Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December Budget and Happy New Year!

dec collage1 dec collage2

Black sweatshirt - $13.50 from Old Navy
Boots - $39 from Marshall's
Flats - $12.50 from Old Navy
Gray long sleeve tee - $10 from Old Navy
Purse - $26 from Kohl's

Not pictured:

Red flats - $12.50 from Old Navy
Sweatpants - $9.99 from Old Navy (link here)
Sleeveless tunic - $6.88 from Target (seen here)
Green v-neck tee - $3.60 from Kohl's
Black scarf - $18 from Old Navy
Necklace and earrings - $12 total from Discount Fashion Warehouse

Total - $163.97

Old Navy purchases with gift card - additional $49.74

gift card collage

Gray dress - $20 
Sweater - $12.99

Not pictured:

Gray sweatshirt - $4.25...or something close to that price! (seen here)
Gray sweatpants - $12.50 (link here - yep, those are the same ones I linked to above. When I find something I like, I stock up and I was in desperate need of new sweatpants!)

Unfortunately this is the worst I've ever done, as I wasn't even close to the loose budget guidelines I set for myself - it make me cringe a little anytime I spend more than $100! I practiced a little too much one for you, one for me type of Christmas shopping. At least I can say that most of the items I purchased have already been worn, many of them multiple times, so I think they were good purchases.

To switch focus a little bit, I'm not great at setting long term goals (something I really should work on I'm sure), but reading everyone's 2013 re-caps and hopes for what 2014 will bring has gotten me in a bit of a reflective mood. As I'm sure it was for most people, 2013 was a stressful year. Some big changes at work lead to several transition periods that although I tried to keep a positive attitude about, I really wasn't happy with. I learned that the flexibility I had said was such a strength of mine both in and out of the workplace is only apparent when the change happens quickly. Tell me about a change, then tomorrow it takes place? Cool with me! Hint at change coming for 2 months, then tell me something is going to change, then make that transition time take another 2 months and apparently I struggle. Who knew, but good to know and in the future I'll try to make that knowledge about myself be useful. 

On the family front, we lost my aunt this fall, one that I had been incredibly close to for years but that relationship crumbled after college - not because of any fight or disagreement, but just because of frustration (on my part at least) and a lack of effort to stay in touch. As I write that, I can't help but feel like that's worse. I come from a small family and that's the first family member I've lost that I was really close to since barely being a teenager, so it was my first time experiencing that type of grief as an adult. Turns out that once the tears stop, I just want to organize everything. Once again, who knew, especially if you saw the current state of our living room! That experience had an affect on my marriage too (you can read the post about that here if you're interested) and I'm thankful to be able to say that even after a month a half after her death, our relationship has continued to strengthen. 

There were lots of good times too, and I think it's important to reflect on those! It was the year of weddings, including two of my very best friends each getting hitched, my husbands' childhood best friend, and my sister-in-law. Since planning and experiencing my own wedding I've had a new sense of appreciation for the meaning behind those events and the effort that goes into them to make them special, so I truly enjoyed each one. Another year of good health for our parents (there's been a big health scare on each side of our families within the past few years), seeing my niece and nephew turn into hilarious little people that I most of the time truly adore (haha, I say that with love I promise!), and finding the time to head to California together for our first Buckeyes road game (read more about that trip here and here if you want!)

So I think it's safe to say that I learned a lot about myself in 2013 and I'm thankful for that opportunity. Like I said, I'm not good at goal setting, so while I don't have anything specific in mind for 2014, I hope it brings just as many lessons as 2013 did and that those lessons are put to use to make myself a better person, wife, daughter, sister, and professional. Happy New Year everyone!

...and of course I'm linking up for Budgeting Bloggers! :)


  1. Enjoyed reading your thoughts! Also, I love that blue purse from Kohl's. What brand is it and is it still available? Thanks and Happy New Year!

  2. Hey Carly! I just sent you an email, but it's Nine & Co. and called the Snap Dragon Tote. Happy New Year to you too and thanks for reading!!

  3. Happy new year, Jess! I'm sorry to hear about your aunt passing. :( Hope 2014 looks up for you!

  4. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year! I love the sweatshirt and dress you got!

  6. So sorry you lost your aunt this year and for all of your work frustrations. I really do love the new year - it's such a great time for a new start! Happy 2014!

    P.S. I love that bag!

  7. So sorry to hear about your aunt but best wishes for a rejuvenating 2014!

    And on another note, those booties are great! How much were they before they were marked down? And is that zip up sweater for $12.99 from Old Navy?! It's so pretty!

  8. Oh I love the boots. Great finds - they are all very classic items that you can wear over and over. Don't worry about having a bad month (I did too, went WAY off mark), let's work on a better January.

  9. You got so many great things last month. Big deal about over-spending a little. We only live once. The Blue Bag & Gray Sweatshirt are my favorites. ;-)