Save. Spend. Splurge.

Style Bloggers <3 Budgeting: Laura of I do deClaire


Tell me about yourself.

Hi! I’m Laura and I started my blog I do deClaire almost 3 years ago after having my daughter Claire.

I am a working wife and mom of a toddler. I work in elementary education as a speech therapist. I love to read, travel, and run whenever I can squeeze in the time!

After having my little one, I didn’t want to fall into the trap of yoga pants and sweatshirts.

[Editor: Exactly! It’s a slippery slope down.

It is possible to be comfortable, stylish and take care of a baby or chase a toddler. No need to look like a slob.]

I’d been reading fashion blogs and life style blogs for a while and decided to start my own.

I believe fashion doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive, or uncomfortable. It’s all about finding what you love and what you feel best in.

I wanted to document my fashion journey and inspire others to wear what makes them feel good all while staying on budget.

I (obviously) love blogging, but also like to read, travel, run, and bake.

I met my husband, Matt in high school and we’ve been together ever since our senior year.

Although I grew up an army brat with lots of moving, I am starting to grow roots in southeastern Wisconsin after being here for almost 8 years.

What’s your money motto and where did you learn about budgeting?

I learned the most on budgeting from my parents.

They didn’t give me much allowance so growing up I had to do extra chores and budget what I did have.

They also taught through example.

We rarely ate out and often made sacrifices in one area to splurge a bit in other areas.

I think my money motto at this point in my life would have to be:


Life can’t be all about saving-that gets to be too constraining and quite frankly isn’t a lot of fun.

But it can’t be about constant splurges either.

“You need to find a balance with that and I do that with saving when I can as much as I can, spending moderately, and splurging occasionally.”

Do you create a clothing/wardrobe budget and how did you come about the method?

My husband and I have been on a budget for almost three years now.

We each have an amount we set aside at the beginning of each month and move it into a separate account.

Then we are able to buy whatever we would like within our budget or save it for a larger purchase.

We came up with the set amount by outlining our expenses and income each month and figuring out how much we could set aside for each of us.

What do you like to shop for and why?

I love shopping for shoes.

“A good quality, classic pair will last you for years.”

And whether you gain weight or lose it, they will always fit!

[ Editor: Unless you have children. Some women’s shoe sizes expand after a child, luckily mine didn’t… ]

Is there anything you hate shopping for? Why?

I find formal dresses are difficult to shop for. I find stores do not often carry dresses that appeal to my age range.

They are either for older women or much younger women.

Or they show too much skin or are far too conservative. It’s so hard to find the middle ground!

[ Editor: Totally true. Formal dresses are either only for proms or mother of the brides, apparently.]

What is the all-time best and worst item(s) you’ve purchased and what have you learned from its purchases?

I think the all time best item I’ve purchased so far is a pair of brown suede riding boots. I got them over 10 years ago when I was studying abroad in London.

At the time I was nervous about spending so much on a pair of boots, but they are still going strong over 10 years later.

“The quality was clearly worth the splurge and the classic style means I still wear them quite a bit!”

The worst item I’ve purchased was actually on the same trip.

I love Burberry and got a top from the Burberry store.

The only problem is that it was a touch small for me.

I got lost in the moment and spent way too much money on something I didn’t completely think through.

“From both of these I have learned that it is OK to spend money on a purchase, but you need to evaluate why it’s worth spending the money.”

Think of all the ways you can wear it, if it is made of quality materials, how long it will be in style, and how it fits.

Do you ever go off track from your budget? If so, how do you recover from it and fix the situation (if at all)?

With our current budget situation, it allows for higher spending one month and lower spending the next.

Although we get a set amount each month, we get to carry over unused balances from the previous months.

There have been times I have gone over budget, but it’s always covered by my balance.

I also plan out my bigger purchases so I know I won’t be spending much else that month or the month after.

“It’s unrealistic for me to go on a spending hiatus to counteract a month of overspending.”

So I will typically just cut it down by $25 a month until I’ve recovered my balance again.

Your 1-3 favourite outfits and how much each item cost in each photo.

Outfit #1 = $117


Outfit #2 = $324


Your 5 favourite places to shop (offline and online)

  1. thredUP
  2. Old Navy
  3. LOFT
  4. J.Crew Factory
  5. DSW

What is the one best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in budgeting?

Be realistic both with yourself and with your expenses.

Plan out your purchases and make a list of things you want for your wardrobe, but also realize it may not be feasible to stick to only what is on that list.

It’s important to think about what features you want when buying clothing and compare costs to make sure you get a quality item for a great price.

Thank you so much for participating, Laura!

Want to read more interviews?

Here’s mine and the rest of them are here.

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.


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