Shopping in September – Budgeting Bloggers link up

How is it this time again already?
Time certainly flies hey! This month has been a good month for me. I’m in under budget but I’ve got some lovely new things ready for the colder months. You can tell the weather has changed as I’m all about jumpers this month. I bought three this month…I think I have a problem guys. Also I think I have an obsession with Gap as I also bought three items from there this month – the 25% off was too good to ignore.
Shopping in September
So first we have the Gap things, a jumper, jeans and a t-shirt. At least I went for varied items I guess. I seem to be having a real love affair with Gap at the moment. I’m also loving their underwear range too.

1. 1969 legging jeans, Gap – £29.96 (with 25% off online – original price £39.95) – comfiest jeans ever. I have already worn these too many times to count. I’m very tempted to get myself a black pair soon too.

2. Printed raw-edge slub T, Gap – £11.22 (with 25% off online – original price £14.95) – a t-shirt with stars! How could I resist. I’ve actually been tempted to get these for ages, but I stayed strong. Until now that is.

3. Pointelle Sweater in Grey, Gap – £18.71 (with 25% off online – original price £24.95) – softest jumper I have ever owned. It’s got shorter sleeves so I can wear it while the weather is still mild without overheating. Always a good thing in my book.

4. Striped pointelle jumper, George @ Asda – £14 – One thing I’ve learn is that I shouldn’t be allowed into Asda without someone to be my conscience. This superstore has some lovely items and being by myself meant that I had absolutely no will power. Oh well, I only bought two pieces of clothing and this jumper is so nautical that I couldn’t resist.

I also got this peach shirt, which I can’t find online. So you’ll have to see my bad photography instead! I’ve been after a few more colourful tops for work and this one fit the bill perfectly. It’s not too smart that it stands out – yes this is an issue in my office.

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Embroidered shirt, George @ Asda – £12

These next three items were all presents from my Mum and youngest sister when they were in Australia visiting our family. As well as bringing back three packs of Tim Tams they also did a bit of clothes shopping for me. How lovely is that, especially as it was completely unexpected.

5. Drapey Pants, Cotton On – Gift (original price £17.50). Comfiest trousers ever! Ordinarily I wouldn’t even look at these trousers but as they were a present I tried them on and proceeded to live in them.

6. Ugg Boots – AUS$80.00 (£60)

7. 90’s day dress, Cotton On – Gift (original price £17.50). Mine is a different pattern and colour but it’s not on the website. I love this dress. It’s long enough not to need tights, but it’s also perfect with tights now that it’s getting colder. An all year round dress then – what more do I need?

Necklace, H&M – £7.99 – I was admiring a necklace just like this over on brynnash’s August budgeting bloggers post and moaning about not being able to find anything like it in the UK. Then not 3 days later I found this necklace in H&M. How perfect is that. Clearly I should have moaned a bit earlier!

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Not pictured – White knitted jumper via the charity shop. £4.00

Total – £97.88

Once again I’m linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers so don’t forget to take a look at how they did this month too.

What about all you lovely people, what things have you been buying this month and is anyone else as obsessed with Gap as I am?

Lau xx

Shopping in August – Budgeting bloggers link up

How is it the end of August and monthly budget time already? This has been a great month for me shopping wise (although if I’m being honest when isn’t it?) as I’ve managed to tick off both trousers and a blazer off my list as well as managing to stick to my budget too – what a great way to end the month! So what did I buy? Take a little peak below..

1. Aubergine dress with leather sleeves, Primark – £13.00 – I love this dress, it’s so me with the skater style and that gorgeous colour, plus I think the sleeves give it that little something extra.

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2. Yellow leather flip flops, Gap – £6.99 (originally £16.95) – Yep, I finally bought these flip flops from Gap after mentioning them way back when in this Summer Wishlist. I waited for the sale and it was totally worth it, as they’re less than 50% now. Just in time for my Portugal trip too!

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3. Pink skinny jeans, Zara – £9.99 (originally £19.99) – Isn’t the colour of these jeans just lovely? I’ve never bought jeans from Zara before, honestly it’s one of those shops that has always been slightly intimidating I think it’s the sleek shop and shiny floors that just isn’t really that welcoming. Plus back in my ‘fat’ days nothing in this shop would have fitted and I sort of still expect this to happen when I go in there. Anyway these are supersoft and super stretchy skinny jeans and I’ve worn them so many times since I bought them. They actually go with anything as I have so many plain tops and jumpers. I’d actually buy these at the full price of £20 – bargainaeous in my humble opinion. I’m already on the look out for a black pair for the winter.

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4. Blue blazer, Primark – £7.00 (originally £14.00) Honestly how could I not get this when it is only £7 in the sale? Yes I got two blazers this month – it’s that age old thing of can’t find something for ages and then you find two at the same time. Well I grabbed this and the black one below as soon as I saw them in Primark. As let’s be honest if you don’t buy it when you see it then you will never see it again! The cut of this jacket is perfect and the electric blue colour is a great staple while being a bit different.

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5. Black cross body bag, Primark – £8.00 – Another thing I’ve been searching for is a slightly bigger cross body bag in black. My smaller brown, green and navy bags can’t quite fit everything I need for everyday life. Both my sister and my friend have this one in teal and aubergine and have both been raving about the size and the number of pockets. So when I saw the black version I ran for the till!

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6. Skinny Grey Cords – Red Herring @ Debenhams – £28.00 – I love my dark green cords and have been bleeting on about getting another pair soon in a more neutral colour. After trying them on and finding that they fitted perfectly I then proceeded to debate over which colour; grey or black. I went with the grey in the end but I have a feeling that the black pair may appear in my wardrobe soon.

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7. Wine Lace Top – Dorothy Perkins – £16.00 – I think may be obsessed with this colour! It’s such a pretty top and bridges the gap between comfortable and smart so well.

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8. Black blazer, Primark – £14.00 – Yep, here’s the second blazer, now check out the lining on the sleeves. They’re polka dots guys! I love polka dots!

Also last month I happened to be visiting my friend in Leeds while she was midway through a huge wardrobe clear-out and she spent most of the weekend trying to offload clothes onto me. Being the lucky lady that I am I managed to come away with a couple of pairs of shorts – perfect for my trip to Portugal next month.

So the total this month is a brilliant £102.98 so i’m £17.02 under budget. Woop woop for me!

As usual I’m linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers so hop on over and see how everyone else did.

Lau xxx

July shopping spree aka budgeting bloggers

So this month the budget has basically gone out the window! The whole idea of a budget just disappeared and I shopped way too much. With an unexpected trip to Westfield on the first day of the new month it was never going to end well was it! So my credit card may hate me right now but I’ve finally got a summer wardrobe that I’m happy with. My clothes from last summer are all too loose, so they’ve either gone on eBay  been donated to family/friends or been bagged up for the charity shop leaving me with almost nothing to wear. Before this month I didn’t own a pair of shorts, more than a handful of summer tops (black, blue and navy are my staples apparently), more than one jacket and the only summer dresses/skirts I had were only beach appropriate if I didn’t want to wear leggings. So yes I had quite a way to go. Couple this need with a sudden heatwave in the UK and a holiday at the end of the month and you can see what happened! Anyway I’m not going to berate myself, I’m going to smile over the lovely purchases I have and enjoy them. Most of them I did think about a lot and I waited around until they were cheaper so that’s something at least!

July (1)

1. Skinny Mini Skimmer Khakis, Gap, £14.99 (originally £34.99) – I mentioned these ages ago as the summer trousers that I wanted. Well they finally dropped into the sale so I grabbed them straight away and have worn them non stop ever since! The green colour was particularly perfect when I was in Dublin for the weekend – I blended straight in!

2. Denim jacket, H&M, £15 (originally £30 – I have been eyeing up this jacket for awhile and almost bought it last month when I had my spree in H&M, so you can imagine my delight when I saw it was half price in the H&M sale. Obviously I snapped it up straight away with shouts of glee and it’s lucky I did as the next day it had disappeared from the website (which is why there’s no link), so my timing was perfect. It’s so comfy and easy to throw on over any outfit.

3. Sunkissed Shorts, Gap, £14.99 (originally £24.99) – I actually got these in navy, but they aren’t available online so the pink will have to do. Another item (along with the cropped trousers) that was on my need to buy list and another Item I waited to drop into the sale. Totally worth it and they’ve been worn numerous times already thanks to the previously mentioned heatwave. Plus the navy colour is perfect as it goes with practically everything else already in my wardrobe!

4. Faux Patent Leather Flip Flops, Forever 21, £7.40 – Oh dear, I found myself in Forever 21 – oops. This might have been when things started to go wrong! As I do this thing where everything is such a good price that I pick it all up and then end up with a huge total at the end – it’s like Primark in that respect. Yes I did need new sandals as they look a lot smarter than my havianas, and they were super cheap – but they weren’t a necessity this month!

5. Monochrome Polka Dot Espadrilles, New Look, £9.99 – These shoes were desperately needed to replace a pair that I bought last year from Primark that have now most definitely seen better days. There was an incident with rain and a lot of puddles which means that those shoes are no longer white and they also have a bit of a dodgy smell going on. So out with the old and in with these new lovelies. They are so comfy and I just love the polka dot pattern, they’re are also perfect for the summer – you know when you want something more than flip flops but less than a ballet pumps. I never seem to find much clothing wise in New Look, but I love the shoes.

6. Essential Tank in cream and light pink, Forever 21, £2.00 each  – A bit boring, but essentials to replace others that are dying in my wardrobe.

July

7. Multicoloured Striped Top, Forever 21, £12.75 – Again not needed, but I love it and have worn it a lot already. Plus it’s a light jumper and we know how much I love jumpers!

8. Wild Garden Print Racerback Tank, Forever 21, £9.75 – This is such a summery vest and it was sorely needed. Plus it works perfectly with both my trousers and shorts.
9. F&F Fit and Flare Dress, Tesco, £0 (gift, originally £25) – Okay so this dress isn’t included on the adding up of my spending this month as it was a present from my Mum but I wanted to include it as I love it so much. My Mum and I were in Tesco’s picking up some last minute barbecue bits and I ended up trying on a lot of things. This dress was one of them. I decided against buying it preferring the other items and also not knowing when I’d wear it as it’s quite smart and all the events coming up where I could wear it had outfits planned already. Anyway my Mum loved it so much on me that she bought it for me – total love right there. It turns out that this was doubly lovely as the next day I was organising my outfit for a wedding at I discovered that the zip on the dress I had bought for the occasion back in March (see here) was broken and therefore I wasn’t going to be able to wear that dress. I was so angry but thanks to Mummy Evans I had a dress on hand all ready to wear.
10. F&F Floral Floppy Skirt, Tesco, £12 – I’ve actually been searching for a skirty that I can wear without leggings for ages. So many skirts at the moment are unbelievably short that I have visions of flashing to all and sundry and I don’t want to have to wear leggings all the time, I mean my legs are never going to get brown at that rate right?! So discovering this skirt was a bit of a eureka moment. There was so many other patterns and colours that I was seriously tempted to get more that one. but i’ve stopped myself, for now at least. Also it’s not too summery so I will easily be able to wear this with tights and boots in the winter.
11. Red flowered dress, Tesco, £25 – So I saw this and couldn’t resist. I love the tea dress style and again it’s long enough to wear to work bare legged – anyone else sensing a theme? – and will work in the winter with tights and boots too.

Plus…

Metallic Striped Scarf, Forever 21, £8.40 – totally not needed, but so pretty!

Blue patterend top, Sainsbury’s, £7 (originally £14) – so I saw this on sale when I was food shopping, some how it found it’s way into my basket.

Maxi dress, Tesco, £22.00 – Another much needed item I plan on wearing this to death when I’m in Wales – in fact as this is posting while I’m away I’m probably wearing it right now!

I also picked up a couple of essential items –

Two pairs of pajamas, Primark, £16
Workout trousers, Primark, £7

Total = £186 – £37.50 items sold = £148.50
Surprisingly I’m only over my budget by £28.50 when you take off the money I made by selling a few things.
I’m linking up with Franish and the rest of the Budgeting Bloggers.
Lau xx
p.s. apologies for the bad formatting, wordpress was not cooperating and I gave up in the end!

June budget bloggers link up

So it’s time for the June budget blogger link up where we look at what I have been buying this month? Honestly, I found it really hard to stick to my budget this month. It didn’t help that by the 7th of June I’d already spent over half of my allotted money – oopsy daisy! With that said I don’t think I did too badly, especially as Gap had a 20% off day and I’d been eyeing up some shorts and cropped trousers for what seems like forever. I have managed to stop myself buying them for now, but I’m 90% certain as soon as another voucher finds it’s way into my inbox and I’m into July I will be purchasing! As you can see I had a bit of a spree in H&M. Why do I always do that? Go into a shop and spend lots on nothing? I didn’t get anything that I actually needed and yet I spent almost £40, which is a third of my monthly budget. Next month I will try to do better and stop myself from doing this.

Budget Bloggers - June

 (1) Yellow jumper, – £12.99, (3) Grey speckled vest – £5.99, (4) Grey aztec patterned vest – £12.99 (5) White Long Vest – £3.99. So now we come to my H&M haul. The only thing I’m really happy with in this lot is the white vest as it’s a basic that I really needed. I do absolutely love the bright yellow jumper – I mean it’s a jumper, and it’s bright yellow. What’s not to love? The only problem is that it’s a bit too big. I went for the size small, but it’s still a bit baggy, I know that this is probably how it’s meant to look, but I think I’d prefer it if it was a bit more fitted. Again it’s another thing that I’m debating with myself about, it may well be on ebay soon too. The two grey tops – yes two – are both good, and needed, but they’re a bit blah. I keep finding myself choosing something else to wear rather than them.

(2) ASOS Skater Dress in Cheetah Print – £25.00 Okay, this dress I absolutely love. I’ve been looking for a patterned dress for quite some time, so once I spotted this on ASOS there wasn’t really a question about whether I should buy it or not. Plus my sister has a premium ASOS account so I was able to use her free next day delivery, which is definitely a great bonus.

(6) White and grey spotted long sleeved top, Zara via charity shop – £5.00 – I picked this top up in my local charity shop, it’s a bit of a bad picture, but there are tiny silver/grey stars all over it. I really love the pattern, but I’m not sure it’s exactly me. I’m not a huge fan or shirts, I find them uncomfortable, but I am hoping that this will be okay because it doesn’t have a full collar. We’ll have to wait and see, for now I’m keeping it, but it may just find itself on eBay in the not too distant future.

(7) Tote bag, Accessorize – £42.00 (similar) I found a new bag – yippee. I’m actually in love. I’ve been looking for a decent size bag for what seems like forever. The lining of my other favourite bag has completely ripped so I really do need this. I have to admit it was a completely unexpected purchase as I saw it and just had to buy it straight away. Also don’t you love the handy way I found to display it for the photo!

Leggings, Topshop – £12.00 (not pictures) – a bit boring, but definitely needed. I had a long argument discussion with my sister about whether leggings count towards the monthly spend, my view is that they’re in the underwear category along with tights and therefore they shouldn’t be included. She doesn’t agree so I’ve left them in.

I make that a total of £114.96 – so just under my £120 budget. Can you believe it? Hmm, maybe I should have gone to Gap after all!

For July I’ve got a couple of bits that I need to get as I’ll be off to Dublin in the first week of the month and then I’m headed to Wales for a week at the end.The plan is to fill a couple of holes in my closet and find shorts, cropped trousers and a new swimming costume of some kind. Currently the only one I have that isn’t too big is a basic speedo swimsuit. It would be nice to have something a bit more exciting just in case the Welsh sunshine makes an appearance and I can get onto the beach! Although I’m worried that i’m setting myself up to fail by thinking about what I want to get – hopefully not. Of course I will let you know how it all goes next month.

I’m linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers.

Lau xx

Making better shopping choices – budgeting bloggers

This past month I decided to set myself a challenge to only spend a set amount on clothes, shoes and accessories. One fashion blogger I follow is Franish who shares what she buys each month, along with a group of Budgeting Bloggers. They each stick to their own budgets and at the end of each month share all their purchases, take a look at this month’s post right here. I like the idea of this and from reading their posts over the past few months not only have I realised that this is a hard thing to do, but also it makes you think a lot more about what you are spending. In fact there have been quite a few times since I started reading their posts that I’ve mentally totted up what I spend a month and been slightly appalled at the high figure and the lack of complete outfits to show from it! Plus I want need new running trainers soon and I want to be able to buy them with real money rather than the plastic kind! So this month I’ve decided to give it a go and thus settled on £140 as my total. It might sound like a lot, but it’s an amount that I can afford and it’s less than I spend most months so It’s probably still going to be hard to do. Ideally I’d like to spend closer to £120 but I thought that to start with it would be better to give myself more for the first month in the hope that I can actually complete this challenge rather than cause an epic failure and then not attempt it again!

So here’s what I’ve purchased in May.

May Clothing

1. Black maxi skirt – £12.80 (original price £16.00), Dorothy Perkins in the Debenhams Blue Cross sale. I’ve been looking for a long black skirt for a good couple of months, it’s something that I can see myself wearing a lot over the summer; at work, on weekends and of course on holidays. But I haven’t been able to find one. I’ve been after the Primark version and they never have it in my size, so when I saw this one in the Debenhams blue cross I knew I had to grab it. It’s only a little bit more that the Primark one, but I know it’s by far a better quality version.

2. Cream cardigan – £5.00 (half price), H&M – a bit of a boring one, but again I’ve been after a neutral coloured basic cardigan for ages. This one was half price in the pre summer sales so I snapped it up asap, I’ve already worn it loads of times too.

3. Leopard print Converse – £44.99, Office – More converse have been in my mind since Christmas and even made it onto my birthday list, though they weren’t received. I’ve actually been eyeing these up since the beginning of the month, but finally gave in and bought them a few days ago. I’m still waiting for them to be delivered so I haven’t actually been able to wear them yet, but I can’t wait. With the UK weather still pretty miserable these are going to be perfect for those days when pumps won’t do. I wanted something a bit lighter than my normal converse and also a bit more exiting. Let’s be honest, these are certainly going to jazz up any outfit!

4. Red Herring aztec print t-shirt – £14.40 (original price £18.00), Debenhams Blue Cross sale – this is one of those purchases where I saw it and had to have it. I love the colour and the print of this, it’s just makes me smile looking at it. Also the number of compliments I’ve had wearing it means it was definitely worth it. I actually tried this on with the black skirt and it’s a ready made outfit so here’s hoping we’ll have some sunny weather soon so that it can have it’s first outing!

5. Blazer – £47.50 (using a 15% off voucher) Gap – yes, a blazer, I finally found a blazer. I am super excited about this. I’ve been needing a casual blazer for ages now as I have to keep borrowing one of my sister’s three (yes she has three and I have none), if I want to wear something other than my leather jacket or winter coat! This has a gorgeous striped lining as well as luminous orange piping which make it a bit more fun than just your normal bog standard grey blazer. I’m tempted to change the buttons to something a bit more exciting, but I’m not sure what yet. Watch this space.

I make that a grand total of £124.69

Surprisingly I am under budget this month, which I’m quite impressed with as at one point I certainly thought that I was going to go over, but I managed to reign myself in and honestly I definitely put more thought into what I was buying. I’m pleased I have been able to tick off two big purchases this month, items that I have been needing and searching for for a good few months- the blazer and the converse.

This month I did return a pair of shorts which helped as they were a bit too big. Plus I also returned a couple of things that i’d bought last month which gave me £45 back. It was tempting to add this onto May’s total to give myself more to spend, but then I realised that I should put it towards my running shoes instead. I’ve got my eye on quite a pricey pair of Nikes, so I’m going to need every little bit!

I think i’m definitely going to carry on with this monthly budget malarkey next month. Although for June I think i’ll cut the budget down to £120, It’s more what I want to spend and this month has shown that I can do it.

I did also order two pairs of jeans in the Gap sale. This pair and this pair. I’ve been admiring these for ages and now there in the sale I had to purchase them, plus i’ve been after some news skinny jeans for ages. I don’t plan on keeping both pairs but I just want to see which colour look best. These will be part of next month’s budget seeing as they haven’t yet arrived, but I wanted to share them with you all and let you know that Gap have some great items in their sale at the moment.

One more note that might amuse you is this… When I mentioned I was going to stick to a monthly clothes budget to my youngest sister she was shocked. And I don’t mean shocked by me sticking to a budget – although I’m sure that was probably part of it, but shocked by how much I was planning to spend on clothes a month. She didn’t understand how I could spend that much. Let me first explain that she’s a student so she does have limited amount of money to live off. Plus as a student she can wear the same pair of ripped jeans and hole ridden jumper three days in a row without anyone batting an eyelid. I on the other hand have a job to look presentable for. Thank god I don’t have to wear smart suits though – that would eat into my monthly budget even more! The other thing about Becca is that she’s very particular about buying clothes. Every item has to be exactly what she wants. If it’s got one too many buttons, is the wrong shade of blue or looks a little off then she won’t buy it – the perks of being a skinny Minnie – which is great, but sometimes her persnickety-ness works against her. For me I’m still getting out of the mindset that something fits therefore I have to buy it. I don’t have to do that anymore I can be pickier, I can be fussy. But honestly it’s hard to get there. I guess after 15 plus years of having to find things that fit, It’s a bit of a luxury to but things that I like. Come to think of it this is possibly why I’ve been overspending recently!

Does anyone else have a monthly budget? How do you do each month? Please let me know below/leave links I’d be intrigued to learn more.

Lau xxx

p.s. Fifibean did you spot your favourite word? I’m kind of imagining you laughing as you read it! :p