Thursday, January 7, 2016

The 2015 Budget

Welcome to my shopping budget recap for 2015! For the past two years, I've set a monthly clothing budget for myself of $300/month, but I'm not super strict on myself - if I go over one month, I'll try to real it in the next and vice versa. My budget includes everything I wear except for undergarments, pajamas, and workout clothes, and does include bigger ticket items like shoes, coats, and special occasion dresses.

2015 was my second year budgeting, and let me say, it was a lot easier sticking to my budget than last year. It's easier to hold myself back from buying things I don't need, I'm feeling less of an impulse to shop just for the sake of shopping, and I'm not letting sales dictate my purchases. Sure, I still love a good deal, but I'm not buying things just because they're on sale.

Here's a breakdown of what I spent each month:

January: $309.38
February: $256.22
March: $300.33
April: $228.74
May: $196.20
June: $401.28
July: $178.30
August: $275.40
September - $225.15
October - $98.45
November - $314.23
December - $209.67

Total Spent: $2,993.35
Average Monthly Spend: $249.45

That total might seem like a lot for the year, but for me the majority of my clothing budget comes out of my "extra money" that I get from freelancing and affiliate links on this blog (p.s. thanks for clicking!).

While in general I was more thoughtful about my purchases than last year, I did have a few misses in 2015. These are the pieces I should have skipped:

Target Dress - $19.98. I bought this because it was on clearance and I figured I'd have an occasion to wear it. Hint: I didn't find a reason. It's still in my closet though because I'm holding out hope.
SheInside Dress - $14.95. This didn't quite fit, but it would cost so much to return that I didn't bother since it was so cheap.
Old Navy Skirt - $14.30. I tried and tried to find ways to wear this, but it ultimately felt too junior. By the time I figured that out I was past the return window.
Ann Taylor Tank - $37.49. I didn't realize the fit was a bit off until I tore off the tags and wore it on our honeymoon, and then I wore it a couple more times because I was packing light, and by then it felt wrong to return it.
Target Espadrilles - $24.99. Everyone was buying these, so I bought them. I figured I'd break them in and they'd eventually get comfortable. They didn't.

And now here are a few of my favorite purchases for the year:

Loft Scalloped Dress - $0 with giftcard. I wore this for one of my bridal showers and to a wedding, here's hoping I find some more occasions to wear it next year!
J.Crew Factory Dress - $45.90. I basically wore this every chance I got this year, and this made me want to wear all of the shift dresses - they're the perfect inbetween of dressy and casual that feel appropriate for any situation.
Kate Spade Bag - $128. I was unsure about this because it's such a small bag, but it turns out that I love it so much I'm willing to barely carry anything. This one is still available!
Sole Society Sandals - $59.95. I wore these basically every day this summer, including all over Italy. There are a couple of sizes still available on clearance.
Zella Leggings - $52. I now realize that every other pair of leggings I ever purchased were terrible. These are amazing and I'm going to wear them every chance I get. Available here.
BaubleBar Earrings - $18.40. I wear these basically every day and get compliments on them everywhere I go. Available here.
Sole Society Booties - $79.95. These are the only heeled item I wear on the reg, they are so comfy and lend a cool vibe to any outfit.
Banana Republic Sweater - $37.70. I wear this as many times in a week as I feel is socially acceptable, plus probably one more. Ponchos are my new favorite thing.
Jessica Simpson Dress - $104.99. It's funny that this was in one of my most popular posts of the year, because when I ordered it I was 99% sure it wouldn't fit and would have to go back. Guess I should step out of my comfort zone more often!

I thought about switching to a quarterly or even annual budget for 2016 since I tend to be way under or way over each month, but ultimately I decided I prefer the structure of the monthly clothing budget. It makes it easier for me to stay on top of my spending and not go crazy every time there's a sale. That means that I will be sticking with a $300 a month budget for 2016.

Did you budget in 2015? Will you start this year?

P.S. Check out my 2014 budget recap here!

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1 comment :

  1. Yes, trying to stick to a budget, but it's not fun!!!!!! I think I need to asses other items and add more to clothing.