Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year, New Budget 2015- French Wardrobe Challenge

So, today I'm presenting my new budget for 2015.


Budget: $1500 or less out of pocket
Like last year, I want to pick my spend limit based on a % of my income. I make a bit more than last year, but I decided to go with a lower percentage of my income this time. This approximates to $125 a month but is not a hard-fast rule.

eBay Sales: I can still add money to the budget via sales.

Gifts: I can accept monetary and physical gifts. Gifts are not added to the item limit as I cannot really predict them but still count at inventory.

Item Limit: 20 items
Again, like last year I want to implement an item limit. I had a goal of 45 items or less last year. I did not meet that goal, though I did do much better than in years prior. This year I've decided to set my item limit for this year at 20 because I want to do a 'French' 5-piece wardrobe, where I would add approximately 5 items per season. This limit is all inclusive like last year (accessories, clothing, shoes, outerwear, etc) and like last year does not include undergarments, hosiery, and sleepwear. I bought very little in either category and am not concerned about overspending in those areas. They also come out of a separate budget. Differently from last year, gifts don’t count or can expand the item limit.

Wardrobe Goal: I'm to concentrate on reducing the overall size of my wardrobe, but I don’t have a particular number in mind. I want my wardrobe to be a size that fits naturally, rather than a specific defined number.

Wardrobe Inventory and Analysis: I will post my Wardrobe Inventory approximately quarterly, with comments on each item in regards to needing repairs, tailoring, replacement, or thoughts on purging.

Monthly Budget Posts: I will continue to detail my purchases and purges.

Purchase Criteria: I'm to ensure that when I purchase something, I have asked myself all of the questions in this post and that the item was a pre-determined purchase on my shopping list.


This year, I feel like my closet is in pretty good shape-I'd estimate a good 90% of it at this point are things that I really like, fit properly, flatter my shape, and work well in my life. I'd rather not undo any of the progress I've made thus far, especially with my shopping habits. I want to wear those things I spent my hard-earned money on and enjoy them, and I do not want to buy more things that will only split the wears of the things I do own.

The great thing about having such a small item limit is that I can really get some great pieces for my budget. This is my tentative shopping list for 2015:

Spring/Summer Items- 5
. Flat pair of sandals
. Replacement tan flats
. Blouse in a vibrant print
. White blouse
. New Gray or colored jeans

Fall/Winter Items- 4
. Replacement winter coat
. Replacement winter boots- black
. Replacement sweater
. Ankle Boots
. Replacement Black Cardigan

All Season Items- 12
. Replacement purse
. New pair of mid-height black heels
. Necklace
. Earrings
. Bracelet
. Scarf in multiple colors
. 2 tops that work professionally and casually
. New Jacket or Blazer
. Wrap style or flowy dress

Note: I already purchased my Christmas Dress for next year this year in December, and all other special occasions are covered with what I already own.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

An Inspired Revolution

Hello everyone! Sorry for my absence, I've been frequently ill and very busy for the holidays on top of everything! I just wanted to share a major inspiration I was struck with this month that has already begun to transform my perspective of everything in my life.

It all starts with a good book

I read Jennifer Scott's blog The Daily Connoisseur. I was brought to her blog after purchasing and reading her inspiring book 'Lessons from Madame Chic'. I also purchased her newest book 'At home with Madame Chic' which was even more inspiring!  I've talked about them both before, but they really have made a difference in how I view daily life. Jennifer posts inspirational articles and videos on her blog once or twice a week. In one of her recent posts, she recommended some great books on clearing clutter. I decided to read one of her recommendations, 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I recently finished reading this book, and it was truly inspirational to me. The method is very different from anything I have ever seen before. Basically, the method is:

1. Decide what kind of life you want to live, what that looks like, and why.
2. Sort through all of your belongings by category (not room!). She asks that there be a particular order as well, and that specifically we only work on items that belong to ourselves and not those that belong to our partners or children.
3. Pool each item of a category together and sort through each object ONE by ONE, physically picking up and holding each one.
4. Ask yourself if this item brings you joy (NOT if you want to discard it, which is a tougher question). Answer honestly. All yes's are items to be kept, all maybe's and no's are all to be discarded.
5. Finish sorting through ALL of your belongings before you begin to organize them.
6. Each item must have a place it belongs in when you are done.

I can't tell you how many quotes I saw in her book that really made my mouth drop and made me want to share with the world! I've copied one here for you to enjoy:

'Every object has a different role to play. Not all clothes have come to you to be worn threadbare. It is the same with people. Not every person you meet in life will become a close friend or lover.'

The book was written for a Japanese audience, and the perspective is from a childless woman, but so much of it is applicable to anyone that I truly believe that it should be required reading for everyone! I've only had limited time to employ some of her ideas, but I have to say that the motivation she provided to me to truly clear my clutter alone was worth the time I spent reading her book. I did not agree with every principal the author stated, but I could see why she suggested what she did and how that would work for some people. The vast majority of what she had to offer however has really sunk in and left a mark, which doesn't happen that often! Lastly, she offers new ideas I have never seen before, and she talks about truly appreciating everything we have- which is truly a worthwhile pursuit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

November Budget

$2300/year, can add in gift cards and eBay sales.
No more than 45 items this year and must fit in with my shopping questions.

Spent this month: $115.99
Totals: $2382.98 out of pocket, $446.71 on gifts/gift cards, $354.62 on returns and eBay earnings.
$0 left for the year out of pocket, over budget by $82.98.

62 new items entered my closet this year so far total. I can buy or receive up to 0 more items this year. I went over the goal of 45 by 17 items!

What Came In:  2 items
WHBM Black Jacket $37.99: I ordered this jacket using my $50 rewards card I received in October. It's the same jacket I own in burgundy, which I really enjoy wearing frequently. I ordered the same size and found it was too large, so I exchanged for a smaller size which did not arrive until November. The smaller size fit perfectly and I have worn it in constant rotation since. As a policy, I don't purchase duplicates- this one is an exception because it's a great, versatile jacket and was much needed in my core color. 10/10!
Bracelet $78- This bracelet has gotten so. much. wear!! It was very very pricey, which I doubt I will ever do again. I tried out a jewelry membership and fell in love with it, bought it and cancelled my membership because I cannot afford jewelry this expensive on the regular! I never would have enrolled had I any idea how much their items cost. This bracelet is a 10/10.

What I ordered but returned: 0 items

Purged: 0  items

Sold: 0 items


I actually didn't do any November shopping at all. All items shown here were ordered in late October and arrived in November. I'm pretty proud of that fact! I even avoided Black Friday for the first time in years. I spent the day watching movies with my daughter and organizing, which is something I enjoy doing most days.