Friday, February 27, 2015

February Budget (Oops)

This whole sticking to a budget thing gets easier, right?

So I'm in month two of putting my budget into action (you can read about month one here, when I stuck to my goal of not shopping at all) and again, I learned a lot. I'm a glass half full girl, so in some ways it was a total success: I made some of the best purchases I've made in a long time. I love these pieces, I can't wait to wear them, and I think they fit in really well with the rest of my wardrobe.

But on the other hand, I totally blew my budget. No bueno. I've thought about returning some things or pulling from my March budget, but I've decided to just chalk this up to a learning experience. Next month will be better.

Now for the fun part! Here's what I bought this month:

Starting Budget: 

$240 ($200 monthly budget + $40 for clothes sold on eBay)


J. Crew Factory Striped Tee -- $26
Old Navy Short-sleeved Jumpsuit -- $35
H&M Wrap-Style Dress -- $23.00 (after gift card)
Loft Outlet Tweed Pants -- $42 (not online; similar pictured)
F21 Loop Knit Jacket -- $28
Olivia + Joy Hobo -- $30 (love you, Marshalls!)
F21 Colorblock Tote -- $30
F21 Faux Gem Cutout Bib Necklace -- $8.90
H&M Bangle -- $15

Not pictured:
F21 Leather Contrast Trim Blouse -- $25
Target Linen T-shirt -- gift (mom picked up the tab)
F21 Wide Leg Denim Pants -- $16 (not online, sadly)
Ann Taylor Lurex Stripe Tee -- $3 (thrifted)
Isaac Mizrahi x Target Beaded Shift Dress -- $5 (thrifted)

Total: $399
Amount over budget: $159

A few thoughts...

I love black and white. LOVE. Can't get enough! (But, I kind of have enough.)

It's kind of amazing how quickly the little purchases add up. I didn't splurge on any one item or buy anything even a little pricey...but a few tops here, a pair of pants there, and suddenly you've spent 400 bucks.

You should all buy this amazingly cozy Forever 21 cardigan, my favorite purchase this month! It is so chic and cozy (very Chanel), I can't wait to pull it on with jeans, my favorite work pants, dresses, everything. The cashier left to go buy one for herself after ringing me up and my best friend tried to steal it an hour later when I met her for lunch. That's a good sweater.

I bought a number of things that I thought might end up being returned (but weren't), so I wasn't really keeping track of the total number throughout the month. I'm making a note to keep a running list on my phone so I know how much I'm spending.

I saw these H&M sweaters in store last month and have been thinking about them since (also, the white one is identical to the ON toddler sweater I was lusting after; got my own so suck on that, 2-year-olds!). I almost never buy the same item in multiple colors, but each has a unique subtle textured pattern so they don't really feel like duplicates.

I wasn't able to break my habit of overbuying certain favorite categories -- I already have plenty of blouses, so I didn't really need the three that I bought this month (even though I love them!). I couldn't resist another pair of super dark, wide-leg jeans even though I have several pair. It's a bit of a hoarding tendency, so I need to curb it unless I want to be buried alive under a tower of trouser jeans.

As mentioned previously, I'm not a handbag girl -- I could go a year without buying one and not care. It is a bit of a fluke that I ended up with two this month. My black and white obsession contributed to one purchase, and the pink hobo was just such fun find at Marshalls. They both make me super happy.

Returned/Considered and Rejected:

Since I was shopping up a storm all month, it's not surprising I found ended up returning or rejecting a few things:

Boden Eyelet Dress -- $63.20
Target Espadrille -- $25
Old Navy Skater Dress -- $23
Anthropologie Woodland Walk Blouse -- $30
Ikat Maxi Dress -- $23
Anthropologie Shimmered Monarch Skirt -- $60

The Old Navy dress just seemed too costume-y on me. It was also kind of limp and wilted -- I just felt like it would hang in my closet untouched and end up on eBay in a few months.

Loved these Target slip-ons, but they did not love my feet.

I was SO disappointed by the Boden dress -- the color was not as vibrant in person and the proportions were weird. It just looked so WIDE on the hanger, and the skirt and bodice were the same length (in the photo, the skirt is clearly longer). But in a way, I was glad it was such a miss so I didn't hesitate to send it back.

This Anthro top is interesting. I loved it when it was first introduced but knew I didn't want to pay full price. I watched it go through several rounds of price cuts, but by the time it was down to a price I would pay, the luster had worn off. It has just been hanging on the sale rack for too long, you know?

I love the idea of this breezy F21 dress but the top was so unstructured. It is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.

Sadly, I waited too long on the Shimmered Monarch skirt and it sold out. Maybe one will find its way to eBay soon.

I'm hoping for a lighter shopping month in March (though I do have another Forever 21 order on the way...). I'm eager to see what else pops up in stores for spring, but there's not a lot that I need right now. And maybe this would be a time to focus on quality instead of quantity -- maybe one of those budget busters wants to come home with me...

I'm linking up with Franish and the Budgeting Bloggers -- be sure to check them out for inspiration/temptation!


  1. I went a bit over what I expected to spend this month too. One fun jewelry purchase and one necessary jewelry purchase in addition to finding a good sale price on the watch I really wanted combined to do me in! The pink hobo bag is very cute.

    I've tried several sizes of The Shimmered Monarch Skirt and found that it runs quite a bit small (even compared to the admittedly small handful of other Anthro items I've tried). The regular length is also quite long. Just something to keep in mind if and when you see a potentially suitable one on Ebay!

    1. Yes, sometimes it just snowballs a bit :)

      Ooh, good to know about the skirt! I should have tried it on when I saw it in the store. It seemed kind of impractical at the time, but when the price dropped so low I thought, why not have a $60 impractical skirt in my closet?

  2. I really want a jumpsuit. I'm just not sure if I can pull it off!

    1. Oh, I hear you! Tim Gunn was whispering in my head when I bought my first jumpsuit ("I'm dubious..."), but you might be surprised, I think they can be quite easy to wear! Target has a good one right now -- might be worth a shot? (Bring it home, though -- I believe the dressing rooms at Target are kind of evil)

  3. Lol, yep, the whole budget thing does eventually get easier. It takes practice at first, but you'll get there. In the mean time, you picked up a bunch of great staple items!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I guess having some lovely new things takes the sting out of my failure a bit :)