Monday, July 28, 2014

Budgeting Bloggers: July 2014 Purchases

For the first time ever, I am linking up with Franish and the Budgeting Bloggers (great name for a band)! I am so excited! I have been a long-time reader and huge fan. I was even inspired to begin tracking my own spending back in January 2013. I was primarily doing it for myself at the time and hadn't started a blog yet, so that's why I never linked up before. If you're curious about how I did in previous months, you can check out my sets on Polyvore.

Background Info
A little background about my financial situation first. I am currently an engineering grad student, and unlike many other disciplines, you can actually get paid (a little, not a lot) to attend grad school. I don't have to pay tuition or fees and receive a small sum of money every month that covers my rent, food, and general living expenses. If I am very frugal, I can squirrel a bit of it away, or I can live comfortably without saving much. Either way I am on a fixed income, because our pay rate is the same across the board for everyone, regardless of how long you have been in school. This means my disposable income shrinks every year as my rent goes up, the price of gas rises, etc. Still I know I am very lucky that I do not have any student debt (or credit card debt) and also have some savings so that I don't have to worry about money during this period of my life.

Regarding my budget, I have set an amount of $300 for most months and $350 for the months of July and December/January. That may seem like a lot to some people. Heck, it seems like a lot to me. Eventually I would like to reduce this number to $200 per month, but I will need to do it gradually.

July Purchases
I am a little embarrassed that I am way over budget for my first-ever link up, but I blame the incessant J.Crew sales this month. I separated this post into two sections: Part I and Part II definite keepers and items I haven't received yet. I will update this post after I receive and review the remaining items. First up, the keepers.

I reviewed items 1-6 in a previous post.

July 2014 Keepers
  1. Schoolboy blazer in linen (white 00): Originally $175. Bought in store for $119.99 - 50% off final sale - 15% student discount = $50.99.
  2. Bateau tee in stripe (ivory navy XXS): Originally $45. Bought in store for $34.99 - 50% off - 15% student discount = $14.87.
  3. Pearl starburst necklace: Originally $110. Bought in store for $69.99 - 50% off - 15% student discount = $29.75.
  4. 3" chino short (white 0): Originally $45. Bought online for $39.50 - 40% off = $23.70.
  5. Viv patent flats (soft desert 6H): Originally $188. Bought online for $158 - 40% off = $94.80. SALE ALERT: Currently on sale for $139.99 - 40% off with code TREAT, and NOT a final sale item. This promo runs until 08/03/2014.
  6. Collection icon trench (light khaki 00): Originally $298. Bought online for $238 - 40% off = $142.80 but has since returned to its normal price.
  7. zeroUV modern cateye sunglasses (black): Originally $30. Bought from Amazon for $5.45 with a gift card. I found these sunglasses after Gigi posted about a look-alike Prada pair. I love the ones I got and have been wearing them every day. These are a great dupe for the Karen Walker Number One, which I have long admired. However, I couldn't justify the hefty price tag for the original pair since I frequently lose/break sunglasses. 
  8. Madewell skinny skinny jeans (nightfall 26): Originally $115. Bought online for $29.99 - 40% off = $17.99. I purchased these on a whim, because I wanted to replace my faded dark jeans, and they were just sooo cheap. I sized up to a 26, because the 25 was a bit tight in the waist. The 26 looks more like straight jeans than a true skinny on me. Also, the dark blue dye rubs off on light clothing, so I would recommend washing once or twice before wearing.

Here are the items I ordered but haven't received yet. 

July Purchases

I've always wanted a white tuxedo shirt. This one is pricey but could be versatile. In retrospect, I really don't need a gingham tuxedo shirt, so I will return this. I could probably get a lot of wear from this long necklace, because I love pearls and wear them all the time. I am the most excited about the herringbone vest, which is currently backordered. I am on the waitlist and hope my order gets fulfilled. I posted about the black wallet, earrings, and leggings here. I need a new bikini, and this one was so beautiful I knew I had to try it. I ordered this black vest as a backup in case the herringbone vest doesn't ship.

07/30/2014 UPDATE:
I finally received all of my packages. Detailed reviews to come. For the purposes of updating this month's budget, here is a list of items I plan to keep, a list of returns, and the respective prices.



GRAND TOTAL: $569.55 $380.35 + taxes

Well, that's a wrap. How did you do this month? Do you have any tips for staying within your clothing budget? Thanks for reading!


  1. You are going to love the J Crew Factory Vest

    1. I can't wait. Sadly my ship date has been delayed to August 13...

  2. You may have gone over budget a little, but oh my goodness those are some great basics for grad school and beyond! (Plus, welcome to blogging! I'm always excited to find new blogs to read!)

    1. Thanks, Anna Belle! I've been buying more basics recently, because they really are the backbone of any good outfit, and I was lacking a number of wardrobe essentials.

      The blogging community has been so friendly and welcoming. I feel grateful and also excited that people are reading and commenting on my posts. =)

  3. the herringbone vest is so perfect! I got it last year and love it so! I also got a black vest from Old Navy and wore it a lot. I'm considering getting the JCF vest in red currant because, what the heck, you can never have too many vests ;)

    1. Yay, vests! I went to JCF a few days ago to check out their other vests, but I didn't see the red currant one in store. I did try on the black, navy, and bisque though (but forgot to take pics).

  4. No shame in going over in your first linkup - we all have to start somewhere! I can definitely see why you fell for so many items at the JCrew sale - I love everything you got! And that vest is great - it seems like it's every bloggers' best friend in the fall. I love layering with vests!

    1. I love the herringbone vest even though it's a little boxy on me. It's also surprisingly warm. I wore it at the airport a few days ago when it was extra chilly.

  5. Which size did you take in the JCF Herringbone vest? XXS or XS? How did you feel about the fit?

    1. I took XXS, but I would have sized down to XXXS if they carried it (check the About Engineer L page for my measurements). The vest is a little boxy on me when I wear a button-down or thin top, but it'll be good for layering with a thick sweater.

    2. Here's a picture of me wearing it on Instagram with the Madewell Bien Fait sweatshirt (which is sort of thin).