Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The 2016 Budget

Welcome to my shopping budget recap for 2016! For the past three 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.

This year I struggled with my budget in that I started to find it limiting. It's probably because I'm now working in an area with higher-end stores, but I did start to feel like I couldn't buy anything I really wanted. I did not, however, struggle in staying under budget - I just bought less. And actually, in looking back at my year overall, I didn't buy that many things that I now regret, so I guess I did okay ;) 

Here's my monthly breakdown for what I spent this year: 

January - $158.37
February - $293.60
March - $246.74
April - $223.72
May - $409.49
June - $276.30
July - $284.65
August - $339.27
September - $212.94
October - $340.66
November - $237.90
December - $445.94

Total Spent: $3,469.58
Average Monthly Spend: $289.13

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!).

So, like I said, I don't think there were a ton of misses this year, but I do have a couple of purchases that probably should have hit the return pile: 

J.Crew Factory Drapey Tee - originally $59.50, on sale $39.50. I bought this near the end of summer, and I just really wasn't interested in wearing the color after a week or two. The sizing also isn't perfect on me. Who knows though, it may get some use next summer.
Old Navy Fringe Sandals - originally $22.94, on sale + used credits $11.76. I think in my brain I thought I'd be going to the pool a lot and need some slides. Um, no. The only time I went to a pool all summer was when we were in Tahoe scoping out celebrities, and I don't think these sandals even came along for the ride.
Old Navy Tee Dress - originally $24.94, on sale $10.70. I really liked this dress when I got it, but I think it washed weird - after the first wear I never thought it was flattering. 
Gap Tote - originally $54.95, on sale $22.97. I used this tote exactly one time and then forgot about it. I guess I didn't need it!
Gap Shift Dress - originally $59.95, on sale $35.97. Ehh. This just ended up feeling a little too tomboy, I think I only wore it once or twice.

So... maybe I should stop shopping the super sales at Old Navy and Gap? 

I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorite purchases of the year because I really love everything, but here are my favorite purchases for 2016: 

Coach Riding Boots - originally $265, on sale $158.90.
Sole Society Bliss Drop Earrings - $34.95. 
Sam Edelman Lace-up Heels: $130.
J.Crew Factory Striped Shirttail Sweatshirt - originally $65, on sale $44.50.
endless rose Pom Pom Dress - originally $71.00, on sale $49.70.
J. Crew Factory Scalloped Linen Top - originally $75, on sale $44.50.
TOMs Booties - $138.95.
Old Navy Distressed White Jeans - originally $36.94, on sale $19.67.

I would write a little description for each item, but basically I love them all and wore them a ton. With the exception, that is, of the little white dress - I only got to sneak in a few wears before the temperatures dropped. I'm planning on wearing it nonstop in 2017 though! 

So, what are my thoughts for 2017? To combat my issue of feeling like I couldn't buy the things I really wanted, I considered switching to a quarterly or annual budget, but like I said last year, I really prefer the structure of the monthly budget - it really helps me stay on track. That being said, I am going to make a change. Since my income has increased since 2013 when I first started budgeting, from my day job, blogging, and freelancing, I decided an increase on the clothing budget is in order. For 2017, I'm going to target spending $350 or less each month, with an annual budget of $4,200. We'll see how it goes! 

So tell me, did you budget in 2016? Are you planning to budget in 2017? 

P.S. You would not believe how many times I typed the wrong year in this post. Not just, like, 2015 or 2016 - I caught myself typing 2012 at one point. What?! 

P.P.S. Check out my 2015 and 2014 budget recaps! 

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