This post is part of a series focusing on mindful spending and maintaining a clothing budget. For more information and explanation of why I started and maintain this series, please read this post.
October was an interesting month for me, purchase wise. For the first time, I actually gave myself a real budget on it. I've been following along since last month with Budgeting Bloggers over at Frannish and it really got me thinking about creating an actual budget. Most of the time, I just buy what I want and I know when there's either no more money or when I feel guilty about the amount of bought that it's time to stop. But what does that teach me? Nothing.
Kimmie of Blue Paper Lanterns had a great tip - she recommended using the CashFlow Free app to keep track of purchases. I knew this system would work for me. If something is trackable via my iPhone, I will use it. So this month, I told myself that I would start with $200. I could receive more money one of two ways: returning items I had or making sales on Poshmark as I whittled down the contents of my closet.
And then, the month of friends & family sales happened. Columbus Day sales. Extra 40% off this or that sales. But quite honestly, I got several things to fill holes in my closet at drastically discounted prices. Mark my word, next year, I will prepare for October properly.
As the month went along, I was able to use CashFlow Free to track both the initial balance I gave myself ($200), add back in returns (a whopping $232.99 in returns, yikes - more on that later), and Poshmark sales ($266.00). And then each time I purchased something, I subtracted the amount. It almost became a game to me, of how closely I could stick to it. And I surprised myself. I actually did okay, considering.
But first, a bomb. I ended up spending a total of $806.02. I kicked myself more than just a bit for this. That number seemed really high, but the app forced me to take a look at where it had gone. Then I remembered the returns and incoming sales totaling $498.99. Whew. At the end of the day, I ended up spending a grand total of $307.33, $107.33 over my initial budget.
Considering I got a pair of investment boots for that total, I am feeling less guilty. However...I do plan to tighten the spending next month. It is the holidays, after all, and time to spend money on other people.
As for what I purchased? The only thing I felt even a tiny bit dumb about is the new fox belt buckle I purchased from C. Wonder. Hey Lauren, didn't you buy a fox belt last month? Why yes, yes I did. But then I discovered the C. Wonder reversible belt with interchangeable buckle system. I decided to buy one of the straps, along with the new buckle. I know that while this at first seems silly, my thought process was that now, I can just buy buckles as they are trendy, but I will always own a great quality reversible leather strap to put them on. The ASOS version, while a good trendy piece at a good price, is cheaply made and doesn't look as amazing on as I hoped. But my new one, it's a show stopper piece. And so while I may seem momentarily crazy, I put my old one up on Poshmark and took the plunge on this one. I know in the end, a quality leather belt and well made buckle are better choices for my closet.
C. Wonder Fox Buckle $38.00 | Joie Jackson Boots $300 (on sale from ShopBop's Friends & Family Sale) | Vintage Belt $15 (not pictured) | Kenneth Cole Taupe Boots $68 (price matched by Zappos during Piperlime's 30% off sale) | Kate Spade iPhone Case $7.99 via eBay | Forever 21 Tribal Cuff $3.24 (on sale in store) | Land's End Perfect Fit Corduroys $72.40 total (40% off purchase sale) | Target Infinity Scarf $19.99 | BaubleBar Elephant Cuff $20.00 (with discount points) | Kenneth Cole Black Boots $78.40 (when on sale at Macy's)
And, if you're wondering why I bought the exact same boot in two colors, read more about the "miracle boots."