June 2015 Accountability Update

I hope all those in the U.S. had a great July 4th weekend (and that everyone else had a nice weekend, too).  Mine was more low-key than usual, as my sweet kitty Coco had to have five teeth extracted on Friday and I wanted to stay close by to keep an eye on her.   She is doing okay now and is on my lap purring as I type this… There must be something about July 4th and tooth issues in my family, as I suffered with an infected tooth and had to have a root canal last year!

My husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary with a lunch on Coronado Island.  Since we got married on an island (Catalina – see a photo and read about my 2013 anniversary here), we make it a ritual to spend every anniversary on an island.  Our island jaunts have ranged from the faraway and exotic (the Caribbean, Hawaii) to the nearby and tame (Coronado, Balboa).  Here’s a photo of us from this year on Coronado, with downtown San Diego in the background (I was wearing one of my wardrobe pieces that have stood the test of time – the tank, as well as a favorite maxi skirt from last year).   It was a beautiful and sunny day and the crowds were definitely out, as evidenced by the other photo below (taken with the new camera my husband gave me as an anniversary present).

July 4th, 2015 - Anniversary on Coronado

My husband, Mike, and me on our 14th anniversary on Coronado Island. 

July 4th, 2015 - Coronado

Coronado Island was a popular place on July 4th this year! 

About My Accountability Updates

It’s now time for another accountability report, this time for June.   For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet during the previous month and how I did with my shopping budget.   It’s my way of keeping myself honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping.  Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay deliberate (my theme for 2015 – I will be posting an update on this soon…) with both my shopping and wardrobe management.

What Left My Closet

I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month.  This section is fairly sparse this time around, as I let go of quite a few items back in May by means of the “KonMari Method.” Summer weather only just started a few weeks ago where I live, but I suspect I will be culling some more pieces within the next month or so after I see what I do and don’t wear this season.  I only purged two jewelry pieces during June, as shown below:

Purged Items - June 2015

I decided to pass this pair of earrings and bracelet on last month. 

Why I Culled These Items

In addition to posting photos of what left my closet, I also list why I decided to release those pieces.   I feel that pinpointing our reasons for purging closet (and jewelry) items can help us notice patterns and avoid future mistakes.

My reasons for letting go of the items above are as follows:

  • Brushed silver earrings – I have never really loved these earrings and have other similar styles that I love and wear more often. I’m trying to let go of duplicates whenever possible, especially when I don’t wear them much or at all.
  • Brushed silver bracelet – The beads on this bracelet are too large for my small wrists and I don’t find the bracelet comfortable to wear. I also have a few other beaded bracelets that are similar and work better for me. I held on to this bracelet and the matching earrings because they were a gift from my mom a few years ago, but it’s time to let them both go.

What Came Into My Closet

I didn’t do much shopping during June and most of what I bought was driven by need rather than want.  One of the items pictured below (the turquoise tee) was actually purchased during May and I neglected to include it in last month’s report.  Here’s a look at my new June pieces:

June 2015 purchases

I added these 5 items to my closet during June 2015.

Why I Added These Items to My Wardrobe

Here are my reasons for adding the items pictured above to my closet:

  • Boot-cut jeans – I have lost some weight in recent months, such that some of my jeans are really too baggy for me to wear right now. So when I saw that Lucky Brand was having a sale on one of the jeans styles I liked, I snapped these up in a size down from what I had before. I’ve already worn them several times and they are a good addition to my wardrobe.
  • Pink print tee – I bought this tee online during a recent Eddie Bauer sale, as I had been so happy with the turquoise print tee I added to my closet during May (also pictured above because I forgot to include it in my May update).  As I’ve mentioned previously, I wanted to add a few new casual short-sleeved tops to my closet since I have gotten rid of so many in recent months. Unfortunately, the fit on this tee isn’t as good as that of the turquoise version, although they are supposed to be exactly the same.  I still like it, but I don’t think it will end up being as much of an “all-star” as the turquoise tee.
  • Purple workout tee – I also purchased this online via the Eddie Bauer sale, as I’ve been happy with the blue version that I bought back in January. I like the color and the fact that the tee is breathable and stays in place fairly well during my workouts.  I have had trouble finding good workout tees that wash and wear well, but this style has been good for me so far.  I’m open to other suggestions for workout tops if you have them, as this wardrobe area has been a real challenge for me as of late.
  • Turquoise print tee – I love the color of this tee and the print is a nice change over the plain or striped tees I usually wear. I have worn this tee several times already and am very happy with it. The color is great for me and I like that the tee is casual but still looks nice.
  • Black and turquoise walking shoes – I purchased these shoes out of sheer necessity, as the walking shoes I bought back in January hurt my feet. I acquired those shoes via eBay and they were supposed to be the same style as my previous pair, but my foot pain (I have very fussy feet) seemed to indicate there was a difference somewhere. When I was finding it difficult to walk in the other shoes, I knew I needed to make a change.  Although I am still experiencing hip and foot pain (I’m currently going to physical therapy), these new shoes are working much better for me and I’m able to walk at least a portion of what I used to do before pain derailed that favorite activity several months ago. Hopefully, I will be back to my usual walks before too long…

Checking in on Last Month’s Purchases

Beginning earlier this year, I added a new section to my accountability updates in which I check in on the previous month’s purchases.   I feel that it’s important to add new closet additions to one’s regular wardrobe rotation as soon as possible, so it’s helpful for me to be accountable to you on that front.

I encourage you to check in on your previous month’s purchases, too, to evaluate whether or not they are serving your needs.  If not, you may still be able to return things and mitigate any potential buying mistakes you’ve made.

As a reminder, I added 3 new items to my closet during May (see this post for details):

  • Black straight-leg jeans – I haven’t worn these jeans yet. They needed to be hemmed and then the weather warmed up and I’ve been enjoying wearing skirts and dresses instead of jeans.  I’m sure I will wear the jeans soon, though, as they fit well and I’ve wanted to replace my old black jeans for a long time.
  • Black sandals – I’m so glad I finally bought these sandals, as I had really wanted them at the end of last summer but held off on the purchase then due to timing. I have worn the sandals twice so far. The first time I wore them, I was out and about and walking quite a bit, but they were very comfortable right off the bat.   I think these sandals will be an “all-star” for me this summer.
  • Turquoise tank top – I just wore this top for the first time yesterday. It is very similar to my other tank tops that have been summer staples for me for years, and I really like the color.   It fits me nicely and coordinates well with a few of my scarves, one of which I paired with it yesterday.   I am happy with this tank top and believe it will see a lot of wear this season.

I have also worn most of my April purchases at this point (two items remain unworn, one of which needs a simple alteration that I will have done this week) and have been quite happy with them.  My new tie-waist cardigans have worked out great and allow me to stay warm without overwhelming my frame like many of my knit blazers did.   I will do an update soon on my purchases from the first half of 2015, where I will share the good, bad, and ugly of my shopping so far this year.   Stay tuned…

June Budget Report

My clothing budget for 2015 is $2500 (down from $3000 last year).   I was originally going to have just an annual budget (I maintained monthly budgets during 2013 and 2014), but decided to change to quarterly limits after spending too much money during February.

My quarterly budget is $625.   Since I bought so many new items during April, I came pretty close to spending my entire quarterly budget in just one month! During June, I spent a total of $39.86 on clothing and shoes, after returns.  My total expenditures for the second quarter came in at $686.08, which exceeded my quarterly budget by $61.08.

Unfortunately, I also exceeded my budget for the first quarter of the year (by $64.38), so I have some catching up to do if I want to stay on track.  So far this year, I have spent $1380.46 on clothing and related purchases, which is over my budget by $130.46.   My plan is to work with a reduced quarterly budget of $494.54 instead of $625 for the third quarter (July through September) to make up for my overages earlier in the year.  This may prove challenging with the upcoming Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, my favorite sale of the year, but I also have my birthday coming up in August (number 49 – say it isn’t so!) and birthday money doesn’t count toward my budget.

Speaking of the Nordstrom sale, I approached it from two different extremes in 2013 and 2014.   I avoided the sale completely in 2013 and went overboard with my shopping last year.  This year, I’m aiming for a happy medium in which I allow myself to buy a few things while still sticking to my shopping priorities list.  I will be sure to do some advance planning before I shop the sale so I can avoid the chaos I experienced last year.  If I focus on being very deliberate (my theme for the year) about what I buy, I will shop smarter and be less likely to experience regret or the need to make returns.   I will report in on how I do either later this month or in early August.


So that’s it for my June accountability update.   The last two updates were a lot easier for me to write than my April report.  It’s much simpler when I don’t do a lot of shopping.   I actually haven’t been feeling inspired or compelled to shop as of late.   I have been focused on other things, both positive (like my photography) and not so great (my health and some of the other topics I wrote about here).

I am not going to get cocky and think I have my shopping problem licked, though. I know I am always in danger of relapsing, especially since my recovery is still relatively young.   After all, I am over my budget for the year at this point and the Nordstrom sale is right around the corner. I have to remain vigilant and keep aware of my shopping triggers and “aftershocks,” as well as my own recovery tips and the advice I’ve written about in my books.  I don’t always practice what I preach, so I need to re-read what I’ve written and take it to heart, especially during challenging times when I may be more likely to lapse into old maladaptive habits and behaviors.

Coming Attractions

As a reminder, the “what I wore” section that I used to include in my accountability updates is now part of my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI) updates, the next of which will be posted later this week.   Some other posts that are on the horizon include an update on my theme for the year, a purchase analysis for the first half of 2015, and some thoughts on the “full life project” that was a major driver in my starting “Recovering Shopaholic.”  While I have made tremendous progress in downsizing my closet and building a working wardrobe, I still have a long way to go in trading my full closet for a full life.   I need to focus more on that pursuit – and write about it – if I ever want to make it a reality.

If you have any suggestions for future topics, you are welcome to share them in the comments section or by contacting me directly.  I am always open to ideas and some of my best posts have been inspired by readers’ comments, questions, and suggestions.

Your Thoughts?

Now it’s your turn to chime in.

  • How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during June?
  • What successes and/or challenges did you experience?

I invite you to share your wins, setbacks, and any questions you may have for me or others in this community.   Some of you have opted to share your accountability updates each month, too, which is great.  There is strength in numbers and in declaring our truth on a forum such as this one.   We’re here to encourage and support each other, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it.   I wish you all the best in July and throughout the remainder of 2015!

46 thoughts on “June 2015 Accountability Update

  1. Happy Anniversary! And Happy Fourth of July! I’m very glad to hear that Coco is doing well 🙂

    I’ve kind of been ignoring my wardrobe lately – busy with other things – but…I have also done some unnecessary shopping. And… this doesn’t happen very often anymore – but this past Thursday night I had a wardrobe crisis of faith – where I couldn’t seem to put together an outfit that I liked. I felt like everything was wrong, didn’t look good, like I had gained a bunch of weight, or else felt scratchy or fussy or made me fidgety.

    It took me 40 minutes to realize that my *real* issue was that I needed to touch up my hair color. Yup. That’s right. My half inch of roots made me dissatisfied with myself, my closet, and my ENTIRE existence in that 40-minutes of quiet angst.

    An $8.99 box of L’Oreal Superior Preference set me right the next day.

    I took away several things from this: First: I’m trying to move away from shopping. I recently got my first mani-pedi in years recently, and I have loved it, as well as an updated haircut, and it feels amazing! I’ve resolved to keep putting my budgetary funds into the upkeep of all three. Oh, and brows. Mine are kind of looking Gandalf-like…

    Second, I recently realized that my two big problem areas for clutter in my home, are papers, and clothing. Some of it is mine, some of it is theatrical costumes, some of it is stuff I am selling in my eBay store or consigning. So I’m working to get rid of the former (papers) and to streamline the latter (assorted clothing inventories).

    The third thing is that, for some reason, even though I see ‘deliberate’ in every accountability post you’ve written this year, today is the first time it has popped into my head, that I, too, had a word: specificity (I think it was specificity. I will go back and look). I think I have become a lot more specific this year with my wardrobe, but I think I am ready to do my own monthly accountability updates, and to set some finite goals in terms of finishing my decluttering (a la Marie Kondo).

    What I really want is to never, ever have another night like Thursday night where I was discontent and dissatisfied with what was in my closet, and to amp up my personal grooming (nails, hair, hair color, eyebrows).

    So… by middle of next week I intend to reply here with a baseline goal (or a link to my blog where I will outline some of this) And when you post your July updates, I am going to do the same!

    • Thank you for sharing about your hair. I have found that I also have times when I feel like I have nothing to wear, can’t find anything to go together, and/or hate all my clothes. Your comment reminds me to look at what is going on with me when that happens. Chances are it is not the clothes but something else. May save me unnecessary grief or unplanned shopping! Thanks again.

    • Your comment is fascinating and thought-provoking, Mary Beth. I think we often resort to shopping because we think our wardrobes are the problem when it’s really something else that’s troubling us, even something else about our appearance. How wonderful that you were able to identify the real problem and that it was so easy to remedy. I think my dissatisfaction with my hair has often led me to feel like my outfit was not good when it was probably a perfectly good outfit. Except I can’t fix my hair for $8.99. I don’t know how to fix it… But it IS important to look below the surface when we are dissatisfied because sometimes it’s not for the reason we think…

  2. Unfortunately I shopped far too much in May and June totaling up to $800 or 1/3 of my annual budget! The majority of the spending was on a summer wardrobe as I did not have any shorts, 2 tank tops, 1 linen tee, one skirt, and two pairs of sandals to my summer wardrobe that I did not cull from my closet. I remember last summer being very very sloppy and didn’t want to go down that path. I will write a more detailed analysis of what I did purchase tomorrow when I have the time as I bought quite a few items. I don’t plan on ever doing this again as I have learned that I do not like to shop seasonally. I found it overwhelming when I needed to buy something because I have literally nothing to wear! The good news is that I am quite happy now with my summer wardrobe. It is only summer for about 3 months out of the year here so summer’s wardrobe is like a “capsule.” Also I should be okay budget-wise for the rest of the year as long as I do not do any shopping in the fall. Most of the rest of my remaining budget is going to go to tailoring costs.

    • May and June Item List –

      Summer Bottoms:
      2 pairs of shorts

      Summer Tops:
      4 custom made spring/summer casual tops

      Summer Shoes:
      1 pair of black sandals

      Summer Dresses:
      1 casual yet dressier dress

      2 Straw hats

      1 Crossbody bag (to replace my old one that I was carrying for 1.5 years)

      2 silk scarves (one I will be donating as the color is not right for me; it was an online purchase; need to remember not to buy scarves online that cannot be returned!)

      2 silver toned necklaces (I have no silver toned pieces despite having cool coloring so I wanted to experiment with these; I haven’t worn them much due to the summer humid weather, but forsee wearing them more in the fall)

      1 cobalt blue/deep purple lace shrug for more “fancy” occasions, but can be dressed down as an infinity scarf for the fall

      5 pairs of underwear

      Fall/Winter Items:
      1 open cardigan (very useful for summer during AC conditions)

      1 gray cashmere turtleneck (I don’t own any cashmere so I wanted to try this one)

      1 pair of dark denim bootcut petite jeans (these will really difficult for me to find and I don’t have a pair of jeans in this dark denim and boot cut silhouette; they don’t even have this silhouette in the stores anymore!)

    • You really got a lot for your $800, Margaret. I would say you did quite well – thank you for sharing your accountability here. It’s good that you learned that seasonal shopping isn’t really for you, so you can approach things differently next time. It must have been anxiety producing to have to buy so much at once and be kind of under the gun to get ready for a season. I’m sure that seasonal shopping is much easier when one is just filling in a few wardrobe gaps rather than buying an entire wardrobe for a given time of year. I hope that what you bought will serve you well!

  3. Happy anniversary, those are lovely photographs!

    Instead of June, I can now post some numbers for the first year of my ‘Project 60’ (June 2014 – end May 2015). The aim of p60 was to develop a way of managing an oversized and somewhat chaotic wardrobe, and ensuring new purchases were thoughtful, so that I would end up with a fabulous wardrobe at the age of 60 (now just 3 years away).

    I started with 275 garments (355 items including accessories), now down to 245/315. I bought about 45 items over the year (so 85 thrown away). Each quarterly season I developed a new capsule by adding one outfit at a time, recorded on a spreadsheet. The first capsules were over 50 garments, dropping to about 40 in the spring (50 items) – this suggests ultimately a total of about 160 garments/200 items would be fine, maybe less. I would like to aim for 5 purchases each quarter. This is a lot less than I bought last year, but would still mean 60 new things by the age of 60 – if chosen carefully this should be more than enough! (50% of wardrobe would then be renewed every 5 years, which seems a reasonable turnover).

    Many thanks for your inspiring blog, including all the stats – its been really helpful to plot my progress against your figures, especially as my starting point was similar to yours a few years ago.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your Project 60 numbers, Alice. It seems like your project went quite well and your wardrobe is in much better shape now. I think your goals moving forward seem very reasonable and doable. You will basically be doing the 5-piece French Wardrobe challenges, which is to add 5 new pieces each season. Many people out there are doing that challenge and it’s working well for them. I wish you the very best! I’m happy that my blog has helped to inspire you.

  4. Happy anniversary! I’m glad Coco’s doing better 🙂

    I set a goal of no shopping for June… And I made it!
    Early July has been a different story. Friday was my birthday so I bought 2 tops and a new purse and some cosmetics. I was also given a shopping spree as a gift, which doesn’t count for my budget or item limits (though it easily could). I feel challenged for the next year (6/9/15-6/9/16), I’m only buying 5 pieces each 6 months with limited accessories. Its my version of a shopping fast while still being able to replace needs.

    Take care and best wishes with the new quarter budget for July-August and in general!

    • Congrats on achieving your no shopping goal for June, Angel! It doesn’t seem that you bought too much after the challenge was over, so that’s good. I wish you the best of luck with your new challenge. It sounds reasonable and may be more doable for you than not shopping altogether. Please keep us posted on how it goes for you. Thanks for the good wishes! Happy Belated Birthday!

  5. Good job – this is a total of 33 new items this year for you – I miss this number 😀
    I love these kinds of posts!
    Keep up the great work!

    • I haven’t been counting how many items I’ve bought, Sonja. I guess I’m still buying kind of a lot, but not as much as I used to buy before the blog. I may end up buying as many items as I did last year, but hopefully the purchases will be a lot smarter. I’m going to do a purchase update soon and I will include the number as well as an analysis of what I bought. I’m glad you like these kinds of posts. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Happy anniversary, I really like the photos of that day, it looks like you had a great time!
    In the first semester of the year I bought a total of 18 items (not counting lingerie), which may seem like a good result… And yet, like Mary Beth, I’ve been wanting to care more about my hair/make-up/general appearance more than getting new clothes (also because I feel like my wardrobe is settled for summer); a nice outfit is good and all, but a nice messy bun, some light make-up and some jewellery can totally transform my appearance, even more than clothes can sometimes. So instead of improving my appearance buying new clothes, my goal for this new semester is to experiment more with make-up, jewellery and hair-dos, using what I already have.
    Also, I’d like to save up some money for the future, so I think I’ll adopt a little trick: everytime I feel like buying something because ‘it may come in handy/it’ll go perfectly with all my clothes!!1!’, I will assess what I want to buy, check the price-tag, then put away the corresponding sum in my savings. In that way I hope to cut my expenses even more, so as to only buy what I really need (and at this time the only thing I really need is an autumn/spring pair of shoes that goes with all my trousers and that can accommodate my orthotics, nothing else), and save something in the process! Only time will tell if this works or frustrates me to the point of a shopping spree, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed! 😀

    • Thanks for your kind words on my photos, Maria. It does seem like you have done well with your shopping so far this year, but I like your goals and plan for the rest of the year. You’re right that our hair, make-up, and jewelry can make a really big difference in how we look and feel. Good luck with your experimentation in those areas. I need to do more of that myself… Good plan to put money away rather than spend it. I wish you the best of luck with this effort!

  7. Debbie, you look absolutely radiant in that photo! I hope you are feeling well too these days.

    I am way over budget for this point in the year – I am sure it has been due to stress. I finally decided to drop the summer class I was taking when I had a near-breakdown, complete with tears and hand-wringing, a few weeks ago. My health (physical and mental) is more important and I realized I really needed a break. I’ve been focusing on resting and catching up on some quilting before my surgery August 10th! I’ve decided to put myself back on no-buy for July and August (except a couple of supplies I will need for recovering from surgery). I hope it goes better than last time! I’d better get some good books to read while I’m laid up so I’m not tempted to shop….

    • Thanks for your kind words, Sarah! Sorry to hear that you are over budget. Stress can really impact our shopping and it sounds like you’ve had your share of it… Good for you for dropping the class that was leading to a near-breakdown. I’m glad you are focusing more on resting now and placing your health first. Your surgery is right around the corner now and I’m happy you are thinking ahead about what you will do while you are recovering. I like the idea of catching up on some good books. Wishing you more calm and less stress in your life!

  8. What a great post– sometimes I am too busy to really focus on your posts but the planets aligned for me today and it was incredibly helpful. I am taking baby steps and finding it very helpful. Two months ago I went through my entire wardrobe and got rid of a ton of things (love that Marie Kondo!), last month I implemented one of your suggestions for tracking how often I wore something and this month I am going to start a list of what leaves and what enters. You really are a wonderful inspiration and extremely helpful with very practical tips. Thanks much. Beth

    • I appreciate your comment, Beth. I’m glad my blog has been helpful to you and that my suggestions have made a difference in your life. Congrats on getting rid of a lot of things via Marie Kondo’s method. It helped me a lot, too. Best wishes with the tracking. I’m sure you will learn a lot – I always do… I wish you the very best!

  9. What a lovely photo of you and your husband, Debbie! You look gorgeous.

    My clothing purchases are right on track. I have set a goal of one item per month, and while technically I bought 2 items in June, it was a pair of pajamas (pants + matching top), so I’m going to count that as one.

    I didn’t do any clothes purging in June but I have started a general decluttering process in the whole house in gradual preparation for moving in the next year or so, so that’s been taking my energy for purging. I’m sure it’ll include clothes again at some point, but for right now I feel my wardrobe is manageable.

    I do have a confession though, I have been totally blowing my beauty/skin care shopping budget since May. I thought it was a one-time thing and I’d easily get back on track in June, but no. Obviously there’s something I need to work on to figure out what is going on in my head…

    • Thank you for the compliments, Sarah! How great that your purchases are on track. I would count the pajama top and bottom as one item, as they are often sold as a pair. Congrats on the decluttering you’re doing. It’s good that you are staring early so you don’t have a mad rush as your move approaches. Sorry to hear about the overspending on beauty and skin care. I have been there, too. Sometimes we do well in one area of our shopping and not in another, but the important thing is that you realize what’s going on and are committed to working on it. I wish you the best!

  10. Happy Anniversary! How fun to go to an island of some kind each year.
    I am at the same expenditure you are this year – almost exactly! $1383. This includes return costs and alterations, all items including bras and socks and items bought with gift money. I notate next to them that it’s from a gift but count the cost in my yearly totals to keep track of whats *really* being spent.
    I bought a racerback bra, slippers, a red top, an olive tee, a mixed media draping pleather jacket and a cargo skirt last month. For $195, a pretty big month for me. Some bought with birthday money. The jacket, at $105, was the biggest expense.
    So fat this year, I’ve purchased 21 ‘regular’ items, including accessories such as a hat and backpack, and probably just as many basics, or necessities. Socks, uniform pants, sports bra, etc. This is a good thing. Those are the kinds of items I probably wear more anyway. Good to be concentrating on keeping them stocked and in good shape.
    I just this week culled a few more items. They don’t quite fit the same as my shape is changing in mid age. Velvet Editor pants I’ve had for a decade, a velvet teal blazer that’s just too staid for my lifestyle and a bit roomy to boot. Items that became part of the background in my closet I stopped ‘seeing’ after so many years of them just being there.
    Sadly, my first mistake buy of the year is in the pile, too. A Very Wang cargo skirt bought off eBay a month and a half ago. Color was not quite right, and it was too balloony in the hips. I tried to do a quick alteration rescue with some cool metallic buttons but too big is too big. Luckily, the button fix only cost $5, and the skirt was only $12.75. Cheap lesson, thankfully.
    All in all, I’m very happy with my closet this year. Like you, I have other things occupying my time, like my new job in the grocery store. Got a small promotion 4 months in. 🙂 Of course, the uniform limits my clothing needs and I am thinking harder and harder on downsizing to the ‘dozen’ wardrobe. I’m practically there now. Likely by year’s end.
    Keep up the good work and keep the pics coming!!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your accountability for the month – and the year, Mo. How interesting that we have spent almost the same exact amount of money! I realized that I haven’t been updating on how many items I’ve purchased for the year, so I will add that back in next month. I’m going to do a mid-year purchase analysis soon, too, so I will be sure to share that number then as well. It seems like you are buying things that really suit your lifestyle needs now, which is a wonderful thing. I have definitely made more than one purchasing mistake, so you are doing better than me there… Congrats on your promotion and on how well you are doing with your wardrobe!

  11. Happy Anniversary, Debbie

    You guys look perfect and so happy 🙂

    I see you’ve added only functional pieces to your wardrobe. Good job!

    Looking forward to your next report on LIWI Challenge!

    • Thank you, Maneera! Yes, I’ve definitely improved in terms of what I’m buying even if I’m still buying quite a few pieces. I’m happy that I’m making far fewer mistakes and actually wearing a lot more of what I buy.

  12. Happy Anniversary! Glad kitty is feeling better… and lovely photos! A wish I were back in San Diego rather than here in the 95+ degree heat. I have managed to stay away from the shops for my Year Without, but was sorely tempted in June before our SD jaunt. My default mode says “Gotta buy something new to take on this adventure!” It must come from my childhood, and mutiple moves as an adult. When you are little, it is likely that you will need some new clothing for a trip, as you have probably outgrown your swimsuit since the last beach trip… When we moved, I would stock up on basics for myself and our sons so that I would have time to scope out our new digs and get settled in, without the fluster of trying to find them (or me) new shoes. I know that self-awareness is more than half the battle, but it doesn’t always help with the messiness of feelings!

    • Wow, you are really dealing with some hot weather, Liz. I feel for you… Congrats on staying out of the shops and not giving into temptation before your trip. I would often experience the same temptation, as well as a strong desire to buy things ON the trip. Shopping used to be my favorite activity while traveling. I haven’t traveled much in recent years, but I believe that I will be more interested in other things now. You’re doing so well and you should be proud of both your progress and your self-awareness!

  13. Happy anniversary!

    Hi everyone, I’m new to the reply-team 🙂 !
    For the record, I am a student so my budget may be a lot smaller compaired to other budgets, but in scale (considering my costs will be lower as well) it is pretty much the same I guess…

    For me, shopping in june was different from past months. I did spend money on clothing (a lovely pinstripe skirt for around 17 dollars).
    This month, I am planning on not buying anything clothing-related!

    In June I did buy some lovely other things for the house, but I decided to return them. Now I am faced with shipping and returning costs since I bought them online… sigh*. This month I will be paying for a skirt of 17 dollars and a porcelain pineapple of 6 dollars I found in the same store (yeah I know, but I am a sucker for nicknacks…) Add those up with shipping/returncosts and you have a lovely bill of around 30 bucks.

    A challenge I am facing is saving enough money since I want to buy a new leather strap for my bag (30 dollars) and repair my watch(5 dollars). In June I found there are enough temptations to spend money on! This month will be challenging as well, because I will have to save up for my study.

    I wish you all a great day!

    • Welcome, Amy, and thanks for your comment! It’s good to get the perspective of a student, as that was long ago for me and many of those who comment here. But you’re right about the fact that we all face similar challenges in sticking to a budget. The numbers may be different, but the temptations and the need to balance wants, needs, and numbers is pretty universal. It sounds like you are doing well and have a good handle on what you need to do. I totally understand about shipping and return costs. I have spent a lot in that area, too. I now try to mostly buy from retailers who offer free shipping and free returns, but sometimes what we need isn’t available with that option. I wish you the best of luck with your goals for July and I hope you will comment again to let us know how you are doing.

  14. Beautiful photos, and you look lovely Debbie. Good accountability process too, and I’m glad to hear Coco is doing better.

    • Thank you so much, Terra. Yes, I was worried about my little Coco, but she has bounced back well and you wouldn’t even know she went through so much just over a week ago!

  15. Aren’t Lucky Brand jeans great?classy and Bohemian. Great choice ! They will look great on you.

    • Yes, I love Lucky Brand jeans, Jackie, and have a few pairs. They fit my body well and are available in long lengths for my tall frame. Plus, they aren’t as expensive as many of the “premium” brands, but just as good (if not better) in my opinion.

  16. You look beautiful in your anniversary picture, Debbie. The deep scoop neckline is very flattering.

    I’ve been replacing my workout tops with the “scoop neck layering tanks” from J. Jill. They are a very soft cotton/modal blend and wash well. They’re long, but not too long as I am short-waisted. They’re currently on sale and come in both prints and solids. I like that I can place a catalog order in the store and not pay for shipping. The same goes for returns. Just a suggestion…

    • Thank you, TAGgirl. I love scoop necklines and wear them often. Thanks for the tip on the J. Jill tanks. We often think we need to purchase tops that are specifically designed for working out, but in many cases, standard tops can work just as well. Seems like these tanks could be a good option for many people, including maybe me. Good point about ordering in the store and not having to pay shipping. Calling the store works as well, as I have done that a couple of times.

  17. Happy anniversary! I have not bought any clothing for the past 2 months. Purchases have been on experiences more than stuff, except for one $100 splurge on perfume. Since quitting my job I have been slowly transforming my mentality towards buying stuff and now that I feel less stressed, I have felt less need to shop. It is a very happy transition.

    • Good to hear from your, Tara. I hope all is going well for you in Montreal! Congrats on not buying any clothing for two months and for changing your mentality about shopping. I’m very happy for you about the progress you’ve made in a short period of time. Spending money on experiences is often far more fulfilling than buying stuff.

  18. While I had been pretty close to my budget for most of the month, I still overspent in June. I was under budget by about $10 until the last week then went a little crazy. In addition, my total clothing budget for my family of 6 is $200 per month and I have had some unanticipated needs so far this summer. So I need to really dial it back this month, which is difficult with summer sales going on. I was wondering if you could speak more about what you do when you shop, what you consider buying but leave on the rack. That tends to be my weakest moment. Maybe give us a wrap up of your experience with this month’s Nordstrom sale?

    • Thanks for reporting in, Misty, and thanks for the future topic suggestion. I still struggle with leaving things on the rack, too. I haven’t been going to the stores as much recently, which has made things a lot easier. I also don’t even try things on if they aren’t a good match for my lifestyle or if they don’t fit into my budget. I will definitely write about the Nordstrom sale after it’s all said and done. I’m hoping that I do far better with it this year than last year, not just in terms of items bought and money spent, but also in terms of my time. The amount of time I spent on the sale last year was far too much and that is the most important change I want to make this year. I’m okay with buying things, as I have the budget for it, but I don’t want to do so much buying and returning, as that gets a little crazy… I’m impressed that you clothe a family of 6 for $200 per month. I wish you the best of luck with your summer goals!

  19. This month I bought two planned summer items, a replacement bretton T shirt dress, and a turquoise short sleeved polo top. Two autumn items, a navy and mint jersey dress with sleeves and a long sleeved turquoise top. All were planned purchases, three were in the sale. Then I spotted a coral and white striped polo shirt dress in a charity shop. It fitted beautifully and was only £4.00. I also spotted a green and coral pink silk scarf a for £1.00 and a green necklace for £1.00. Although they were not in the plan I bought them. I wore them for the first time today and my husband commented that I was wearing a really nice dress (he very rarely comments). Tracking and planning my wardrobe over the past 18 months has really helped improve my wardrobe, but sometimes an inexpensive impulse buy can really freshen things up.

    • It seems like you are doing very well with your shopping, Lynn. How great that most of your purchases were planned, but that you also allowed yourself to pick up a few inexpensive items you loved in a charity shop. The bonus was getting a nice comment from your husband. I’m glad that wardrobe tracking and planning has been so beneficial for you. It has made a big difference for me, too. As for the inexpensive impulse buys, it’s good to allow a bit of room for such things, because you’re right that they can help to freshen up our wardrobes (as long as we don’t go crazy with it, of course).

  20. Happy Anniversary Debbie! Your new pink tee is very pretty!
    I bought more this month than any other of the year, but for the most part I’m very glad about it. I replaced several bottoms with items that fit much better. I spent 336.40 on a pair of white pants, 2 denim capri pants, a charcoal v neck tee, a black a-line dress, black and white shoes, black wedge heel sandals, a grey and white stripe top, a black top, black and white skirt, and a striped top. That’s a total of 1067.14 for the year.

    • Good to hear from you, Tonya. I always appreciate you sharing your accountability every month and I am grateful for your honesty. You got quite a few items for your money and they all seem to be a good fit for your style aesthetic and your life. Your color palette is very streamlined, which I’m sure helps you a lot. You are doing great! Congrats on replacing some of your bottoms. Since those items are so difficult for me to find, I know what a big difference they can make…

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