Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Clothing Budget: July 2012

Right now I am on a plane headed West. Follow along with my vacation adventures via Instagram (@jesshereandnow)

Ok, in my resolutions round up from last month, I mentioned that sticking to my shopping budget had gotten a little tricky. I am not a financial expert, or someone that should really be shelling out budgeting advice, but I thought that I would share my story/struggles and maybe it would resonate with the rest of you... 
and hopefully this will help keep me accountable too!

Just a little background info about my financial situation:
My day job is as a graduate student. I am fortunate to get paid (a modest amount) to do research that I am passionate about. And I have the luxury of having a month shopping allowance for myself. If I want something, I can usually purchase it for myself (not that I always should). That being said, I typically allot $150-200 a month for shopping (clothes, make-up, new technology...), but that is an average, and I do often save up and spend several months shopping allowance in one fell swoop (currently squirreling away moolah for a new iPhone).
Nude Steve Madden Heels $69.99 (on sale from $139.99)
Glitter Zara Heels $29.99 (on sale from $49.90)
Blue Zara Heels $29.99 (on sale from $49.90)
Topshop drop hem dress $84.00 (returned)
Topshop peplum top $36.00
Everlane tee $15.00
J.Crew crew cuts vest $68.00 (returned for new Old Navy version)
Total: $180.97

Each month I first focus on purchasing closet staples that might cost a little more for a certain level of quality, but will last me for years to come (in this transition period of my life from college grad to grown up), and then try to pick up a few unique/trendy items (i.e. a utility vest) to spice up my wardrobe

In July I was thrilled to find the perfect pair of nude heels (on my closet staples list, and on sale - score!), some fabulous heels (always on my wish list), and lovely basic tee. A peplum top was finally purchased, and should get some major action in my wardrobe rotation as this is slated to continue being a power player in Fall's trends.

A drophem dress was a shilouette I had never tried, so with free shipping and free returns on the line, I gave it a try... it didn't work out, but it was a fashion growing experience.

I really like the J.Crew crewcuts vest that I purchased, but after styling it with 2 different outfits (here & here) I ultimately decided it was too boxy (cut for a child's body...) so I returned it and instead ordered the Old Navy version (on its way to me now

So I think for my $180 spent on clothes in July I got some great pieces that I have already enjoyed multiple times!

Do you set a clothing/shopping budget for yourself? 
Any tips for a novice like me!?
What is on your shopping wish list for August?

For more (legit) budgeting advice, check out these resources:


  1. I just got the new Old Navy vest in the mail. Love it!

  2. I've been looking for some nude heels for ages but haven't found any I like yet!

    I've followed you on Instagram , my user is _lizabethstone :)

    Love, Elizabeth xx


  3. I love the cargo vest! 


  4. I try to set a general weekly budget for myself for eating out, shopping etc, but separate from groceries and gas. Unfortunately, I rarely stick to my budget. But I have found that I've spent less money on clothes shopping since I started my budget. I also love to shop at Goodwill where you can find some great pieces for a good price. I keep track of all my spending in an Excel sheet so at least I know how much I've spent even if I don't always stick exactly to my budgeted amount. Good luck with your shopping budget! Hope you're having a great trip :)

  5. I just started a budget last month and it went very well! I was about $15 over what I wanted to spend, but I got everything I was wanting last month, so it worked out ;) This month I don't have a budget, but honestly it helped me to have an idea of what I was looking for.  It helped me close out of shopping carts or put things back when shopping with my little sister at the Mall of America this past weekend! Love all of your July picks!

  6. I love the Old Navy vest! I bought mine last season on clearance for $6. I can't get enough of it!

  7. Jessica, you have got to be the smartest fashionista ever! I loved reading your insight into this, and I'm looking longingly toward the days when I can have a shopping budget, and transition from a cheaper college student wardrobe to a nicer adult wardrobe. Still, I'm trying to invest in some classic, versatile pieces. In a panic (and for Easter 2 years ago), I bought some "nude" heels that I realize now are kinda pinkish and don't fit very well. Ugh. I have an extensive wish-list otherwise, trying to be strategic about that. Anyway, thanks for sharing this! Hope you are having a fabulous trip so far!

    perfectly priya

  8. Great post! I am super strict about my budget and I have my set amounts planned out that never change month to month. I give myself $200 on a month for shopping, so it's nice to see someone on the same budget as me! I know I have a shopping problem so I just have to let myself spend that much. It's impossible to cut back. However, my downfall is that I spend my whole budget month to month so I can never save up for expensive pieces. Maybe one day!

    One tip I have is that if there is something specific you want/need, when the next month rolls around, buy it RIGHT AWAY! Otherwise I tend to spend my money on frivolous things and end up having to wait another month to buy the item that I really needed more.

  9. Great picks for a budget!  I bought those black Zara heels too, they were such a great find at $30! <3


  10. Great post! I really need to do this and start setting shopping budgets - I'm far too impulsive. How do you keep track of your spends, do you use a program or app?

    Life etc

  11. I use mint.com a free online budgeting website that securely keeps track of all my spending and budgeting. I have the app on my phone even so when I am out shopping I can check in on the status of my budget... Very helpful! xx

  12. Love those Zara heels! It's great how you mix staples and fun pieces into your budget : )

  13. Great picks at great prices! I almost always only shop sale or clearance, unless it's a staple piece for the Fall (such as, just bought some gray booties). I just received some gift cards for my birthday too, so I'm weighing my options!
    I used to be really good about researching the trends, seeing what I had in my closet, and what was missing that could take it to the next level. I haven't been as good about that lately!


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