Monthly budget adventures (December 2015)

A quick reminder that the $500 Nordstrom gift card giveaway is still open! (It ends January 4th.)

And now onto my monthly budget adventures… a quick peek before I get into the details:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (Dec. 2015) collage

Scoring stripes + sales from J.Crew Factory

I have been searching for a red-striped, boatneck top for ages — it seems really hard to find a true red, rather than colors like “persimmon” or “poppy” or “flame” or “blood-orange red” or “fiery sunset” — so I have been stalking the colors in my favorite boatneck-style top from J.Crew. (I already have versions in grey and light pink.) Then I checked out a similar-style tee on the J.Crew Factory site and LITERALLY squealed with delight when I saw a version in a red-and-ivory stripe. I’ve already worn this top, seen here and here.

To take advantage of a 50%-off holiday sale and free shipping, I also couldn’t resist adding this super-cute fox sweater. It was kind of an impulse purchase (I wasn’t actually looking for a fox sweater), but considering how much I love my Gertie owl sweater, I couldn’t resist this foxy-cool sweater! I’ve also already worn this sweater, seen here.

Librarian for Life + Style | December 2015 purchases from J.Crew Factory

  • Red-striped, boatneck tee, J.Crew Factory {exact}:  paid $24.50 (original price $49.50 + 50% off sale + free shipping)
  • Fox sweater, J.Crew Factory {sold out online but very similar fox sweater here}:  paid $39 (original price $78 + 50% off sale + free shipping)

Small Business Saturday

We bought almost all of our Christmas gifts from local shops during “Small Business Saturday” — the Saturday after Thanksgiving — and while we were out Christmas shopping, I also picked myself up this new felt cloche, which I’ve already worn, seen here.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of new felt cloche

Stacking coupons at eShakti

I submitted entries into eShakti’s “Custom Styling — My Way” Photo Contest and earned a $50 gift coupon in return. I then took advantage of a limited time offer of buying 2 or more items to get 50% off the total amount (then I applied the $50 gift coupon to the remaining total + shipping).

Sam also had input in the two dresses I chose. He looooooooves the navy + black houndstooth dress, immediately saying “YES! Get it!” when I showed it to him. I also had a couple of plaid shirtdress options in there, and he chose the ivory/grey/silver plaid for its versatility and because I don’t have that many light-colored dresses in my wardrobe. I like that my two newest eShakti purchases are a mix of modern and classic shapes and patterns. I used the free customization option to make the houndstooth dress knee-length and removed the pockets; for the plaid shirtdress, I kept as is.

Librarian for Life + Style | eShakti purchases Dec. 2015 collage

Celebratory lipstick

To celebrate getting my Invisalign clear braces off (!!!), I bought another Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, this time in “Cherry Blossom.” I couldn’t resist also snapping a cheesy selfie with my new lipstick! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Enjoying my new lipstick

Budget recap

TOTAL SPENT for this month:  $135.25
TOTAL SAVINGS for this month:  $194


It was a personal goal to keep my clothing purchases for the year below $1000, and I achieved that, actually totaling less than $750 for the year! The total savings this year also includes the approximate value of items I thrifted and/or fashion-swapped this year, so I will definitely continue exploring low-or-no-cost alternatives to shopping!

Christmas gifts

My friend Stephanie, seen here, always gifts me unique and thoughtful gifts, and this year, her Christmas gift included this lovely and stretchy infinity scarf, seen below. I love its colors of black and neutral tones — and that it’s handmade from a local artist, Dana Herbert.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of my new scarf

I also received a few gift cards for Christmas, including a $25 Payless gift card from my husband, a Starbucks gift card from Stephanie, and a $100 gift certificate to Here We Go Again (my favorite local resale boutique) from my mom.

Gift cards are truly the gifts that keep on giving! 😉

Librarian for LIfe + Style | Gift cards for Christmas 2015

Complimentary products

This past month, I received two complimentary brow kits from Billion Dollar Brows, sponsored by BrandBacker, and I reviewed the brow kits here in this post. You can also check out the “Best Sellers Kit” here.

Librarian for Life + Style | Billion Dollar Brows package

What’s up for next month? I need to think about priorities when it comes to my wardrobe… I plan on making a list of gaps or replacement items as well as identifying more sewing projects for items I need to fix/tailor.

And of course, I look forward to shopping with the gift certificates that I got for Christmas!

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.


9 thoughts on “Monthly budget adventures (December 2015)

  1. Kezzie

    I love the plaid Eshakti dress, it’s beautiful- I have a vintage 70’s dress in that exact same pattern but with a different neckline and buttons all down the side and I find it very versatile! You always do well with your bargains- great on the Eshakti- I’d like to try their stuff but I am always wary about ordering from abroad because of import taxes- where are they based?
    Your beautiful hat is great but it looks more like a cloche than a beret to me- was that a typo?!x


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