Clothing Confessions

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So, I mentioned that I may have spent quite a bit of money on clothes in the past week or so.  I wasn’t kidding.  I think for the number of items I got, I didn’t actually spend that much.  I will see what you think.

The first place I went was a resale store called Ditto.  I had a full stamp card, which entitled me to $20 off. And I sold back two tops for $6.00.  They were also having a sale where you buy one tank top, get one 50% off.  (I think it went for all tops, because 2 of my non-tank top shirts ended up being 50% off as well). I ended up spending $10.31 at this store, and this is what I got:

1 tank top ($4)
1 tank top (Originally $2, but 50% off, so $1)
1 sweater ($12)
3/4 sleeve shirt ($10)
3/4 sleeve shirt (Originally $8, but 50% off, so $4)
1 long-sleeved shirt (Originally $8, but 50% off, so $4)

The total before my $20 for my stamp card and $6 for selling back clothes came to $35.00.  After tax I paid just a little over $10!  Not too bad!

The next store I went to was Plato’s Closet.  This is also a resale store, so prices are pretty low.  My stamp card wasn’t completely full, and there weren’t any really great sales, so I paid “full price” for their items, which ends up being much lower than if I would have bought them new at the mall.  I ended up paying $60.87.  Here is what I got:

1 short dress ($5.00)
1 belt ($6.00)
1 pair of black leggings ($4.00)
1 pair of charcoal grey leggings ($5.00)
1 short dress ($7.00)
1 black maxi skirt ($9.00)
1 striped tank top ($4.00)
1 striped cardigan ($8.00)
1 long sleeved top ($8.00)

Now, if you notice, I have not bought any new pants, which is really what I needed at this point.  The two stores I went into just didn’t have any selection of work trousers.  Because of that I ended up going to a 3rd store: Ross.  This store isn’t a resale store, but they have newer fashions that are marked down from department store prices.  I ended up spending quite a bit of money here, but a chunk of it went to a new pair of tennis shoes for Hubs.  If I take that out of the equation, I ended up spending $67.86 on clothing for myself.  Here is what I got there:

1 top/sweater set ($13.99)
1 dressy sleeveless shirt (Originally $14.99, on sale for $9.99)
1 black and white striped top ($7.99)
1 pair of black trousers (Originally $12.99, on sale for $8.99)
1 pair of black trousers ($12.99)
1 long sleeved blue and grey striped top (Originally $6.99, on sale for $4.99)
1 long sleeved pink top (Originally $4.99, on sale for $3.39)

One thing to note is that almost all of the tops that I bought during my trips can be paired with a number of different pants: trousers, skirts, jeans, etc.  This makes them much more versatile.  I am able to create more than just 1 look from each top.

For a grand total of $139.04 I bought 22 items!  That comes to an average of $6.32 an item.  I think I am ready for fall!  I am already well stocked for winter, so I don’t foresee me buying any new clothes for about a year.  I am hoping to add a line item in our budget for clothing.  I know Hubs is in need of some new items, and come next fall, I would rather have a large sum saved up instead of having to dip into savings.

I do feel guilty about buying myself clothes, but in all honesty most of my fall clothes are ones that I got when I first started teaching (I am starting my 8th year this year).  I have a stack of clothes that I will be donating to Goodwill in order to clean out my closet and really get rid of those items I just don’t wear.  (This is one good thing about Hubs wearing a uniform to work.  We don’t have to worry about buying him new work clothes, too.)

The next big shopping trip I have planned is in September.  I will be going to the consignment sale to get winter items for Miss C.  I don’t think I will spend as much as I have in the past, as I have quite a few 2T items already stocked up in the basement.  I have a lovely friend who has handed down many clothes to us, which makes life much easier (and less expensive).

When was the last time you bought yourself some new clothes?  Do you have to buy clothes for work or do you have a uniform that you wear?

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Two-fer Tuesday

So I have been trying to hide from the world lately.  The past two months have just been killer.  I feel like we keep getting hit with bad news or something bad just keeps coming up.  It hasn’t stopped.  I am hoping that with a new month comes a new outlook on life.  I am no longer hoping for good or great days.  I would just like a normal, stuck-in-a-rut kind of day.

Today our baby had her 18 month appointment.  She had to get one shot and had to have blood drawn from both arms.  Hubs was with her, and from what he has described, it was a horrible experience.  I was almost in tears as he told me about having to hold her down and hold her arms straight as they drew blood.  I don’t know if I could have handled it.  I am so thankful that he has gone to her last few appointments.  I am going to start taking time off work to go to them, so he is not on his own.

Most everything is going well with the little nugget.  She is definitely little.  3rd percentile for weight, 7th percentile for height.  The doctor did think she needed to be saying more words and talking more than she is now.  I honestly am not concerned at all.  She can say about 4 words (that we can understand), but she has so many other cognitive, logical, and reasoning skills, that I know she will develop her speech when she is ready.  She can follow 1- and 2-step directions.  She can do her alphabet puzzle.  She can problem solve by mimicking someone else.  She can match pairs of shoes.  She can build with her mega-blocks.  She loves books.  I think she is working so hard on all her other skills, that her language will come when she is ready.  It is not as though she is silent.  She is rather loud at times, she just makes noise, babbles, and yells instead of trying to form words.

Aside from that, tomorrow I go back to the surgeon for my follow-up appointment.  I hope all is well.  I feel fine, and I am not terribly sore or sensitive where the incision sites are.  I guess we will find out tomorrow if I am healing well.

menu-plan-mondaySince I haven’t been keeping up with the blog, I have a few things to write about.  The first will be my menu plan for this upcoming week.  I rarely miss a menu plan Monday, but honestly, I didn’t have a menu yesterday.  During my plan time at work, I got one written out, made a grocery list, and then went grocery shopping after work.  It is a pretty simple plan:

Monday: Pasta Toss (We had everything at home to make this)
Tuesday: Chicken stir-fry
Wednesday: Baked Ravioli
Thursday: Philly Cheesesteaks
Friday: Spaghetti

I plan to go back to the grocery store on Saturday, so I haven’t worked on my plan for the weekend.  It is a pretty simple menu, which is what I need at this point in my life.

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Next I have Saturday Cents, but it’s on Tuesday.  Tuesday Cents just doesn’t sound as cool though.

First, this weekend I had Saturday to myself, so I decided to take my March Madness winnings and go shopping!  I have needed some new clothes desperately, and I was happy to buy some new ones.  I ended up only buying from a discount store and two consignment stores.  I did go into a couple big box stores and a department store, but I was appalled at the prices.  Here is the breakdown of everything I got and the prices that go with them (I paid only cash for all purchases):

Discount Store (Ross Dress for Less)
Skinny jeans: $9.99
Chevron shirt: $7.99
Striped dress: $9.99
Teal shirt: $7.99
Canvas shoes: $13.99
Total: $56.47

Consignment Store #1 (Ditto)
Gap white cami: $4.00
American Eagle jeans: $6.00
Bullhead jean capris: $16.00
Gap top: $8.00
Paper Denim & Cloth skinny jeans: $12.00
Noir Jeans: $6.00
American Eagle shirt: $0.00
Total: $56.52

Consignment Store #2 (Plato’s Closet)
Shirt: $3.00
Shirt: $7.00
Shirt: $7.00
Total: $18.48

Not too bad for the prices!  A lot of new clothes for just over $130!  I had $164, so I stayed well under-budget!  Woo-hoo!  Not too shabby!

Now for my grocery shopping run-down from today.  No HUGE deals, but there were a few good ones.  The big event they have right now is mix and match 4 specified items and save $4.00. (So a savings of $1.00 off each item bought.)  You have to buy 4 in order for the savings to occur, though.

Total Budgeted: $180 (Some was rolled over from last week)
Total Spent: $149.58
Total Saved: $37.86

Best Deals

12 Pack Bounty Papertowels
Regular Price: $16.79
On sale: $13.99
E-coupon: -$1.00
Total: $12.99

Generic Brand Vitamins
Regular Price: $8.99
On sale: $6.74
Coupon: -$1.25
Total: $5.49

Ghirardelli Chocolates (x2 bags)
Regular Price: $3.99 ($7.98)
On sale: 2/$6.00
E-coupon: -$1.00
Total: $5.00

Nutrigrain Bars (x2)
Regular Price: $3.89 ($7.78)
On sale: $2.99 ($5.98)
Mega-Event Savings: -$2.00
Total: $3.98

Store Brand Chicken Tenderloins
Regular Price: $9.74
On Sale: $6.95

Pampers Baby Wipes (x2)
Regular Price: $6.57 ($13.14)
On Sale: $5.99 ($11.98)
Mega-Event Savings: -$2.00
Total: $9.98

Stauffer’s Frozen Meals (x5)
Regular Price: $2.69 or $2.99 ($14.05)
On sale: 5/$10.00

PopSecret Popcorn
Regular Price: $3.95
On Sale: $2.50
Coupon: -$1.00
Total: $1.50

So, there ya have it!  Nothing too major, but not too shabby saving almost $40.

I hope to be back tomorrow or Thursday with my May goals.  They are going to look much different than my goals have looked in the past.

Have you found any great deals lately?

Friday Finances

1655997_10101908331136069_156095651_nI spent Wednesday evening at a huge consignment sale with my mom.  This is the third time I have been to this specific one, and it was the busiest we have ever seen it.  We walked away with some amazing deals!

I budgeted $150 to spend on Miss C’s wardrobe.  The money came from my two photo shoots I had this month.  I did awesome at staying under budget!  I also took an extra $50 for anything extra/gifts/miscellaneous items I ended up finding while there.  Again, I stayed under budget in this area too!

Here is a break down of everything:

For clothing for Miss C I spent $119.50 + tax
I bought one book for Miss C which was $3.00 + tax
The other items I bought are surprises, but I spent $37.00 + tax

Subtotal: $159.50
Tax: $13.56
Total Paid (in cash!): $173.06

Here are the items for Miss C’s wardrobe that I came away with:

7 sets of pajamas (1 set came with top, pants, and shorts. 1 set came with top, pants, and another top)
8 onesies
5 one-piece summer outfits (romper type of outfits)
7 two-piece summer outfits ( either top & skirt, top & bloomers, top & shorts, dress & bloomers)
1 three-piece summer outfit (top, capris, shorts)
4 two-piece spring or fall outfits (long pants and a top)
1 three-piece spring/fall outfit (long pants, long-sleeved onesie, hoodie)
3 separate tops
3 pairs of long pants
2 pairs of capris
6 pairs of shorts
1 jean skirt

We are ready for spring and summer!

As for other finances, we are going to be over our halfway point for savings tomorrow!  We are about $6 away, but I received a check today from a client for extra images.  That will put us over the $1,000 mark!  Woo-hoo!

I have already set up our March budget, and we should be able to add another $300 to our savings!  It will all come from photo sessions.  Our paydays are a bit off for the month of March, so we will wait until the beginning of April to put some in our savings from our paychecks.

I hope to be back tomorrow with all of my March goals!  I can’t believe March is going to be here tomorrow!

How are your finances looking?

 

Challenge Updates

Hello readers!  I am back to get caught up with our September challenges!

First challenge: Savings Challenge

I am doing ok with this challenge.  Unfortunately I did spend some money today that was not in the budget.  We took the dogs to get some vaccinations and it was $15 more than I had saved up.  I covered the overage by using some of my MAD money that I had in my wallet instead of using our debit card.  I will get it sorted out and the dogs just won’t get all their money next month.

I also went to Old Navy today to see if they had any baby sweat pants.  We are putting together the coming home outfit for our little one.  My sister-in-law sent us the onesie and all that goes with it, but she didn’t find any pants to go with it.  I found a little pair for about $8.  I didn’t have any baby money from the envelope, so I used some other cash I had and will have to do some trading around with that.

Those aren’t too bad.  Here is where I strayed: I went to Target today to get a curtain.  We have a large window in the entry of our apartment.  It is very high over our front door.  Unfortunately it faces southwest, so all the afternoon/evening sun comes in and warms the place up.  We can turn down the thermostat, but the heat is too much and the place never cools down.  I found a curtain for $9.99 which was great!  The bad part was I did pick up a few clearance items from the maternity clothing section.  A lot of my shirts that I bought at the beginning of summer are starting to get too small.  I got 2 plain tops (a blue one and a white one), a tank top (white one), and I also found a fabulous pair of black dress pants for $25.  They are a touch long, but considering I don’t really have any dress pants for the winter it was worth it (and my mom will hem them for me).  All in all I spent about $55 at Target for everything and ended up using my debit card.  I am going to have to figure out where I want the money to come from since I don’t have that much money in the clothing envelope.

Second Challenge: Eat Your Pantry Month

This is going well.  I did not do a big grocery shop this week, but instead went to the little store in our town.  I spent about $30 on refilling some items that we were out of (milk, cereal, pop, etc.).  I think I can make it until Saturday without having to do a big shopping trip to the grocery store.  We are eating what we have in the house instead of buying new things!  If I am able to make it without going to the store, I may be able to use the grocery money I saved this week to cover the clothing purchases today.

Third Challenge: September Photo-a-day

I cheated a bit on this one.  For the past three days I have composed shots in my head, but did not take them with my camera.  Today I took those mentally composed shots and actually photographed them.  Here they are:

Prompt: Bright

The window that we are planning on covering is above this door.  This is how much light comes in from just the window on our front door.  The large window above lets in a whole lot more!

Prompt: From the mailbox

This is where mail goes to die in my house.  I have a stack on my counter that I need to sort through.  I do open all my mail, but I don’t necessarily do a good job at putting it away where it belongs.

Prompt: Everyday

Today was the most un-everyday day.  I didn’t go to work like I do everyday.  I had a doctor’s appointment which I don’t have everyday.  Hubs and I took the dogs to the vet which we don’t do everyday.  We ate lunch out together which we don’t do everyday.   (We used a coupon and gift cards, so we only spent $2 on tip which came from the correct envelope.)  It was kind of hard to figure out what to do for today.  This is a photo of my planner.  I have everything nice and color coded and check it at least once everyday.  If I don’t have this with me, then there is a good chance I am forgetting about something I was supposed to do.

So there ya have it!  I need to update my September Challenges page with all of my tracking, but I think I am doing ok with all of the challenges.  How is your September going so far?

Can I Get a Medal?

I was a lazy photographer yesterday. I took 2 pictures. They were later in the evening, and I took them just because I knew I needed a photo for my blog today. Usually I am pretty motivated to take pictures, but for some reason I wasn’t motivated to do squat yesterday.

That’s right, I did nothing yesterday! I tutored, had a brown-bag lunch gathering with my friends, then came home and did nothing. I had things on my to-do list, and I just ignored it. I did keep up with my goal for this week and completed my nightly routine (although it was later than it should have been).

Today I have done a bit more, and I think I deserve a pf medal! First, I went to Hobby Lobby to get some red ribbon to finish up the last couple cards for my students. And I managed to leave Hobby Lobby with only red ribbon. It is one of my favorite stores and is very hard to go in and not just browse. I knew I didn’t have any extra money to spend there, so I went straight to the ribbon, picked up what I needed, and then left.

Second, it is still pretty hot. Not as hot as the past few days, but definitely nowhere near the idea of cool. I went to the grocery store, and one of the first things you see when you walk into the grocery store is a Starbucks. I would have loved a nice caramel frappuccino, but I stood strong and walked right by. I kept that $5 in my checking account and continued on my shopping trip.

Now, here is my lazy photographer picture from yesterday. Isn’t he darling 🙂

Friday Update

This week has been terrible with money. I can give you a number of excuses for it, but what it comes down to is that I was not very disciplined and spent too much.

Usually Hubs and I get groceries on Sunday evening, but that did not happen. I did not drag myself to the grocery store until Wednesday, so we ate out on Monday and Tuesday. If I would have just gone to the grocery store on Monday after tutoring, we would have been fine.

On Thursday one of the teacher stores in town was having a 20% off sale, and I still needed some things for my classroom. I ended up spending almost $100. I suppose I didn’t have to do this, but my students would have been lacking some of the items I need in order to implement a new literacy system in my classroom.

Hubs had breakfast out with his work friends. I had lunch out with a friend on Thursday and with a few friends on Friday. Again, this was not a need, but there are times that we need to socialize ourselves.

July always just seems to be a weird month for money. Our car tags needed to be renewed and it was about $400. I had put aside about $200 of that, so the other $200 came out of our checking account. This was already money I knew would have to come out, so it didn’t have to be covered by our savings.

We also had the vet bill this week, which wasn’t a whole lot, but still $80 is hard to part with when you have so much debt to pay down. Next week is a new week, so I will try much harder!

Here are a few goals for this upcoming week:
*Track expenses- I have a tendency to just check the online banking, which works well because we use our debit card for about everything. The thing I don’t like is that I have no written record of them.
*Get to school at least 3 times to work in my classroom (and bring my lunch each time). I went to school last Tuesday and then am planning to go up for a few hours tomorrow.
*Work on getting a more regular sleep schedule. I need more sleep than the average person. I have been this way my entire life, and I am ok with it. In the summer I usually sleep about 8 hours a night and then take a nap during the day. The nap can be up to 2 hours and still not affect me when it’s time to go to sleep at night. Unfortunately, this is not a possibility during the school year. I need to start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier to prepare myself for August.
*Finish cards for my first grade friends. I am going to send them all a card to welcome them to 1st grade before school begins. Hopefully this will get them excited about school starting!
*Have at least 4 no spend days. I don’t know what qualifies for a “no spend day” in the PF blogging world, but my no spend days will include any spending that I physically have to do. Bills being automatically withdrawn from my account will not count.
*Finish my book. I want to do this over the weekend so my colleague can have the chance to look at it before school starts. It is a great book and I will do a review on it when I finish.

That is all I can think of for now. I will continue to have my normal goals, such as blog each day, take a picture each day, keep the house clean, etc. I am starting to work on my goals for the school year. Hopefully I will have them ready to post on the first day we go back (Aug. 10).

Anyone have any fun planned for the weekend?

Here is my picture from yesterday, as well as another picture to help with the story. As we all know, Bandit like to rub up against thing. He is a male dog and rarely humps anything, but he does enjoy rubbing up against furniture, wet laundry, dryer sheets, dead bugs, etc. He had gotten finished with a nice rub up against the couch and went to lie down in the sun. When we looked over at him, we noticed something was a little off. See if you can figure it out 🙂

When we looked over at him, both of his ears were flipped backwards. This happens occasionally, and he will shake his head to fix them, but apparently it didn’t bother him at this point. Maybe he was enjoying being able to hear extra well. 🙂

Once I flipped his ears back (after I had taken a picture, of course), I put my hand out and he so sweetly laid his head in my hand so I could snap another glamour shot of him. Here is his best attempt at looking as pathetic as possible.


I may be a little biased, but he sure is one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. 🙂

Expensive Careers

*If you are looking for my How we Manage Our Money Pt. 2 post, it will be coming later today. Don’t know what I am talking about? Check out Part 1 here.

Today I spent some money. I really do have a lot of no-spend days, and I think I am going to try and keep track of them in August to see how many we really have. We just really don’t go out and spend that much money. But today I went out with a purpose and bought what I needed.

As many of you know, I am a public school teacher. I teach in an elementary school, and even though I am just beginning my 5th year, I will be changing grade levels for my third time. Here’s a quick background: I taught my first two years in 2nd grade, then spent two years in a multi-age classroom (3rd/4th grade combination), and now am going to be teaching 1st grade. I have to say that my favorite grade has been 3rd grade, and I hope to someday get back to teaching the big kids.

Some of you may not know, but the United States is in a budget crisis (shocking, I know). Education seems to get cut every six months, which means less and less money to educate the children. A lot of times when education gets cut, the teachers end up not receiving any money to use in their classrooms. I have always spent money on my classroom, and last year I actually stayed within the budget. (Basically all the money I spent was reimbursed by the PTO). I managed to do that because the older kids don’t seem to need as many cutesy things for the classroom or as many supplies for fun projects or whatnot. The little kids still need those things.

Since I am starting a new grade (again), I have to get some supplies. This summer I have already spent about $125 on my classroom. This includes some posters, professional books, buckets, bins, name tags, rewards, etc. Some people may not think that kids really need these things in their classroom, but if you were to drop off your 1st grade child for his/her first day of school, and they walked into a bare classroom with nothing fun, bright, or colorful, then you might worry about your child’s school experience that year.

I went shopping today with the sole reason of buying some bins/buckets/baskets for my classroom library. I have some old bins that I bought 5 years ago that have seen better days. They are falling apart and little pieces of plastic flake off often. Now, the bins I bought 5 years ago were $1 each at Dollar Tree. If we figure out price per year, that comes to $0.25 per bucket per year. If we figure out the price per day of school (180 days x 4 years = 720 days) it comes out to be $0.0014 per bucket per day. Not too shabby.

I went back to Dollar Tree (which I have been checking every few weeks for bins) and I managed to find some! I ended up buying about 20 bins/buckets/baskets, which was $20 + tax. Yay for a nice organized classroom library!

Now, while I was shopping for my classroom, it got me thinking about expensive careers. I realize that every job has basics that you have to pay for: transportation to/from work, lunch during work (whether you buy groceries and pack or go out), etc. But I am having a hard time coming up with another job that involves spending so much of one’s personal money to ensure that you are able to do the job to the best of your abilities.

For those who are unfamiliar with how public education works (at least in my district), we are given board-approved materials that we use to teach math, science, social studies, and language arts. We also have access to basic classroom materials: construction paper, markers, laminator, copier, butcher paper, etc. We are given the large pieces of furniture for the classroom: shelves, desks, tables, chairs, teacher desk, teacher chair. We are not given the “extras”: materials for calendar (a big part of the day in primary classrooms), bulletin board materials (I use fabric because it lasts longer), posters, morning work materials, miscellaneous supplemental materials, buckets/bins/baskets, name tags for desks, puzzles/games for recess, books for a classroom library, etc. Teachers have to use their own money if they want any “extras” (some which are expected, such as calendar supplies) for their classroom.

Each year we have about $100-$200 allotted from the district (although that often gets taken away because of budget constraints) and have about $100 from the PTO. To use the money from the district, we have to order something from a catalog, fill out a requisition form, go through the district office, etc. We can’t just go out and buy something at a teacher store or Target and then bring in a receipt to get reimbursed. We are able to bring in receipts for the PTO money.

While at the Dollar Tree, trying to hold onto about 20 bins because I didn’t want to bother with a cart) I started to wonder what would happen if a CEO were told that he/she had to spend their own personal money to do their job. I wonder how the president would feel if he was told he had to pay for “extras” like round-the-clock security, or the lawn/garden guy at the White House. I am thinking that may not fly. But teachers are expected to do it.

Are there other professions out there who do have to use their own personal money for job-related expenses? I haven’t thought of any, but I would love to hear some. (I realize a lot of self-employed people spend quite a bit of their own money, especially at start-up. I was thinking more of people who are hired on as employees.)

Don’t get me wrong, I would not change my career for anything. I did not get into it because of money, and I knew going in that I would not be making tons of moolah. I did not realize how much of my own money I would have to spend, though.

I truly love teaching and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
*I will put up a picture tomorrow of my new book bins/baskets/buckets.

On a lighter note, here is a picture of the deep thinker in our family.