Ignore the weird smirky face in this picture.
I have no idea what that was about.
What I Wore:
Skirt & Belt: Amazon.com - $25
Shirt: Forever21 - $6
Necklace: Francesca's - $10
Shoes: Target - $15 (+DIY captoe)
Black Pearl Earrings: gift
This week, I have been volunteering at a summer camp my school has every year for underprivileged kids. While the age group is certainly below my level of expertise (4th-5th grade), I have really enjoyed my time teaching these kids--and it reminds me of how fortunate I am that I teach in a school that does not have the same concerns as many other schools in the area. Because I was in a semi-classroom setting, I decided to dress accordingly in some warmer-weather teacher attire for the past few days...but I also have to consider sitting in a classroom as a student in the evenings--so I opted for as close to "casual teacher in hot weather" as I could get. At least at that moment.
In my last post, I started a conversation about shopping habits--and how I try to curb my spending by maintaining a running "wish list" for all things apparel related. Having a sensible budget and written out list of quality and versatile items with which I can maximize my remixability has truly kept me grounded--and from spending way too much on impulse items. Before I created my wish list, I impulse bought like crazy.
Target shirt for $3? Sure, toss it in with the groceries! Five more? They're only $3 each!
You know. That kind of shopping.
Now that I have some kind of clothing "goal" to accomplish (trust me--my OCD loves checking items off of to-do lists!), I think a lot more before I buy an item--and often put items back after walking around the store with them. (Of course, though, if I see something not on my list and I'm 100% sold on it when I see it...it usually comes home with me. I just don't break that easily anymore.)
The responses to my last post got me thinking...I write a "style on a budget" blog, but I've never quite defined what my "budget" is, so I thought I'd try to explain:
Husband is insanely good at finances, first of all. That's "his job" in our relationship (Well...that and he kills spiders and takes out the trash...I wash dishes, for the record). We have separate checking accounts--and multiple savings accounts designated for different things--and he manages all of them. If it were up to me, I'd spend every paycheck on clothes--and I'd have multiple pairs of Loubies and Chanel bags galore. However, husband keeps me grounded--and we will be able to retire eventually thanks to his planning and insanely awesome foresight.
I realize that many people might find this division of money strange--but this system really works for us (and having separate checking accounts prevents the other from narrowing down birthday and Christmas gifts...!). Even though we have separate accounts, we have an understanding that this is our family's money. It's not my account--and our savings accounts aren't just his. It's ours.
The most important thing about our finances, other than viewing it as our mutual assets, is that we pay for everything in cash. We do not have any credit debt--our only debt is our mortgage and, I repeat, we do not buy things for which we cannot pay cash (including bigger ticket things like cars--we own both of our cars and we plan to only pay cash for them in the future).
Basically, we have divided my paycheck like this:
- 35% goes into savings immediately (it's direct deposited. I don't even see it. That should tell you something about my shopping impulses...!)
- 10% is reserved from each paycheck to remain in my checking account (I just pretend that this portion of my paycheck doesn't exist--or I try to do so). This 10% builds over time (some times more than others), and acts as my "padding" just in case.
- With part of what's left, I buy groceries, dinners out, minor bills, and all things related to the house (toiletries, light bulbs, filters--you name it). This is probably about 35-40% of my paycheck--we eat well and healthy. I don't skimp on quality food.
- (Husband covers the other bills and still manages to save about 50% of his paycheck)
- With whatever is left over--as long as I have met my 10% reserve--I can have fun. (I certainly try to maximize the spendable 5-15% of my paycheck.)
Every now and then, the jealous-green-eyed-monster comes out and I envy other bloggers' closets (and of course their Loubies and Chanel collections), but in order to be financially responsible and conscious about our earnings (as we are definitely trying to be), I can't justify spending that kind of money, much less going into debt to have them. My future is so much more important to me than having red soles on the bottom of my heels...no matter how pretty they are.
Hopefully that gives you a better idea of how much I spend and how often I shop--and it tells you that it is possible to save and buy cute things on a teacher's salary.
PS: I'm linking my budget post up with Franishh--you can see how other bloggers budget and manage their money!