August Budget…Blown

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I have a confession to make…I’m awful at budgeting. This month I did a lot more shopping than usual, with school coming up in September. I’m really trying to wear more “nice” clothes (i.e., not just the same old jeans/t-shirt combo every day) to school, but that means having to purchase more staple items for my closet. Which adds up quickly…

Left column (from top): Julep Mystery Box – $19.99, Julep Flash Sale – $19.99, Julep Intro Box – $0.01, Seche Vite Top Coat from Amazon.com – $5.10
Center: Dress from Dress Barn – $39.99 plus 20% off coupon = $31.55
Right column: Cinch Sleeve Blazer from Maurices – $49.00 (I’m pretty sure I had a discount, but I can’t remember what it was, so I’ll just put the retail price here), Merrell Sandals (similar) from DSW – $49.00 (on sale and with in-store coupon), Camel & Black Polka Dot Sweater from Old Navy (x2) – $24.95 each, Animal Bead Cluster Necklace from Dress Barn – $29.99 plus $15 off coupon = $16.00
Not pictured: 3 clearance tops & 1 clearance belt from New York and Company – $35.00
Total: $305.54

Yikes. I love shopping and getting ready for “back to school,” but this seems like a lot for one month when you put it all in one place. Especially considering that I’m on a law student’s budget right now. It’s not quite as bad when you take into account that many of these items were purchased for a specific purchase – the sandals were purchased for our honeymoon (there will be a lot of walking at Disney, so I wanted cute, comfy sandals…which are on sale right now!), and the dress is for not one but two weddings this fall. Still…I need to start budgeting better and spreading these purchases over more months instead of going crazy all at once. Especially when I have textbooks to buy soon. I also need to get better about waiting for items to go on sale (or waiting for a coupon to come in the mail, and remembering to bring said coupons with me when I go shopping) instead of buying them at full price the first time I see them.

Because I spent such a ridiculous amount this month, and because Shaun and I have finally gotten our finances fully merged into one (which is so scary and adult-sounding, but also really a great feeling!), I’m self-imposing a much stricter monthly “extra” budget from here on out. As a couple, we’ve budgeted for items like groceries, gas and household necessities, but all of the items pictured above would have to be purchased out of my “extra” account from now on. Shaun and I have agreed that I should get $150 for extras each month, so in addition to being accountable to my husband, I’m hoping that the limited amount combined with blogging about it will keep me accountable from now on. That means I’m going to have to be better about planning my purchases and using coupons to get the most bang for my buck each month!

Are you a good budgeter, either by choice or necessity? Or do you have to have strict self-imposed rules, like me?

Linking up with Franishh’s Budgeting Bloggers!

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2 responses »

  1. I think for a back to school shopping month, you did get some great purchases. Classic sweaters (duh, love them), blazers and sandals are things you will need for many future occasions. A lot of times I’ll try on things in stores, and then order on line because there are almost always codes flying around, especially at places like Old Navy.

    • That’s a great idea! I do really love all of the items I got, in that way I don’t feel like I “wasted” money. It was just a lot to spend in one month. Hopefully keeping better track will help me avoid that from now on!

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