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Crap, I accidentally budgeted.

Confession time: Steve and I are not cheap clothing shoppers. While we buy at least 80% of our stuff on sale or with a coupon, we are brand buyers. Second confession: Steve is way more frugal than I am and way better at finding deals but I’m trying desperately to get better at this myself.

As I am working on becoming more financially responsible and telling myself “no” more often, I made a list of everything we needed along with a max price on each item. Thinking about it now, it seems that I may have accidentally budgeted. I feel dirty, but it was actually a bit more freeing than expected. That’s what she said.

Thanks to subscriptions to email lists, Ebates, coupon codes from Retail Me Not, clearance racks, and the ShopStyle app, we were able to get almost everything on our respective lists for much cheaper than retail — including a $250 coat for $127.50, 2 pairs of leggings that retail for $79.90 each for $87.80 for both, and $20 off a chambray shirt that I’ve loved for a year that FINALLY went on sale. I also accepted that while I really want $350 cognac boots, it is really not responsible to buy them right now. Even though I love them so much!

Look at me, #adulting.

After all was said and done, we came in under budget on every. single. item. So let’s recap. I made a list, budgeted for items on said list, and then paid less than the allotted budget. I’m severely weirded out by this. Because budgets are gross…right?

I diss budgets on the daily because I have a real problem with limitations. Strangely enough, this did not feel limiting at all. Basically because we just sought out the best deals we could find on the things we wanted. So I suppose this could be budgeting, conscious spending, or a combination of both. Either way, we saved money, and I’ve decided to stay a bit more open minded as I prepare our financial plan for 2014. Maybe a little budgeting wouldn’t hurt. Maybe.

Now that clothing shopping is done and we finally ordered a vacuum (also with a coupon, thank you Bed, Bath, and Beyond!), we just have a few more things to take care of before going back into debt paying mode. We still need a dresser and we have to pay for my hotel for FinCon as well as last week’s parking ticket. Then we have Christmas, which includes plane tickets back home and small gifts for my family members. We are on track to pay off our Chase card in 2013 (the sooner, the better) and then start working on flipping our car right side up. Shit is getting done!

Have you guys done your fall/winter clothing shopping yet? Did you set a…budget…for it?

[Image from BuzzFeed]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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