2015 budget in review

As I mentioned in my December budget post, I wanted to take some time to review my 2015 purchases on the whole. This was the first full year in which I operated on an annual budget as opposed to a monthly limit. Even with that change, I tended to spend approximately the same amount on a monthly basis–approximately $150 to $175.

2015 total: $1988 ($12 under budget)

I think this method of budgeting really works for me; it allows some flexibility depending on “need” or seasonal sales. Accordingly, I plan on maintaining similar spending habits for 2016.

In terms of best and worst buys, I would normally do some cost-per-wear calculations, but that’s not really an accurate assessment of an item’s usefulness this year–the whole pregnancy thing kind of put a kink in how often I was able to wear my clothing purchases. But in general, I’d break down my purchases as follows:

The losers:

  • navy printed jeans: I had seen several bloggers style these jeans, and I genuinely felt that they fit my style aesthetic. The trouble was, they didn’t fit my body all that well. J.Crew’s toothpick jeans notoriously run small, something I didn’t know at the time of purchase. They were quite snug pre-pregnancy, so I can only imagine how things will shake out once I attempt to lose the baby weight. I’m keeping them for now in hopes that I can fit into them someday…
  • floral blazer: I’ve bought and returned several floral blazers over the years, but I never seem to find one that works. I bought this one from SheIn last spring and wasn’t totally sold on the quality or fit of the piece, but returning it was prohibitively expensive. So it has sat in my closet for the past 9 months or so collecting dust. I know other have had great luck with SheIn, but I never seem to get a proper fit with their items. I will likely list this on Poshmark in the future. I think I need to give up on the hunt for a floral blazer for good anyway–I think part of the reason I can’t find one I like is because it’s not reflective of my personal style anymore.
  • cap toe pumps: I fell in love with these pumps on Poshmark, as they looked almost identical to the much more expensive Etta pumps from J.Crew. I bought them, but when they arrived, they were a smidge too small. I tried stretching them but to no avail. I reluctantly re-Poshed them.
  • blue patterned sleeveless blouse: The lesson I learned from this top is that I need to just stop ordering items online from H&M. We don’t have a store near us, so I am unable to try items on, which apparently is a problem. In my experience, H&M’s sizing is a bit unpredictable, so ordering online is pretty risky. I hate paying for return shipping, so I ended up selling this much too large and long top on Poshmark.

The winners:

  • gray quilted dress: This dress was definitely a favorite during the winter and spring months. It was pretty easy to style it in various ways so as to be seasonally appropriate; gray is definitely one of my favorite neutrals these days.
  • gold link necklace: I’ve been attempting to invest in nicer quality, classic jewelry pieces this year, and this necklace was part of that effort. I think a simple gold necklace like this one is a great addition to pretty much any woman’s closet. I’ve gotten the cost per wear down to $2.75!
  • white jeans: This year was the year I finally found a pair of white jeans that fit and made me feel great–an evasive combination, I tell you! I grabbed these during an Easter sale, and I am so glad I did. I wore them so much during the spring and summer months, and I might even be brave enough to try wearing them this winter too!
  • reversible tote: This is an item that you all are probably really tired of seeing. It has been my go-to bag pretty much since I bought it back in July. It goes with everything and is big enough for all my nonsense (i.e., pens and snacks).

Overall, I would say that 2015 was a year in which I tried my best to carefully evaluate each clothing purchase. I would also venture to say that this year marked a bit of a style evolution in that I now find myself increasingly drawn to neutral, classic pieces and less toward bright colors and crazy patterns; this is pretty evident in the items I chose as “winner” items. My “loser” purchases were primarily the result of poor fit, so I suppose the lesson there is that I need to shop only at places where returns are free and easy.

I’m excited to continue curating a closet that’s reflective of my personal style while still remaining in my allotted budget. Here’s to a fun and financially responsible 2016 🙂

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2 thoughts on “2015 budget in review

  1. Pingback: shopping list–january 2016 | Tasteful Style

  2. Pingback: second chances | Tasteful Style

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