Wednesday, April 13, 2011

then how come my conscience is so clean?

I will give you guys a cookie if you can tell me what my post title is from. Fact: I never know what to title anything, so I just pull quotes from whatever I'm watching on TV. I am not as cool as I make myself seem, and I don't really think I make myself seem that cool.

So I went shopping yesterday. I was doing some freelance work and I cruised ASOS and Blowfish shoes during the commercials. This might not seem like such a weird thing, but I was on a self-imposed shopping ban that I was breaking. I bought jeans, cork-soled clogs, and a shirt I can wear to work. I spent around $150.

For some people, that's a trifling amount. For others, a fortune. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've been trying hard to budget myself lately, but it's proving difficult. I got a booklet on planning for my retirement from work yesterday and flipped through it in bewilderment. When I lived at home after college, my parents were kind enough not to charge me any rent, so my expenses were minimal. That's great, and means I was able to save up a lot, but it also means that right now is the first time in my life I'm balancing rent, groceries and bills. I've eked out a budget for essentials, but I have one big column right now labeled "Miscellany" that keeps tallying up more and more.

I know that Kimmie has a very specific budget for what she spends on clothes. Kelsey and her hubs have done really interesting posts on how they got out of debt. Some people buy only thrift, and others make their own clothes. I'm lucky enough not to have to support anyone but myself right now, but I'd like to know how you guys plan for things. I know asking about money is touchy, but I like to think of this as planning.

So, how do you guys do it? Excel spreadsheets? Meticulous checkbook-balancing? Do you buy clothes whenever the urge crops up, or do you plan shopping trips? Do you have a percentage or a dollar amount that you spend on clothes? Is it broken down weekly, monthly, yearly?

You guys are the most stylish bunch on the interwebs, and I'd love to hear just how you do it. Lay it on me!

PS- I was going to do an outfit post today but then we ate dinner and in cleaning up I spilled water all down my front. Outfit post fail. Womp womp.


  1. Ok first of all the shoes are amazing. Second of all I think an outfit post with dinner residue and water would have been a great addition to the post. I have never balanced a checkbook in my life.. except for when I had to in lifeskills class in highschool.. do people still that? We just check ours online a lot. I go for the Thrift shopping technique .. and every once in awhile splurge on a really nice piece I'll have for awhile and will use a lot.

  2. I am the world's worst budgeter. I blame my small college budget and expanding closet... I hope someone else can offer some glimmer of light on the subject for ya. Can't wait to see your items.

  3. I like Google docs, because I can open it anywhere I am no matter what computer I'm on. But sometimes I forget to update.

    Well, actually, I use my husband. He's the one in charge of finances for the family, so I usually just throw all my receipts at him. For my clothing though, I keep track of on the blog and my phone.

    Good luck, Elle!!!

    And $150 is fine. Y U ON SHOPPING BAN?! You deserve new clothes with the new job, right? :)

  4. Those shoes are cuuuute, and $150 isn't really too bad. I've never really budgeted, I just kind of have a mental idea of how much I need to have for bills/rent and then spend the rest on food and clothes. Probably not the most grown-up way of doing things but oh well.

    Shopping and Spreadsheets

  5. When my husband and I got married, my bills went down a lot, so I thankfully don't have to worry too much about budgeting. I should be saving money now that I have fewer bills, but yeah, I'm not.

    But if we go back 5 or 6 years to when I was single, living alone, and getting paid very little, I did have to budget. I would sometimes use a spreadsheet but I was pretty bad about filling it out all the time.

    But here's what I think works and this is just my opinion. Go back and look at the last 2-3 months and figure out what your average bills are over that time. Include rent, car payments, gas, groceries, electricity, everything you pay on a monthly basis. So let's say this adds up to $1500/month and you make $2500/month. You still want to have an emergency fund, entertainment fund, and clothes fund. Try to save $50/paycheck for emergencies and make it higher if you can or if you get paid more. Save the same amount for emergencies. Then whatever you have left is yours to spend on clothes!

    Another good method is to move whatever is in your banking account to your savings account the night before you are paid (as long as nothing big is pending) and then allow yourself to spend some of the savings on shopping. For example, if you have $300 left before the paycheck, then you move $150 and then go shopping with $150.

    Did you want a novel? Yeah, I thought so.

  6. You got three good things for $150. I'd say it's a fair amount to spend, as long as you get good use out of them.

    I only get $10/week for clothes right now (except when it's my birthday), but I used to spend much more than that before I was married and had a house. Enjoy it while you can! :)

    Thanks for the link love, lady!

  7. the title of the post is From Will Ferrell on SNL. Best skit