Budgeting Bloggers: December Budget

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!


A whole year gone! I can’t believe I’ve been tracking my clothing budget for over a year and a half now. It certainly has held me more accountable and it teaches me so much about my shopping habits. I feel like I’m at a place now where I don’t have any major needs to fill in my closet and I am highly considering a capsule wardrobe (again).

Even though November was a killer, I still got a few more things in December.

Here’s what I got:

Land’s End:

Drifter Mock Zip Sweater in Midnight Indigo – originally $59.00 – paid $25
Fitted Turtleneck in Black – originally $25.50 – paid $10

I also got the Zip Sweater in Ivory and a Down Vest in Wine Grape for Christmas!

I am in love with these sweaters! They’re the perfect addition to my winter closet and I’ve already worn them many times, making them well worth the purchase (and gift). I’ve been looking for a black turtleneck ever since I saw T. Swift’s “Shake it Off” music video. I’m not even really a fan–except for that song–but even I had to admit that she looked very Audrey. Can’t go wrong with these classic items.


Navy and White Jersey Striped Tank – on sale for $3 (not pictured)
Knee-length Vintage-Inspired Black and White Skirt – on sale for $25 (not pictured)

I couldn’t pass up a tank I knew I’d wear a ton in the spring and summer and I’ve already worn the skirt twice. The silhouette makes it a perfect option for swing dancing.


I Love Comfort Dasher Mary Jane Pumps – originally $39.99 – paid $19.97

Comfortable heels for dancing for under $20? Done.

Total Spent in December: $82.97

Total Spent in 2014: $1617.01

Seeing that number really hits home. I’d really like to challenge myself to see if I can reduce this number moving forward. In many, many ways, I made a lot of really smart and inexpensive choices this year. I’m proud of my more intentional shopping and really feel like I added some great pieces this year. I broke the habit of buying things for cheap simply because it was a great deal and tried very hard to stick to only buying what I really loved. I still have a lot of progress to make, but I feel like I am well on my way. It’s been interesting adjusting to my new career and lifestyle in terms of wardrobe and I imagine that will only continue into 2015.

Speaking of the new year, I know I alluded to some big changes coming and they are indeed on their way! I may or may not continue with this Budgeting Bloggers series on the blog, but I think I will continue on a personal level regardless, as it has been a very illuminating and useful system.

How do you feel about your clothing purchases for the year? 

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible!

Budgeting Bloggers: November Budget

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!

Yikes. You guys, I didn’t do so hot this month. And by that I mean I epically failed. Or totally succeeded, depending on how you look at it. Alright, so I bought a LOT. And spent a lot. But I really love every single thing I bought and I am putting all of the blame on two things: Ashlie visiting and Black Friday. So it’s not on me, right? Right.


The Damage:


Black Curvy Skinny Jeans – originally $69.50 – paid $34.75
Curvy Skinny Jeans – originally $69.50 – paid $34.75
Cowlneck Tunic (as seen here) – originally $54.50 – paid $36.32
Split Neck Mixed Media Top – originally $49.50 – paid $32.07

Have you seen how faded my jeans are?! These were easy purchases to make on Black Friday and well worth it. And I absolutely love this sweater and top. I don’t own anything like this mixed media top, but it’s really flattering.


GapFit GFast Mesh-Panel Leggings – originally $64.95 – paid $26.99

I absolutely love these workout pants! I don’t own any long yoga pants, so this was a much-needed purchase. I’ve already worn (and loved) them multiple times. Just as a head’s up: there is a slanted mesh panel at the top of the hips that I didn’t notice initially, so as long as you aren’t sporting bright orange underwear, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Land’s End:

CashTouch Plaid Scarf – originally $29.00 – paid $10

This scarf is SO soft. It’s the perfect Christmas scarf, if you ask me. I had my eye on it for a while, so when it went down in price for BF, I snagged it up.

The Limited:

Tailored Pearl Pendant Necklace – originally $24.90 – paid $14.94
Pearl Stud Earrings – originally $14.90 – paid $4.19

I have worn these earrings nearly every day since I made the purchase two weeks ago, so I call that a major win. Also, I just really adore this simple and pretty necklace.

NY & Company:

Hi-Lo Cable Sweater  (as seen here) – $49.95 – paid $25
Drape Front Flyaway Sweater – $49.95 – paid $25

Oh, just filling the sweater void in my life!


Sheer Flutter-Sleeved Top (not pictured) – $24.95

While I really like this top, I probably didn’t need to buy it. I bought it for swing dancing and I will likely wear it many times moving forward, but I didn’t really need it.


(2) Mossimo Boyfriend V Tees – originally $9/each – paid $5.40 each = $10.80
Mossimo Lunea Oxford Tennis Shoes (not pictured) – $14.24

Basics on sale = yes. I wore these canvas fake-Keds during my 30 hour lindy hop exchange and they were a GREAT investment. Super dirty now though–any tips on cleaning canvas tennis shoes? Not sure they can go through the wash.


Arbor Jade Tennis Shoes – originally $84.99 – $32.99

This is exactly the price I would want to pay for good quality Clarks shoes!

Total Spent in November: $326.99 

Blehhh that number makes me a bit ill, especially considering the investment I just made in a new Macbook Pro! (Squee!) Upon reflection, however, I’ve realized a few things:

  1. I need to rethink my budgeting and stick with it in 2015.
  2. It’s better to invest in higher-quality items that I love.
  3. I am very pleased with what I pay per item, especially in comparison with original price. (I would’ve spent well over $600 full price for these items.)
  4. Seemingly everything needs replaced at the same time. Ugh.

I have a few “cash” coupons to spend in December, but I really don’t need anything else right now. How did you guys do in November? Any plans for revisiting your budget for 2015? Spill all in the comments!

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Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible!

Sunday Best: v. 18: A Colorful Pantone Recap

Well! It sure feels great being back in this space again. SO much has happened since my last few posts. More to come soon. First off, happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend filled with food, family, and fun. My weekend has been very nice and very relaxing–I really couldn’t ask for more.

Second, have you entered the chloe + isabel giveaway yet? Only a few days left! I am completely jealous of this lucky winner!

Thirdly, a HUGE thank you goes to the many beautiful women who participated in the fourth biannual Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge! I think I can speak for both Heidi and myself when I say WOW. The looks linked up were beyond fabulous and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the turn-out. So much Pinterest inspiration was generated from that week!

Here’s a recap of what I wore for the week:

Fall 2014 Pantone Inspired Color Challenge Recapone // two // three // four // five

I mostly kept things simple, but found the color challenge helpful in incorporating some forgotten pieces in my wardrobe and thinking more intentionally about color palette and pairings.

Even though it was really tough, here are just a few of my favorites from the other participants:

Fall 2014 Pantone Roundup
Thrift and Shout
// Brynnash // Anne in Residence // I Do DeClaire // Whitney a la Mode

Thanks again for joining us.  It was a blast! Which color was your favorite?

Without further ado, here’s today’s Sunday Best link up!

And now it’s your turn! Let’s see YOUR Sunday Best:

The Modern Austen

Sunday Best is a weekly link up where you can share your favorite look from the previous week or the week to come. Join me and my stylish friends, share your outfits, gain inspiration, and discover new blogs! To join, simply add your link at the bottom of this post, link back to The Modern Austen (or add a button), and visit the other participants! Link party opens on Sunday mornings around 8:00 AM EST–please, only one style/outfit-related post per week.

[inlinkz_linkup id=471923 mode=1]

Linking up to: Funday Monday, Monday Bloom, Mix-It Mondays, Style to Inspire, Watch What I Am Wearing, Fashionably Employed, I Would So Rock This

Encouraging Creative and Confident Young Women with chloe + isabel

November has certainly become the month of jewelry for The Modern Austen and I can’t say I’m hating it one bit! But it’s so much more than pretty baubles and jewels. I’m consistently noticing that the women I’ve met who are jewelry designers or merchandisers are among the most ambitious, creative, confident, and entrepreneurial people I know. Just take a look at Marlene for a prime example. She’s a very talented and organized entrepreneur with a passion for what she does and the people she meets.

Sometimes I really wish I had more of an exposure to or opportunity to recognize the growing creativepreneur in me through programs or jobs during my college years. I’m so blessed to have had many leadership roles and can credit these experiences, along with my mentors, with my desire for creative business, but I wish I had fostered it sooner and more directly. And how awesome would it have been to be paid for it, too?

Enter chloe + isabel. Many of you know this company for their insanely beautiful jewelry, but were you aware that they have a Growth and Empowerment through Merchandising (GEM) program specially for young women ages 18-22? This program is built to help them break into the fashion industry and tap into their entrepreneurial skills.  Not only will it help build strong resumes, but it also helps build participants’ bank accounts.

chloe + isabel GEM programvia

Here’s what makes chloe + isabel’s GEM program different from what many other direct sales companies may offer:

  • Participants gain first-hand understanding of running a business by prospecting leads, hosting pop-up shops, creating effective brand displays, and conducting online sales via social media promotion.
  • c + i offers special incentives including a VIP trip to NYC, shopping sprees at top retailers, letters of recommendation from CEO Chantel Waterbury, and resume writing sessions.
  • Some of the dream jobs and internships of current and past GEM Merchandisers include: Bloomingdales, Kate Spade, Julep, Madewell, Boston Scientific, Kleinfeld, American Greetings and more.

If you or another young woman in your life would be interested in pursuing the GEM program, chloe + isabel offers three classes a year and currently looking for members of their January class. Applications are due November 30th! Click here for more information. Not a spritely young college woman anymore? You can still reap the benefits of being a c + i merchandiser!

The amazing leaders at chloe + isabel have so generously offered to giveaway their absolutely gorgeous Midnight Reverie Statement to one lucky reader!  By the way, are you looking for a c + i merchandiser to purchase some stunning jewels and maybe some Christmas gifts? I highly recommend Carly, one of the most talented and dedicated young women I know! Check out her online boutique here.

choe + isabel midnight reverie statement necklacevia

The giveaway will run for one week (until midnight on December 1st) and is open to the continental U.S. only. c + i are unable to ship to military boxes as well at this time.

Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is in partnership with Chloe + Isabel through Smart Girls Media Sisters. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible.