Setting a Clothing Budget

Setting a Clothing BudgetWhen I first decided to start getting out of debt, one of the things that I had to seriously consider eliminating was my clothing budget. I really didn’t want to at first. I was fresh out of University, and my wardrobe was looking pretty pathetic as it was. I really wanted to spend a lot of cash on buying new, grown up clothes to suit my new, grown up personality.

Unfortunately, the first time I calculated my payment on my $27,000 in student loan debt, I knew that my dreams of having a beautiful wardrobe were probably going to be crushed before they were ever achieved. I just didn’t have enough cash to pay my rent, my car payments, and my student loans, while still investing in a gorgeous wardrobe.

So, I resolved to do something about my debt, and as I started to slash all of my discretionary spending, clothing turned out to be one of the things that was eliminated as well.

Now, almost 17 months later, my student loans are paid off. Part of this was my strictly controlled clothing spending. I tried out a few tactics, but eventually I was able to settle on a way to keep adding slowly to my wardrobe, while paying off a huge chunk of my overall $38,000 in debt. Here are a few ways to set a clothing budget. [Read more…]

Is Buying Expensive Clothing Worth It

Is Buying Expensive Clothing Worth It?Today’s post about whether expensive clothes are worth it is from my awesome staff writer Jordann. Enjoy!

Like lots of people, I love clothing. I’m not a clothes horse per say, after all, I tend to have a minimalist wardrobe, but I definitely appreciate a piece of well crafted clothing that fits properly, is well made, and priced right.

I’m pretty careful about what I buy these days. Back when I was a starving student I would only buy the cheapest clothing.

I didn’t have a lot of money to spend and I just couldn’t justify dropping a huge portion of my piddly clothing budget on a single expensive piece of clothing with a credit card. The downside of this strategy was that my clothes didn’t last long before they shrunk, got holes, or were otherwise compromised.

[Read more…]

Preparing Your Minimalist Wardrobe for Spring

I try my best to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. I avoid duplicates, I make sure everything I buy is versatile, and I agonize over purchases to make sure that I’m buying what I really need, and not just something I want.

Due to this, I’ve managed to keep my wardrobe under control this past year, even though I’ve been making more money than ever before and my expenses have never been lower.

That said, every Spring I still go through a little extra preparation to make sure that my wardrobe is up to date and as minimalist and it can be. Here are a few steps I make sure to go through.

[Read more…]

A peak into my insanity (AKA my closet)

Clothes and hidden shoes
More clothes
Clothes that I try on and don’t like in the mornings
Each hanger in my closet has about 5 or 6 things on it

One of my goals that I listed on Wednesday was to take a picture of my closet. Everything right now is still in my smaller closet, as I haven’t moved everything into my future closet (I want to get it ready first). By the way, I also have clothes in the laundry room, in my dresser and in my bedroom (in baskets).

A lot of you said you couldn’t believe that it could be THAT bad. Take a look at those pictures! It’s a huge mess. I’m ashamed. I promise the rest of my house is not that dirty by the way.

As some of you know, I used to be a manager at a clothing retail store, so that’s where the insanity began. After bringing home hundreds and hundreds worth of dollars of clothes a month from my store alone, this led to me having a huge problem (of course). I used to have a really big shopping problem, but I have definitely toned that down quite a lot.

What I own (and a peak into my insanity):
Dresses: 57
Skirts: 23
Shorts: 4
Long sleeves/sweaters/cardigans: 28
Jackets/hoodies: 13
Blazers: 5
Coats: 4
Short sleeves/tanks/etc: 46+
Dress pants: 9
Jeans: 8
Sweatpants: 7

 

I don’t wear a lot of the things in my closet. Which is sad. I get tired of things very easily. You’ll also notice that I don’t own a single T-shirt. I’m weird and I think they’re extremely uncomfortable. I also don’t wear jeans a whole lot either. I need to get rid of those.

I guess I should talk about shoes also.
  • Heels: 23
  • Boots: 5
  • Flats: 12
  • Athletic shoes: 2
  • Sandals/flip flops: 11

 

There are obviously a lot of things that I need to get rid of. I usually bring my clothes up to a local consignment shop every month or 2 because I’m trying to slowly get rid of my clothes. But I think I’m going to try and sell a ton of things today or tomorrow. Do any of you ever sell your clothes to a shop?

My plan is to get rid of more than half of what I have. I’ve already sold some, but not entirely enough.

A lot of the stuff in my closet are things that I probably shouldn’t have bought. “Trendy” items that I’ve only worn once or twice definitely overtake my closet. I need to buy more for quality than what I’ve been doing in the past.

 

How does your closet compare? Someone please tell me that they are worse. Over the next week, I plan on doing a major overhaul with everything in my closet. I’m going to purge as much as I can. I’ll keep you all updated!

Does anyone have a minimalist wardrobe?

P.S. I should also mention that I took these pictures this week, and I’ve already sold probably 50 items in the past month.

EDIT: There is now a post on my blog about Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe.

Biggest Financial Mistake

Hope everyone’s having a good week! It’s gone by pretty quick. I still don’t have my voice back so I guess I need to go to the doctor soon because I haven’t had my voice since around last Wednesday.

I’m sure you all have noticed the tagging game that’s going on. I’ve been tagged by a lot of people (yes I’m bragging) but I just wanted to answer 2 questions right now from Live Simply-Live Well, because I feel like they directly relate to my blog and well, it’s just what I feel like typing about right now.

The biggest financial mistake that I made:

There are definitely some things that I would’ve done differently. My 3 mistakes below all kind of tie in together and mainly relate to how much money I would’ve saved if my money situation was different.

  1. If I could have, I would have lived at home after high school and during college.  I would’ve saved so much money, but instead I moved out less than one month after my high school graduation and rented a house. Our bills weren’t too high, but of course I could’ve saved money and applied house bills towards debt instead if I would’ve lived at home.
  2. Waited to buy my house. We bought our house at the age of 20. YOUNG? Yes. We could’ve saved for a bigger down payment, but we got a really good deal on our house. We bought at the end of 2009, and yes while the housing market is still continually going down, we were able to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit (which we got to keep unlike those who bought houses after this expired). Our house still appraises for more than we bought it for, which is great as well.
    • However, if we would’ve bought our house now, we could have a bigger down payment, lower mortgage interest rate, and houses are SO CHEAP right now that we could’ve gotten a decent house for probably $20,000 to $30,000 less than what we bought our house for.
  3. Not have so much student loan debt. This goes hand in hand with the two mistakes above. If I would’ve lived at home (which wasn’t really an option though) then I could’ve saved thousands of dollars and put it all towards debt. I would’ve graduated without ANY debt.

I’m sure there are a ton of other mistakes that I have committed, but I can’t think off the top of my head of any others that really stick out besides the one’s above.

However, I very much love my life. I definitely don’t dwell on these “mistakes” that I made. I still feel like I’ve definitely come very far in my life, especially for my age. I try not to live in regret and just make the best of everything that I have in my life. I love my life, my house, my friends, and my pups.

If someone gave you $1,000 and you had to spend it on something OTHER than paying down debt or investing it, what would you do?

I would probably go on a clothing spending spree. I would of course stop at JCrew first and I’ve really been wanting a nice watch. Then of course I need swimsuits, new work clothes and everything else. I really want new clothes obviously.

I know that I’m not the best when it comes to saving and paying down debt (instead of shopping), but I do think I’m getting better. I would really love to have a spending spree though. Who wouldn’t?

What’s the biggest financial mistake that you’ve made? Loans, credit cards, cars? Tell us now!

 

Work Wear

Work WearI’ve been a little lazy with what I wear to work lately. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the cold, the fact that I’m lazy or I don’t know what. I really want to change this though, because I am a firm believer that when you dress well, you work well.  Anyone else dressing a little lazier these days?

I also want to dress well because I feel like I’m also representing my firm when I’m in my classes. Almost everyone dresses very nice to my classes because they are all coming right after work. I want to be trying harder!

My work is kind of business semi-casual-formal. When I say semi-casual-formal, I mean anything besides jeans/shorts.  I usually just try and wear some sort of button up or nice shirt with a blazer, and nice black or grey pants. But not this month, this month I’ve been super lazy. I always wear nice pants, but my choice for tops has been bad. Let’s just say that I’ve been wearing my Northface sweaters a little too much this month already.

Usually I dress like the pictures above, but lately I’ve been lazy.

Also, I’ve been thinking about taking a picture of what I wear everyday and posting it on here in some kind of weekly round-up.  I feel like this will help because of course I wouldn’t want to take a picture of me when I’m having a lazy work day, so hopefully this will make me try harder. Also, of course since I blog anonymously, my pictures will have my head not included in everyone, so hopefully that’s not too weird.

February Goal: Take a picture everyday that I work. 

I work mainly independently in my office, so my outfits aren’t a huge deal, but when I meet with clients, it’s much different. When we have client meetings, we have to dress more business-formal corporate. Nice pants/skirt, button up, blazer, and the like. I work in the financial services industry, and that means that there aren’t very many females or people my age in my line of work. So what I wear is definitely very important for how I want to be seen/portrayed.

There are also things that I would never wear. What are some things that you can’t wear/do when at work?

This doesn’t apply to every industry, but in mine (financial analysis services), it does:

  1. Super short skirts – I think the standard is that it should be no shorter than 2 inches past your knee. I definitely break this rule a lot, but I never go too too short. I’m a short person, so kind-of short skirts don’t look bad on me.
  2. Shorts - I would never and could never wear shorts to work, not even on a super casual day. My work would look at me like I’m crazy.
  3. Heels that I would wear to the club/bar – Stuff that I could wear out, I probably shouldn’t wear to work. If I have to ask myself if it’s too bar-like, then it probably is. Of course some heels serve a double purpose, but not all do.
  4. Crazy nail polish – My nails are usually pretty plain (since I work full-time and would hate taking the polish off after 1 day on the weekend), so this usually doesn’t bother me since I’m used to it by now. Green glitter probably wouldn’t be good…
  5. Tops that show cleavage - Since I work with mostly men, it would be extremely unprofessional if I did this.  My boobs shouldn’t be hanging out everywhere and look like they’re going to knock someone out.  I want to come across as mature and intelligent.
  6. Tops that are so tight that it looks like one of the buttons will pop an eye out.

 

A lot of this also applies to interviews. For business interviews, usually the best outfit choice is something boring. I know, not fun. You don’t want to distract the person who is interviewing you with something crazy that you have on.  Of course different rules apply to different places. When I worked in retail, of course you had to dress cute and the only rule really was you couldn’t wear something that you could possibly wear to the gym.

What’s your work’s dress code? Do you agree that when you dress well, you work/act well? Of course I’d love to wear pajamas to work everyday, but I’d probably fall asleep!