Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July "Budget"

Well, there was a major Zara sale and this month isn't going to be pretty, so let's just get to it...

Stating Budget: $275 (monthly $200 + $41 for returning a May purchase and $34 for selling some clothes)

july budget

clockwise l to r:

J. Crew Perforated Drapey Crepe Dress ($65, on sale) -- does this look familiar? You may remember last month I bought this dress in a gorgeous orange-red color. I adore it and knew I needed to snag the black color as well. Simple, sophisticated, just a little sexy. I stalked it for weeks and finally caught my size on a super sale.

Zara Jacket with Patterned Lining ($80) -- the pictures don't do it justice, this is a truly beautiful piece. It has the construction and feel of a jacket 10 times the price.

Forever 21 Cat-Eye Sunglass ($5.90) -- just the right price for a fun but super trendy pair.

Merona 3/4 Sleeve Striped Tee ($5, thrifted) -- great fit, perfectly stripe-y. Very different than all of the other striped tees in my closet. I promise.

J. Crew Roxie Pumps ($300) -- yup, I bought them. My size came back in stock and before I could even think, I clicked. Boom goes the budget.

Top with Cross-Over Front ($20, on sale) Zara sale strikes again. This top is so, so pretty -- the layered front is interesting without being fussy, and the floral pattern is really vibrant (much brighter than the photo). It's so flattering -- I wore it once and several people mentioned that I looked bright and glowy. I don't get those kinds of comments when I wear my pricey highlighting creams and powders.

Ann Taylor Tipped Collarless Jacket ($65, on sale) -- a blogger favorite this month, and for good reason. This is a fantastic spring/summer blazer with simple, chic styling. I noticed on Facebook that a friend of mine wore it when she spoke before the United Nations, so now I refer to it as my "Speaking at the UN Jacket". I'm sure I'll be receiving a speaking invitation any moment.

Zara Embroidered T-Shirt ($23, on sale) -- I can't believe I'm proclaiming my love for a mesh t-shirt, but I am. I spotted this in store months ago and was thrilled to catch it in the end of season sale.

Banana Republic Factory Shorts ($16, on sale) -- just love this color so much.

Zara Rayon Sweater with Buttons ($20, on sale) -- slim fit, finely knit sweater with a pretty button detail. Great basic, perfect for layering.

J. Crew Marcie Suede Wedges ($63) -- a cute and comfy walking shoe. It is hard to find a shoe that works with equally well with shorts, ankle pants, and wide-leg jeans -- these fit the bill.

Total: $663 ($389 over budget)

So, this is bad. You could look at it and say that I was more than 100% over my monthly budget. You could say that it was really a simple shoe splurge that was to blame (because otherwise I was...pretty close?). Either way, I am left with the question of...what to do?

The whole budget exercise was really meant to serve a couple of purposes. First and foremost was to add a measure of accountability and responsibility to my spending. Sadly, I am not an heiress and therefore I have a finite amount of money to spend on clothing. I have life goals that extend beyond just looking cute, so I want to make sure I can fund all of those things.

Also important is putting some limits on my desires to spend and accumulate new things. My goal is never to have the biggest closet or the most expensive wardrobe. It is really to just have a closet full of things that serve my life -- beautiful, practical, and functional. My clothes are a way to express myself, and a way to prevent being naked in public. That's it.

I've thought it over and I'm just going to chalk this up to a bad month. I really love everything I bought and I managed to score some great deals, and forcing myself to return purchases will feel like an unnecessary punishment. I am going to need to remember that July is a great month for sales, and I should budget accordingly.

The other thing I've realized is that I am still very much programmed to follow the normal fashion cycle and gear up for a big fall shopping blitz. I'd really love to be shopping for sweaters, moto jackets, tights, and boots, but that doesn't fit my lifestyle right now. Fall in Florida looks remarkably like summer, and I don't really need a new wardrobe. So I'm going to try to make August and September light shopping months and just live vicariously through you. Just Instagram the hell out of all of your new things, OK?

Linking up with Fran and the budget bloggers -- check them out if you'd like to hear from bloggers who, you know, are good at budgeting.

PS -- if you're new here, hello! Feel free to stick around and check out some of my most popular posts this month:
Three Ways: Statement Shoes
Wednesday Wishlist: Pop of Python

Pack This: 3-Day Trip


  1. Oops :s I suppose that happens when a single pair of shoes exceeds the entire monthly budget on its own :( Best of luck reining it in for the next couple months. My last couple months have been on the lower end of the budget, which is probably for the best because the next couple months will likely be higher for me. We do get a full 4 seasons here when the weather decides it doesn't want to just jump straight from summer to winter.

    1. Yeah, I knew once I ordered those shoes I was in trouble. They actually just arrived yesterday and while I do love them, I am a bit on the fence. I have no problem paying for quality shoes, but I think J. Crew just pulled that price out of thin air. We'll see...

      I do love fall shopping (and miss having actualy seasons), so I'll be excited to see what you buy!

  2. Haha I totally understand about striped shirts. I'm always on the lookout for just one more... About the shoes, I would keep an eye out for one of those 30% off everything sales J.Crew runs every month. Assuming your size is available, buy and return! You could save $90.

    1. J. Crew has been excluding these shoes from recent sales because they hate me (I assume). I'd definitely keep them if they were 30-40% off. I've heard of people just outright haggling (successfully) at retail stores, I don't think I'm brave enough to try it...

  3. I LOVE your 'speaking at the UN jacket.' So so polished and pretty. That black dress is gorgeous too. I can see why you wanted it in a second color!

    1. Thanks! I have a feeling that jacket is going to be a very happy addition to my closet. As I was putting it away I realized it has a similar took to a very lightweight jacket I bought at The Limited more than 10 years ago. That one is still in constant rotation, so I'll be glad to have a fall/winter version to play with.