Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Closet Conundrum

I am a big fan of frugality and organization.  I read blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, all about how to be frugal and save money.  I have come across many posts about clearing clutter in your house and cleaning out your closet.  I blogged earlier about a post that was inspiring here

Now, there are two views about closet management that I am pondering. 
1) Clear out everything that you don't wear, don't like, doesn't fit.  That's what the previous post was centered on.  The premise is to open your closet, pick out anything on a hanger, and be able to wear it, and love it.  Easy and simplified.  This makes total sense to me.  There are often things I have bought or have hung on to that I simply don't and won't wear.  Example: I bought a pair of tight fitting, light blue, textured pants in high school, out of impulse. They were not the right fit, definitely not my style, and I have no idea why I bought them.  But because I did, they inhabited my closet for way longer than they should.  Mostly out of guilt.  I didn't want to get rid of something I had hardly worn.  So ridding my closet of those things that were a bad impulse buy, something someone gave me that I will never wear, or things from the 1990s - this I agree with. 

However, this is view number 2) While you should get rid of anything you absolutely won't wear, keep items you like that are a size up or a size down.  If you are anything like me, I often vary in sizes throughout the year.  While I am working at being healthier, and hope to decrease a couple sizes, I have to wear clothes for where I am now.  For work especially, I have tried to invest in good quality clothing that will last for a while such as basic pieces like slacks, shift dresses, and foundation pieces.  I have spent good money on these clothes, so if I am a size smaller now, I don't want to get rid of those basics now, because I might need them at a later time during the year.  The same is to be said about a size smaller. It is not frugal to get rid of everything a size bigger, then down the road, gain a size and have to buy those pieces again.  I am talking about 1 size down or 1 size up, however.  This does not apply to that dress I wore my freshman year in high school.  I will not ever have the body I had then, even if I am a similar size.  Also, that was 12 years ago. 

I also try not to buy super trendy items, or at least limit them.  Trends change too often to keep up.  If you have good basics, adding accessories that are trendy can change up your looks.  So you can take a basic dress and add a cardigan and scarf, or a statement necklace and wedges and have two totally different looks.  That is frugal!  Making your wardrobe flexible and adaptable, so you don't have to buy as many clothes. 

So I think my closet philosophy is currently this: toss or sell anything I don't like or won't ever wear, but keep those basic pieces of clothing, even if they are a size different. I have limited closet space, but also limited closet funds, so a balance between the two views is perfect for me.  

What is your closet philosophy?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Year Later...

In my last post, I told you that I would start blogging more often.  Well, more than one year later, it seems that I lied.  Not on purpose mind you.  Life happened.

So, rather than go back and fill you in on all that happened in that year, which would take entirely too long, I will simply pick up on where I am now.

I have since left the banking industry and began a new career in higher education.  I learned so much from banking, but I am enjoying this new opportunity.  It is so great to be back on campus where I went to college.  And now they are paying me to be here! I have always said I would go back to college if they paid me.

It is a slower pace, especially now that it is summertime and all the students are gone.  I am finding new ways to occupy myself in the down times.  I have read three or four books this month.  I have missed that!  I will need to budget book money now, however.  The free Kindle books are never quite as good as those from my trusted and well-acquainted authors. I am also trying out a new money-saving/making website, Swagbucks.  I am on day two, and have over 1,000 bucks.  That roughly translates to a $10 gift card.  Not too shabby.  It not hard and most of it is earned through things I already do on the internet, like searches and surveys.  If you decide to join, use this link and I get a 10% credit for a referral, plus Swagbucks will make a donation to end child hunger. Not a bad deal.

I am considering getting a Master's Degree while I am here.  Well, I have pretty much decided to do so - the university will pay for me to take 6 credit hours a semester, so it's basically free - but I just need to get over my fear of taking the entrance exam.  I'm not sure whether it's the test itself or the $200 fee that makes me nervous.  I signed up to take one earlier this year and totally freaked out about it and wound up not taking it.  Sigh.  So I need to get my courage up and take it in June or July if I want to start the program this fall.

My sister is getting married next month!  I am very excited for her.  She has waited a long time for her perfect someone.  Not that he is perfect, but I think he is perfect for her.  I am sad that she will be moving, to the place we just moved from!  Can't ever seem to get everyone in the same place for long!  That's a symptom of growing up it seems.

I am always striving to live in the present, to "Be Here Now," as the bracelet I am wearing is trying to remind me. I am loving being married and spending time with just the two of us.  We want to have a family one day soon, but the time isn't right for us right now, so we are still growing together and getting to know each other more and more.  He is back in school striving to finish his degree.  It was a transition for both of us, going from full-time work to school, but he was very successful in his first semester back to school in 4 years.

I am all about budgeting here lately.  Going from two incomes, down to one plus a little loan money has been a challenge.  But, in the process, we have paid down some debt, and are working on our other debt.  I have started using the cash envelope system for all our spending minus bills.  It has worked very well so far.  It took some adjusting, but I am much better at estimating what amounts we will need for which categories. I love reading about and talking about budgeting.  So if you are interested, ask me!  I would also love to know what is working for you and your family.

I guess I have babbled enough for today. Hopefully this will be more often than was stated in the previous post!