory again after all this purging and with my new purchases to see exactly where I am.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 21 and 22

Day 21 Inspiration- Boots, Heels, or Wedges. I was lazy and chose heels! I forgot to get a picture though. It was a simple outfit- my wider grey pinstripe pants, a teal cardigan, and my black tiered top with a pretty necklace and earrings.

Sweater- Maurices, October 2013
Cami- Express circa 2011
Skirt- White House Black Market, January 2013
Shoes- Fergalicious, January 2014
Necklace- NY&Company, January 2013
Earrings- Christmas 2011 gift

Day 22 Inspiration- A print you haven't worn in ages, but worn differently somehow. I only wore this skirt once that I remember, with a white tank and matching cobalt cardigan. I have not worn this skirt since last winter, it's been about a year. I have to say, I still love it, and shouldn't have neglected it as long as I have!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 20

Top- White House Black Market, April 2013
Pants- Express, November 2012
Necklace- White House Black Market, November 2012
Shoes- Fergalicious, January 2014

Inspiration- Pants, 'styled'. I'm not fitting well into my pants these days (starting a new diet/exercise plan) so this outfit features one of my favorite pants (that still buttons) and a top/necklace combo that makes my heart sing. 

February Wardrobe Wear

Since January 6th, I've been tracking what I wear. My goal is to wear everything I own (except specific formal wear) a minimum of 10x this year or purge it. Days that I don't leave my house are spent in lounge-wear, which doesn't count. I had 6 days I didn't leave the house in February. This is my progress so far (ending February 28th):
Tops: I have worn 13 of them, one of which has been purged since then. The top with the highest wear had been my black tiered top, 5x so far.
Sweaters: All 6 have been worn, and the sweater with the highest wear is my white cable-knit sweater at 3x so far.
Jackets/Blazers: I've worn 3 of the 4 so far. My burgundy leather jacket has been worn 4x.
Cardigans: I purged two that I wore 1x each. I've only worn 8 of the rest. My leopard print cardigan has gotten the most wear at 5x so far.

Camisoles and tanks: I downgraded a camisole to lounge-wear and purged another that I think I've only wore 1x in the 3 years I have had it. I have worn all 5 of what is left, but my black camisole has already been worn 11x so far!
Pants: I've worn 15 pairs so far, with my Rerock jeans ringing in at 9 wears.
Skirts: I have 3 skirts. I had 4 but purged one. I've worn 2 of them, my leopard skirt has been worn 2x.
Dresses: So far I've worn 4 of my dresses. My blue zipper dress has been worn 3x.
 Necklaces: I have worn 19 so far! My black and mint 3-strand necklaces have gotten the most wear at 5x each.
Bracelets: I have worn 6 so far. My black bracelet was worn the most at 4x.

Earrings: I've worn 11 pairs of earrings. My heart earrings got the most wear at 10x.

Belts: I have worn 3, 1x each.

Scarves: I have worn 1 of the 2, just 1x.

Coats & Outerwear: I have worn my winter hat and scarf 42 times, my coat 43x and my white puffer 1x.

Shoes: I've worn 8 pairs so far, and my black pumps have gotten 16 wears so far! My black winter boots were part of an outfit 7 times so far but were worn daily outside, for a total of 42 wears.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 19

Top- White House Black Market via eBay, January 2013
Scarf- Loft Outlet, APril 2011
Jacket- Black Rivet via Wilsons Leather, March 2014
Pants- Express, November 2013
Shoes- Fergalicious, January 2014
Earrings- Charlotte Russe? circa 2009

Inspiration: Accessories around the face. I'm wearing a scarf and big bright earrings.

I'm wearing the jacket (Monday) I bought yesterday (Sunday). After postponing our shopping trip, me and my coworkers finally went out yesterday (conveniently, the end of my shopping ban). I spent several hours and picked up only this jacket, $150 on clearance for $37.41 in store. It wasn't intentional, but I found it and loved it! I have a definite 'need' for more jackets, and I love the color. I bought it using my visa gift card too! I found it online (to get stock pictures) but it's $51.95 versus in store at $37.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 18

Top: Maurices, February 2013
Blazer: Maurices, est. October 2013
Jeans: The Limited, Thrifted May 2011
Necklace: Maurices est 2009
Earrings: Charlotte Russe? Est 2009
Shoes: Ann Taylor, February 2010

Inspiration: Top never paired with this bottom. 

I decided to try this top one last time before purging it, and now am unsure of what to do. I like it but the elastic waist drives me insane, and I don't find it 'professional'- more casual and young. It's fine casually but I'm still undecided. This is the first time in a long while I've made an outfit with this top and liked it/didn't feel frumpy.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Clutter Count

The purpose of these posts is to remind myself that I do have enough, and to be mindful of what I bring into my home. I also want to see my progress! I don't list food/consumables or everyday necessary things like toilet paper.

February was very full of gifts and the like! I hope next month to be heavier on the 'OUT' and lighter on the 'IN'!

Items In:

  • 3 baby books for my daughter (she loves books and we only have a few).
  • My daughter was gifted a used set of 1st Builders mega blocks toys from my co-worker (first blocks!)
  • A cute top for summer I picked up for my daughter
  • Her 1st set of crayons!
  • A set of used alphabet blocks from my grandmother
  • I received a pair of stuffed puppies for valentines day and my daughter a bear, all from my husband
  • A grumpy cat for my desk at work from a coworker

Not pictured:

  • Two used children's tops from my grandmother for my daughter
  • A handmade quilt for my daughter from my grandmother (late Christmas present)
  • A tiger stuffed animal for my daughter for valentines day from a mom at daycare
  • Two sweaters my aunt embroidered for my daughter for next fall (late Christmas present)
  • A very very special pair of raggedy Anne and Andy dolls, handmade by my great-grandmother's sister, were given to me by my grandmother. I had a pair given to me when I was young but they were destroyed.
  • A replacement eyebrow pencil for me
  • My husband got a replacement phone charger
  • My husband bought a $150 pair of used wrestling matts
  • A replacement Ipod charger for me
  • A coworker gifted me the Machete Kills DVD :), and another coworker gave me the 'Thor' DVD
  • 6 pack pair of socks for my daughter
  • 1 replacement and one new type of mascara to try for me (and ugh waste of $)
  • A ball for my daughter (impulse buy, for shame!)
  • An auto electrical set for my husband
I also forgot to list the 2 new loofahs my husband and I got last month (not replacements!), the plush blanket my husband bought for my daughter, and a set of 3 pairs of 18k earrings for her (we've been struggling to find earrings that stay in)

Items Out:

  • 5 boxes of baby clothes, gifted to a co-worker
  • Four large bundles of plastic grocery bags to the daycare (they needed them)
  • A large box of papers I sorted out to trash
  • A few old, raggedy stuffed animals went in the trash (things I had held on for sentimental reasons and finally could let go of)
  • A necklace given to my coworker and sold 5 items (see February Budget Post)

  • I bought and read the 'Clutterfree With Kids' e-book on my ipod!
  • During my decluttering I found some unopened/unused baby items to give to a friend who's expecting. New baby spoons, a soothing rocker, teethers, washcloths, etc. I also sorted out several toys in very good condition to give to her. Nothing has actually left yet but hopefully soon!
  • I also put several things in my sell pile/purged from my closet.
  • I have a large bag of coats, 5 old sweaters and puffer vests of my husband's, etc ready to donate