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Spending Recap: December 2011

Short Intro: I've decided to start capturing my purchases on this blog as a journal of meeting the savings goals determined in this post.  Each month, I'll recap my spending budget for fashion-y items and how well I've done.  This will be good data for me to determine what causes me to shop, whether the items are worth it several months down the road, and to (hopefully) encourage others aiming to do the same kind of cutback.   Here's the recap for December 2011!

Ugh, the holiday season is the WORST for spending budgets.  Its the combination of PTO, meeting up with friends and family and buying presents for others that makes it difficult to stay on track.  Now, I know there are techniques for dealing with this sort of thing.  Strict budgets, even to the point of taking out the exact amount of cash out per person per present, and so on and so forth, but I've always found it hard to execute.  I guess what I'm saying, in a roundabout manner, is that I sorta really failed at staying within budget this month.  Especially with the 50% sale that Anthropologie had during the holiday season. But, in the spirit of full disclosure...

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Item: Liamolly Hummingbird Dress
Cost: $30 (inc. shipping)
Original retail price: greater than $150
Why: There was a major clearance sale on Swirl and I scored this for basically nothing.  It's so unique with the cowlneck and loose knit sleeves, I knew it would be a great purchase. 
Assessment:  Brand new and more than 80% off?  No regrets.  It's super comfy too.

Item: StyleMint Charlton Tee
Cost: $30
Original retail price:  $30

Why: This was my "cheat" item this month.  I'm really loving the basic tee with a twist and I really wanted to do some "field research" on some of these subscription shopping services I've been hearing so much about.
Assessment:  I actually really love the cut on this shirt and the pattern is pretty amazing too.   Still on the fence as to whether or not I want a tee every month, but I thought this purchase was well worth it.  I've already worn it 3 times in the last 2 weeks! 

Item: Anthropologie Lucerta Mary Janes
Cost: $70
Original retail price: $170

Why: Honestly, I didn't understand the blog love for this pretty pair and was fairly sure I was going to pass on them.  Until I was in the SF Anthropologie.  And got to try them on.  And realized that not only were they super versatile, they were super cute.  And they blow my rules out of the water.
Assessment: I'm glad I bought them because they make me look taller and go with the bulk of my wardrobe.  But since they stand against all my spending recap rules, I feel guilty.  

Item: Anthropologie Kentfield Blazer (still available here)
Cost: $40
Original retail price:  $158

Why: I have a thing for plaid.  And I've been looking for new blazers.  Cropped ones typically don't look good on me because they're targeted at longer torso-ed (is that a word) women and end up making me look short.  Not this one.  So cute.
Assessement: This wool number is definitely staying in my closet.  It's versatile and warm.  Meets the criteria.  Score. 

Item: Anthropologie Tarpan Button Down
Cost: $25
Original retail price:  $88

Why:  I couldn't resist the whimsy of this piece.  And it totally fell into the awesome red/pink color palette category.  And lets face it, mice eating cheese are cute.
Assessment: Ugh, I probably shouldn't have made this purchase.  I still haven't worn it because I can't figure out what to wear it with (which is oddly rarely a problem for me).  Which probably tells me it doesn't mesh with my wardrobe.  Darn. 

Item: Anthropologie Ruffled Demi Turtleneck
Cost: $20
Original retail price:  $68

Why: I got this in the burnt orange color.  It called to me from the rack and there's something I love about how Anthro does basic long sleeve tees.   It would be good tucked into a skirt or under a blazer for a pop of color.
Assessment: I was stalking this to go on sale for a while.  Its a good basic.  Was it necessary?  Probably not.  Should I have taken it back?  Yeah.  Not going to though.  I <3 it. 

Item: Anthropologie Torino Scarf
Cost: $25
Original retail price:  $158

Why:  It's Missoni.  Seriously.  And pretty.
Assessment: I don't regret this one.  That is all.


Item: Nine West Combat Boots
Cost: $30
Original retail price:  ~109

Why:  I've been looking for short combat boots for a while (do I hear a common refrain here?).  And these were cute and the price was right.
Assessment: This wasn't a necessary buy, but it was something I wanted for a long time.  It was the right style and a great price.  

Item: Francesca's Collections Necklaces
Cost: $45 for two
Original retail price:  $65

Why: My cousin works at Francesca's and they have amazingly cute costume jewelry.  I got caught up this day and decided I just HAD to buy some.
Assessment: I do wear these pieces a TON after the initial purchase, so at least I'm getting use out of them.  I do feel guilty about purchasing these though.  

Total Damage for December: $315 (Yes, that's 3X my budget)

So, yeah.  Here's my complete failure for all the interwebs to see.  Retailers hit the promos hard this past holiday season, and Christmas shopping made them hard to avoid.  That isn't an excuse, its just what happened.  To make matters worse -- all those thrifting scores?  Those were courtesy of my mom's Xmas present to me, so I didn't count them.  But yes, I realize it means that I acquired a TON of stuff in a small amount of time, and I'm not exactly proud of it.  But it's a work in progress!  Quite frankly, I spent twice as much at Anthro, but thinking about writing this post made me return more than half of it, which is a small triumph.  I've made it through half of January and so far so good!  It's definitely getting easier to avoid the sales and when I get a shopping itch, thrifting usually scratches it.  Not to mention, I'm re-focusing my blog to be more than just outfits, which helps me keep busy without thinking about what clothes I'm going to buy all the time.  

So, wish me luck in January!  Any tips for being good?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I think you did fairly well, considering! And I bet it felt good to return some pieces that just weren't as loved? It should be easier now for awhile, since the sales will drop off considerably!

    1. Aw, thanks for the encouragement! This feature definitely makes me think about all my purchases. Here's to a more successful January!