Top 10 Thrifty Wins: March

This is a particularly exciting Top 10 Thrifty Wins post for a couple of reasons:

First, we’re celebrating a year of budgeting! That’s right, we started our first serious budget in April 2018, and we’ve come a long way since. It was fun looking back on past budgets and comparing them to our March budget. We learned a lot over this last year, and I plan on posting more about that later!

Second, (and the reason why this post is obnoxiously late) Rick and I are expecting our first baby in October! We are thrilled, and I can’t believe we’re going to be parents! What an adventure this is going to be.

Baby Manthe Coming

 

On to the Thrifty Wins:

1. Tax return. We had a nice tax return this year, which went straight to the student loans.

2. Third paycheck. Just because of the way the days of the month fell, I had a third paycheck this month. Straight to the loans.

3. $6500 loan payment. Thanks to numbers 1 & 2!

leonie-wise-4301-unsplash.jpg4. Under budget in groceries and electric bill. Rick’s been the sole chef in our house and was in charge of meal planning, grocery shopping and preparing all of our meals as I’ve been quite under the weather. (First trimester kicked my butt!) I’m really proud of him for staying under budget!

5. Packed own food when traveling. We still ate out or ordered take-out on occasion, but packing our own food saved us some money!

6. Not doing much. A lot of my weekend plans included staying home, resting and just low-key stuff, which saved us quite a bit on entertainment costs.

7. $5 Target gift card for stocking up on toiletries. I think it was a “spend $20, get a $5 giftcard” deal. It’s always nice to have a Target giftcard.Screenshot_20190413-150119

8. Earned $15 from Receipt Hog. This cashback app is pretty easy to use, and I scan all of my receipts into it to earn points, which go toward giftcards for Amazon, Visa or you can use Paypal.

9. Cashed in on credit card points and earned $50.

10. Found a new apartment! And we’ll be paying less than we anticipated. Of course we had to make some sacrifices, but I think it was the right decision. It’s smaller than we wanted, but I’ve been youtubing ideas for making the most of your living space, and I’m excited to organize it!

 

What an exciting month, actually, year of budgeting and wins! We worked hard this year, learned a lot and made some smart financial choices (some not so smart ones, too). But I think what made the biggest impact on paying off $58,570.62 of our student loans in a year, was our budget. If you want to save money for any reason or just want to have more control over your finances, start a budget! Even just tracking expenses for a month can be eye-opening! There are lots of different ways to do it, and if you’d like some guidance, you can see how we started our first budget.

 

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Top 10 Thrifty Wins: February

Here’s what we won in February!

1. Free mini vacation. For Rick’s office holiday party we went out of town and stayed at a hotel across from where the Green Bay Packers play. It was a nice little February getaway, and I had a really fun time meeting Rick’s coworkers. We did an escape room and then had drinks and dinner.

IMG_20190126_144840501#12. Goodwill finds. Sometimes I don’t know why I shop anywhere else. When we went to Green Bay for Rick’s holiday party, we stopped at my favorite Goodwill. Our total was about $23 which bought each of us some nice shirts. Gotta love those 50% off tags!

3. Snow/cold kept us from doing things. Trying to look on the bright side of things, the nasty weather did save us some money. We traveled less and our eating out/entertainment budget was low. I really enjoyed the days where Rick worked from home with me!

4. Lowest gas bill to date. We didn’t have to fuel up the car as much this month due to sticking around home with all this silly weather. We also combined partially used gift cards to pay for a fill-up.

5. Phone reimbursement. Rick and I have both been getting phone bill reimbursements from work. Just a really nice perk!

6. No spend girls weekend. Some friends and I got together one weekend, and we really didn’t spend much money. We made our own meals, and one friend so generously paid for our entertainment when we went out.

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Winter Workouts

7. A few recurring thrifty wins:
-We’re still using just one car.
-We still pay cheap rent (at least for three more months).
-Gave plasma.
-Free workouts.

8. Used a gift card for Valentine’s Day dinner. We enjoyed a nice, romantic Subway sandwich dinner. We’re fancy.

9. We continue to try to stretch what we have. It’d be nice to get a new tv stand, a new car, more clothes, fun makeup, etc. And we will. We’re just trying to use what we have and not buy any extras. We’ll also be moving again in a few months, so that kind of motivates me to refrain from buying stuff because we’ll just have to move it.

IMG_20190119_120812_0110. Finished up The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get From Broke to Badass in Record Time by Anna Newell Jones. This girl could no longer stand how much debt she was in and was tired of her spending habits. She decided to go on a spending fast for a year, and she ended up paying off about $24,000 in 15 months. It was really inspiring!

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: January

The new year started out with a ton of changes: new city, new apartment, new job, new thrifty wins! Here are our Top 10:

1. Cheap rent, actually no rent this month. Due to some miscommunication, we accidentally paid December’s rent twice back at the end of November. So, January’s rent had already been covered. Also, we got a good deal on a temporary lease, so it has allowed us to save some money through May.

2. Started my new job. Hooray for officially being employed! My new job allows me to work from home, so that’ll save on travel and car maintenance costs. It also comes with a few other monetary perks such as continuing education reimbursement, an office set up stipend, and some extra cash in my pocket for not taking their health insurance (we get it through Rick’s employer).

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A throwback of me with Rock Step Rick

3. Continuous free workouts in lieu of a gym membership. I do miss having a gym membership, especially when the weather is unfavorable. Rick and I agreed that we’d like to get back to the gym once the loans are gone. The beginning and middle of January had decent weather for walking and running outside. I took advantage of this and also did some at-home workouts such as youtube yoga, pilates, a HIIT workout, and the occasional dance break with Rock Step Rick.

4. Gift card date. Rick got a gift card to a Madison steak house for Christmas. We don’t eat out a lot, so this date was a special treat!

5. New plasma donation place. I found a new place to donate plasma, and it’s within walking distance from our apartment! I get $50 per donation the first 5 times I donate.

IMG_20181231_173630_01_01.jpg6. Low-key New Years celebrations. Rick and I were pretty worn out from the holidays and moving, so we decided to stay home and hang out. We enjoyed some wine and watched movies. New Years Day was super lazy as well. We went to mass, then binge-watched Superstore, ate some nachos, and relaxed. It was just what we needed!

7. Gas budget decreased. Though we did a little traveling, the amount we spent on gas decreased significantly this month. It certainly helps that Rick and I are living in the same place now and that Rick’s commute has shortened a ton.
January: $117.59
December: $312.57
November: $436.62

8. Didn’t buy a car. As I described earlier this month, Rick’s car died, and we decided to hold off on buying another one. Since I’ve been working from home, we’ve really only needed one car. We’ve been doing a better job at planning our outings or walking to our destinations when we can.

9. Free Badger hockey game. We received some hockey tickets and got to sit in a fancy box with all kinds of fancy food. They had two meat carving stations, salads, at least 20 different types of cheeses to try, Thai coconut shrimp, scallop ceviche, a variety of other appetizers and a table full of dessert. We felt like royalty!

10. Extra money. We received some money back from our security deposit, most of January’s Wausau rent, and my PTO payout check. We knew we would get some of this money, but we weren’t really sure how much to expect. The total exceeded our expectations!

 

Organize Your Fridge to Reduce Waste & Save Money

Grocery shopping can be exhausting, and when I get home and haul everything to the kitchen to be unpacked, I’m pooped. I’m totally guilty of throwing everything in the fridge however it will fit.

But there’s actually a way to organize the fridge’s contents in order to optimally preserve your food. Check out these tips to coordinate your fridge to reduce waste and save money:

manki-kim-353734-unsplash.jpgTemperature is key. Door bins and upper shelves are the warmest spots, and the bottom of the fridge holds the coldest spots. The back of the fridge is also usually cooler than the front.

What to put where
(according to consumerreports.org):

Door bins: butter, condiments, juice
Top shelf: jams, leftovers, hummus, yogurt, berries, deli meat, herbs, cheese
Lower shelf: eggs, milk, and raw meat, fish and poultry. Ideally, you want the raw meat to be the lowest so that it can’t contaminate anything under it. If that’s not really going to work for your fridge, make sure to put trays underneath the meat to catch any drippings. Some fridges have a meat drawer, or you can purchase a plastic bin to keep it in.
Crisper Drawers:
-Low humidity: to simplify, fruit
-High humidity: to simplify, vegetables

scott-webb-98682-unsplash.jpgFoods that should not go in the fridge: bananas, bread, coffee, unripened fruit, garlic, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes

A few other tips to reduce food waste:
– Shop your fridge first when you’re planning out your meals for the week. Take inventory of what you have and what needs to be used. Find recipes that will use up those ingredients.

– Post a list of your meals and snacks for the week on the outside of your fridge. Use a whiteboard, chalkboard, calendar, or a scrap piece of paper. You’ll know when you’re supposed to eat what and nothing goes to waste.

– What to do with foods that are about to spoil:

  • Vegetables: egg bake, soup, vegetable stock, stir fry
  • Fruit: cut up and freeze for smoothies, banana bread
  • Freeze stuff

So there ya have it— an organized fridge, longer lasting food, and some extra cash in your pocket.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: November

One thing I love about these monthly Top 10 Thrifty Wins posts is that it forces me to find SOME kind of financial positives when looking back at the month. All wins count, no matter how seemingly small they might be. Reflecting on the past month’s finances motivates me to keep going and do even better the next month.

With Rick getting a new job, moving, and living in two different places, we weren’t really sure how to approach our November budget month. There were a lot of unknowns such as the cost of the new apartment rent, Rick’s paycheck and other kinds of moving expenses. Creating a budget was tricky, and some areas were really difficult to stick to.

But all is not lost. I was still able to drum up our Top 10 Thrifty Wins for November:

1. Found a good deal on our new apartment. We had about three weeks to find a new apartment and move Rick to the city where he is now working. Madison is about two hours away, and we didn’t have a lot of time to apartment hunt. We also weren’t sure about the location because where I will find a job is still a mystery. But we found a nice deal on a temporary lease. It was available right away, decently close to Rick’s job, and it’ll give us time to think about where we actually want to live.

rawpixel-749497-unsplash.jpg2. Saved money on internet. We still need internet in both apartments while Rick is at our new place and I’m at our old place through the end of December. Instead of purchasing or renting a router, Rick took one to the new apartment, and I’m using the ethernet cord or my phone’s hotspot for internet. We’re looking to cancel the old apartment internet altogether and just use the hotspot.

3. Cut moving costs. Instead of spending money on movers and a truck, Rick’s dad let us borrow his HUGE truck to take a load to our new place. We were able to fit everything Rick needed immediately in the truck and move him down in one shot.

4. Saved money on celebration pizza. When we moved Rick to the new place, we ordered pizza from our all-time favorite pizza place. We rarely eat out (and rarely eat pizza), so this was a big deal. And the $2 off coupon made me feel even better about it.
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5. Cutting back on Christmas shopping.
We’ve been downsizing Christmas gifts each year on both sides of the family. Not only is this a big help financially, but it also cuts down on the stress and greed of the season.

Screenshot_20181202-131408.png6. Spending more, saving more. Unfortunately, we’ve been spending more on household items, gas and gifts. This is partially due to Christmas/birthday season and partly due to moving. However, I’ve been getting more cash back with ibotta, Receipt Hog, and Ebates!

7. Still no cell phone payment. Rick’s previous job paid for his cell phone and plan. We anticipated needing to buy a new cell phone and start paying for our plan since he transitioned to his new position. Due to the generosity of family members, we still don’t have to pay for either.

8. Free meals. As a farewell present, Rick’s coworkers gave him a basket full of goodies which included gift cards for: Culvers, Starbucks, and Subway. It’s always nice to eat for free!

rawpixel-740327-unsplash.jpg9. Bought some pants on sale. Since my clothes buying fast, I haven’t returned to my clothes shopping habits. But I did need a new pair of black pants. After checking Goodwill with no luck, I bought some brand new pants at 50% off.

10. Stayed within budget on some areas. Even though we didn’t really know what we were in for when we planned our November budget, overall, we stayed within budget. We blew the budget in some areas, but we cut back in others such as eating out/entertainment and groceries. We didn’t need to spend money on car repairs or cell phones like we thought we would, and the cheap new apartment rent really helped us out.

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

11 Frugal Habits That Save Us Thousands

Rick and I have learned so much over the past 8ish months since beginning our quest for financial freedom. (We’ve paid $44,000 in student loans since April!) I thought I’d share some of the habits we’ve developed since beginning our journey that have helped us to save thousands.

1. Eating in. We didn’t eat out a lot before, but we’ve really reeled it in over the last few months. Rick’s talked with his friends about doing a potluck for some of their meals when they get together. We’ve invited people over instead of going out or suggested going out for coffee or drinks instead of a full meal.

rawpixel-589073-unsplash.jpg2. Having weekly budget meetings.  We learned that we need to regularly check in with our expenses to make sure we’re staying on track. We plug what we’ve spent each week into our budget spreadsheet and then see how much we have left to spend for the rest of the month. This helps so we don’t get to the end of the month and go “oh crap, we blew our budget“.

3. Discussing purchases. We have started communicating better about what we actually need, how much things cost, and making grocery lists. Even when going clothes shopping after my clothes buying fast was up, I made a list and set a spending limit after talking with Rick about it.

4. Using the library for entertainment. I don’t care what Leslie Knope says, libraries are the best! We use the library for many of our entertainment resources such as books, audiobooks, movies, and TV series DVDs. Lately, the audiobooks have been awesome for long drives.library.gif

5. Keeping grocery shopping to once a week. We make a list of meals and snacks we’ll eat each week and then create a list of ingredients we’ll need. We shop our fridge and pantry first to make sure we use up things that are about to expire. I’ve been doing a much better job at sticking to the list without purchasing extra in the store. It’s enough to last a week, and if we missed something, we manage without it. Since making a few changes, we’ve cut our grocery bill by about $100 each month.

6. Making more meatless meals. I started a Meatless Monday recipe series last month, and I’ve found some tasty, filling recipes that don’t require meat. Before creating our budget, we spent $400+ per month on groceries. With October’s Meatless Mondays, we spent less than $300.

7. Unplugging stuff and turning out lights. Honestly, I don’t know how much money this has saved us- maybe a few dollars a month? It does help with the mentality of using only what we need and wasting less.

8. Trying at-home/outdoor workouts. The weather’s getting cooler, but we still don’t plan to get a gym membership this year. I’ve been bundling up to go for walks or runs. If it’s dark by the time I get home after work I’ve been using online workouts such as this pop pilates challenge or yoga.

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I wrapped a wine bottle in an old sweater sleeve because I ran out of wine gift bags. 

9. Using what we have first. I mentioned that we shop the fridge and pantry first before going grocery shopping. The same goes for other areas in our home. I try to use clothing in new ways and play around with different outfits to make things seem like new. We’ve gotten crafty with gift wrap and cards using supplies we have on hand. We also check the gift card drawer in our house to see if we can use a gift card for something we need to purchase. If we don’t have it, we try to borrow or buy used before purchasing something new.

10. Checking for coupons. I’m not a big couponer, but I have been checking for coupons online and in the mail lately. We’ve used coupons for eating out, haircuts, auto maintenance, donating plasma, and movie rentals. Cashback apps and Ebates have been helpful with groceries, gifts and household items, too!

11. Saying no. Sometimes things aren’t in the budget and we have to say no to ourselves and/or other people. Usually it’s not a flat-out “no”. If it’s not in the budget that month, maybe we can make room for it the next month. Or maybe we’ll suggest a less expensive option instead. Most of our friends and family members know we are working hard to pay off debt. They’ve been extremely supportive and understanding, and I can’t thank them enough!

Now, don’t think we’re always perfect. We could definitely up our game in some of these areas. Really, it’s not about being perfect, but it’s about trying our best.

We’d like to make these habits sustainable so that even when that glorious day arrives when we can finally say we’re debt-free, we’ll continue to make sound financial decisions.

What kinds of frugal habits have you developed?

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

6 Essential Tools for a Frugal Kitchen

Making your own meals is a great way to save money, and there are endless varieties of fun gadgets to help make food prep easier and more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, in the past, I have fallen prey to the allure of shiny new kitchen gadgets and “I must have this” thinking. I’ve purchased the item only to have it sit in my drawer or cupboard nearly untouched for years.

Now I keep my kitchen free of clutter (which keeps meal prep time enjoyable), and I try to only keep what I consider “essential tools” on hand.

I’ve found the following 6 kitchen tools extremely helpful and such a good investment for my meal prep.

1. Glass tupperware. So essential for meal prep! I’m a big leftovers person, and I take multiple containers to work each day. I like the glass ones because they’re microwave safe and don’t get stained.

2. Vegetable peeler. This thing works great to peel almost any kind of vegetable! It slips onto my middle finger for an easy grasp. No sore wrists or fingers with this contraption.

IMG_20181014_1501140023. Big cutting board. I have a few cutting boards of different sizes and materials. I really like this one because of how many vegetables I can fit on it at one time.

4. Ancient slow cooker. I’m pretty sure my dad found my slow cooker at a rummage sale many years ago. It looks like it’s from the 80s, and it’s had a lot of love. But it still works well! This is probably its updated version.

The slow cooker saves time and money. It’s helpful in the summer when I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the apartment. Or if I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just toss some chicken breasts in it with some seasonings and chicken broth and let it cook for about 6 hours. I have shredded chicken for tons of recipes for the rest of the week.

5. Veggetti. I’m a big zucchini noodles person, and I get a lot of use out of this spiralizer. What a great way to cut back on carbohydrates and bump up your vegetable intake. Try these Thai Chicken Zoodles or Tomato Parm Zoodles.

6. Rubber Spatula. This tool has saved me from wasting a bunch of food over the years. I have a few different kinds of spatulas, but this one seems to glide easily over the surface I’m scraping and leaves no trace of food behind.

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: September

September rushed by in a flash! Things have been busy at work for me, Rick’s been traveling a lot, and we’ve been celebrating birthdays and the end of summer.

Throughout these happenings, I kind of felt our gazelle- like intensity slipping. We were over budget in three areas this month, we had some extra car maintenance expenses, and a few other extra expenses just sort of popped up.

That sounds kind of negative, and this post is supposed to be about thrifty WINS. So, here’s a positive spin: out of these bumps in the road on our journey to financial freedom has come a renewed sense of motivation. I looked back at a previous post, Starting Our Money Makeover, and thought about how far we’ve come. I was also reminded of a few other avenues to explore to help us save or make more money. We plan to try to sell a few things this month, continue giving plasma, look into better car insurance deals and plan a few more meatless meals.

One of the keys to staying motivated is reviewing our accomplishments and looking at how far we’ve come. So here we have it:

September’s Top 10 Thrifty Wins

1. Free haircuts. I gave Rick and myself at-home haircuts. We’ve been using these fail-proof clippers for Rick’s hair for the past 5-6 years and it has saved us hundreds.IMG_20180922_125437860

2. Reused salsa-making items. It’s become a Manthe family tradition to get together in September to make and can salsa and other tomato products. We were able to reuse our jars and rings from previous years, and I had some leftover unused lids as well. And there’s nothing better than homemade salsa with fresh ingredients!

3. Walking more. Not only is walking great exercise, but it saves money on gas and it’s better for the environment. The weather’s been beautiful, so I’ve been taking advantage of walking to more places rather driving.

4. Stayed under clothes shopping budget. My clothes buying fast was up this month, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t go crazy with my spending. I set a $100 limit, and I stayed well-below that.

5. Free clothes from a friend. My friend has been working hard at decluttering, and I was lucky to benefit from the clothes she is getting rid of. I’m so thankful for the generosity of others!

IMG_20180907_181216579.jpg6. Free produce. We scored some free produce from my dad’s garden and Rick’s mom’s neighbor’s pear tree. Again with the generosity!

7. Thrifty girls weekend. My friends are supportive of my fit and frugal lifestyle, and we planned thrifty activities such as hiking, watching Friends, chatting, and at-home manicures. We each brought snacks and meal items, so we limited our dining out.

8. Made a birthday meal. We hosted dinner for my dad on his birthday and had a great time! We made him jambalaya with zucchini cornbread and an apple crisp (from the apples we picked) for dessert. My aunt brought a nice bottle of wine, and we were able to test our fancy wine tasting glasses again. The whole meal was only a fraction of the cost of eating out.IMG_20180923_160156654_HDR

9. Apple picking date. This was a fun, cheap date one afternoon, and the apples were a pretty great deal, too!

10. Shopped around for insurance deals. This is something we’ve been meaning to do for a LONG time. We think we found a deal that will save us a few hundred dollars per year on car insurance. I only wish we would have done this sooner!

Here’s to a renewed sense of motivation for October’s Fit and Frugal Living!

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Activities for Frugal Fall Fun

Please don’t hate me. I’m a summer person, and I get a little sad when fall arrives, marking the end of long days, warm weather and summer fun.

BUT THEN I put this list together of some super fun fall activities that won’t break the bank, and I realized fall’s a pretty great season, too.

Here’s the list of Top 10 Activities for Frugal Fall Fun:

1. Apple picking. I love harvesting produce, especially apples. Some u-pick apple orchards have hay rides, pumpkin patches and cute animals to see!

 

2. Fall festivals. Look them up on your town’s community calendar. There are often cheap/free things to do such as face painting, pumpkin carving, food eating, crafting, music listening and people watching.

3. Fall color hike. Go for a hike or a nice walk in the cool weather to view the beautiful fall colors in your area. Take photos or try a mindfulness walk enjoying nature scenes.

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4. Make a fall recipe. Apple sauce, a hearty soup, pumpkin pie, or try canning salsa (a Manthe tradition).

5. Football party. Invite friends over to watch the game. Everyone can bring a snack or beverage, and you can enjoy each other’s company while rooting for your favorite team.

6. Declutter summer stuff. Look through things you didn’t use this summer and probably won’t use again. Donate, sell, or toss what you can. Bring out the fall stuff– decorations, warm clothing, and other fall necessities.

7. Snuggling. Cooler weather permits more snuggles. Sometimes it’s nice to curl up with a movie and your significant other, your kid, or your cat.

8. Plan Halloween costume. Here are some DIY ideas.kenz pumpkin copy

9. Pumpkin carving. All you need is a pumpkin, a knife and some creativity. You can go with the classic jack-o-lantern look or Google some more intricate designs if you want to get fancy.

10. Tackle something on the indoor to-do list on cold days. It might not be a lot of fun, but it’ll feel so much better when it’s done!

My 6-Month Clothes Buying Fast

How I started

I didn’t start this 6-month clothes buying fast intentionally. In March, I read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, and Rick and I started finding ways to cut back on our spending. When we made our first budget in April, I just didn’t include a line item for clothing. The last item of clothing I bought was in March, and I didn’t really NEED anything new.

I think this was kind of a unique way to start a clothes buying fast. I didn’t “stock up” and risk over-spending because I was nervous about not being able to buy any new clothes. I just stopped buying extra stuff and then turned it into a 6-month challenge.

It wasn’t difficult for the first months. I just stayed out of the mall and clothing stores. By month 4 or 5 I started getting antsy. I saw so many cute summery outfits on other people, and my summer clothes were getting boring. Some were even falling apart. And I just missed shopping!

What helped to get me throughScreen Shot 2018-09-19 at 2.47.17 PM

-Trying new outfit combinations
-Borrowing clothes
-Stitching up clothes with holes
-Reminding myself that this is just temporary. I might not look great every day this summer. And I will survive.
-Reality check. If I don’t look cute every day of work, will they fire me? If I wear the same clothes over and over when I see friends and family, will they like me less? No.

What I did when my 6-month fast ended

-Set a date. On 9/15/18 I would end my fast and buy a few items.
-Set a time limit. I would only spend 2 hours shopping, going to the stores I was pretty sure would have what I wanted.
-Shopped with a list I had compiled over the previous few weeks of things I really wanted.
-Second-guessed my purchases. I walked around the store with them for a bit and made myself put back at least one item.
-Set a spending limit.

What I boughtClothes Buying Fast.jpg

The black pants. I wear black pants to work most days, and I went through two pairs over the summer. They were worn through and pretty much beyond repair. So I’m super-thankful I found this wardrobe staple at Target!

Goodwill tops. I wanted a few new tops for fall. In the past I’d made the mistake of buying things at Goodwill because I was enchanted by the low prices. This time, I was picky to make sure my items were in good condition, would fit with my current wardrobe, and I liked how I looked in them.

Bonus! My fast-ending shopping trip occurred right before I went to visit a friend who happened to be doing an awesome job at decluttering. She gave me some cute tops she was going to get rid of, and I can’t wait to wear them!

What I learned

I am resourceful. I borrowed clothes (even a bridesmaids dress for a wedding I was in). I sewed clothes. I learned to use what I had even if it wasn’t perfect for the occasion.

More is not always better.
Having fewer clothing options can make it easier to decide what to wear for the day.

Not only did I save money, but I saved time.
I realized how much time I had wasted searching for clothes I didn’t really need.

What’s next

There are 2-3 more items I’d like to purchase before I start another clothes buying fast. I’ll give myself a break for now, but I’m definitely not going back to my mindless clothes buying habits. I might do another six-month stint after Christmas or, if I’m gutsy enough, I’ll extend the fast to 9-12 months.

Have you ever tried a spending fast? What got you through it?

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.