Thursday, January 2, 2014

the damage... December!

At the end of each month this year I have paused to take a look at my spending as it's related to my closet. Each month my target budget is $300. For some this may sound like a lot and for others it may not... for me personally this is my monthly goal. It works for my budget and lifestyle and doesn't break the bank. Shopping budgets are a personal thing, but I share mine here to show how I stretch my budget and work to create a well curated and fully stocked closet.

I have to say that I can't believe I have successfully tallied up "the damage" each month for the entire 2013!  Whoa! I am pretty proud of myself for sticking with the budget (for the most part) and for really honing my style and buying things that I really love and treasure.  Yesterday I went back and looked at the whole year in one sitting and really there are only a handful of items that I can see I didn't wear much or that I "regret" buying.  I think that is quite impressive, because let's all admit it... we all buy things here and there that we change our mind on after it's too late to return them.  On the flip side I can look back and see so so many items that I am like, "yep, I would totally buy that again today!"  I think that question is the ultimate indicator of a "good" buy.  If you bought it last month, six months or even a year ago and you would still buy it today, it's a winner.

Let's look at my last month of spending for 2013...

Asos, Faux Fur Collar, Brown, $43.56 marked down, was $25.41
 Asos, Faux Fur Collar, Black, $43.56 marked down, was $29.95
J.Crew, Key Hole Top, $88 marked down + 40% off, was $14.99
J.Crew, Tartan Popover, $78 marked down + 40% off, was $35.99
J.Crew, Hello Tee, $39.50 marked down + 40% off, was $17.99 (similar)
J.Crew, Wool Shirttail Skirt, $98 marked down + 40% off, was $47.99
Anthropologie, AG Stevie Jean, $168 with $100 gift card, was $68
J.Crew, Chandelier Earrings, $69.50 marked down + 40% off, was $29.99 (not shown)

Total Spent: $270.31 (saved $357.81!!!)

Thoughts on the budget: All of these purchases were AFTER Christmas sales.  So I did resist A LOT of before Christmas sales and for that I am proud of myself. Especially I still snagged a few pieces I really wanted - I felt lucky they were still available and on sale. Initially I wasn't going to spend much at all this month, but some of the sales were way way too good to pass up.  Which from the prices above you can totally see!  Also, with Alt Design Summit coming up in January I thought it would be a great time to pick up a few pieces AND save for that event. 

Thoughts on the pieces: The skirt (the second I've bought all year!) has seriously been on my wishlist since it first came out. I'm not a huge skirt wearer but it will be easy to style for Alt and is ultimately a classic investment piece.  The jeans I splurged on with the help of a gift card from my husband for Christmas.  The other J.Crew pieces are a combo of items for Alt (I needed a green top for the "green" themed party!) and items that I had my eye on but didn't want to buy before Christmas (the "hello" top and the tartan top).  I have been obsessed with faux fur lately and these faux fur collars keep catching my eye on Pinterest and Instagram.  So I ordered two from Asos... it will be TBD if I will keep both of them or just one or none... they haven't arrived yet!

Okay, so now let's add up the whole year... shall we!?!? 

Total spent for 2013: $3,895.38 (average monthly: $324.62)
January $290.08
February $631.46
March $153.04
April $288.45
May $562.44
June $0
July $494.92
August $290.44
November $475.82
December $270.31

Not bad, not bad! With an average of $324.62 each month I was pretty much right on track!  Going over an average of $25 each month still added up to around $300 (so an extra month of shopping) but is still pretty close to my target.

I really liked doing this series for 2013. I found it very interesting to look at each month in depth (sometimes it's easy to forget what you buy!) and I do feel like stating a budget for clothing each month made me think more critically about what I was buying and WHY.  I knew I had to get the good stuff AND keep a budget.  For me it proved helpful.  I think I will keep it up in 2014 and think hard about what my new budget will be - should I give myself a raise?! Do you want to keep seeing these posts? I would love your feedback and to know if you have a budget too? If not, would you consider starting one for 2014? Chat back at me in the comments!

see you around...

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