Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

I have come to realize that when I don’t update my spending reports every week, I am less conscious of my money, and things tend to get out of hand. Like seriously out of hand. I am ashamed to say this, but I overdrafted my account for the first time in years the other day. The cause? A check. We lost our mail key and had to get a new lock so I had to write a check for $46 to get it replaced. That was three weeks ago and I (stupidly) forgot to factor that into my budget and therefore my account overdrafted. Dumb dumb dumb. Thank goodness for savings.

Anyhoo. I’m not going to count myself a failure yet, just make it through the next week as frugal as possible (while traveling) and simply try better for April. If you’re not really sure what I mean, here’s what I’ve spent in the last two weeks. I was clearly out of control!

Beginning Balance:  $263.52

-$9.67 dinner out
-$7.31 panera for lunch
-$9.94 brunch
-$16 brunch, again!
-$47.49 thai restaurant
-$7.31 panera for lunch
-$10.66 chickfila for me & roommate
-$1.69 drink somewhere

groceries & gasoline:
-$30.42 gasoline
-$32.00 gasoline
-$5.62 groceries
-$13.94 groceries
-$32.06 gasoline
-$17.53 groceries
-$24.63 groceries
-$14.46 groceries
-$15 metro

-$25 charity donation
-$29.68 william sonoma for wedding shower gift
-$3.70 card for wedding shower

me things:
-$14.41 facewash
-$21.19 dress at target for wedding shower this weekend
-$68.99 banana republic (I know, it’s alot but I bought a really nice dress for some events I have this summer)

-$45 transfer to car repair

really annoying expenses:
-$46 check for mail key replacement
-$10 overdraft fee (ack!!!!)

+$240.27 babysitting, cash from friends for dinner
+$100 overdraft savings

Ending Balance: $44.05

Yeeps! It’s clear I spend way too much on food, including dining and groceries, but some of those restaurants I put on my credit card and was reimbursed by friends with cash. Still, I need to be better with meal planning. There’s no excuse for this an overdraft (!!), except a few babysitting jobs I was counting on were canceled ($150) and my roommate owes me some money for bills and dinner (~$80). Plus I didn’t use all of my savings to pay for my $600 car repairs at the beginning of the month. Anyway, I will continue to update my spending reports on here because obviously I need that in order to stay on track!

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Latest Lust: Spring Dresses

My wardrobe in the summer consists of three things: sunglasses, sandals, and dresses. Just for kicks I did a little online looksie to see what’s available this season and there are sooo many delicious dresses I’m craving for when it gets warmer.

I don’t want to be an enabler so I’ll just share one I’m considering buying because it’s cute enough to wear to work:

It’s only $22 at Forever 21. Be still my shopaholic heart. Is anyone else having the spring dresses lust??

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Clothing Swap

Last week my friend “Jessica” wrote an email to a few friends that she had done a little spring cleaning and was giving away clothes to Goodwill. She asked if any of us wanted to take a look before she donated them to charity. That email sparked a whole chain of replies with the idea for everyone to clean our closets over the weekend and have a clothing swap party.

I’ve heard of the idea, specifically from Confessions of a Shopaholic (where she sells her wardrobe to pay her debt), but I had never attended one. To be honest, I didn’t think there would be anything of interest and everything would be out-dated, but almost everyone brought great stuff that they were simply tired of wearing.

Tuesday night about seven girls gathered at Jessica’s apartment to bring old clothes, accessories, shoes, and do a little shopping while we watched American Idol. It was so much fun! Her place looked like a department store with sections across her dining room table and accessories scattered about her living room. I gave away four shirts, one pair of jeans and some pajama bottoms.

I ended up getting:

  • 2 pencil skirts (shout out to Chelsea Bea!)
  • 1 pair of work pants
  • 5 short-sleeve summer shirts
  • 1 pair of sweat pants
  • 1 black necklace

I think this is a brilliant idea for girls to get together to empty their closets and in return get some free used clothes.

Has anyone else hosted or attended a Clothing Swap?

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Not all is lost….

I really was quite upset with myself for buying so many things on Sunday. It’s like another person took over my body! My roommate and I got to the outlet mall and stopped in Panera (for shopping energy, of course) where we devoured our half sandwiches in a five-minute sitting. We had a fiery rush to get out as everyone in the shopping center was already at our stores buying our clothes. Anyone else had that feeling?

I bought five things for myself (two pairs of work pants, black cardigan, purple flats, tweed pencil skirt), and one thing for J. The damage was $120.87. Eeek! (But at least better than my roommate who dropped no less than $400…)

After my retail regret yesterday, I decided there had to be some compromise for breaking my No-Shopping-Until-2010 Rule. At first I was going to take back some (all?) of my purchases, but I could use all of the clothes and figured it’s not every day to find such great deals on top of a 30% off coupon. Instead, however, I decided not to wear these things until after Christmas!

Because we’re going on a cruise instead of giving gifts to each other, I’m bound to get very little presents, so these five pieces of clothing won’t be worn until Christmas. :) Compromise?

Here’s the spending report from this weekend. Ugh, it’s awful.

Beginning balance: $226.47

-$30.36 gasoline
-$15.74 apartment decor
-$12.81 bar
-$10.57 lunch
-$7.31 dinner
-$4.49 groceries
-$120.87 banana republic credit card

Ending Balance: $24.32

I know, $25 left with two weeks in the month? I’ve got some extra income in the works so don’t worry just yet. I think I’ll make it to December without filing bankruptcy. ;)

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I know I know I know. :( I said I wouldn’t shop, but I did. You all are probably sooo disappointed in me and I’m a terrible example of self discipline. I had a Friends and Family 30% discount at Banana Republic and the Gap and went to the OUTLETS. I just couldn’t give up the chance to buy $15 work pants. And $10 purple flats. And a $10 cardigan. And a few other pretty things…. I’m a failuuuure!

I thought about not sharing this little $120 budget deficit with you all, but of course I have to tell the truth on this blog. Budget and spending report need some work before they show their face on here.

{photo credit}

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In order to meet my holiday goals, I plan to cut out two things for the rest of this year:

1. No more clothes shopping!
It’s no secret that autumn makes me lust something crazy for new clothes. Everywhere I go I see things I want: shirts, dresses, jackets, scarves, accessories, boots! I tried to keep it under control, but between September and October I’ve spent $240 on new things. So I’m just going to cut it all off for the rest of this year. If I can do it for all of Lent, I can do it for two months.

2. No more eating out for lunch!
Krystal at Give Me Back My Five Bucks has a challenge of not buying lunch during the workweek for the rest of the year and I’m going to steal that idea. I usually keep things at my desk during the week for lunches, but recently my coworkers have been pretty convincing and I end up going with them. This will also help me eat healthier since I usually eat worse and in larger portions when I go out.

I don’t have a goal of how much money I want to save, but I will consider this a success if I have a debt-free Christmas and continue to pay my debt and save any extra income.

Here’s to the rest of 2009! :)

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What is it about autumn that makes me want to buy new clothes?

Oh that’s right: The scarves. And the hats. And the leggings. And the jackets. And the layers. Ahhh yes… the delicious layers.


But I’ve become really, really weird when it comes to buying clothes.

Ever since I started paying attention to my money, I find myself walking into a store with my defenses up. I wander around the aisles of pretty clothes and begin to talk to myself: Does this shirt go with at least two pairs of pants I own? Will this scarf match most of my outfits and jackets? Will I be able to wear this dress in more than one way? Am I considering buying this because I love it or just because it’s ridiculously on sale?

I even calculate what I call “Cost Per Usage” and figure out the price according to how much I would wear something. For example, a white camisole for $10 probably costs me about a penny each time I wear it. The jeans I bought on sale a few months ago for $30 have already cost me $1 per use. This past summer I bought a dress for $60 that I wore twice, so it cost me $30 per use. I know, I know. I’m a dork.

However, I get tired of thinking about it. I wish I could just walk into a store and not think about how if I buy these bright yellow tights, that’s $15 that could have gone to my Emergency Fund. (And let’s be honest, can you really pull off that color?)

Am I the only crazy girl out there who thinks these things while shopping??

{photos: anthropologie}

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Normally I don’t get excited buying out-of-season items. There’s just something about buying something and waking up the next day excited about wearing it.

However, I was thinking about my cruise I’m taking in December and decided I could use a new swimsuit. I haven’t bought one in two years because my summers have been lame (boo for growing up!). But I went online to J.Crew, (aka: the catalog I lust after each Spring), and was shocked to see the many swimsuits I envied in March on sale for $9.99 each!

Here’s what I bought:


^Regular price at $80 but I bought this for $19.99 in aqua/blue.


^Regular price was $40. I bought it for $9.99 in a coral/pink color.


^Regular price was $38. I bought for $9.99 in a coral/pink color. (Isn’t the little flower adorable?)

It all cost me about $50 including shipping and tax, but I saved $108 by buying out of season. If it’s been a while since you bought a swimsuit, now is the time to buy them. J.Crew is my favorite, but Gap and Pac Sun and many others have great ones on sale too.

Now the only thing left to do is figure out how to get rock-hard abs and I’m all set! ;)

Does anyone else save money by buying out of season?

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Labor-Free Weekend

Ladies and gentlemen: I have spent more money this past weekend than I have in months.

Beginning Balance: $535.02

It started Friday night when my roommate and I ventured over to IKEA for some household things. I bought a pillow and some kitchen gadgets.

IKEA: $11.63

Saturday morning I woke up early and ran ten miles. Yep, you read that right: ten miles! :) In the afternoon I went to Tyson’s Corner and spent five hours in that mall. You read that number right too: five hours. I truly haven’t shopped in such a long time and bought things that will last me quite a while for a great price: jeans, two shirts, necklace, flower pins, birthday gift, and lunch. All for $90! Pretty good, I thought.

H&M: $23.59
H&M: $18.80
Urban Outfitters: $10.49
New York & Co.: $4.18
Banana Republic: $28.32
Panera: $4.71 (soup!)

Sunday I recovered from my run, had a super lazy morning and then finally got myself up and made some delicious dip and gelato and went to a friend’s apartment for a Labor Day get-together.

Groceries: $20.28
Beer: $6.35
Roommate’s Reimbursement +$40

Monday I went to Annapolis with some friends and spent the day walking around the delightful town. We got a late lunch at a Tavern and stopped by the Naval Academy to watch the navy boys practice football. Now tell me this isn’t the most beautiful place?

Starbucks: $3.71 (first pumpkin spice latte of the year!)
Lunch: $12.59

All in all a very relaxing, productive and expensive weekend.Let’s hope I can do a little better during the week!

Ending Balance: $430.37

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What do you think of these shoes?

ann marino

I was in DSW the other day and saw these shoes in my size for $49.99. I tried them on and they are SO comfortable. I’m in need of some brown heels for the fall. What do you think?

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