Friday, March 4, 2011

Buy Less Give More: February Spend Recap & Giving Project

 If you're new here, welcome!  You can read more about why I started Project 2011 here and here, and track my January spending here.
This month I mainly focused on getting the kid's, especially Syd some much needed clothes to hold them over until their birthdays.  I had mentioned in this post that I needed to do a little shopping, and asked where you all shopped for quality shoes and clothes for your kids.  Thank you so much for all the feedback!

I did some shoe shopping at Zappos, and bought some clothes at Carter's.  The day I left for NY I also stopped into the Gap to pick up a fresh pair of city flats and found a great pair of jeans for Syd.  All in all I think I did pretty good on picking them up some nice versatile pieces that will last a while.  Considering that the kids birthdays are in the next 2 months though, I will be asking for gift cards to Mini Boden.

Overall for the month I stuck within our budget.  For clothes spending I ended up going slightly over budget in the kid's category because of some purchases for a last minute funeral that we weren't appropriately prepared for.

Before I recap my purchases, I will say this, as the weather is starting to warm up, I am starting to think about shopping more.  It's getting a little more challenging.  BUT, I am so glad I have decided to do this project because IT IS keeping me in check!  There have been a few times I have thought about purchasing more and stopped myself thinking "I'm going to have to lay it all out on the blog.  Do I really need this right now?  Can it wait?"  If it can wait, then chances are I don't need it.  So thank you for being my shopping patrol :)  Let's get started shall we?

Category 1: Clothing 
Budget: $200 TOTAL/Actual Spent: $270 $100 for myself (considering I didn't buy anything in January, I thought this was reasonable) and $100 for the kids, which was to include clothes and shoes.  I should have known this was  bit unrealistic considering a good pair of kids shoes cost $40.  Both of these shoes will last her the rest of the year until it's time to get new fall shoes, because they are so well made.  My clothing purchases totaled $95 and the kids were the remainder.  Not included below are a jacket and a pair of dress shoes for Syd to wear to a funeral and a new leotard and ballet shoes for Taylor's ballet class.

I found the best deals at Carter's, shopping on a Tuesday which is double stamp day and I had a 20% off coupon for my entire purchase.  I wasn't going to buy anything for Taylor, but when I saw the gray/green  dress and spring outfit, I thought it was perfect for Easter, where I like to try and color coordinate the kid's outfits.  Yes, I am neurotic :)  But if you consider that moms dress their girls in matching dresses for special occasions, why can't I try to coordinate my girl and boy appropriately? 

I will say that I am having a hard time finding clothes for Syd that are both playful and age appropriate, but not too babyish.  I see some boys his age already sporting the skinny jeans and skate shoes and it just seems too old for their age.  I personally don't love the shark and monkey T-shirt below, but he loves them and if he'll put them on without a fight, then that's good enough for me.  Both of my kids have very particular taste and opinions on what they will wear.  I wonder where they get that from?

I scored on my own purchases considering the day I went to the Gap the city flats and accessories were all 40% off.
 1-5 from Carter's and 6-7 from Gap Kids
 1-2 from Carter's, 3 by Salt Water & 4 by Cienta, both from Zappos

Dress seen here, City Flats & Belt from Gap
I know that to some this may not be much of a "budget", but budgets are all a matter of perspective, and for us this works.  While I don't plan on spending $270 every month on clothes for our family, I thought it was appropriate considering the kid's growing bodies and need for new spring clothes.  I tried to focus on not sacrificing quality for the sake of a bargain, which is why I bit the bullet and paid full price for Taylor's shoes.  Everything else was on sale (Gap was having a special buy one item, get one item free the day I went in, so that's why I got him that cute plaid shirt - it was free!). 

I also didn't spend money in any other "non-necessity" categories such as home improvement, crafting, or beauty products.  We did have 5 birthday parties this month though so I had to consider shopping for presents before I made any other ancillary purchases.

My service project for the month was gathering suits and "interview appropriate" clothes for the charity Dress for Success, and you can read more about them here.  I was able to gather just over 20 suits and 3 bags of blouses, slacks, skirts and cardigans.  I considered a huge success considering the fact these are not everyday items that people usually hold onto.  I am challenging myself though in these future months to think outside the box and actually volunteer more of myself and time.  Yes, it takes time to gather items and drop them off, but I am definitely feeling the pull to do more. 

So how about you ladies?  Did you spend wisely this past month?  Did you spend intentionally, did you have some hiccups and something got you off track?  Were you able to find the time to give of yourself?  Please share your successes and struggles.  Now's the time to link up :)


  1. i really do need to spend more intentionally and stop with those impulse buys.. i'm pretty bad with those!!

  2. I'm going to try to write up a post about this in the next week or so! Fingers crossed! (And I'm impressed with your commitment to making a budget specific to your family. I think failure happens when we set up an unrealistic budget that makes it impossible to live and make necessary purchases.)

  3. You're doing good, Girl! You're totally right the "budget" part is not about the amount you set, it's just about sticking to whatever amount you decide on. And you'll always have those unexpected things pop up...but at least you're being really mindful.

    Are those flats comfortable? I have had trouble with Gap flats in the past due to my budding bunion on my right foot. Attractive.

    And did you know I used to work at the Gap?

    Also - How do you get those cool shots of your clothing items? I need. to. know.

  4. looks like you have done very well!
    intentional purchases, adorable classic pieces!
    very inspiring!

  5. I love the accountability piece of this project--having to talk about your spending choices each month probably really makes you contemplate each purchase. Great idea!

  6. I think you did great! I love all the pieces, and you got a lot of great stuff for the money.


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