(my home office, early this AM)
Grechen’s Closet has grown quite a bit since last year (thank you WSJ and all the friendly blogs who have linked here!) and I realize that many new readers are probably not familiar with some things I refer to frequently, or reference here. When I write, I tend to write as if you’ve been reading for years. Which I understand, isn’t true for a lot of you. Just because I’ve been doing this for 10 years doesn’t mean you’ve been reading for that long (although I know a few of you have).
To that end, I’m trying to make it a bit easier to find information around here (let me know if you have any specific questions about anything, I think a FAQ page is in order?).
First, on my About page, I’ve listed my current stats: weight, height, etc., for those who wonder. I know it’s very helpful to know these details when you’re trying to figure out what/if something I’m wearing will work on your body. And admit it, you have ALWAYS wanted to know what my inseam is, haven’t you?? I also mention my current denim size, James Perse & Everlane sizes for reference. Let me know if there’s anything else relevant I left out.
Second, here is a link to my current budget. But I’m going to address that again here, and put it in a FAQ page:
Budget. This is a tough issue for me. Mostly, because this has never been a “budget” blog, nor did I ever talk about money, until June 2014, that is. Money is a sensitive subject, and it’s not something I really care to discuss. But I decided when I started my “minimal closet” journey that it was relevant, and could be helpful (both for you, and for me) and started to open up about my struggles with money and shopping, therefore opening MYSELF up to everything that comes with it, critique included.
That said, since I decided to put it out there, I now realize that I should probably be more open about how I buy what I buy on each outfit post, with more information about each item. So, I will try to do that going forward – indicate whether something was a gift, if I used credit to buy it, and/or I bought it myself. I also want to include the size, where it was made, etc., but I have to figure out a way to do that that doesn’t become too cluttered.
As I wrote in my original Budget post, I overspent WILDLY for many years on clothing/shoes/accessories. That, I have admitted to freely. I did not incur consumer debt over it, but I relied too much on my husband to shoulder most of the expenses, and I don’t have any savings at all. Now, my husband and I are on a budget and each have “discretionary” money every month to do with what we want. Since we implemented our budget in June 2014, I’ve tried to be very open about how I’ve purchased everything that I feature here, but I can do a better job. And be more clear about which items I’ve purchased with cash, which were purchased with credits, and which were gifts.
I hope I don’t complain about my financial situation, or give the impression that I’m frustrated about it. I love being on a budget, and don’t lack for anything (obviously). Having a strict limit to how much I can spend has helped me to prioritize, and realize, truly, which things are more important than others. I can go shopping now, knowing that I simply don’t have money to spend, and it feels good – it takes the pressure off.
Here is my personal budget breakdown*:
I get $200/month “discretionary” money, which I spend on my hair, beauty products, and saving for travel expenses to go see family. I refuse to spend this on clothes from now on.
I spend $175/month on Pure Barre.
After that, every thing else I earn goes into the household to pay bills and to get us debt-free by mid-2016, or sooner, hopefully.
If my husband and I decide together that we have the extra money, I might choose to allocate additional funds to specific things, like I did with the James Perse sale in November.
I earn money via:
Affiliate commissions – I earn a commission whenever one of you buys something via an affiliate link (an rstyle link, for example)
I also sometimes earn store credit in exchange for advertising; everything I buy at Shopbop I get with store credit I earn every month for displaying their widget on my sites. Same for Forzieri – I earn store credit every six months in exchange for advertising.
Everlane has been very generous, and sometimes sends me things to review, and has provided me with credit in my account to purchase things. I also earn credit whenever someone buys via my referral link. So, lately, everything I get from Everlane is purchased with credits, but in the beginning, I spent a couple hundred of my own dollars there.
I tried to do a weekly budget recap for a while, but as things do, it fell by the wayside. I will do a better job of recounting how things are paid for in each outfit post, but since we implemented our household austerity program in June, I’ve been very diligent about sticking to it. Very impressive, given my track record, but there’s work to do still. Baby steps…baby steps. I hope you’ll bear with me!
This was a very long-winded way to say that I know I can do better and be even MORE open. All I want to do, and have ever wanted to do, was to share MY story, my journey, my passion, and now my struggles to find my true self and live in my reality now that I’m in my 40’s. I hope in doing that, someone else doesn’t feel so alone. I don’t feel so alone anymore, and that is the best reward I could ask for.
So…any other questions/issues you want me to address in a FAQ? or in another post?
*I don’t have kids (which I’ve written about here), which clearly also affects how much money I can spend on “myself.” I do have a step-son who will have his Bar Mitzvah this year.