I bought stuff. let’s discuss.

Billabong tote bag

Last week, my friend Meg celebrated the 3-year anniversary of her boutique, m.marie. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to spend this month’s hundred bucks on some new things and support her.

Since giving myself a strict monthly budget, shopping has become more strategic — less compulsive snatching and spending. I went in with a plan: Resist the urge to buy a cute dress or top that I may wear once or twice, and instead look for items I can get lots of mileage from. Pants or denim (I love the Blank NY brand she carries), a great everyday carry-all bag, a unique piece of jewelry, or maybe a cute pair of shoes. While I usually like to stock up on lots of smaller-priced items on a shopping trip (like, ten $10 things) I’m realizing that it’s worth it to make investments on pieces you’ll use over and over again. Quality over quantity. A closet full of well-made basics that you can spice up with accessories, as opposed to twenty varieties of cheap tank tops and stacks of ill-fitting junior’s clearance skinny jeans because “more is better.” Follow me?

So after a blood orange and prosecco cocktail and a few trips around the shop, I settled on this graphic Billabong bag — perfect for toting back and forth to work every day with my Macbook and notebooks — and a pair of black suede lace-up wedges that were half off. My total was $92 and change, and I left excited about my purchases and so proud of Meghan for all of her success in her small business!

That leaves me with about $8 for the rest of the month. Just enough for a new Essie nail polish, or a replacement tin of Rosebud minted rose lip balm (I lost mine when my purse was stolen over the summer). But I think I’ll just let it ride, and wait for next month.

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  1. 2.2.13
    Maddie said:

    That bag is amazing! And I know what you mean- I just bought a brand new tote that I can fit my laptop and notebooks in to carry around with me! Stylish and Functional=Total Win!

  2. 11.28.12

    Great advice!

    • 11.28.12

      Thank you! It’s been a long journey between my shopping addiction and I, but we’re making good progress in our break-up ;-)

  3. 11.20.12

    I think that is so smart! I am usually always searching for the small, cheaper things but they tend to only last for a short time and then I am just going back within a few months or so to buy another one (not worth it)! Thanks for the tip! Recently bought a denim jacket with studs that I am IN LOVE with! Payed about $50 for it but it is worth it!

  4. 11.20.12
    Anonymous said:

    I really needed to read this today…if you can do it, so can I! I just need to really be strong and follow through. Thank you for the inspiration and I can’t wait to see the wedge lace up booties!

  5. 11.20.12

    That bag is super cute!

  6. 11.20.12
    Jenn said:

    That purse was well worth saving for! I’m learning the same lessons you are these days — about quality over quantity. Thanks for sharing this journey with us! It’s very inspiring to me!

  7. 11.20.12

    Good for you that you really enjoy your purchase! That bag is gorgeous!! I totally understand the act of just buying and spending but your right, buying pieces that you will get a lot of mileage out of is a great rule of thumb! =) Enjoy your day!

    Ergo – Blog

  8. 11.20.12
    Vistha said:

    Love the bag <3

  9. 11.19.12

    It’s so great the monthly budget has worked! I too have struggled with impulse purchases and wine up spending too much money on clothes shoes and other stuff. Monthly budgets work for me until I go on vacation. And then I blow it… like this week I am going to the states to visit my sister and shop Black Friday… and I am afraid my will power to buy investment pieces and stick to a budget will go out the window :-( Any tips?

  10. 11.19.12

    Fabulous investments! Love the bag.

  11. 11.19.12
    amy said:

    cute bag

  12. 11.19.12
    jademjems said:

    That bag is amazing!
    Keep up the hard work shopping budget wise! I’ve been trying something similar but so far keep slipping up on little things like Christmas shopping… 1 present for my mum, aaaand 5 presents for me! :p

  13. 11.19.12
    peggy said:

    i think you did great! It’s making me so much more selective too! I saw that Target’s designer line with Kirna Zabete went 70% off today, so I bought a few things b/c I didn’t have time to decide and I will take back most of it and keep 1 or 2 things I really love. Way to support your pal!

  14. 11.19.12
    MJ said:

    Awesome bag and awesome tactic about spending on pieces that will get a lot of mileage!


  15. 11.19.12
    Elizabeth said:

    That is so awesome! I have been trying really hard over the past couple of years to break the old habits and be more like this. I have a closet FULL of inexpensive (as in clearance rack, not cheap quality) stuff that’s still nice but it’s not stuff I LOVE, it was just thrill shopping. I have found that in “my older years” (28? haha) I appreciate my nicer items that were well thought out purchases. Love the bag you chose!

  16. 11.19.12

    Love the bag! Great purchase :)

  17. 11.19.12

    Reblogged this on time2sh1ne.

    • 12.26.12
      kairix770 said:

      “Since giving myself a strict monthly budget, shopping has become more strategic…” This line is so me nowadays. Its so relatable. With all the ‘independent-living’ scheme, budgeting is always a must for me. I only bought a bottle of Lacoste Touch of Pink this month! Thank you for this Kiera. :)

      • 12.27.12

        They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, and it’s really amazing how differently I look at shopping and spending now! I didn’t buy anything for myself in December, which is just crazy for me. Hang in there!!

        • 12.28.12
          kairix770 said:

          oh. I must do some more effort then. :)