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.
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
I reviewed items 1-6 in a previous post.
- Schoolboy blazer in linen (white 00): Originally $175. Bought in store for $119.99 - 50% off final sale - 15% student discount = $50.99.
- Bateau tee in stripe (ivory navy XXS): Originally $45. Bought in store for $34.99 - 50% off - 15% student discount = $14.87.
- Pearl starburst necklace: Originally $110. Bought in store for $69.99 - 50% off - 15% student discount = $29.75.
- 3" chino short (white 0): Originally $45. Bought online for $39.50 - 40% off = $23.70.
- 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.
- Collection icon trench (light khaki 00): Originally $298. Bought online for $238 - 40% off = $142.80 but has since returned to its normal price.
- 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.
- 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.
PART I RETAIL: $1,006
PART I SUBTOTAL: $380.35
PART I SUBTOTAL: $380.35
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.
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.
- J.Crew Factory herringbone excursion vest - Originally $108. Bought online for $75.50 - 20% off = $60.40.
- Michael Kors large phone wristlet (black, lots of other colors here) - Originally $98. Bought online for $65.
- Nordstrom boxed round 2ct tw CZ stud earrings (sterling platinum) - Originally $46. Bought online for $29.90.
- Zella reversible leggings (black XS) - Originally $52. Bought online for $33.90.
- Thomas Mason for J.Crew tuxedo shirt (white 00) - Originally $158. Bought online for $148 - 40% off = $88.80.
- Thomas Mason for J.Crew tuxedo shirt in gingham (black gingham 00) - Originally $150. Bought online for $140 - 40% off = $84.
- Opera-length glass pearl necklace - Originally $58. Bought online for $45 - 40% off = $27.
- Topshop print bustier bikini (blue print UK8) - Originally $68. Bought online for $68.
- J.Crew Factory quilted puffer vest (black XXS) - Originally $98. Bought online for $68.50 - 20% off = $54.80.
PART II RETAIL: $304
PART II SUBTOTAL: $189.20
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!