may 2017 budget

May was kind of a weird shopping month for me. I didn’t really have anything specific in mind…so I didn’t shop. Totally out of character, I know. It got to be as late as last week, and my expenditures totaled ZERO. Then a few good sales happened, and well, here we are. Details below!

the keepers

embroidered top {Mindy Mae’s Market} $34 ($40 + 15% off coupon code) I’ve been lusting after this Madewell top for months, but it sells out frequently…and doesn’t seem to go on sale. I happened to catch an Instagram post from Mindy Mae’s announcing a 15% off coupon code and spotted this look-alike top. The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s acceptable for a trendy, casual top. Plus, there’s plenty of room so that I could wear it as a maternity top in the future. I wore it to my nephew’s birthday party with some jean shorts and sandals and received a few compliments 🙂

banks sunglasses in striped sassafras {Warby Parker} $95 (retail price) If you have a really good memory, you might recall that my husband gave me this exact style of sunglasses in the “sea smoke tortoise” color a long time ago. They’ve held up so well to constant use that I decided to invest in a brown-toned pair from WP (to wear with all the cognac in my shoe wardrobe!). I really like the shape of my Banks pair, so I just decided to go with that! Boring? Perhaps, but I knew I’d love them!

black shorts {J.Crew Factory} $5 ($34.50 on sale for $14.50 + $10 off with coupon) Nothing exciting here–just a pair of black shorts that actually fits me.

red striped skirt {J.Crew Factory} $25 ($79.50 on sale for $39.50 + $15 off with coupon) Another “multiple” purchase here–I bought the navy version last year and wore it all the time (see here!). It’s lightweight and a work-appropriate length, which makes it perfect for my summer wardrobe.

navy dot tee {J.Crew Factory} $0 ($39.50 on clearance for $24.99 + $25 gift card) I had been eyeing this tee for a while, and since I was already ordering the two items above, I added it to my cart to qualify for a promo. I was a little concerned it would be too small, as the only size left was XS, but it is surprisingly roomy. I have quite a collection of the, err, Collector tees now–there’s always a style or two to add some whimsy to my more casual outfits.

the returns

No returns!

the extras

Technically, I guess the dot tee pictured above is a freebie since I used a gift card to pay for it, but other than that, no extras.

May 2017 total: $159

2017 total: $725

Remaining budget: $1275

In case the lack of posting here hasn’t clued you in, clothes haven’t been at the forefront of my mind lately. I’m OK with that. I have an adequate wardrobe to serve my current lifestyle well, and I don’t have as much free time to shop online (or in store–who has time for that?!). I think the sunglasses will be in constant rotation throughout the year, and the JCF purchases will be good summer staples. The embroidered top was more of a fun, “just because” purchase, but I’m willing to bet that I’ll end up wearing it often in the coming months.

I never got around to writing up my usual, bimonthly “wishlist” post this month. The only thing I really need right now are comfortable sandals that can be worn with shorts or dresses/skirts without looking too stodgy. I am tempted by these and these.

What did you buy in May?

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

April 2017 Budget

This month has been busy, so I haven’t been particularly good about tracking my shopping. So I’m pretty sure this is where the budget stands…better get back to using my spreadsheet to keep myself accountable! Anyway, here are a few things I added to my closet in April.

black leather flats {BCBGeneration via eBay} $42 (retailed for $69) After a few failed attempts, I finally found a pair of black leather flats, which have been on my wishlist for a while. I actually own these exact flats in two other colors: nude leather and black suede, so when they popped up in a desperate eBay search, I ordered them immediately. For those who are curious, they are called the “Nassau” flat, and I highly recommend them! Just be sure to order up a half size.

scalloped tank in rose {eri + ali via Anthropologie} $48 ($58 + $10 off promotion) I don’t typically shop at Anthropologie, but there’s a location near my house, so I wandered in there looking for housewares one day and happened upon this brand. The material is a thick jersey, so it’s not see-through at all–a rare find for pale pink items, it seems. I initially bought this top, but the “swing” shape was way too exaggerated such that it looked like a maternity top! I opted for this one instead. It’s a bit more limited in its versatility, but I think it will be nice to have throughout the spring and summer.

striped tulip sleeve striped tee in whisper white {Loft} $24 ($39.50 + 40% off sale) I’ll admit, this was something I admired on others’ Instagram feeds, then promptly bought it for myself as soon as a good sale came along. I never met a stripe I didn’t like, and the fun detail on the sleeves make this tee a little extra special. I’m seriously contemplating buying it in red as well…

striped pom-pom tee in smoke heather {Loft} $17 ($39.50 marked down to $35 + 50% off sale) Gray is increasingly becoming one of my favorite neutrals (in fact, I’m wearing a gray peplum top as I type this post). The pom-pom edge was just too cute to pass up when Loft had its 50% off + free shipping promotion over Easter weekend. I have a feeling this will become a weekend favorite.

studio tee in ivory/navy stripe {J.Crew Factory} $13 ($29.50 on sale for $12.95) Yes, I bought two blue striped tees in one month. To be fair, my current navy striped tee was a thrift find from four years ago and is starting to show its age.

the returns

This was yet another month with several returns. I returned the aforementioned Anthro top, as well as this top and these pants (in jungle green) from Gap. The top was way too big and the pants were way too form-fitting to be professional. Inconsistent sizing much? Oh, well.

the extras

I made some cash by sending in a few bags to ThredUp, so I am planning on use those extra funds to purchase this trench coat (yes, I’m still searching for the perfect one!). Here’s hoping this one is what I’m looking for, as I’m getting tired of this fruitless hunt.

April 2017 total: $144

2017 total: $566

Remaining budget: $1434

Despite not keeping very close track of my purchases, it wasn’t a very spendy month, evidently (unless I’ve forgotten something, of course). Tees with special details are my jam lately. For better or for worse, I’ve embraced academia’s casual dress code and let myself wear jeans on days I don’t have important meetings or participant testing visits. As a result, “fancy” tees are what works for my current lifestyle, and that’s what I’ve been buying. I’m SO happy to have found the black leather flats I so desperately needed. I think I’ve worn them ten times already.

As for next month, I’m due for another wishlist post. The only thing I can think of that’s lacking in my wardrobe right now is flat sandals. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not much of a heels girl anymore, so the wedge sandals I’ve relied on in summers past are not looking all that appealing. I might hit up Target one of these days to see what they have to offer, although I always prefer genuine leather when it comes to footwear.

What did you buy in April?

March 2017 Budget

Well, this month’s clothing purchases ended up being a bit of a hodgepodge. I had had my eye on about half of these items for a while, and they happened to go on sale. The other purchases were a bit more impulsive…

the keepers

blue ruffle henley {Loft} $15 ($54.50 marked down to $49.99 + 50% off promo + $10 rewards) I had seen this top around blogland for a few months now, and while I loved it, I really couldn’t justify paying much for it, considering its similarity to this jeweled version already in my closet. The right combination of sales and rewards cash occurred, and I decided to go for it. I’m not quite ready to get rid of the aforementioned bedazzled version of this top, so I put it in storage for now. If I don’t feel compelled to bring it out of storage in the next 6 months or so, I’ll sell or donate it. Such intricate compromises are examples of my efforts to whittle down my wardrobe…

white ruffle henley {Loft} $10 ($49.50 marked down to $39.99 + 50% off promo + $10 rewards) I have no idea why the white version of this top is $5 cheaper, as it seems identical to the top above, just in a different color. Anyway, I saw infinite layering possibilities with this top, so I added it to my order at the same time that I ordered the one described above. It is a bit sheer on its own, but considering its inevitable function as a layer underneath cardigans and such, that aspect doesn’t bother me so much. I have the same dilemma with its similarity to another item in my wardrobe–the blingy version of this top that I already owned is also banished to storage for awhile. See it on IG here. 

black crossbody bag {Sole Society via Nordstrom} $50 (full price!) After stalking this bag for months and it never going on sale, ultimately I ended up going with a different bag. I read the reviews for the BP bag, and it seemed that it had a few issues: namely, the strap is too long and opening the bag is a little fussy. Considering the fact that I’m usually juggling a 15-month-old and all his accouterments when we’re out and about, the idea of a bag that’s not easy access was not appealing. So the clever marketing wizards on the Nordstrom website directed me to this bag instead. It has plenty of room and feels pretty sturdy. Plus, I like the cute braided zipper pulls. Consider this wishlist item fulfilled.

striped peplum tee {Old Navy} $12 ($19.94 on sale for $19 + 40% off promo) I included this top in my recent Old Navy review and was undecided on keeping it at the time. It was originally added as “order filler”–you know, the items you add just to get free shipping with the intention of returning. But, as luck would have it, it’s the only item I liked from the order. I kept thinking about it when I went to get dressed in the morning, so I decided that was a sign that I should keep it. I’ve already worn it multiple times in the few weeks I’ve had it! See it on IG here.

black rain boots {Hunter via eBay} $45 (retail for $140) As usual, Alabama has seen quite a bit of rain this winter, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to wear my other pairs of rain boots–six times since January 1st, to be precise. As much as I love my green Hunters and my glossy red Joules pair, I’m discovering that sometimes it would be nice to have a plain ol’ black pair. Just out of curiosity, I thought I’d check eBay for a good deal…and I found one! The pair I found were brand new in box, for less than a third of retail price. SOLD. These were not a “need” per se, but I’m pretty confident they’ll get good use.

monogrammed pullover {Marley Lilly} $40 ($79.99 on sale for $39.99) This was another item I’d been stalking for months, hoping it would be discounted to a reasonable price. I love a monogram as much as anyone, but that alone is not enough reason to pay 80 bucks for a pullover! It was finally included in a 50% off sale, so I decided that was a sufficient discount for me to order it. It’s not exactly the chicest item in my closet, but I think it will be in regular rotation on the weekends. As a bonus, it’s a near perfect match to my New Balance for J.Crew sneakers 🙂

the returns

Lots of online orders didn’t work out this month. First, I’ve been trying to find a pair of decent quality cubic zirconia stud earrings. I tend to wear my pearl pair almost daily, so I was looking for something similarly versatile and simple. Apparently, I have abnormally small earlobes, because everything I tried looked gigantic on my ears, including this pair from Nordstrom. So, back they went.

I put in an order at Loft that was all returned. I tried this trench in both a 0 and a 2 (the 2 fit best), but ultimately, I decided I want something that’s at least water resistant. The floral lining sure is cute though! I also tried this top and this top in my never-ending search for a blush blouse. Both were too sheer for my liking, and I’d rather not have to wear a camisole underneath considering how hot it gets around here in the summertime.

Finally, I also returned this coat, this top, and this dress from my Old Navy review. I’ll spare you the details to avoid being redundant, but feel free to click over if you’re interested.

the extras

I had explained my dilemma regarding the cubic zirconia studs to my mom, and being the clever lady that she is, found this set of three at Belk and gave them to me. She said they were something like 70% off at the time too. She’s a shopping ninja, I tell you.

I sold a few things on Poshmark, and I put the profits toward a like-new pair of red leather flats and a replacement black peplum top.

March 2017 total: $172

2017 total: $422

Remaining budget: $1578

Most of my purchases this month were relatively well-considered, so I’m feeling pretty satisfied with the results of my shopping for March. As for next month, I’m really hoping I end up finding a trench that works for me. I tried shopping for one in person (a rare occurrence these days) but with no luck. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on this one or this one. Pricey, yes, but that may be what it takes to get a weather-proof trench that will last. Plus, I have a few items on consignment at ThredUp, so with any luck I might have some extra funds to play with.

What did you buy in March?

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

February 2017 Budget

Somehow, the end of February is already upon us, which means it’s time for another budget update. I promise that some day I will buy something other than jeans and flats…but that day is not today. Details below!


the keepers

blue ankle pants {Loft} $35 ($69.50 + 50% off promotion) Remember my beloved cobalt blue ankle pants? I wore those pants all the time during my internship year and continued to do so since then. Sadly, they’re showing their age these days, and are a bit too big to be professional anymore, so I bought these as a replacement. I think this makes my fifth pair of the Essential Skinny Pants? I managed to get some sort of greasy stain on them the first time I wore them (#momlife), but Shout Wipes came to the rescue. So they get bonus points for durability. *PS These are now in the sale section, so you could get them for even cheaper than I did!

nude scalloped flats {Sam & Libby via Target} $24 ($24.99 + 5% off REDcard discount) I never did manage to find the leather version of these that were released last fall. If I ever happen upon a pair, I would snap them up in a hurry, but this synthetic version that Target introduced for spring will do for now. I just really needed a pair of round-toe, go-with-everything flats. These are comfy and match my skin tone pretty perfectly (no really, I’m that pale).

black turtleneck {Mossimo via Target) $13 ($19.99 on clearance for $13.98 + 5% REDcard discount) I recently came to the realization that I have very few solid color, long-sleeve tops. No wonder I have trouble layering in the winter. This flowy turtleneck gets good reviews, so I tried it out. I like the fit and the stretchy material. I’ve worn it once thus far, and I’m not sure I’ll get many more wears before the weather warms up. Minor drawback: Seth says it makes me “look Amish.” I guess he’s not into turtlenecks. *This has also been further discounted since I bought it–get it now for less than 10 bucks!

medium wash skinny jeans {Gap} $26 ($69.95 + 50% off promotion + extra 10% off with GapCard + $5 rewards) I tend to gravitate toward dark washes for my jeans, but I’ve recently been pinning a few looks with medium wash pairs, so I thought it might be nice to have some variety in my denim. It didn’t hurt that I had some rewards cash burning a hole in my pocket. When I tried them on (Instagram snap here), I was a little worried that they were a bit too skinny, but I think they’ll end up just fine. I won’t be wearing them to work anytime soon though.

boyfriend jeans {Gap} $27 ($69.95 on clearance for $29.99 + extra 10% off with GapCard) I have been struggling to find a pair of boyfriend jeans that fit properly ever since my favorite Loft pair became too big. It’s hard to tell from trying on for five minutes whether a pair of boyfriend jeans will end up stretching so much that they stop being “fetchingly oversized” and start being a potato sack. I’m hoping this pair will actually stay up on my waist with wear…

black leather sneakers {Keds via Stage} $22 ($65.00 marked down to $22.49) I wasn’t kidding last month when I said I wanted these sneakers in another color! I wear the cognac ones pretty much every weekend, so I went hunting for a good deal on the black pair. I’d never heard of this store before, but they happened to have these sneakers for 65% off (!!), so I ordered them. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of buying multiples of things I love.

the returns

I made a few returns this month. First, I tried that turtleneck above in a blush pink color, but when it arrived, it was a drab shade of pink that was really not flattering on my skin tone. I’ve also been hunting for a classic pair of black leather flats since my current pair is just plain uncomfortable. I tried this beautiful pair of Frye Regina flats in both a 9M (too small) and a 9.5M (too big). There seemed to be a big difference between the two sizes, and for $80 it wasn’t something I was willing to overlook. The search continues…

the extras

No extras to report this month, as Seth and I decided not to exchange Valentine’s gifts this year. Well, really, we just forgot. Whomp, whomp.

February total: $148

2017 total: $250

Remaining budget: $1750

My purchases this month weren’t all that exciting, I’ll admit–but I think they all fulfill some level of “need” in my wardrobe right now. I’ve worn everything already, which is usually a pretty good indicator that I’ll get my money’s worth out of the purchases. That being said, I promise to stop buying jeans for a while. Between last month’s haul and these two pairs, I should be set in the denim department for a while!

My spending thus far in 2017 has been pretty moderate, but I have a feeling that that will change in March. I’ve already got in an order at Loft for a few ruffled shirts (this one and this one), and I’m thinking of trying these flats. I’m also still eyeing this bag, and I might as well throw in these earrings while I’m ordering…

What did you buy in February? 

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.