Budgets and bargains: what I bought in January

January 31 2016

It will come as a surprise to none of you that I’m prone to a little overindulgence at the shops. (In fact that overindulgence may be beyond the shops, but that’s a whole other blog post.) As those of you who don’t mind a little overindulgence – of whatever variety – from time to time know: too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.

Last year was a particularly indulgent one and as a result my new year’s resolutions included Reeling It In. SO I have assigned myself a shopping budget and in the interest of accountability – and sharing sublime finds – I am going to share what I bought with you lovely things at the end of each month.

The Budget

I have set myself a clothing budget of $500 a month.

‘Outrageous!’ I hear a distant voice cry. Some might think so, but I would (and do) regularly take a new pair of fancy flats over a night on the town… different strokes for different folks.  I choose to spread my disposable income betwix my two loves: shopping and puppies. This includes a monthly donation to the RSPCA! #ImNotATerriblePersonOkay? #PleaseDontJudgeMe

The Rules

  1. The monthly budget includes clothing, shoes and accessories for all occasions (no free passes for loungewear and active wear).
  2. If I underspend, the extra gets rolled into the following month’s budget.
  3. If I overspend, the extra gets subtracted from the following month’s budget.
  4. Items purchased via gifted vouchers do not count toward the total.
  5. Nor do gifts. (That goes without saying, right?)
  6. The budget can be topped up by selling items (you know, via eBay).

What I bought: January

If I had to sum this month’s purchases up in one word it’s this: bargains!

By the end of January the sale racks are running dry and retailers everywhere are throwing extra 30, 40, 50 percent off already reduced prices at us. I am not by nature an amazing bargain shopping – I am a sucker for beautiful merchandising and find great satisfaction in flicking through perfectly sorted racks with an array of sizes and complementary garments. Perhaps it was the budget in my head, perhaps I developed a bargaining hunting skill, either way this month I nailed the deals! Here’s what I bought:

1. Marcs Stripe Crop 3/4 sleeve Blazer in Navy and Ivory, $127.20

Sublime Finds What I Bought Marcs Blazer

Marcs 3/4 Sleeve Blazer

I’d spied this classic when it first came out but was shopping for something else and couldn’t justify a $229 impulse by. I love this cut of blazer from Marcs, I have it’s sister styles in both navy and black. I find the cropped cut great to for gals with shorter torsos and wear with dresses when you don’t want something so long you lose your waist. When this little beauty came up an extra 20% off sale email, it instantly sold out on the Marcs online store, but I found it in Myer! It’s perfect for casual-but-not-too-casual-Friday at work, and I know it’ll get a run around on weekends when the weather starts cooling off. I wore it with a white tank, but I think i’d pair it with navy or even red underneath as well.

No link to purchase, but check the sales rack of your local Marcs or Myer if you’re keen on this one. The same style in black jersey is available here for $229 and a newbie in a waffle weave here ($259).

2. Oroton Twist Texture Bow Flats, $138

These were an outrageous deal: full price $345, I picked them up at an extra 20% off half price! What makes the deal feel outrageously good is that somehow they didn’t go to Oroton’s ‘outlet’ after the sale and are now back up to full price. I know this is completely unhelpful if you’re feeling like you want a pair! I think they’ll be on sale again before too long. They’re in black too! Keep an eye on them here.

A pair of tan flats fall squarely in the category of ‘classics’ and I thin these will get a serious workout as it starts to cool off. Also – totes perfect pairing with jacket as purchase one!

3. Pink Cue In The City dress, $90.30

Sublime Finds What I Bought Cue In The City Dress

Pink Cue In The City Dress: and my judgey fitting room face which I feel like I drastically need to reassess now I may be sharing some of these snaps with you.

I’d mentioned previously that Cue drop a bunch of Cue In The City dresses on Boxing Day (or about 5pm Christmas Day if you’re trawling online like me), this year they’re were $129. I bought a couple then (am loving, btw) and picked up this one on the 30% off rack at Myer last week. There are still a few about – in Cue and Myer stores only.

Meanwhile, Cue In The City is no longer a thing! Now Cue City is a thing. I feel a bit confused by this, but my first impressions are Cue City is a slightly-less-well-made (and not made in Australia) line at a lower price point. Which is exactly what Cue In The City was. Cue City seems to be marketed specifically as a workwear line. Plenty of regular Cue is workwear too. #confused I tried on this Cue City dress but didn’t think it warranted the $229 price tag. Its scuba material! Bring on a 20% off day in Feb, Cue!

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 11.04.07 am

I didn’t buy, yet… Cue City Bonded Stripe Dress, $229. Interestingly this was a totally different day to picture above but I seem to have been wearing the exact same hair and accessories. Hrmm.

4. Nine West Oya in Pink, $45.46

Sublime Finds What I Bought Nine West Oya

Nine West Oya

My shopping soul mate, SW, sent me a text with a pic of these earlier this month, knowing I’d love them as much as she did. I found them in store yesterday marked down from $129 to 50% off then an extra 30%. Outrageously cheap, Nine West sizes are so consistent and a 7.5 is totally my jam, couldn’t go pass a flat this fun at this price! Comfy too, and I have a cute as pie cross body handbag in the same shade. Outfit-makers!

There’s a couple of sizes left online here, otherwise check in store!

5. Nine West Jia in Pink, $48.96 

Sublime Finds What I Bought Nine West Gia

… and Nine West Gia!

… yep, I bought the heel too. The deal was too good! And I’m cray for pink – a statement heel is such a fun way to add some razzle dazzle to an otherwise standard-issue outfit. No pink left online but there’s a fun teal colour here. They also come in nude, black and a bunch of other colours that are available at full price.

The result!

What I bought Paid… Saved!
Marcs Jacket $127.20 $101.80
Oroton Flats $138 $207
Cue Dress $90.20 $38.80
Nine West Flats $45.46 $84.49
Nine West Heels $48.96 $90.99
TOTAL $449.82 $523.08!

I’m rolling the unspent $50.18 over to February and officially notching this month up as a win! I’ll leave you with some hardy shopaholic logic:

If you save more than you spend, you've actually made money


Over to you: what did you buy this month? Have you got a budget with a shopping line item? Hit me with your tips! 


  • Siobhan says:

    I’m SO impressed with your bargain hunting skills, Andrea! Can’t wait to see how you go in Feb. P.S- I love how many pink pieces you picked up this month.
    Siobhan X

  • LOVE this! Your picks are all gorgeous. I’m on a shopping ban until the wedding so am going to enjoy living vicariously through you! x
    Madeleine, The Daily Mark

  • Miss Chardy says:

    Oh….my….. lord….. PLEASE TAKE ME SHOPPING!!!!!!!! I am drooling over EVERY SINGLE THING. You have style girl. I love it. I knew I would love everything you were going to show us. I can’t believe I may have missed those pink nine wests – WTF…. I NEED SOME!!!! I love Nine West and have been wanting some pink shoes for ages. Please find me some – I am a 6 and you know I can’t get “in store” please be my personal shopper. And as for those Oroton flats… ohhhhhh. Look how much you saved, I am beyond jealous and every single thing. xxxxx

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