Budgeting Bloggers: January 2014 | Always Aubrey

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Budgeting Bloggers: January 2014

After my Christmas haul, I decided I need to continue to cull my closet and only add pieces I really love.  I saw on Pinterest a tip to turn all your hangers backwards; once you wear an item, you replace it on the hanger the right way.  That way, you can see which items you never wear and need to part with.  That's going to be my strategy this year; anything in-season that I don't wear this quarter needs to go, and anything off-season has until the end of June.  (TN gets pretty hot, so this is a good measure.)

I like my January purchases because they stick mostly to my wishlist.  Also, since Dan and I didn't exchange gifts until New Year's, my Christmas gifts from him hit this January rollup.


  1. LOFT Long Knotted Chain Necklace (originally $35, paid $18):  I ordered two necklaces from LOFT at the tail end of January.  After getting so many tops, I realized I needed a couple of new accessories to wear to work with my new outfits!  I wanted some gold necklaces because my current collection is 90% silver toned.
  2. LOFT Long Fine Chain Tassel Necklace (originally $35, paid $18):  My friend Caroline has the tassel necklace from J. Crew AND this one.  I have started wearing more gold jewelry, so this was a natural choice when it went on sale plus a holiday promo code.
  3. Nine West Sookie Wide Calf Riding Boots in black (originally $169, paid $99): I was wearing a pair of black boots that I got on eBay in college.  They had a plastic sole and I slipped and fell in them many times!  I've been looking for leather boots to wear over jeans, and I need a wide calf fit.  These were on promo at Macy's after the holidays, so I snatched them up when I saw how nicely they worked!  I seriously wear them nearly every day.
  4. North Face Osito Jacket in Prussian Blue (gift from Dan):  I've been wanting one of these super-furry North Face jackets for a long time, and now I finally have one!  I want to live in it and be a muppet.
  5. Merona Ankle Ponte Pants in Navy (gift from Dan): I have these in black and wear them pretty much every weekend, so I asked for a new pair for Christmas.  Dan nailed it, and I will be living in these pants too!
  6. Sam Edelman Penny Boot in Whiskey ($170 at Nordstrom):  Ever see something and not be able to stop thinking about it?  The Penny boot combines styles and colors of like four pairs of fake leather boots I've owned all in one beautiful, dream boot that I never want to take off.  I originally ordered the wide calf, but they were TOO wide, so I tried on the regular calf boot for a more snug fit.  I seriously wear these or my black boots every day.  Two of my coworkers have them in black and we all talk about our love for the Penny boot.
  7. Sydney Zip Phone Wallet in Real Red (originally $55, paid $40):  I eyeballed this wristlet over Christmas, and when it went on sale afterwards in the color I liked, I had to have it!  Sold.  Great for taking to work.  Wanted to choose colors that go with both black and brown purses.
  8. Sydney Zip Multifunction in Cobalt Blue (originally $50, paid $40):  I have a tiny Coach wallet like this that is falling apart, and I can't find a similar one for a good deal.  I think I may have converted to Fossil over Coach for practicality!  It's my new everyday now that the Coach wallet has seen its final days.  Like the red, I wanted something I could toss into a black or brown purse when I switch up bags.
  9. J. Crew Factory Belted Trench (originally $198, paid $99):  I've wanted a good quality belted trenchcoat for a while, and this one was at the perfect price point.  It was backordered in December online and delayed until this month.  This coat has a great weight and lining, so I'm very happy with it!  The sleeves are a little long, but the rest of it fits very nicely.  I may look into having it tailored.  I just wish this Polar Vortex wasn't keeping me from wearing it.
Not pictured:
  • Elizabeth & Clarke Tops ($40):  I exchanged two shirts from December and didn't get them until later, so I counted them here.
  • Fabletics January Outfit ($57):  I decided later to count my workout clothes subscription as part of the budget.  I mean, I have to be accountable, right?  Rein it in, Aubrey.

$582  - $322 Posh/Blog Earnings = $260

Quarterly Budget: $500 - $260 January = $240 remaining

I'm excited by the quarterly budget, because I get a little more flexibility.  I knew January would be a BIG spending month because of the after-Christmas sales I love.  I also wanted to hunt for quality leather boots knowing that winter is when it is easier to find them.  Score!  I'm very happy with how much I spent and how much I sold.  (I sold a few designer handbags, spurring the great Poshmark sales number.)

And despite donating a bunch of stuff over the past few months, at the beginning of the year I had THREE huge bags to donate.  Definitely going to start inventorying my donations so I can take advantage of it on my taxes... I'm guilty of the donate & run method before.  This Budgeting Bloggers exercise has taught me how to be more intentional about my purchases (and less impulsive) knowing I'm putting it all out there every month.  I've also noticed a TON more space in my closet from selling and donating things I don't wear.  It's awesome to really be able to SEE my wardrobe!

I recently learned about a new-to-me website via Meghan at Hayes Days:  Rack It Up.  You can "pin" wishlist items to your virtual closet, and the site will e-mail you when the items go on sale! (You choose the $ or % when you want to be notified.)  I have already marked some of my wishlist items so I can find out when they go on promo... instead of sifting through sale e-mails and websites.  I'll let you know if it works out for me.

Wishlist Update:
P.S.  Here are two photos: one of me wearing one of my Christmas gift dresses, a belt from December, and my new knotted chain necklace and black boots.  The other of me wearing a few items you've seen on Budgeting Bloggers and my new brown boots.

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE the boots your purchased. They are gorgeous. Also, that trench coat is amazing!

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    1. What shocked me most (as these are my most expensive boots ever) is how much more comfortable and well-fitting they were than my old cheapo ones. TOTALLY worth it.

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  2. Hi Aubrey! I just found your blog through Fran's linkup, and I must say it's adorable. You picked up some great pieces this month especially the J. Crew trench. If you don't mind, could you post or send some detailed pics of the trench in real life? I've been interested in this piece before, but I'd like to see it in a different view than the website to get a better idea of the fit and quality. What's the lining made of, fleece, cotton? Not a big deal, but what color is it? Could you take a pic of that as well? Thanks!

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    1. Ele, shoot me your e-mail address (click the button above my photo in the sidebar) and I will send some pics hopefully on Sunday! It's been Polar Vortex here so I haven't worn it yet. I believe it is cotton blend on the lining, definitely not fleece. Color is very true to photo.

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  3. OOOOhhh girl, those boots! Seriously they both look so dreamy! I am a total cheapskate, but I definitely splurge when it comes to shoes - you'll have those forever!

    I have been eying that exact wallet from Fossil - is it relatively roomy? I have a bigger wallet and I want to downsize.

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    1. I would say that the blue wallet I got is pretty roomy, but if you pack it with a card in every slot, it gets hard to zip. (Also, the zipper needs a little breaking in, I recommend playing with it a bit because it's all stiffer when it's new.) I was already using a smaller wallet, but everything moved over just fine.

      The red phone wallet is perfect when I'm on the run, but not a lot of card slots. Mostly functions as as wristlet where you don't need an actual wallet.

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  4. Don't you love a good North Face?! Something about them...I invested in their parka as my purchase for this month's budget. A staple in the Midwest, I think! And that trench is divine! I have it on my wishlist for this year..super cute!
    Valerie
    www.the-style-files.com

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    1. Thank you! North Face is such a great quality brand. I was excited to get this as a Christmas gift, as it is sooooo soft.

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  5. I love everything...can I have your closet please? k. thanks.

    no seriously - the boots and the trench...SWOON.

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    1. Move to Nashville and I will share happily! LOL I love the closets of all the ladies in Budgeting Bloggers.

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  6. Thanks for the nod! I'm in love with Rack it up! You have spurred me to be a budgeting blogger and I hope to post how I did later today. I'm also doing quarterly. I like how that sounds vs. monthly. You got some good stuff! Dan has good taste. :)

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    1. The only thing about the quarterly budget is rationing enough to cover each month's desired purchases... I think what you will see from me is I don't leave much for March since that is my birthday month. Next quarter will be a different rhythm!

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  7. Those Penny boots look great! I'm just about to need an upgrade from a plastic pair I bought a few years ago (and then discovered that I wear All The Time). Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. I was wearing plastic boots for YEARS and they even made my feet sore by the end of the day. Upgrading to the boots that I chose made a HUGE difference. They are comfy, non-slip, and more durable. Watch Penny prices on Amazon, my coworker got them there during a great sale!

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