Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Mattie and I blog over at Northwest Native!
I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life, hence the blog name.
My husband and I were married in Seattle on October 10th, 2015.
We just recently moved from Seattle to Portland and are loving getting to explore a new city (though I grew up less than an hour away)! We have two dogs named Flora and Tully that we spoil like human children.
I’m a lover of shopping (especially online!), eating, Netflixing, and we’ve also recently taken up hiking.
I consider myself to be pretty frugal and try to scour the best deals when I’m shopping. You can find pretty much anything else you want to know about me over at my blog, and if you have any questions for me, feel free to reach out!
What’s your money motto and where did you learn about budgeting?
My money motto is very similar to yours (though I don’t actually have a clever quote for it!).
Editor: The motto is Save and spend your money where it matters.
I think there are certain areas where you should invest (I was going to say splurge, but certain pieces really are an investment–you pay more for them but you get more out of them in return) and areas where you can save and be more frugal.
I personally like to invest in leather handbags, jeans that fit well, and shoes. I do have some cheaper shoes, but my most comfortable pairs are pretty much always on the higher end of the spectrum (i.e. $60-$150 rather than $25-$35).
Do you create a clothing/wardrobe budget and how did you come about the method?
When I started blogging last year, my favorite posts to read were monthly budget posts. I was fascinated by the different items and brands and stores and the different price ranges.
When I started my blog, I knew I’d be doing budget posts. I had never actually recording my monthly spending on clothes.
I would see something I wanted and if I knew I had some extra money in my bank account I would buy it.
So I started out just recording my spending, which no set budget amount, since I had no idea what I was working with spending-wise.
After going over my nine budget posts from 2015, I settled on a base budget (before gift cards/money earned from selling clothes) of $1,200 over the year. It’s extremely close to what I ended up spending last year, but slightly less.
What do you like to shop for and why?
I find myself drawn to sweaters, especially pullovers since they require no layering.
I don’t live in a hot climate, and they’re simple to throw on–I think that’s why I like them so much. I’m also a big fan of boots and booties.
I think I’m set on both of those items though, so I’m going to try to focus on blouses this year because it’s an area of my closet that could use some growth.
Is there anything you hate shopping for? Why?
Does anyone love that?
I’m pear-shaped, so if the pieces aren’t separates, forget about it.
I pretty much always need a smaller top and a larger bottom.
What is the all-time best and worst item(s) you’ve purchased and what have you learned from its purchases?
The only thing that stands out to me for worst are some joggers from Old Navy last year that ended up being waay too thin and I donated them after a month or two.
But they were probably only $15 so it doesn’t really upset me at all.
In the past when shopping with my mom (on her dime–like in high school) I was often too ambitious with my purchases. I would see something I just loved and thought was so stylish and perfect, but it wasn’t my style at all.
It was what I wished was my style, and then I just never ended up wearing it. (I’m specifically thinking of a wool three-quarter sleeved blazer right now that almost looked like it belonged with a school uniform–but in a stylish way if you knew how to style it…if that makes sense.)
Do you ever go off track from your budget? If so, how do you recover from it and fix the situation (if at all)?
I haven’t officially broken my budget yet since I just put it in place January 1st…but there have been times in the past when I look at my bank account and I have enough money to buy x item, only to realize oh s@!* my student loans are due tomorrow or something along those lines.
And in those cases I basically just panic until I get paid again. 😉 Ha!
Your 1-3 favourite outfits and how much each item cost in each photo.
Outfit 1 – $202 to 232
- Tunic – purchased on sale for $28
- Zella leggings – purchased on sale for $34
- Boots – a few years old; on sale for probably between $120 and $150
- Necklace – $20
Outfit 2 – $202
- Wit & Wisdom jeans – purchased on sale for $42
- Poncho sweater – $60
- Booties – $100
Outfit 3 – $77
- Spanx tights – $28
- Bell-sleeve dress – purchased on sale for $29
- Heels – on sale for $20 at Target
Your 5 favourite places to shop (offline and online)
Nordstrom and Old Navy are my top two for sure.
Honestly, I don’t shop for clothes many other places. Target would probably be third on the list, and after that, there’s no store that I consistently purchase from.
What is the one best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in budgeting?
Shop as you normally would for a couple of months (or nine, if you’re me) but just keep track of your spending.
Keep track of each item and what was spent on it, not just a lump sum.
I also think it’s helpful to note the full price and any sales/discounts you may have used–that way you can look and see if you would’ve bought that same thing had it not been 50% off.
Then just look over your spending and try to find a good average that you would be comfortable with as your budget.
I prefer an annual budget, because some months I’ll spend $0 while I may spend hundreds the next month. And I can’t buy an investment piece if my budget is a strict $100 per month.
Thank you so much for participating, Mattie!
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.