Monday, December 28, 2015

December 2015 Purchases and 2015 Budget Review

December was a very busy month. With wrapping up the semester, Christmas shopping, and traveling to see family, there really shouldn't have been any time to shop for myself. Luckily I somehow found a way. Continuing the trend of buying neutral (boring?) basics, here's my haul for the month.

Everlane cotton v tee (muted black and white XS) - I picked up two more basic tees from Everlane to add to the three I already owned (in muted black, white, and heather grey). My favorite color of the three is muted black, because it's the thickest and most opaque. The white is a little too sheer, and the heather grey is just awful. It's super thin (already developed holes) and warped after only a few washes. I should throw that one away and maybe replace it with a light blue one. Originally $15 each. Paid $15 each.

J.Crew short-sleeve painter t-shirt (black XS) - I own a number of J.Crew vintage cotton tees (which I've since sworn off because the quality is terrible), but I've never tried the J.Crew painter tees. Now is as good a time as any since this one was on super sale. I'm optimistic that it'll last longer than the paper-thin vintage cotton ones, because it's considerably thicker. It's also slimmer, so I had to go up a size. Originally $24.50. Paid $14.99 + 50% off + 15% student discount = $6.37.

J.Crew toothpick jean in flint wash (flint wash 25) - I'm always on the lookout for pants that fit well, and I already own several pairs of J.Crew toothpick jeans that I like. This pair is no exception. I like the darker wash and the slightly-longer-than-ankle length. True to size. Originally $125. Paid $89.99 + 50% off + 6% off ebates = $42.29.

J.Crew striped t-shirt with bow-embellished back (ivory navy XS) - I'm such a sucker for striped tees. This one is super adorable with the bows along the back. I had to size up, because my normal XXS was too tight in the sleeves. Originally $59.50. Paid $39.99 + 50% off + 15% student discount = $16.99.

J.Crew sneaker laces (neon citrus) - I love these neon yellow shoelaces so much that I picked up a second pair in case the first ones snap. They're just so cheerful-looking on my sneakers. A frivolous purchase, but at least it was cheap. Originally $5. Paid $3.99 + 40% off + 5% off ebates = $2.27.

L.L.Bean women's relaxed scotch plaid shirt (navy tartan XXS) - This year for Christmas, Engineer W and I visited family in New England for a few days. On a quiet morning, we slipped off to a nearby L.L.Bean so that I could try on a few things for size. I immediately fell in love with this super thick and warm flannel shirt. The quality of the material is amazing for this price point, especially compared to J.Crew and Madewell. It also comes in a slightly more fitted silhouette, but this colorway wasn't available. That's okay, because I like this slouchy boyfriend look. Originally $44.95. Paid $44.95 + $10 off promo = $34.95.


rag & bone/JEAN Langford raglan sweatshirt (XS) via Nordstrom Rack - Nordstrom Rack is one of my favorite stores to browse, because you never know what treasures you'll find. For example, take this sweatshirt. On the surface, it's really simple, but it's nicely fitted, super plush, and oh so warm. It's the perfect cozy layer for a cold winter day. Originally $195. Paid $47.98 + 25% off Clear the Rack sale = $35.99.

Trouvé pleated trousers (black 0) via Nordstrom Rack - Does anyone else have a hard time finding flattering dress pants? All of the ones I've tried on recently either feel uncomfortable or look frumpy or both. These simple black pants are pretty decent on both counts. They have a comfy elastic waistband in the back, and they're more flattering than any other dress pant I own (not that it really says much). I haven't definitively decided if I should keep these, but they're a strong contender. Originally $78. Paid $29.99 + 25% off Clear the Rack sale = $22.49.


So the total for this month comes to...
RETAIL: $561.95
SPENT: $191.35 (34.1% of MSRP)


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So how did I do for the year? My initial budget for 2015 was $3000. Then as the year progressed, I set a stretch goal of $2400. My final tally for 2015 was $2340.74. I feel super proud of myself for meeting my stretch goal!

Comparing my monthly spending in 2015 to my spending in 2014, I spent the same amount or less during every month except for June, September, and November. Also my shopping pattern in 2015 is almost inverted from my pattern in 2014. Last year, I spent the most money in January, July, and December. This year I spent the most in April and November and shopped the least during January, February, August, and October. 
I'm not really sure what conclusions to draw from that. Maybe I used to buy more junk from the clearance sections, and now I try to avoid that pitfall? I'll have to think about it some more.

Anyway, next year I am decreasing my annual budget to $2400, which comes out to $200 per month. Wish me luck!

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How did you do on your budget this year? As always, I'm linking up with Franish and the Budgeting Bloggers!

14 comments:

  1. Really appreciate your posts on your hauls + prices. Do you have a trench coat you love?

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    1. I have the J.Crew icon trench, which I like but don't love. The nice thing about it is that the cotton is pretty substantial. It's not truly classic though - the color is a bit too yellow and there aren't any shoulder epaulettes (which I'm fine with, because I have broad shoulders). My main complaint is the sizing. I got my usual 00, which fits great when I'm only wearing thin layers, but it's too tight in the shoulders to accommodate blazers or bulky sweaters, which limits its versatility. If you're interested in the icon, I would recommend sizing up. Hope that helps!

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  2. OMG!!! I need that bow back tee. It is too cute! I really like how you analyze your spending; that's a great idea! I should do something similar but also compare how much I spend to how many items I buy. I feel like I spend more per item than I used to because I don't shop clearance as much as I used to. Maybe that's a good thing? I definitely still hate paying full price though, ha!

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    1. Not to be an enabler, but you should totally get it! It's super adorable. J.Crew nailed it with this classic with a twist.

      That's a great idea! I should also look at how much I'm spending per item. I would guess that I bought fewer things but spent more on each piece. I think it paid off though; I haven't had as many instances of buyer's remorse this year!

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  3. I've been eyeing that bow back tee--you got such a deal on it!
    I really like how you compared your spending for this year vs. last year graphically. Definitely helps you visualize the patterns!

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    1. Thanks! I love graphs. I actually plotted the data a few different ways but decided this was the most effective way to visualize it. :P

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  4. Yay for meeting your stretch goal!

    I'll also be reflecting on my spending trends and shopping for the year in a few upcoming posts, though I only have a year of data to work with. I'll probably change my approach a little this year (significantly lower month to month budget for more "fun" and impulse-ish buys to make room for some large purchases like a good wool suit).

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    1. That's a really interesting strategy! I can't wait to see how it works out for you. Personally it's been helpful for me to make a wishlist every season and then try to focus on buying those pieces. We'll see how I do next year though. I suspect it'll be harder for me to stay on budget, because this year had a few anomalous months!

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  5. I am also cutting my budget to $200 per month for 2016. In previous years I added money made on eBay into the budget but this year all money made on eBay will be going into savings for a new car next year. Hoping I can stick to it! I I do keep a spreadsheet but your monthly posts really help so thank you.

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    1. Right now I still add money from eBay to my budget, because otherwise I wouldn't have any incentives to sell my clothes! It's such a time consuming process that I really admire people who are able to sell a lot. Good luck with your goals this year!

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  6. For me (so far) the quality of the J Crew painter tees has been better than my JC vintage tees.
    I just ordered that exact LL Bean shirt a couple days ago! Glad to hear how much you liked it - I missed out on all the cute plaids J crew had this season and really wanted one to go under sweatshirts and cardis for winter. It looks great on you, I'm way taller than you so hope it works out for me!

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    1. Good to know about the painter tees! I like the way the vintage tees look, but they're just so thin and flimsy.

      I hope the L.L.Bean flannel works out for you! The sleeves might be a little short on someone much taller than me. I'm thinking about trying the slightly fitted version next (if only they had more colors)!

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  7. Love how you graphed your budget, I might have to borrow that idea. I've been curious about the LL Bean flannel shirt and I have to say that it looks great on you!
    Nout at http://sandpaperkissesblog.com/

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    1. I highly recommend the shirt! It's super warm and cozy. I'm planning to try the slightly fitted version next. Thanks for stopping by!

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