Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sartorial Savings

Lately, I've been reevaluating my relationship with finances. A few weeks ago, a (fortunate) encounter with hail - and a hefty check from Geico - allowed me to pay off my auto loan. Eliminating a monthly bill is a huge relief, yet I'm planning to continue payments - this time into my savings account. This has also led me to contemplate discretionary spending - clothes included.

It's not like I need another dress and I certainly don't need to spend another $20 on baubles from Forever21. That's why I'm starting a clothing budget. And, really, it's more of a "sartorial diet." After all, diets are fashionable, right?

On average, I spend $200 each month on clothes and accessories. The problem is that I have magpie-like tendencies with costume jewelry and the rest usually goes to low-priced basics. This would be fine if my favorites weren't jaw-dropping statement pieces that I've saved for. With my current spending habits, I can't justify these often.

So, here's what I'm doing: Each month, I will take $200 from the month's first paycheck. $100 will go into a "sartorial savings" fund and $100 will be for monthly clothing expenditures. The money in the savings account will remain untouched until next autumn. In one year, I'll have $1,200 to spend guilt-free on anything I love - maybe a handful of dresses from Diane von Furstenberg, or one incredible piece by Temperley London, or (finally) an Hermes Clic-Clac bracelet, or maybe a more frugal approach with purchases from Gilt. The point is that this is an opportunity to purchase something beautiful that I'll cherish for years.

If any cash remains at the end of the month, I'll let it roll over to the next month. And to stay accountable (and motivated), I'm including the month's expenditures in the left sidebar.

Wish me luck!

Do you adhere to a shopping budget? What tips to you have to stay on track?


  1. Jessica you can totally do it. Oh and before that congrats on getting rid of your car payment. That's a wonderful feeling!!

    Valerie and I have placed ourselves on wallet restriction and are doing pretty well. I have gone cold turkey and haven't bought anything except a pair of tights for almost a month (record for me). I will allow myself a thing or two, but am really attempting to restrain myself at $150 max.

    The truth is I have enough stuff. I have boots, I have staples, I have a handful or more of nice things to mix in and it's ENOUGH. I'm finding I really enjoy my closet and this is forcing me to realize what I REALLY might need vs. what I think I neeeeeed.

    Enough with my book of a comment.

    You go girl!! Very inspiring. I need a more firm goal like yours!!


  2. Great plan! I don't think I could be that disciplined!

  3. I think you are going to rick this challenge!!
    usually shop every weekend....and seriously spend $200 a week or more....and I too say to myself....I really dont NEED the items.....perhaps Ill take on a no shop challenge for a month? yikes...scary!!!

    Enter my Wendy Hammer Designs Purse Giveaway♥
    Statements in Fashion Blog

  4. Loved your outfit in the previous post :)
    This is my first time on your blog and I really like it :)) I'd appreciate it if you repayed the visit - I think you might find my little blog interesting ;)))

  5. I really love this idea -- I would love to have a big chunk of money to spend on clothes rather than just a smaller set amount every month. Perhaps I'll try something similar!

  6. I need to get on some sort of shopping budget. I have been pretty good but I have 2 teens who like to shop too! xo

  7. This is such a great idea!! I think budgets are very important and then when you do reward yourself with a little shopping it is so much fun!! Good luck and I know you can do it!

  8. What a great idea! I've been trying to stick to a clothing budget and it is sooo hard!

  9. Such a great idea!! I should start saving up for a big item too with my budget....haha...maybe I'll add a clause for myself ;)

  10. Wow! It's such a lovely Blog you have here. xx, Alice from bells and whistles :)
    Ps: Feel free to check out my Blog and if you want to follow me I would be so glad :)

  11. i don't realy buy much jewelry...maybe bbecause my grandma always told me that jewelry should be bought by a man not by yourself :P

    thank you for passing by and leaving your sweet comment! it means a lot for me! remember you can keep in touch with my blog via blogger, bloglovin or facebook!

    xoxo from rome

  12. That is a great idea! It will be so worth it at the end of the year when you get to spend it! Good luck with it, and I can't wait to see your purchase a year from now!

  13. I recently started a weekly feature where I answer the same 4 questions about my finances for that week. I got the survey for I love doing the post each week, and it's helped to keep me accountable. Check out my blog. Maybe it would help you as well!

  14. I would also love to save so many money and then buy something amazing with them after all that time ... well, I just have to wish you good luck!

  15. It´s good plan to save money :) I wouldn´t be able to do something like that.
    I hope you will check my blog xoxo

  16. That is a great plan!!! I should do that too..I love the idea of saving it for a bigger shopping :)
    Happy Thursday

  17. Dude that is freaking brilliant...maybe if I can do that...I can finally buy that 2.55 I've been longing for for so long! p.s. Did I tell you that I bought that olive green cape? I did! And it's fabulous!

  18. I love this! Great plan! If I didn't need to save for other things, like getting an apartment, I would totally try this. Maybe when I get out of school and have a full time job!!

    xoxo, jaz

  19. This plan is genius. I'd totally do it if I were still single, ha ha. (Saving for a house and various trips seem more important now.)

  20. I like the idea of budgeting. That way, you don't have to feel guilty about what you do buy and you won't go overboard either. I'm considering a similar plan. Good luck!

  21. Genius! my first investment would have to be a blindfold of course.

  22. Good luck with your budget!! It's not that hard!
    I also love your savings plan for future splurging, now that sounds good to me!!!

    Chic on the Cheap

  23. Boy, I don't really have a budget but I probably should. Do I really need another necklace? Probably not, especially if I have five others I still haven't worn!

    Great plan!


    Win a Banana Republic Statement Necklace at:


  24. all the very best lady...e-shopping lures me outta saving every time :(

  25. Good luck! It sounds like a very sensible plan :)


  26. What a clever idea! Having an extra $1200 at the end of the year to spend on something special is really worth cutting back a $100 each month.

  27. haha what a nice idea. yeah sometimes I find when I buy something I don't even wear it more than once, such a waste of money!

  28. Money is always good to re-evaluate and think of :) I follow a budget for clothes - it works out perfectly! It's the best way to spend and not feel guilty :)


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