In January, I posted information about the savings challenge I am participating in, along with Mandy, of House of Rose fame, and her readers. If you missed the post, you can read about it here. If you started the challenge with me in January, we are a bit more than half way there, and you should have at least $200.00 in your savings account. Are you with me? I am a little obsessed with this challenge. I have been saving the recommended amount each week, but I have also been stashing away every penny I find in the street and in the bottom of my bags! I am really liking this!
In addition to the savings challenge, I did a closet remix during January and February. That is a nice way of saying, a shopping ban – not so fun. But, it did help me to set some new boundaries and guidelines for my spending. I now have set a monthly budget for clothing, and I plan to stick as close to it as possible! I am sure I will have a few set backs (if I need a coat or walking shoes), but I plan to stay within my limits as much as possible. I am hoping to participate in the closet remix again after Christmas this year! More on that later!
While I was knee deep in the closet remix challenge, I started keeping a wish list of items I wanted to add to my closet and makeup collection. I saved a great article in a magazine that has helped me put into perspective whether or not I really needed to purchase an item. I can not remember the name of the magazine or who wrote the article, so please enlighten me if you know, so I can give due credit. Thanks!
Here is a snippet of the spring/summer wish list I have created. I keep this list with me at all times and then I ask myself all of the questions below prior to putting an item in my shopping bag. If the item meets the criteria, and falls within my monthly budget, I bring it home. Simple as pie(: The Chuck Taylors are a must-have, and I purchased them in February for both Lucy and I. I have had that Dooney on my list for over a year and my hubby gave it to me for my birthday in February!! I was so excited! I have never had a nice leather bag, it this was quite a treat for me! The best part is that we found it on Ebay (new with tags) for almost half of the retail cost! So it was budget friendly too!
When you are considering purchasing that fabulous new handbag or that amazing spring statement necklace, use the following questions to help you decide if an item is right for you.
1. Does it have to be dry cleaned? Dry cleaning is an added expense and is reserved for winter coats and formal wear in our house.
2. Does it fit in my normal price range? Is this item more expensive than you would normally purchase? If so, ask yourself what makes it worth the extra cost.
3. Can I return it? If you are like me, I often get an item home and realize that I really don’t need it or love it. Keep the tags on and follow store policies for returns.
4. Is it well-made? Well-made items are often worth the extra cost and will last for several seasons. But, don’t rule an out item if it is less expensive. There are fabulous things to be had at Target, Old Navy, and Goodwill!
5. Will it last me more than one season? Don’t spend a lot of money on something trendy that you will have to put in the garage sale box next season! Trendy items should be less costly.
6. Do I have similar items in my closet? If so, do I wear them? I have three J Crew Charley sweaters in red, pink, and green. They are versatile and can be worn during several seasons. Duplicate items are great, as long as you wear them!
7. Does it fit well? Enough said.
8. Do I already own what I need to wear with this piece? Make sure you have the proper accessories and pieces to pair with the item so you don’t have to purchase an entire wardrobe to go along with it!
9. Do I have to have it right now? My wish list has helped me with this one. I write the item on my wish list, or cut it out of a magazine. Then I wait. Sometimes, I am still lusting after the item two weeks later. Other times, the item gets crossed off of the list completely. Use good judgment. Good things come to those who wait!
What are your monthly budget rules and regulations? Do you have any tips that will help others be sure they are shopping with a purpose? Please share! Thanks for your continued encouragement and happy saving!