Budgeting Bloggers: September

September Budget Breakdown


Ah, September. The month where magazines gets thicker, and it’s time to buy all of the fashion. And this year, it was also the month where I found myself still unemployed and with a dwindling savings account. Great timing, huh? It was the perfect time to start a Le Tote subscription (you can read more about that here): I wore fun new stuff practically every day I left the house, and I barely paid anything for it! And, of course, I did take advantage of a couple sales and added some more permanent pieces to my closet. With all that, plus a few gifted items, it really wasn’t so painful being on an extra budgety budget this month. Here’s how it all worked out…

My Budget:

  • +$150 (normal starting amount)
  • +$20 (returned a bracelet I bought last month and never wore)
  • +$33 (sold old clothes)
  • [note: I did have blog income this month, but I didn’t add it to my budget like I usually do – willpower!]

            = $203

What I Spent:

            = $206 (total retail value: $302)

What I Received:

See the other Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Budgeting Bloggers: August

August Budget Breakdown

It’s the end of another month (can you believe it?!) so it’s time for another budget report. I’m proud to say I came in under budget again this month. But…I did get a couple things for my beach trip (a bathing suit, shorts, and coverup) that I didn’t include. Because I forgot. But let’s just call those one-offs. I’m not going to beat myself up about it because I got a little birthday money that I didn’t spend. Moral of the story is: let’s call it even. On to the deets:

My budget:

  • +$157 ($150 starting budget plus $7 not spent in July)
  • +$122 (blog income)
  • +$46 (sold old clothes)


What I spent:

           =$318 (total retail value: $638)

What I received:

As always, I’m linking up with the other Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Budgeting Bloggers: July

July Budget Breakdown

Well, if there’s one bright side to spending all of July studying, it’s that it kept me from blowing my budget! I mean there was no point in buying a ton of new clothes when I was spending most of my time at home in sweats. But let’s not talk about the Bar anymore – IT’S OVER! Instead, let’s take a look back at the good part of July: the shopping.

My budget:

  • +$93 ($150 starting budget minus $57 overspent in June…whoops)
  • +$103 (blog income)
  • +$32 (sold old clothes)


What I spent:

           =$221 (total retail value: $581 (I’m awesome))

What I received:

  • Rainbow pastel watercolor Moroccan tote bag courtesy of Redbubble
  • Jeff Koons for H&M balloon dog bag courtesy of H&M
  • I also won the orange suede sandals pictured above from Shoemint! Lucky me!

As usual, I’m linking up with the other Budgeting Bloggers at Franish.

Budgeting Bloggers: June

June Budget Breakdown

If you’ve ever worried about the future of the Ann Taylor/Loft company, fear not. I will single handedly keep them in business. Here’s my budget confession report for June 2014.

My Budget:

  • +$126 (starting budget $150, minus $24 overspent in May)
  • +$104 (sold old clothes – you can read more about how I do that here)
  • +$143 (blog income)

      = $373

What I Spent:

      = $430 (total retail value: $885)

As you can see, I went $57 over my budget this month. But the thing is… HEY! WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE?!?! I THINK IT’S A DISTRACTION!

Thanks as always for following along! Check out the other budgeting bloggers over at Franish.


Budgeting Bloggers: May

May budget breakdown!

Can you believe the month is over? I’m going to guess you said “no,” so I’m going to say “me neither!” As expected, my May budget was much smaller than the past couple months (check out March and April if you missed them). But what I didn’t expect was the fact that I would get graduation gifts to help fund a nice tote bag and new work clothes (for when I need them, which is hopefully soon).

I got monetary gifts (look, I sound like an attorney already) from my parents and grandparents, and I decided to do the responsible thing and put those in savings. But I also got checks from the in-laws that were specifically designated for adding to my lawyerly wardrobe. Well, it would be rude not to shop with that money as instructed, right? Right. 😉

For the sake of this post, I’m putting what I bought with my graduation money under the “what I received” category so you can differentiate what I spent my “real” money on. So here we go…

My Budget:

  • +$166 (starting budget $150, plus $4 unspent in April, plus $12 for a return)
  • +$123 (sold old clothes)
  • +$55 (blog income)

      = $344

What I Spent:

      = $368 (total retail value: $605)

I went $24 over my budget, so I’ll subtract that from my starting amount for June. It was the midi ring at the art fair that put me over the edge, but supporting the arts is good so I forgave myself pretty quickly and so should you.

What I Received (graduation gifts from family & gifts from brands):

A big thank you to the brands who let me try some new things for free, and an even bigger thank you to the lovely people (whom I actually know) that gave me gifts this month! You all helped me have a little more fun. Because to me, fun=new clothes.

As always, I’ll be linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers group! Be sure to check them out and prepare to be impressed. If you’re new here, follow Sarah’s Real Life to see how I’m wearing all this crap and to see all the additional crap I will undoubtedly buy next month!


Budgeting Bloggers: April

April budget breakdown


Well friends, it was another epic month for my wardrobe. I got so much new stuff, it doesn’t even all fit in this collage. Of course, money doesn’t grow on trees (and even if it did I’d be out of luck because I can’t keep a cactus alive), so how did I swing a nearly $700 budget? Well, I chug away at this blog thing everyday and pick up a few cents at a time through affiliate links, waiting to hit the minimum, and the stars happened to align this month and give me two nice payouts. Plus, I sold off more old stuff, including a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag for almost $100! Finally, I didn’t spend all of last month’s budget, and I got to add all this to my modest starting amount of $150. Here are the details:

April Budget

  • +$196 ($150 starting amount + $21 unspent in March + $25 for shoes I returned)
  • +$285 (blog income)
  • +$212 (sold old clothes)

         = $693

This was my biggest budget yet! Next month’s should be significantly smaller because I don’t expect any blog income, and I don’t have much left from this month to carry over (only $4). I just swapped out my winter clothes for summer over the weekend, so I have a couple bags of clothes to try and sell. Still, I’m sure that won’t add up to a huge amount. It will definitely be a challenge to take it down a notch and spend, you know, a normal amount on clothes.

What I Spent

  • -$74 on a floral baseball cap and black panama hat from J. Crew (total orig. $116, both purchased during special promos)
  • -$12 on round oversized sunglasses from Nordstrom
  • -$141 on white jeans and windowpane jacket from Ann Taylor (total orig. $264, both purchased during promos)
  • -$110 on colorblock heels, gold sandals, and silver bag (not pictured) from DSW (total retail $238, DSW total price $157, minus $20 off during special promo, minus $10 rewards certificate, and the bag was on extra sale!)
  • -$59 on cobalt dress from Madewell (orig. $130, on sale plus additional promo)
  • -$171 on Rebecca Minkoff bag from Nordstrom Rack (retail $295)
  • -$40 on crop top from Kate Spade Saturday (orig. $45, got 15% off for signing up for newsletter)
  • -$42 on cobalt pumps from 6pm.com (retail $89)
  • -$22 on snakeskin pumps from Target (orig. $30, Kristin and I both got shoes during a BOGO 1/2 off deal and split the cost)
  • -$18 on floral clutch (not pictured – similar ones here) from C. Wonder (orig. $48, on sale plus additional promo)

         = $689 (total retail value…drumroll please… $1,267!)

What I Received (gifted items)

Keep an eye out for Fran’s next budget post to see all the other budgeting bloggers’ posts! I’ll be linking up with them.

Follow along:


Budgeting Bloggers: March

March Budget Breakdown


March 2014 was another great month of shopping for this girl! And no, that $571 budget is NOT an April Fool’s joke. Thanks to a lot of closet purging, I was able to pump up my budget by more than $200! The discovery of a couple women’s resale boutiques near me has pretty much changed my life…well, the part of my life that involves shopping anyway.

In March, I got A LOT of tops, shoes, and accessories. So for April I might try to find more dresses and bottoms. But I already have my eye on a couple more pairs of heels…what can I say, I’m on a roll. I’m also on a roll with getting some good deals; below I’ll show you not just what I spent, but what I would have spent on all this stuff at full price. I was lucky to have a couple of gift cards burning a hole in my wallet, plus I took advantage of several store promotions.

Without further ado, here’s the breakdown for March’s budget…

March Budget

  • +$212 ($150 starting amount + $62 unspent in February)
  • +$135 (blog income)
  • +$224 (sold old clothes…a lot of them!)

         = $571

What I Spent

         = $550 (total retail value…drumroll please… $1,003!)

What I Received (gifted item)

There you have it…another successful budget month is complete! I can’t wait to check out how the rest of the Budgeting Bloggers did!

Budgeting Bloggers: February

February Budget Breakdown

You guys. I ROCKED February shopping-wise. It was a good month: First of all, I had a healthy chunk of extra income to pump up my budget. Second, I managed not to blow it all, which is a miracle for me. Third, I got some really great stuff.

My biggest purchase was a dress from Madewell. I tried it on in the store on Feb. 1 and immediately fell in love, but I knew it was a bad idea for me to spend $130 that early in the month. I decided to wait at least 2 weeks and reassess my budget. I sold some old clothes so I had enough to buy it at full price, but I was hoping there would be a sale. I decided I would wait until Feb. 20 for a sale and if there wasn’t one, I would just take the plunge. I couldn’t risk it selling out! Lo and behold, on the morning of the 20th I woke up to see an email from Madewell: 30% off spring styles and free shipping. Like it was meant to be. It just came in the mail yesterday so you’ll see it on the blog soon!

I also got the final touches for my Barristers’ Ball (aka Law School Prom) outfit. The old Sarah probably would have made some excuse like “well, it’s a special occasion so it doesn’t count toward my budget.” But the new Sarah isn’t making any more excuses! The Ball is this Saturday, and I can’t wait to show off my outfit. If you want a preview before it hits the blog, just stalk me on Instagram this weekend.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown! You might remember from my first Budgeting Bloggers post that my budget is sort of a moving target. For more details on how I come up with my shopping budget, see this post.

February Budget

  • +$129 ($150 starting amount minus the $21 I overspent in January)
  • +$109 (sold clothes at local consignment and resale shops)
  • +$223 (blog income)

          = $461

What I Spent

          =$399 (retail value $650)

That’s $62 under budget, people! *pats self on back*

As for gifted items…

What I Received

So, how did the rest of you do this month? Have you just given up on shopping until the weather gets nicer and you can buy pretty dresses? That’s not a bad idea actually.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

Budgeting Bloggers: January

January Budget Breakdown (Bloggers Who Budget)

Exciting news! This year I decided to join Fran’s “Budgeting Bloggers” group and share how I budget my shopping each month. To be clear, this is not a new year’s resolution. I don’t believe in them, mostly because I’m so close to perfect I rarely need to change or improve myself. I actually started keeping track of my shopping budget in April 2013. It has definitely been good for me to log what I spend, but I found I was regularly going over my budget and then trying to catch up the next month…and then doing that over and over again. So the next step to get better at this budgeting thing is to make myself accountable to someone besides myself.

That’s where Budgeting Bloggers comes in. Now I have to fess up to every dollar I spend, and the whole internet can see it! And even worse, my mom and my wife can see it. Yikes.

So before I tell you what I spent my money on in January ’14, I guess I should explain how I came up with my budget. Even before I started blogging (or making money from blogging), I estimate I spent $200-300/month on clothes, shoes, and accessories. Then I got figuratively punched in the face by a massive bill from my dentist. (“Dear Sarah, Remember when you got your wisdom teeth out last summer? Turns out we were wrong about your insurance…You owe us $2000. That’s not a problem, right?”) So with the extra $150 I now I had to pay toward my debt each month, I decided to cut down my “fun” spending to $150/month.

So. I start out each month with $150. But if I went over budget the month before, I subtract that from the $150. Before you get too sad, I also have the potential to add to my starting budget. I’ve been taking old clothes to a consignment shop, so when I get a check from them, I add that to my budget. Out with the old, in with the new! I also add any income I make from this blog, which includes commission from affiliate links and payment for sponsored posts. My goal by the end of this year is to make enough from my blog that it covers all my shopping!

Phew, that was a lot of numbers. Let’s look at some more numbers to find out how my budget worked this month!

January Budget

  • +$40 ($150 starting amount minus the $110 I overspent in December…I blame it on Christmas sales)
  • +$68 (sold clothes at local consignment shop)
  • +$211 (blog income)

          = $319

What I Spent


Only $21 over budget…not too shabby! I’ll subtract that overage from my starting budget for February. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll also be including in my monthly budget posts any gifted items I receive. While these items don’t take away from my budget, they’re not exactly “free.” Like they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or a free necklace)! I wouldn’t get complimentary items if it weren’t for all the work I put into this blog. Here are the perks I got this month.

What I Received

A Confession

I also bought one and a half suits at Ann Taylor this month. Since I’m working for a judge this semester, and hopefully I’ll have job interviews before too long, it was about time to grow my professional wardrobe a little. I decided not to apply these to my budget. They would have blown most of the month, and I see these pieces as investments in my future career so I don’t want to skimp on them. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on “cheating” like this again for a LONG time, if ever!

Here’s to a successful February! Be sure to check out Fran’s blog “Franish.” She’ll probably have her budget post up soon!