Money Saving

Budgeting Blogger: February Budget

by Marissa B on March 6, 2014

Budgeting Bloggers, hosted by Fran, is a great way to hold myself accountable for my clothing purchases each month. It helps to track my spending habits, identify trends, and streamline my wardrobe with more intention. Check out what other bloggers purchased this month!

February was a little more expensive than I had hoped, but I really love everything I purchased this month. Except MAYBE the pants. I still have time to decide on those. Confession? I definitely used the wrong picture for the pants below. Oops. This picture is also not at all an accurate depiction of what I spent and what I purchased (most were not online!).Check out the full list below:

February 2014 Budget money saving budgeting blogger



Old Navy:

  • (2) Perfect Crew Neck T-Shirt in White and Black/White Stripes – paid $6 each – total $12 – I have been on the hunt for the perfect white tee and so far this has beat out the competition. It doesn’t stretch out and it isn’t completely sheer.

Gap Factory Store:

  • Strappy Sandals in brown/metallic- originally $29.99, paid $13.49 – I wasn’t sure if I should purchase these since I won’t be wearing sandals for months yet, but I have such a hard time finding comfortable shoes that I went for it.
  • Boatneck Coral Long Sleeved Tee – paid $4.40
  • Supersoft Striped Crewneck Long Sleeved Tee – paid $4.39
  • Knit Striped Navy and White Skirt – paid $12.12
  • Knit Shirt in Navy – paid $12.14
  • Knit Shirt in Green – paid $15.75
  • Woven Tunic Shirt – paid $17.64
  • Reusable Shopping Bag – paid $3.14 but it took off 10% of my entire purchase (every time I use it for the next year), saving me over 10 dollars

Total Month Spent: $142.33

All in all, this month stung the most financially, but like I said, I’m bringing in pieces I will wear and remix consistently in the future. And I think I paid really good prices for everything!  I have about four boxes of clothes that I am prepping to resell soon and I am really focusing on only bringing in things I really love and will commit to wearing.

March marks one year of Budgeting Bloggers for me! I can’t believe how time has flown. As a result of a lot of thought and for the preservation of my bank account, I’ve decided to make March a no-spending month! That means I won’t be purchasing any clothes during this time and that my March Budget recap will likely be extremely boring.

I’ve actually been participating in this spending fast for a few weeks now, since Valentine’s Day, but I am determined to make it through March. I guess you could call it my Lenten project, but I’ll be honest in that it’s mostly to save money more than anything else. It’s been really hard to resist buying all of the amazing spring stuff we put out in LOFT, but I think it’ll be a fun challenge to try to make new transitional outfits with the clothes I already have. I know that my style and preferences have changed a lot, which is why I want to revamp my closet so much, but I think a little patience and time away from it all will be beneficial.

This is where you come in. I ask that you hold me accountable throughout this month! If you’ve been shopping with me before, you know that I’m usually the one who talks you out of everything– I know, I’m that lame, practical friend–but this time it’s your turn. I don’t anticipate really wanting to purchase anything, but if I do, remind me of my ultimate goal. I’ll be honest with you–I have wanted to do a shopping ban for a long, long time now, but I knew that if I posted it on the blog, there would be no wiggle room. I would have to be committed and follow through. And there were a few things I knew I really wanted/needed to get. But now there’s no excuses and I am going to try my best. If I buy something, it won’t be the end of the world–hopefully you’ll be just as gracious  ;)

I SHOULD put a little addendum here that should I get a job interview/job and find some major holes that need to be filled, I am allowed to purchase these items. HOWEVER, I don’t believe this will be an issue at all considering I do have quite a bit of professional clothes.

Thanks for all of your support! Happy budgeting! If you want to join me during this spending fast, let me know so we can hold each other accountable and cheer one another on! It helps when someone is doing it with you. My friend Laura from Forever Above Me is completing an entire YEAR of no spending as part of the Greater than Rubies challenge! Isn’t that incredible? She needs more support than I do, that’s for sure :)


December Budget

by Marissa B on January 7, 2014

It’s a little belated, but I’m linking up with Fran and other Budgeting Bloggers to share my December purchases! It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and be really intentional with your purchases–something I am continually striving to do.

December was expensive. Not just in terms of a clothing budget, but I also budgeted for Christmas, a bridal shower, two bridesmaids dresses, three months of health insurance, rent, and the list goes on. Why does it always seem to land all at the same time? Anyway, I am pretty pleased with my purchases regardless because they are all staples I will continue to wear for a very long time.

December 2013 Budget money saving budgeting blogger

December Budget:

LOFT Essential Leggings- originally $24.40 – paid $12.25
LOFT Navy Scuba Pleated Skirt Dress – originally $89.50 – paid $35 (ON SALE for $30 now)
LOFT Red Textural Open Cardigan (in a brighter red not shown) – originally $59.50 – paid $24.75
NY & Co. Gray Belted Cardigan (similar) – $29.99
Target Xhilaration Junior’s Faux Leather Jacket - originally $39.99 – Used Cartwheel coupon + $5 giftcard – paid $29.99
White House Black Market Striped Tank (Goodwill) – $3.39
The Limited Gray Lace Tank (Goodwill) – $3.39
Kohl’s Daisy Fuentes Printed Blouse (Goodwill) – $3.39

Total Spent: $142.12

I’ve been using a spreadsheet to track all of the clothing purchases I’ve made of the past year. I only started Budgeting Bloggers back in March, but I’ve spent almost $1000 on clothing during that time ($928.64 to be exact). It really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? I consider myself a frugal shopper, never purchasing items full price and frequenting my local Goodwill, but even then, things add up.

Additionally, looking back on my purchases, I can see trends. I’ve been slowly steering away from purchasing on a whim at Goodwill (just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean it’s always worth it) and really focusing on buying things I really like and will definitely wear. I’m not where I want to be just yet. Ideally, I would even like to start almost completely over–keeping only the things I really love and can remix in a variety of ways and then build my wardrobe back up slowly with classic, but versatile pieces of good quality. Part of me would love to do the Greater than Rubies challenge like my brave friend, Laura, but I don’t know if I have the right pieces now to stay strong throughout. And I also don’t want to deprive myself of something that brings me confidence and joy. But in saying that, does that mean I’m putting too much into a superficial thing like clothing? Am I making clothing too much of an idol? Oh, sometimes it all seems so frivolous, but style really is important. What are your thoughts?

Shop this Look:


November Budget

by Marissa B on December 3, 2013

I’m linking up (a few days late) with Fran and the other Budgeting Bloggers to track my clothing expenses and make more intentional and careful purchases each month. You can check out my other monthly purchases by clicking the links below:

March // April // May // June // July // August // September // October

I started off this month by making two purchases I hadn’t anticipated but am really grateful I made them. My Banana Republic skinny jeans have served me very well for the past few years, but when a hole was beginning to emerge in the crotch, I knew it was time to invest in new jeans. Last month, I talked about my bad purchase (the wrong size), but I quickly remedied that with two new LOFT jeans in a better size!

(Click through to read my comments about each item):

LOFT Curvy Skinny Jeans in Rinse Wash- originally $69.50 – paid $34.75

LOFT Curvy Slim Jeans in New Navy - originally $69.50 – paid $27.80

LOFT Short Braided Chain, Rhinestone and Bead Necklace – originally $44.50 – paid $22.25

LOFT Lace Sleeve Sweater Tee – originally $59.50 – paid $29.75

Target Lace Front Gray Sweatshirt (Turned into Embellished Sweatshirt) (Very similar sweatshirt) – on clearance for $17.48

Not pictured:

LOFT Black Striped Stretch Embellished Belt- originally $19.99 – paid $9.99
LOFT Tan Blazer – originally $89.95 – paid $2.44 (!!!!)

Total Spent: $144.46

My associates discount is serving me very well. I think I made some smart purchases this month and I am really happy with all of them. The lace top and necklace were purchases I made to wear on Black Friday when I worked at the store, but I feel like I can wear them over and over in the future.


Today we have a great guest post and giveaway by Nancy, a party-planner, blogger, and mother who regularly contributes to Purple Trail! She has some great ideas for hosting an inexpensive book club. Obviously, this is right up my alley. Book club, anyone? 

Oh book club. There’s a little bit of a love hate relationship going on. The fine line of attending merely for the socializing and the actual discussion of the book (for those that read it) can be a frustrating one. For the purists, they just want to discuss the book, for the fair weather readers, they want more time to eat, drink and be merry. Ultimately, it’s about gathering with people who love everything about the good, bad and ugliness of literature. One thing is for sure, there is no need to make book club meet ups expensive! You can do it on the cheap and have a fantastic gathering to appease all types of book club members.
Invitations. Email is ok but a real invitation is better. This is a time when we get to gather and geek out over what we love so making it a little special is worth it. You can send print or online book club invitations for very little. These adorable book club invitations can be as inexpensive as $0.96 per card.

Book Club Invite e1382459568196 parties money saving inspiration giveaways frugal books 2
Scheduling. Don’t host one each month. None of us who have full-time jobs, kids, pets, families etc. have time to meet every month. Go for every six weeks, every other month or even quarterly. If you make it realistic for the group more people will likely carve out time to read the book.

Venue. There are great inexpensive options out there!

  • Library- You can reserve the community room at your local library. It’s free!
  • Home – It’s easy to rotate homes with group members. Also, making it a potluck takes the pressure off the host. Keep the menu super simple and plan meeting times in between meal times.
  • Coffee Shop- Choose your favorite coffee shop to meet up at. It’s free but the downside is it can be very loud and busy. Try to schedule and off-peak meet up time.
  • Wine Bar – For those of you who like to sip some vino while discussing literature, this is a great option. Depending on the size of the group you can all go in a bottle or two to make it more affordable.
  • Park- A free venue that only works if the weather cooperates. Many parks will let you reserve shelters to host your event.
  • Church- If your congregation will allow you to use a meeting room, this is a great place to gather with a cup of tea or coffee for some riveting discussion.

Other ways to save:

  • Pitch in 5 dollars each meeting to spend on food and drink.
  • Meet virtually with Skype – that way there’s no excuse for missing a meet up.

Whatever way you decided to host your book club it doesn’t have to be costly. Good friends, a comfy location and a discussion worthy book are all you need. Happy reading!

Thanks to Nancy, we are giving away a $75 Coupon Code to Purple Trail! This is the perfect time to host some inexpensive holiday parties or book meet ups! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter link below. You’ll have one week to get your entries in, so act fast :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nancy Arnold is a Seattle area party planning blogger, lover of book club, happy mother, and regular contributor to


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