Save. Spend. Splurge.

Style Bloggers <3 Budgeting: Nout of Sandpaper Kisses

Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Nout and my blog is Sandpaper Kisses.

I just recently turned 31, I’m married with no kids but I have two cats. I absolutely love fashion, especially dressing on a budget and curvy fashion. I am also obsessed with mid-century design and antiques and have a vintage Pyrex collection.

What was once a silly blog started almost 5 years ago out of boredom, is still a silly cat-themed blog featuring curvy fashion, budgeting, thrifting, and cats. We don’t take things too seriously, ever.

We enjoy life, love our bodies (no matter the shape and size) and insist on looking fabulous without breaking the bank. And when I say “we,” I mean me and the cats, and whoever else is crazy enough to join us.

Blogging isn’t my job, it’s what I do for fun.

My actual job is technical marketing (how exciting) and I try not to do too much of that in my off time. I’ve enjoyed the blogger friends I’ve made over the years and hope to keep blogging for the foreseeable future.

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

I learned about budgeting growing up, when my mom and I had to make a little bit of money go a long way. My mom did the best she could raining me on an anthropology graduate student’s budget.

But often, it wasn’t enough. The truth is, I’m terrible at saving.

If I have money, I feel the need to spend it. I have had the motto of “you only live once” for a long time, but I’ll admit, it has gotten me into trouble.

You only live once

[ Editor: YOLO, FOMO and all the reasons why you and I overspend. ]

I think that this is a result of not having much for so long and being around a lot of people that had everything.

It kind of made me want to live that lifestyle, which was definitely beyond my means and eventually, I racked up a bit of credit card debt in college that continued into my post-grad life.

Recently, I finally paid off my credit cards but I’m still paying off my student loans – I’ve got like four more years.

I don’t make a whole lot of money at my job (although I’m comfortable) and I have other bills now like a mortgage, car payment, and house expenses, so the need to budget and save is even more crucial if I want to have anything left for retirement.

My mother-in-law is an expert at thrifting and taught me her ways. I’m getting pretty good at it although it’s caused me to amass way too much stuff, but I do consign quite a bit of it so that’s good.

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

I started following along with budgeting bloggers because I have a propensity for over-spending and I needed a way to keep myself in check.

I really liked how all the bloggers were honest about their spending and I like the sense of community. My budget started at $100 per month for clothing and shoes (not counting underthings).

This seemed like quite a lot at the time but now that I’m thinking I’d rather stick to a quarterly budget and get higher-quality clothes less often. I’m still thinking about it.

[ Editor: I highly recommend higher quality and less of it, I’ve wasted way too much money over the years! It’s why I am now in this #LuxeMinimalism mindset. ]

What do you like to shop for and why?

My favorite thing to shop for right now is purses. I absolutely love leather goods and a high-quality leather handbag is hard for me to resist.

I have way too many of them. My favorite bags are vintage Coach – they’re so timeless. I also like shoes, jackets, socks, and hats.

Is there anything you hate shopping for? Why?

Pants and tops, because they never ever fit right (or very rarely). I’m petite at 5’3”, curvy, and hourglass shaped, meaning most pants and most tops look pretty terrible off the rack.

I usually have to get pants hemmed and/or taken in and with tops I have to just deal with looking mediocre at best.

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

All-time best: Used Cole Haan Air Bria Huarache flats.

They’re probably my favorite and most comfortable flats, and they were only $4.

I’m going to be sad when they’re worn out.

All-time worst: A barely-used Alexander Wang Marion purse.

It was super expensive, out-of-budget but gorgeous.

But after using it for a few days I realized that the designer had honored form over function because it was one of the most frustrating and annoying handbags I’d ever owned. I ended up selling it and learned my lesson.

[Editor: That’s where I get suckered too for designer consignment.

I have to remember that not all consignments are gems, and sometimes there’s a REASON why they’re getting rid of those things.

It is very telling that I have never seen for instance, any modern but classic Burberry trenches at a consignment shop. Ever.]


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

Yes, all the time. I don’t beat myself up about it and try to do better next month. I think having a quarterly budget instead of monthly will help with some of this because it allows a bit more flexibility.

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

Outfit 1 = $11.59


Outfit 2 =$11.99


Your 5 favourite places to shop (offline and online).

  1. Local consignment store (The Stock Exchange in Chapel Hill, NC is my #1 favorite)
  2. Local thrift stores (All of them =P)
  3. Nordstrom
  4. eBay
  5. Amazon

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

Keep a running list on your phone.

If you wait until the end of the month to start keeping track of budgeting, it’ll get frustrating.

So instead, after each purchase, take a few minutes to jot it down in Google Keep or another app on your phone.

That way at the end of the month, you’ve got everything tallied up. Also, it helps to make a list of what you need/want so you can be ready if you go shopping.

Thank you so much for participating, Nout!

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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