Category Archives: monthly budget

Monthly budget adventures (February 2017)

I did not shop much this month, except to purchase a few t-shirts over the Presidents’ Day weekend. It’s been a busy month at work, and we’ve had a lot to do at home during the weekends.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (February 2017)

Striped tees

I took advantage of the Presidents’ Day sale at J.Crew Factory, when everything on the site was 50% off. So I stocked up on two more of my favorite striped tees, as I already have a few pairs, and I get a lot of wear out of them.

Librarian for Life + Style | Striped tees from J.Crew Factory

Message tees

I also purchased two message tees this month, a navy “Nevertheless She Persisted” tee which provided proceeds to ACLU, and a dark pink “Obstinate, Headstrong Girl!” Jane Austen-themed tee. (In Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine de Bourgh seeks to impugn Lizzy Bennet’s character by calling her an “obstinate, headstrong girl.” The attempt, uh, doesn’t work.)

I purchased both tees through the Teespring.com website, totaling less than $50.

Interesting how the colors navy and berry were also a theme in what I bought this month!

Librarian for Life + Style | Message tees bought in February 2017

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $97.50
Total savings for this month:  $49.50

Total spent for this year:  $194.77
Total savings for this year:  $64.50

Earrings, earrings

For full disclosure, below is info about two sets of earrings I recently received as gifts.

First, my husband gifted me this pair of silver hammered earrings for our 20th anniversary. He actually bought them at the same time as the silver circle earrings he gifted me for Christmas — he just saved this pair of earrings for our anniversary! I’ve already worn these earrings, although they haven’t yet made it to the blog.

Librarian for Life + Style | Silver earrings gift from my husband

I also received a pair of pearl earrings c/o Pearl & Clasp late last month, which I reviewed in this post. I also wore the earrings in this outfit post.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings


I have a few Lands’ End gift cards saved up, so we’ll see if I feel up to shopping this next month… stay tuned!


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (January 2017)

It’s my first monthly budget adventures post of 2017! I also wrote a post earlier this month about how I view shopping and what my mom taught me about clothes-shopping.

This month was all about going back to basics!  Here’s a sneak peek at what I got this month:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (January 2017)

Top row (left to right):  charcoal yoga pants  //  light grey yoga pants  //  black-and-burgundy bootcut yoga pants

Bottom row (left to right):  white over-the-knee socks  //  hiking socks  //  slipper socks  //  Milani “Cabaret Blend” lipstick

Over-the-knee socks

I really focused on basics this month, including several pairs of over-the-knee boot socks. Daenael @ Living Outside the Stacks always has interesting boot socks, so I asked her advice on where to get over-the-knee boot socks, and she recommended Target. I also got a few pairs of pointelle boot socks at Payless, as they were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale.

Librarian for Life + Style | Boot socks from Target and Payless

Socks + slippers

I have worn through my first pair of slipper socks that I got a year ago at Payless, so I picked up a new pair of slipper socks during our recent Target run. I love the berry color!

  • Hiking socks, Target:  paid $7.60 (original price $8, used Target card for 5% off)
  • Cable slipper socks, Target:  paid $12.35 (original price $12.99, used Target card for 5% off)

Librarian for Life + Style | Socks and slipper socks from Target

All about comfort

I prefer to wear comfy yoga pants when I’m at home, so I picked up three more pairs during our Target shopping trip. I’m all about comfort!

Librarian for Life + Style | Yoga pants from Target

New lipstick

This was admittedly an impulse purchase during a recent grocery trip at our local Fred Meyer store. I just really liked this dark wine color, so I took a chance on it, even though I’ve never used the Milani brand of makeup before.

Librarian for Life + Style | Milani lipstick collage

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $97.29
Total savings for this month:  $15

Total spent for this year:  $97.29
Total savings for this year:  $15


This month, I definitely focused on more casual, comfy clothing that I wear mostly around the house. I really should do a post about what I wear at home… note to self. 😉 Yoga pants and socks are the kinds of items I rarely buy purposefully, but they have to be among the most-worn items in my closet! I feel like the overall theme for this month — or perhaps even for the year? — is a “back to basics” theme.


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

2016 recap: Favorite purchases

As I mentioned in my final “monthly budget adventures” post last week, I spent less than $500 total on my clothing budget this year. It’s a good time, therefore, to look back over the last year and assess what I did spend money on, clothing-wise, and reflect on my favorite purchases and any themes or lessons learned.

One of the major factors that contributed to my spending less this year on clothing was the “Let’s Be Shop Free for 3” challenge and Facebook group I joined. The “3” stood for three months, and it was a challenge to be shop free (regarding clothes shopping) from May through July 2016. The group and challenge was organized by Carrie @ A Lovely Little Wardrobe. It was relatively easy for me to be “shop free” during those months as they coincided with the time period that we moved from Portland to Tacoma!

Favorite purchases

Looking back over the items that I did purchase throughout the year, my favorites can be summed up with one word:  burgundy.

Librarian for Life + Style | Favorite purchases 2016 collage, burgundy

My favorites overall were my:

Most-worn purchases

I have already worn each of my favorite burgundy pieces multiple times, but there are other items that I bought or were gifted this past year that have actually gotten more wear:

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of most-worn purchases in 2016

Any personal favorites of yours? Please leave a comment and share.

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday

Monthly budget adventures, December 2016

It’s time again for my monthly budget adventures, and for the final month of the year, I spent a grand total of 25 cents! That’s right, one quarter. 😀

Thrift sale scarf

Right before our winter break, my college held its annual thrift shop sale, and that’s where I picked up this infinity scarf for a quarter. With its bold geometric chevron print and bright colors of green, yellow, and turquoise, I thought it might add a fun pop of color to different outfits. After the fact, I also realized the green shade is on trend for the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year. More “Greenery” added to my closet!

Librarian for Life + Style | Thrifted scarf, December 2016

Thrifted scarf {similar infinity scarf in yellow chevron}:  paid $.25, no label

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $.25
Total savings for this month:  $0

Total spent for this year:  $475
Total savings for this year:  $698.70

Last month, I said I wanted to finish off the year with under $500 spent, and I made that goal and then some, which feels great! Next month, we need to reevaluate our budget, which includes our clothing budget, and the start of the new year is always a good time to reevaluate one’s closet, so I’ll be back with details.

Christmas gifts collage

These were all gifts I received for Christmas that were jewelry, clothing, or accessories. Thanks to my husband and family and friends for these super cute and thoughtful gifts! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Christmas gifts 2016 collage

Top row:  Cats-and-books print skirt from ModCloth (gift from mom) //  Fuzzy socks (stocking stuffer)
Middle row:  Front-and-back views of cat-themed tote bag from ModCloth // library card tote bag from Out of Print Clothing (both gifts from mom)
Bottom row:  Silver circle earrings (gift from Sam)  //  Tree circle earrings (gift from family friend)  //  Gold-and-silver Christmas present earrings (gift from mom)  //  Harry Potter quote necklace (gift from mother-in-law)

And yes, the quote from the Harry Potter-themed necklace?

When in doubt, go to the library.

Wise words! 😀 😀 😀


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (November 2016)

No Black Friday shopping for me! I’ve already done my shopping for this month, and here’s a sneak peek:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got, Nov. 2016

fingerless gloves  //  burgundy cargo vest  //  black Spanx leggings  //  heather grey Spanx leggings

Fingerless gloves

My hands and fingers tend to get very cold — pretty much all the time — so I’ve been wanting some fingerless gloves for awhile. My husband listened! At the most recent Wordstock writers’ conference in Portland, he bought a pair of literary-themed, fingerless gloves as a gift for me. The pattern has passages from Pride and Prejudice, one of my personal favorite books! (And these gloves were made by the same creator who made the Anne of Green Gables literary scarf my husband gifted me last year!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Literary-themed fingerless gloves

These were a gift, so I’m not including them in my  monthly budget, but I still wanted to give them a shout-out. And bonus, these gloves make it easier to type on my laptop. A great gift for a blogger or a writer! 🙂

Restocking favorites

I took advantage of a Macy’s Veterans’ Day sale to restock (or extend) some favorites. I so love my olive cargo vest — Erin @ Loop Looks and I swapped cargo vests a few years ago — that I was on the lookout for a similar style in other colors. Then I read about Carylee’s purchase and review of this burgundy cargo vest, and my eyes lit up. (Note:  I read the customer reviews for this burgundy vest on the Macy’s site, and I’m glad I did, because a lot of the reviews gave theadvice to size up because the vest runs small. I bought the vest in the large size — I’m usually a medium on top — and it fits perfectly.) I’ve also already worn this burgundy vest, as seen in yesterday’s post.

I also took the opportunity to replace pairs of black and grey leggings that hadn’t held up and that I had gotten rid of before our move to Tacoma. Spanx leggings are more expensive, yes, but I’ve learned that they are WORTH IT. I now have five pairs of Spanx leggings; these black and heather grey pairs join their siblings in brown, berry, and royal blue.

Librarian for Life + Style | Macy's purchases, Nov. 2016

  • Burgundy cargo vest, American Rag {exact}:  paid $44.50 (original price $69.50, on sale for $54.99 + 20% off sale promotion)
  • Black leggings, Spanx {exact}:  paid $48 (original price $98)
  • Heather grey leggings, Spanx {exact}:  paid $68

Budget recap:

Total spent for this month: $160.50
Total savings for this month:  $75

Total spent for this year:  $474.79
Total savings for this year:  $698.70

What’s in store for next month? I’m hoping to just stick to Christmas presents and gift cards, and finish off the year with under $500 spent on my clothing budget this year. Wish me luck!


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.