Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m Jess, and I blog over at To Sparkle Punch!
I started my blog as a self-help-type space, but it has branched out to include fashion, budgeting, and just everyday life stuff.
“I created my blog after a bout of crippling anxiety and depression, and I wanted to normalize them, to show that you can be successful and funny and wacky annnd also depressed and/or really anxious.”
To show that you don’t have to hide these things, as I often did before being hospitalized for them.
I felt so alone in my depression and didn’t want others to feel that way.
I’ve also always felt really uncomfortable in my own skin, so gaining the confidence to post my outfits on my blog has been really awesome. 🙂
[ Editor: This is so inspiring. What a fantastic way to help others as well as helping yourself. ]
What’s your money motto and where did you learn about budgeting?
Before starting my own blog, I stumbled upon Franish and loved following along with Fran’s methods of budgeting and focused shopping.
She is so honest about her path toward becoming a successful/consistent budgeter that it really encouraged me to join in and try to get my retail therapy under control.
“Less is more”
I don’t really have a money motto, but I’m trying to keep the “less is more” idea in mind–and also that buying new things won’t make me happy.
Do you create a clothing/wardrobe budget and how did you come about the method?
Although I can’t find it on her site now, I believe Fran had suggested creating a shopping budget that is 7-10% of your monthly income.
For me, 7% is $170.
Although I regularly go over that amount, I’d really like to bring it down to at least $150.
Totalling up last year’s spending in December was really a wake up call for me, as to how much money I’m blowing on (mostly) unimportant things.
“(I’m not a great saver–surprise!)”
What do you like to shop for and why?
Shirts and dresses, because they’re so cute (and a lot easier to figure out what your size is, as compared to pants and shoes)!
I also love buying accessories, especially jewelry. I can never turn down a cute ring, although lately, I’ve been super into necklaces too.
Is there anything you hate shopping for? Why?
“I HATE shopping for shoes.”
I have super narrow feet that are two different sizes (seriously like a 7 and 7.5), so buying shoes is torture. And depending on how a particular shoe is made and if it runs wide or small, I could be 6.5 or 8.
And if I find something that might work, then I’m walking all over the store to test it out! I’m always doubtful that a shoe will actually be comfortable in the long run.
Pants are also annoying, since a particular size can range so much between different designers.
[Editor: Seems to be a common refrain amongst style bloggers, a distaste for pants shopping.]
At a consignment shop, I’ll wind up with a five pairs of pants in five different sizes!
And then, there’s whole issue of pants fitting in the waist but not in the legs or vice versa.
What is the all-time best and worst item(s) you’ve purchased and what have you learned from its purchase?
[ Editor: *sobs* I had 2 Longchamps stolen from me to date, but it was a very versatile bag.]
I have a lot of issues with shoulder/neck pain, so I love how lightweight the Longchamp bags are, and how much you can fit into them!
Plus, the Neo is pretty water-resistant, something I have put to the test!
These purchases reminded me of what a great resource eBay can be for designer bags (which is perfect because I love a good deal!).
I also have a pair of super soft and comfy Citizens of Humanity skinnies that I found at Buffalo Exchange for $35 and absolutely love.
Worst: I bought a Madewell dress off eBay totally on a whim and guessing at my size.
You can imagine how well that turned out!
“It was a dress I had seen on another blogger and was immediately convinced I needed.”
So it not working out really showed me that I make some bad decisions impulse shopping, especially online.
I also have a gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff MAM (Morning After Mini), but I’m often afraid to use it because it’s so beautiful/pricey (even though I saved a few hundred bucks by getting it on Bonanza!).
And I had a Minkoff Swing that was beautiful, but the chain strap really bugged me and was problematic with my shoulder pain.
So now, I avoid those kinds of straps like the plague!
[ Editor: Me too. I hate chain shoulder straps for that reason. ]
Do you ever go off track from your budget? If so, how do you recover from it and fix the situation (if at all)?
Oh yes. I go off track quite often, and I’m really trying to work on that, especially since I tend to shop when I’m emotional (stressed, sad, bored).
[ Editor: Check. Check. Check. 🙁 ]
Regularly checking my bank account has been helpful, as has transferring shopping money to a separate checking account.
“Honestly, I’ve only done that once, but it BLEW MY MIND how $40 seemed like so much money when I wasn’t just spending it impulsively.”
And staying out of stores has been really helpful lately.
That way, I don’t see random items and convince myself that I “need” them!
Your 1-3 favourite outfits and how much each item cost in each photo
“Even as a redhead, I’m not a huge fan of green.”
And yet I immediately gravitated toward these two tops as “favorites”!
Outfit #1 = $118
- Sweater: American Eagle ($8; thrifted)
- Leggings: Victoria’s Secret ($15)
- Shoes: Toms ($40)
- Necklace: Chloe + Isabel ($55)
I love the AE one, it’s super soft and a great length to go with leggings.
And I love how architectural this necklace is–a subtle statement necklace. This is probably my go-to weekend outfit.
Outfit #2 = $69
- Tee: J. Crew ($9; thrifted)
- Sweater: Target ($12)
- Jeans: Madewell ($15; thrifted)
- Boots: Madden Girl ($25)
- Necklace: Target ($8)
My dress code at work is nonexistent, so it’s a parade of sweaters, tees, and jeans all winter. I’m finding that I love neutral patterns, so I had to snatch up this tee. T
The waterfall cardigan is like a wearable blanket, so it’s perfect for chilly winter days! And the necklace is such a great pop of sparkle–it has dressed up many an outfit!
Your 5 favourite places to shop (offline and online)
- Plato’s Closet
- Buffalo Exchange
- Greene Street
- Old Navy
- Nordstrom Rack
“As annoying as it can be to comb through racks at second-hand stores, their prices have spoiled me!”
At other stores, I’m often like, “Ugh, this is so expensive” even when it’s not!
What is the one best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in budgeting?
It’s all a process, so there will be highs and lows.
Just keep trying to budget, regardless of how off-track you get sometimes.
When I started out, I was so good and consistently came in at or under budget… but that only lasted a few months.
“If I gave into my perfectionist tendencies, I would have abandoned ship on budgeting long ago!”
That’s not to say I don’t beat myself up about my spending at times, but when I go over budget, I just try to do better next month.
Thank you so much for participating, Jess!
Want to read more interviews?
About “Style Bloggers <3 Budgeting”:
I love shopping. I love budgeting.
I love the idea of the two marrying.
Thus, Style Bloggers <3 Budgeting was born.
I want to bring to you different viewpoints of people who love fashion & style (like myself) but also want to make it work on a budget.
We all have different budgets, shopping personalities, styles and ways of looking at things, and it is fascinating to peer into the mind of others and to maybe grab some inspiration & sneak a peek into their wardrobe.
Are you a style blogger who would like to participate?
Contact me here or leave a comment.
The only pre-requisite is you must be a style blogger of some sort, whether you post outfits on Instagram only (like me) or do it on your blog itself.