Thursday, January 28, 2016

Budgeting Bloggers: January 2016

I've decided that for 2016, after a year of no budget, I will set one in order to reduce a little bit from 2015!  Last year I spent about $208 per month, so this year I dialed back to $500 per quarter vs. the $624 last year average.  I'm going to have to start paying student loans on my Master's degrees, so that means I want to spend less in general on closet things.

Aubrey's 2016 Budget Ground Rules:
  • $500 per quarter budget, if not spent entirely it rolls over to next quarter
  • Pajamas, socks/hosiery, underwear, and specific needs for work/DAR do not count
  • ALL clothing and accessories count, including activewear
  • Any clothing sold (via Poshmark, etc.), or money earned from affiliate links, is subtracted from the monthly spend, to encourage me to trim the closet
  • Purchases made with store giftcards do not count against the budget, but gift money does because I could use it on other things
  • Link up monthly with the rest of Franish's budgeting bloggers!

This month's budget was a good one!  I had giftcards and money to spend, but after going crazy in December shopping I hesitated initially to shop.  So most of this month's purchases came out of my gift cash, when it comes down to it.

  1. La Blanca tankini swim top and bottoms, ($89 top /$49 bottom retail, paid $20):  My sister works for a resort, and every year they clean out their boutique and have an employee sale where items are sold for a fraction of retail price.  She called me and scored big on a few items that I wanted, including a new swimsuit!
  2. Havaianas flip-flops in purple and dark green ($26 each retail, paid $5 each): Also from Sissy's employee sale!
  3. Apt. 9 Skinny Belt Set & Chaps Stretch Belt in black (originally $26 and $30, paid $12 total):  I regretfully allowed a LOT of Kohl's cash expire recently, and I was determined not to let it happen again.  With B1G1 50% off on belts, $30 in Kohl's Cash, and a 15% off coupon, I walked away with three belts for $12!
  4. Fossil Sydney Bifold Wallet (similar, originally $35, paid $10):  I forgot to add this to December's rollup, so it's here now!  I found this little wallet on clearance for a steal.  I love little wallets to fit in my small purses, and Fossil makes great leather products.
  5. Forever 21 Contrast-Trim Top in White ($16):  I went into Forever 21 looking for some cheap tops that would look nice under a blazer or cardigan for the office.  I found four!  It was my first and only real clothing shopping this month, not bad for a little retail therapy at the mall.
  6. Forever 21 Contemporary Ruffled Blouse in Peach ($23)
  7. Forever 21 Pintucked Chiffon Blouse ($15)
(not pictured)

$119 spent -  $73 sold/earned = $46 total spent in January
$230 savings

Quarter Budget: $500 - $46 in January  = $454 left for February & March 

January's roundup also includes items received as Christmas gifts...

  • Cultured Freshwater Pearl Classic Jewelry Set in White & Sterling Silver from Mom & Dad via Macy's:  I asked for pearl earrings, and Mom got a great deal, paying $19.99 for a $100 set!  I love how simple and classic these are.
  • Alex & Ani Bracelets Path of Life and Claddagh in silver tones from Dan's Mom, Blue Om from Dan (which is being exchanged or replaced due to a defect):  I've started to wear bracelets regularly, and I like ones that have some meaning behind them!  Dan and his Mom both selected a few that I've been wearing.  I have one set of silver bangles and one set of gold that I tend to wear, but I may start mixing tones for fun!
  • LC Lauren Conrad Mixed-Stitch Boyfriend Cardigan in Black from my cousin AD:  Every year, we do a gift exchange in our family where we draw one person instead of shopping for 20+.  My cousins always do a great job; I told AD I was looking for chunky knits and layering pieces, and this sweater delivers.
  • love this life Family Tree Charm Bangle Bracelet from my cousin AD:  I'm the unofficial family historian, so I loved this bracelet to add to my stack!
  • kate spade Cobble Hill Carson Purse in ivory/beige from Sissy:  Sissy knows I wear a lot of white/off-white for DAR, so this soft leather bag was perfect for my collection!  It's big enough to hold a program for an event, so it's perfect.  She scored it at Last Chance, and I believe it's the Cobble Hill Carson or an older version that's incredibly similar.
  • Mossimo A-Line Dress from Mom & Dad
  • TOMS Classic Slip-On in Navy from Mom & Dad:  My black pair were starting to show their age, and Mom found this color on sale.
  • Bandolino Flats in Natural from Mom & Dad:  Identical to the black pair from last month, but in another classic color for everyday wear.  My new favorite flats!  Both are leather, I believe.
  • Gold Stud Earrings from Dan (not pictured):  I wanted new round, gold studs in 14k to replace a pair I'd lost, so Dan gifted them to me!
  • Tommy Hilfiger Polka Dot Sweater in white with silver dots (not pictured) from Dan's Mom via Macy's (exact in red)

  • Michael Kors 'Parker' Chronograph Bracelet Watch from one of my BFFs (super generous, right?)  Stunning!
  • Other items (not pictured):  I also received two beautiful bracelets that my parents purchased in Bali, a batik shawl/pashmina from Bali, a bracelet from North Dakota, and a necklace from an Indiana craft fair...  not bad, eh?

If you'd like to help me clean out my closet and get some good deals, check out my Poshmark closet below!

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