Friday, January 30, 2015

January 2015 Budget

The Rules (as seen in original post here)
  • I can spend $1500.00 maximum out of pocket.
  • I can purchase 20 items maximum.
  • Re-sale adds money to the budget but not to the item limit.
  • Gifts do not 'count' in the item limit.
This Month
  • I spent $20.69 this month on 1 item.
  • So far this year, I have spent $20.69 and purchased 1 item.
  • I have $1479.31 left to spend this year on 19 items. This is about $77.86 each.
  • I received a $50 gift card for Christmas which is unspent.

This month, the numbers are a bit skewed because while I did not purchase anything in January, an item was back-ordered from last month. It did not get charged or ship until this month, so it wound up being part of 2015 rather than 2014. I liked it enough to keep it and wear it right away!

WHBM Scarf, $20.69 (orig $48)

This scarf is awesome- it's the perfect size and I love the print and colors (a bit brighter and longer than pictured). 9.5/10


I received a $50 gift card for Christmas which is unspent currently!

Returns- 0

Shopping List

So, how'd I do on my shopping list? I created this list in December 2015, when I was planning my budget and it is subject to change!

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 - purchased
  • 2 tops that work professionally and casually
  • New Jacket or Blazer
  • Wrap style or flowy dress

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Inventory Post

An inventory post has been long overdue, my apologies. This post is completely up to date and accurate and includes recent gifts/aquisitions.

Clothing Inventory- 74

Blazers and Jackets- 9
Black one-button suit blazer
Black high collar jacket
Dark-grey ruffle back blazer
Kelly-green blazer
Black eyelet lightweight jacket
Brown-Oxblood faux-leather jacket
Teal faux-leather jacket
Black leather ruffle detail jacket

Burgundy/Purple high-collar jacket

Work Dresses- 8
Black sheath dress buckle detail dress (all seasons, funeral appropriate too)
Cobalt sheath dress zipper detail dress (all seasons)

White, Silver, Black tweed sheath dress (all seasons)
Cobalt cowl-neck jersey dress (also works casually or for travel)

Burgundy print wrap dress (all season, works for travel)
Black&white geo print wrap dress (all season, works for travel) Needs 2" hem
Polka dot halter dress (also an occasion dress, daytime wedding or occasion, spring/summer only)
Coral print sundress (also an occasion dress, daytime wedding or occasion, spring/summer only)

Special Occasion Dresses- 6
(Determined by type of occasion, below. All my needs are met already.)
Red lace sheath dress (holiday or very dressy special event)

Sequin mini-dress (NYE or sexy event) May purge- worn 1x in 2008!
Emerald tiered dress (evening wedding or occasion)
Black tiered dress with beaded detail (work appropriate parties or dressy occasion)
Burgundy lace dress fit&flare with scoop back (work appropriate parties or dressy occasion)
Coral ikat-print sheath dress (daytime wedding or occasion, spring/summer only, have other options)

Skirts- 2
Leopard A-line skirt
Black high-waist ruffle back pencil skirt

Work Pants- 8
Dark-gray pinstripe straight legged trousers (high-heel length)
Herringbone wool flared trousers (high-heel length)
Black slim-fit narrow legged suit trousers (high heel-length)
Light-gray wide-legged trousers (high-heel length) needs tailoring

Mid-gray herringbone pinstripe wide-legged trousers (mid-heel length)
Bright blue straight legged trousers (mid-heel length)
Grey/tan slim-fit narrow legged trousers (mid-heel length)
Cobalt blue ankle pants (any length)

Casual Pants- 4
Dark denim skinny jeans- white embroidered
Dark denim zippered skinny jeans
Mid blue skinny jeans
Denim wide-legged trousers

Tops- 15
Cream ruffle front blouse
Geo print tie-neck blouse
Black tiered sleeveless tank
Cobalt flutter-sleeve blouse needs tailoring in shoulders

Blue and White ruched striped top
White sheer sequin bib peasant blouse
Black flutter sleeve embellished neckline tunic top
Burgundy scroll print tiered sleeveless top

Leopard print hi-lo surplice silky camp shirt
White faux-wrap long sleeve fitted blouse
Burgundy print fluid fit surplice blouse
Pink floral tiered camisole
Teal fluid-fit blouse
Black surplice top
White&Blue print top

Sweaters- 4
Black surplice sweater
Red surplice sweater
Black lace and beaded sweater
Blue ombre sweater

Camis and Tanks- 6
White lace cami
Black lace cami
Purple lace cami
Teal lace cami
White tank
Red tank

Cardigans- 9
Teal cardigan
Fuchsia cardigan
Leopard print cardigan
Purple cardigan
Black and white geometric print cardigan
Cobalt print cardigan
Grey print cardigan
White cardigan
Cobalt cardigan

Coats- 3
Teal winter coat
Dark grey winter coat
Blue lightweight rain/trench coat

Accessory Inventory- 61

Shoes- 16
Purple leopard flats Need to be replaced, worn
Black and white geometric print flats Need to be replaced, worn
Tan and brown print flats Need to be replaced, worn
Green wedge sandals (mid-heel)
Tan pointy toe heels (mid-heel)
Red pointy toe heels (mid-heel)
Black pumps (high-heel)
Black pointy-toed gold snakeskin print pumps (high-heel)
Burgundy pumps (high-heel)
Green pumps (high-heel)
Black sandals (high-heel)
White and gold sandals (high-heel)
Black heeled leather boots
Tan heeled booties
Black winter boots Need to be replaced, worn
Brown winter boots plan to wear out and not replace

Necklaces- 16
Long large gold tassle
Long gold chain with large blue pendant
Long gold blue circle delicate
Long chain with crystal pendant
Convertible long silver chain with purple pendant (to bib)
Short black/silver beaded triple strand
Short blue cabochon collar
Short navy/pink jeweled necklace 
Short antique gold floral statement bib
Short black and crystal statement collar
Short purple beaded triple strand
Short silver rectangle statement triple strand
Short rhinestone collar
Short delicate chain with small heart pendant
Short 18k delicate gold chain with virgin pendant
Short strand of pearls

Bracelets- 6
Blue bracelet might purge
Gold cuff
Silver cuff
Rhinestone cuff
Gold rectangle cuff
Silver thin cuff

Earrings- 12
Long dangle tiny crystal earrings
Long dangle chain mail earrings
Gold and white stone earrings
White pearl and rhinestone earrings
Heart earrings
Mint earrings
Purple drop earrings
White gold H&M earrings
Green drop earrings
Aqua drop earrings
Rhinestone earrings
Burgundy earrings

Belts- 2
Black w/ metal plate stretch waist belt
Grey pants belt

Scarves- 2
Grey sequin infinity scarf
Printed floral scarf 

Weather Gear- 6
Black winter hat
Pair of sunglasses
Grey-black ombre winter scarf 
Brown winter boots
Black winter boots 

Purses- 1
Beige, white, and black color-blocked large purse Replace

Grand total of items- 135

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thinking Through Shopping Temptations

My favorite store just rolled out the new spring line (and has new items every day), and it's great! Normally at this point, I would have gone hog wild with the coupon I just recently received + member discount (30% off) and ordered everything that tickled my fancy to 'try'. Instead, I looked carefully through the items to see if there was anything that matched my item list and was worth getting, considering I'm on a 20 item total limit this year. I was able to rule out a lot of temptations based just on this criteria, so that's a huge improvement!

For spring and summer, I'm only really  looking for a replacement purse, a replacement pair of flats, a casual top, a vibrant colored or printed top, a white blouse, gray jeans, a versatile dress, and a really great pair of flat sandals- leaving one 'open' item for something unexpected but special.

I'm especially interested in a great dress because I have my 10-year high school reunion this summer at the beach. I'd like a dress that is special but works casually and for work. I have a dress that would likely work, but it's getting very worn so a replacement isn't out of the question- but it's nice that I don't 'have' to purchase a dress either. I have to admit I would like to dress to impress (in a casual way) and my worn dress isn't my first choice- I'd rather use it for grocery shopping or other hot weekend activities.

After narrowing down what I liked out of the new items, I found the following items to be particularly interesting:

A great dress that appears to be versatile. This would be a contender for said beach-party dress, provided it's easy on and off and not dry-clean only, since I'll be swimming! I also would need to ensure I can wear it to work, as said dress needs to be integrated into my wardrobe rather than a special-occasion dress / dress that is not used often.
A pretty casual light sweater. Could be a great staple or a horrid mess depending on the fit and where the stripes fall on me! I may not ever order it but I do like how it looks here.
A gorgeous work dress. I'm working more and more with clients one-on-one and do have occasions where I need to be very dressed up. I do have two other dresses that would work for these occasions (though I do not like them as much as I wish) as well as separates, so this would not be a need. If it was a extremely flattering fit and the color blocking hit me in the exact right places, it could be a great investment.
This is a great dress, but I'm not sure it would be worth purchasing. I do have limited occasions for this type of dress, and though I don't have a business-appropriate summer dress like this, I do have other dresses that would 'work' for the few occasions I would need something like this (though they wouldn't be my first choice!). This again would have to be absolute perfection for me to purchase it.

I don't plan to purchase anything in the near future. I'd like to wait for some reviews and a 50% off coupon before I order anything to try. I'm happy that that drive I had to purchase (motivated by fear of missing out and a compulsion I couldn't seem to beat) seems to have dissipated now that I feel mostly fulfilled with my wardrobe and especially because I cannot add to many things to my wardrobe this year. It's very liberating! Last year I was not able to keep my purchases down because I was afraid of what it would feel like to not be able to shop, so being able to see this as liberating rather than limiting is a big improvement as well.

Monday, January 19, 2015


I want some feedback from those of you who read here. Are any of you interested in topics in Personal Finance or Frugality?

A main goal of mine for this year is to scale back my spending and to practice more frugal habits, in order to pay off my debt and eventually move to a home closer to my work that has enough land to raise some animals. I'll have a lot of fodder for these posts:

  • Budget posts
  • Progress reports on debt reduction
  • Tips/How I am being more frugal

I'm sure there are plenty more topics I can explore. I'm trying to stop focusing so heavily on my wardrobe and clothing acquisition and more on making the changes I want to make in my life. I just don't want to drive away anyone who is not interested in these type of posts!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Purchases 2014 Review

Purchases Review 2014

I purchased a total of 70 items in 2014. This includes clothing, shoes, and accessories but does not include pajamas and underclothing (including tights), as they come out of a different budget. Originally, I only intended to purchase 45 or less, and overall I purchased too much in the past year. My total wardrobe counting accessories currently numbers 133, so in rough numbers without taking into consideration all the purging, that is 52.63% of my wardrobe!  I also busted my budget by overspending by $508. 

While the numbers are much too high, there are some great positive changes that I've made as well. In 2013 I estimated I had purchased around 95 or more items- and a vast majority of those items are no longer in my closet because I was only impulse purchasing, with no real thought of how the items would really work in my life or wardrobe. I purchased fewer items this year in comparison, and this past year I was also much more discerning. I was able to get some real 'home runs', though I did make several mistakes. I also made a vast shift overall- I reduced my wardrobe from a total of approximately 360-410 to 133. I was able to overhaul my style this year and I made great progress in honing in on what I like and what works best for me, which will help me make better decisions in the future.

Items that I no longer own (13): $389.26

Firstly, I want to review the items that I purchased this year, yet are no longer in my closet and why. Of these, 2 were lost or accidentally ruined, while 9 were purged. 2 more items were purged but did not count, as they were gifts. The rest of the purged items (9) represent 12.86 % of what I purchased this year- all wasted dollars. They total $270.76, or 7.5% of my budget, of which some I hope to recoup back in resale.

For the items that I purged, there are a few trends that I see. 2 items were free and did not work for me. 5 items were items that I liked and I thought were pretty, but were impulse purchases and didn’t end up working for me. The 3 tops that I purged were all very similar in that they were sleeveless with ruffles or rushing that did not work out for me. The cardigan was an eBay purchase and was much more worn than I expected and was not returnable. In the future, I must remember not to purchase something just because I like the color, print, or think it’s pretty- I must be more discerning about fit and function.

2 items were lost or ruined: $118.50

Reversible Earrings- $21.50
These earrings were worn extremely frequently- they got to under a dollar a wear very quickly. Unfortunately, I lost one just a couple weeks ago while wearing them out and about, and have been unable to find the lost earring.
Dusky Blue V-Neck Dress- $97
This beautiful dress was purchased in January and only worn twice. I washed it on delicate, dried it on delicate, and ruined the dress completely. The entire dress shrunk a size- except the lining inside it. $97 in the trash!

Items that were purged (9): $270.76

Aqua Bubble Necklace- Free
Tiny mint earrings (similar, not exact)- Free
WHBM Coral Bib Necklace- $28.12
Rhinestone Necklace, $9.80, sold for $24 via auction
Mint and Rhinestone Necklace- $9.80- given away
WHBM Black Ruffle Blouse- $37.99
WHBM Printed Ruffle Cami, $22.80
WHBM Burgundy Top, $42.78
WHBM Black Cardigan via eBay, $26.35
WHBM Geometric Print Pencil Skirt- $75.34
WHBM Printed Cardigan- $41.78

Items that are 'Home Runs' (36): $2157.44

Now, let's look at the best purchases I made this year. I've split them into two categories- my top favorites, and other frequently worn items. These make up 51.43% of what I purchased and 27.07%  of my total current wardrobe.

Surprisingly, a higher portion of my budget (3610.31 after gifts and eBay earnings) was spent on these items- 59.76%!

Top favorite items (14): $846.15
WHBM Chain Neck Tunic Top, $83.60
WHBM Skinny Jeans, $38
WHBM Burgundy Jacket, $71.25
WHBM Printed Wrap Dress $48.43
Express Light-grey Trousers $67.90
BCBG Paris Ankle boots, DSW $62.35 
WHBM Black Jacket $37.99
House of Harlow Bracelet $78
WHBM Leopard Print Blouse, $70.38
WHBM Cardigan- $31.49
Old Navy White pearl long earrings, $4.77
Clark's Always Chic Pumps, $140.00 plus $11.20 in tax ($151.20)
WHBM Lace & Beaded Sweater $65.17 
WHBM Burgundy Lace Dress $35.62

Other frequently worn or great items (22): $1311.29

Rosetti Colorblock Purse- $69.36
Fergalicious Black Pumps- $46.71
WHBM Gold Motif Earrings, $19.00
WHBM Cobalt Ankle Pants, $55.58
WHBM Geometric Tie-Neck Blouse- $40.85
Isola Low Pointy Toe Heels, $49.99
WHBM Crystal Earrings $10.88
WHBM Dark Zip Skinny Jeans $32.30
WHBM Burgundy Tank $16.18
WHBM Cuff $14.24
WHBM Burgundy Earrings $16.18
WHBM Black Leather Jacket- $357.05
WHBM Beaded and Tiered Dress- $166.25
WHBM White Cardigan, eBay, $36
WHBM Black Eyelet Jacket, $47.50
WHBM Tiered Floral Camisole, $56.94
Loft Teal Blouse, $24.75
WHBM Convertible Purple Pendant / Bib, $19.00
WHBM Silver Pendant, $16.15
WHBM Knit Ombre Sweater $58.52
Coach Pumps $107.99
WHBM Printed Faux-Wrap Dress $49.87

Other (24): $907.57

Lastly, I have a number of items that are either infrequently worn or have small fit issues. A few of these have potential to be purged, but the majority are only 'other' because they have not been worn often or are practical but not my favorite items. These encompass 34.29% of my purchases and 18.05% of my total wardrobe.

Never or infrequently worn items (15): $573.85

WHBM Black Surplice Top $22.81
WHBM Tweed Dress, - $60.80 plus $15 tailoring
LOFT Outlet Long gold tassel necklace, $9.88
WHBM Coral Print Dress- $66.49, Tailoring $15
Black Rivet Jade Faux-Leather Jacket- $37.41
WHBM Flounce Back Pencil Skirt, $56.89
Old Navy Green drop earrings, $ 4.17
WHBM Printed Embellished Cardigan- $46.66
Loft Outlet Long gold necklace with aqua and navy, $12.99
WHBM Printed Surplice Shirt-tail Hem Top, $55.58
WHBM Blue Cardigan, $56.12
Loft Blue Drop Earrings, $14.75
Isola Suri Red Pumps $49.99
Loft Multi-color Necklace, $19.75
WHBM Printed Tee, $29.56

Undecided items (9): $333.72

Rhinestone Necklace, $9.80
Fergalicious Geometric Flats- $29.22
WHBM Striped Knit Top- $59.28
Kelly Green Blazer $6.15
Nine West Green heels, $39.99
WHBM Geometric Cardigan, eBay, $40 (including shipping costs)
NY&Company Trench, $62.35
WHBM Scroll Print Top, $45.60
WHBM White Surplice Top, $41.33