Stylin' on a Budget

Disclaimer: This post has a lot of words. But keep calm...and read on. ;)

A few days ago, I shared my 2013 goals with you.

If you recall, one of my goals is to set and stick to a monthly clothing budget. Technically, I've had a clothing "budget" for the past 2 years or so, but haven't done the best job sticking to it. Hubby and I sat down with a budget adviser back in 2010 to create a family budget & debt plan. Since then, our family financial motto has been GIVE/TITHE (10%), SAVE (20%), SPEND (70%). We've stuck to this motto by faithfully using the envelope system. And through the discipline of the envelope system, we have paid off FOUR DEBTS! Holllllleeeeeeeeerrr. 

Initially my clothing budget was $100/month. But sometime last year, I bumped it down to $50/month to free up more money for our remaining debts. I've realized over time that $50 is NOT realistic for me because I, without fail, go over EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  Sometimes by just $20...sometimes more. Our budget adviser's final words to us: a budget MUST be realistic; otherwise, it won't work. And clearly $50/month is not working for me.

According to J of J's Everyday Fashion, your clothing budget should be about 2-8% of your monthly income. Applying this rule of thumb would start my budget at around $140/month. Unfortunately, that's not going to work for me either. Hubby and I will finish CARES in August/September of this year and we hope to transition into our first home at that time. The priority for 2013 is about aggressively paying off some more debt and saving, saving, saving.

So I settled on a $75/month clothing budget = $900 for the year.

I've decided to place myself on a shopping ban for the next 2 months. You may be asking yourself why I would choose to torture myself like that, right? 

I have been a shopping FOOL the past few months! I've conquered quite a few sales and even tried my hand at thrifting and consignment shopping. As I was cleaning my closet out the other night, I decided to remix a few pieces I bought recently but haven't worn. And I came up with FIFTEEN different outfits! How insane is that? I really need to get it together.

So until I wear every single new item I've purchased lately, I will not buy anything else. Instead I will use some of my January budget to buy fun gifts & gift cards for some of the sponsor giveaways I'm planning to participate in this month.

There are a few other things I'm doing this year to help me stick to my budget:

{1} More closet remixing. Pretty sure I have enough "staple" pieces in my closet to mix and match outfits until at least April.

{2} More thrift & consignment  purchases. I bought 2 J.Crew tops at The Clothes Mentor last week for $20 (Never worn. With tags. Score.) The retail price of these tops totaled over $100. There was a point in time when I didn't think I'd ever own anything from J.Crew. Frankly, I think the stuff in there is totally overpriced. Even the factory store stuff. But I can work with $10 for a brand new top. Even if it is from last season!

{3} Have a plan & make every purchase count. One of my new fave bloggers, Franziska of Franish, came up with the genius idea of making a list of holes in your closet. Basically, rather than just buying any and everything on sale, you should keep a running list of missing pieces you want to complete an outfit(s)...a "wish list" of sorts.

Here's my list so far:

Up Top
> mint or emerald green blazer
> mustard sweater
> animal graphic sweater
> black floral long sleeved sheer top 
> blue & white gingham button-down
Down Below
> mint jeans
> nude heels
Finishing Touches
> black statement necklace
> boot socks

{4} Sell some of my old clothes. I opened an online shop the other night called Angela's Closet Crush. Check it out!

{5} Share my monthly purchases on my blog. Can we say accountability? I will be linking up with Budgeting Bloggers each month for a budget recap. And giving you permission to call me out if I start to stray. Hopefully that won't be a problem. ;)

My budget AND my husband will surely love me for being more disciplined in this area. And hopefully the Lord will be pleased, too. ;)

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. - 1 Corinthians 4:2  

Wish me luck!


  1. STOP. I love your blog. I literally have a post in my dashboard entitled "GET YOUR LIFE" complete with a photo of Tamar that is waiting to be published! I think we should co-host a linky party with her face has the button Hahahaha!! glad to be following your chic blog!!!


  2. No clothes shopping for two months, huh? You can do it! One of my new favorite quotes is "a goal without a plan is just a wish." You definitely don't fit in this category. I love how weel thought out your plan is. You're sure to succeed. Looking forward to following your progress and keeping you accountable.

  3. This is very helpful!! I am definitely going to use this!

  4. You can do it!!!
    I thought I was the only crazy that made a list of the stuff I wanted to buy to help keep me on budget– glad to know I’m not on that boat alone! We do something VERY similar with our household budget that has kept us on track financially AANNDD has eliminated “heated fellowship”(sounds better than arguments) whenever my king sees shopping bags in the closet. We each have a personal budget, if it’s not a bill or gas and I want it, it comes from my personal budget. We grocery shop together (or weekly Wal-Mart date) and cook at home, so if I decided to run to La Madelines for lunch instead of eating what I brought, it comes out of my budget. Whether it’s a shirt or a sandwich, it is a conscious decision I have to make knowing I only have $X each month. Now THAT makes me think twice about each and every purchase. Congrats on your blog and know that I’m rooting for you and waiting to celebrate your success with you!!!

  5. I think making a list of what you need in your closet is so helpful when going shopping! I used to just buy things I thought were cute and then I wound up with all this stuff I really didn't need :)

    The Tiny Heart

  6. I am very sure that the Lord will be pleased. You have a great plan ahead and I wish you the very best.

  7. Good luck lady!! You have some great plans and goals,which will definitely give you strength in this journey. Can't wait to have you partake in budgetting bloggers - we need more bloggers like you!

  8. OMG I so need to do the remixing thing! I don't think I could do the 30 by 30 type challenge (30 pieces for 30 days) but I KNOW I have outfits I have yet to wear because I can't see past the everyday!
    I totally have a running list of pieces I need/would like to add (thank you Pinterest for keeping it all in one place) and it has been SO helpful in my shopping. Less buyers for the impulse purchases and more buyers rejoice for how well the items will mix with what I already got!

  9. You should totally join in March when we do another 30 for 30 link up! Seriously, you will shock yourself. When I start trying everything on and remixing, it's crazy easy to come up with 60 outfits. 60!! I mean, they may not all be fashion-bloggy-mind-blowing, but getting dressed for 60 days on 30 pieces makes you wonder what else you're not coming up with because it's easier to shop!

    My plan for the year is to make a wishlist, like you already have, to be more focused on what I really want and be less likely to impulse by. I figure a 30 for 30 with a shopping ban every other month will help me slow down and appreciate what I have, and the wishlist will keep me focused in shopping months. We can do this, girl!

    Samantha @ Sam ipsa loquitur

  10. Seriously I have way too much of a shopping habit (obsession) to go on hiatus for a full two months. It's worth a thought though because I clearly have an overload of things in my closet that I'm just not wearing. I love that you started an online shop and lots of your things have already been sold. That reminds me that I need to get caught up with my shop-becoming a mommy really has me dropping the ball in other areas;-(


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