October’s budgeting bloggers round up

Greetings blogging friends, how are you on this lovely morning? I’m crossing my fingers that you’re snuggled up with a good coffee on a squidgy sofa rather than working hard (that’s my current position anyway!). A girl can dream right? So today’s post is all about my  October clothes shopping and how well I’ve done with the purse strings this month. As per usual I’m joining up with Franish and all the other lovely budgeting bloggers, so don’t forget to pop over to see how they’ve done too! As for me I’ve had an okay month in October – no thanks to the big spree in just one shop in the middle of the month. But despite this I I somehow  managed to keep to my budget and only spend £115.98, which leaves me a little bit to add to the Christmas fund – hooray! So what did I get for this money, well not a huge amount compared to last month to be honest, but I’m not to worried about that as it’s all lovely stuff!
Budgeting Bloggers: October

 

The last months shopping exploits have been in just two shops: H&M (for no less than three pairs of shoes) and Matalan for everything else. All the shoes I bought have been won loads already and are perfect for what I needed, so that’s a bonus! I have been searching for boots like these for ages as they look so practical, are comfy and can be worn with loads in the autumn months. And these ones don’t disappoint. As for the pumps I’ve been needing some for ages that were interesting colours, so I’ve ticked that off this month at least!

As for the clothes, I couldn’t say no to the tweed biker jacket as it was a mere £15 and it’s just lovely. [I think I’m a little bit in love with it if I’m honest!] As for the other jacket/blazer thing I loved the pattern (not the exact one on here, it’s a flowery pattern) so I had to buy it, I mean a black and white blazer is an essential yes? Not in the above picture is a navy and red striped long sleeve top that is perfect for lazy Sundays and walks on the common – very similar to the waffley one above, which was perfect until I spilt coffee down it – oops! As I don’t own skinny black jeans I could hardly say no to these black ones for a mere £12 could I? Especially when they fit absolutely perfectly (and look awesome with the new boots)! The one other purchase I made this month was a simple grey tshirt with fake leather capped sleeves. This top is such a simple item and was relatively cheap (only £8) but I’m totally in love with it. It is such an easy top to throw on with a pair of jeans and automatically looks like you’ve made an effort, which let’s be honest everyone loves right?

So there we have it, quite a lot of awesome things for my money this month, what about you how has your budget gone this month? Has it been successful or not?

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My most recent Smiley Happy Things

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Hello lovely people and how are you this monday morning, did you have a pleasant weekend and are you ready and raring to go with this week? I’ve only got three days of work this week as I leave my current job (after five and a half years!) on Wednesday – eek! I’m equal parts exccited and nervous! Anyway back to today, the ten things making me smile this week, here we go…

1) Lovely long natterings with friends
2) Brilliant books – In the last week I’ve read Catching Fire and I’ve started Mockingjay and I’m really enjoying rereading these YA gems. I’d forgotten so much of what happens and they are really brilliant reads

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3) Lazy mornings doing nothing but reading and coffee drinking, oh if only that was my life
4) Exploring new areas whilst we search for a potential new home – exciting times indeed!
5) Excellent Twitter responses, I’m looking at you @jamesblunt. What a great response to negative comments: showing you have a sense of humour and not taking yourself too seriously

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6) Watching live music – Tyler Hilton was superb live on Wednesday night and I’ve been listening to his music ever since. I love Loaded Gun the most I think (at least right at this minute)

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7) Five Guys –  I finally made it there this week and it was even better than I expected. There’s something in those fries that make them moreish, I’m telling you I could have eaten five or six helpings. As for the free monkey nuts, scrumptious

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8) Pretending I am able to buy whatever clothes I want with no budget constraints as part of the M&S Style Board competition for bonfire night. My entry is here, why not check it out?

9) Quality times with my sisterlings – whether it’s eating, chatting or just sitting doing nothing together I love them so much
10) Watching American Football at Wembley – wow!

Image 1 of ASOS Jumper With Star Elbow Patch

11) Treating myself to this simply gorgeous jumper. I’m sorry but I can’t say no to a snuggly jumper with star elbow pads. I mean wow love it!

What about you? What were your favourite things this week? Have you been loving all the autumnal weather and have you been making the most of snuggling up inside with hot chocolate and a good book. Surely that can’t just be me?

Hooray for Friday!

It’s Friday and I’m very glad this week of crazy is over, what about you how have you fared this week? To top of my not so wonderful week I got given the wrong drink at Starbucks today – total disaster as I didn’t realise until it was too late. Nightmare scenario I think we can all agree?! Today’s post is going to be a collection of rambles and links, just to warn you if you’re expecting something sophisticated or in-depth – that’s just not happening today. My brain just can’t handle it!

First up there’s this trailer for Glee’s Finn memorial episode, which I made the mistake of watching on the bus this morning. Talk about rookie mistake as I got very teary and over emotional. It looks like they’ve made a lovely episode and I can’t wait to see it (with tissues in hand obvs). Although I do wonder how they were able to make the episode, it must have been incredibly difficult and hard for all of them to get through.

On a different note, I saw the below quote from Harold Pinter this week which I really liked. I definitely agree with this and often wonder how I would cope without so much wonderful writing out there, be it blogs, newspaper articles or books.

“Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.”

Other things I’ve loved this week are Jennifer Lawrence and this jumper and bag from Joy. My love for Jennifer Lawrence is well documented on this blog but I just had to share this article about her response to being told to lose weight – how amazingly brilliant is she. I really do think we could be very good friends, in a non stalker way obviously! As for the jumper, it’s snuggly and has a deer on, how could I not love it?! And isn’t the colour, shape and clasp of that bag simply divine. The only question is cam I justify £45 for a bag – I’m not really sure I can to be honest.

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Is anyone else a massive fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, or is that just me? I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy to be out later this month and I was fascinated by this interview with the writer. How did I not know she was so young when she wrote it – what exactly have I done with my life, apparently I’ve achieved nothing in my 28 years compared to her!

On that high note I best get down to some of this Friday madness – hope you all have fantabulous days of wonderment and enjoy the weekend. xxx

Wow I’m actually quite surprised! aka September’s budget

Happy September budget day everyone – how are you all? Welcome to the latest addition of budget blogging where somehow I managed to have a good month! Once you’ve picked yourself up off the floor in shock, we can continue! I honestly felt like I had a dreadful clothes month so I’m frankly quite shocked by this amazing piece of news! I don’t know how this happened to be honest, I think it helped that I got given a lot of clothes as gifts this month and that I was on holiday for a week, but even so I feel like I’ve spent loads, perhaps I’ve miscalculated and actually missed off a few things – it is possible I suppose…
Anyway the verdict is that I’ve spent £92.75 in total and I actually earned £30 (selling shoes and other items on eBay), so in the end I only spent £62.75. Which is like 50% less than I said I would – wowzers. Big pat on the back to me then. So enough about the money, let’s get to the good stuff, what I actually bought!
September budget 1

1. Always Skinny Jeans, Gap, £30 (price with 25% off code) – I can’t seem to say no to Gap at the moment so when there was a 25% off code AND free delivery on the site I was all over it! I love my current skinnies so I thought some new ones were in order. These aren’t quite as comfy as the ones I already worn (maybe because I need to wear them in…) but they look great on and will be perfect with boots this winter.

 

2. Shorts, Fat Face, £29 (price with £6 off) – These shorts were an impulse buy at the airport before my flight to Portugal as I frankly just needed some shorts for the trip. I didn’t have any shorts that fitted so these were a lifesaver – they’re super comfy, finish below my fat thighs and were worn pretty much the entire trip. so essentially I’ve already worn them enough to justify it!

 

3. Ugg Boots, Free! – My lovely Mum and sis came back from Australia earlier this month so I was gifted lots of lovely things – the first ones were these gorgeous boots. I did specify that these were the ones I wanted, but I didn’t expect them to get me the ‘proper’ ones, they are just to kind. These boots fit perfectly and are so comfy. I’m definitely going to be wearing these a lot over the next few months!

 

4. Slobbing Trousers, Cotton On, Free! – These trousers are amazing, so comfy and perfect for slobbing round the house or popping out to the shop in. Yet another item from the Australia trip peeps, aren’t they kind.


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5. Heather grey v-neck Tshirt, Gap, £7.50 (price with 25% off code) – I’ve been living in my bright pink version of this so I jumped at the chance to get more when the latest Gap sale occurred. Since it arrived I’ve worn it constantly with a succession of bright necklaces and my skinnies. Definitely a top that is super simple and easy to pull off but that looks more exciting for the effort you’ve put in!

6. Dotty Dress, Cotton On, Free! – This dress was picked up by the relatives on their Aussie trip and I absolutely love it. It’s just so me and again easy to wear and it looks more special than the effort I put into it. I think this dress proves my family know me so well as I would totally buy this had I been out in Oz and people at work assumed I’d had it for ages as it was just so me. That makes me smile!

7. White v-neck Tshirt, Gap, £7.50 (price with 25% off code) – A white version of the heather grey t and another wardrobe essential – you’ve gotta love a Gap basic.

8. Pointelle Sweater, Gap, £18.75 (price with 25% off code) – This was a total impulse buy in the Gap sale. I couldn’t say no when I saw it as I liked the pattern and I adored the cobalt blue colour and I’m just so glad it fitted perfectly when it arrived. A perfect jumper for this Autumn, I can’t wait to get wearing in on a weekly basis!

So there we have it my monthly budget, not something that will set the world on fire I know but definitely a set of essentials that I’ll wear constantly for the next few months and I saved myself a bundle too – woop woop! What about you, how did your budget fare this month? Was it a good or bad budget month?

Oh and of course as per usual I’m linking up with Franish and the rest of the lovely budgeting bloggers.

Jolly jumpers

It’s probable that by the time you read this lovely blog post about cosy clothing I will be sat on a beach reading a book and (hopefully) sipping a cocktail, so you might thing that a blog post about cosy jumpers is a little absurd. But in my defence it was rather grey and miserable before I got on the plane and if I’m honest I’m bored with the warm weather. Yes I said it, I’m not a fan of the Summer, at least not right now. *runs and hides* I’m fed up of the crazy weather, of sweltering in the office and not being able to enjoy the sunshine. I’m ready to enjoy choosing clothes in the morning without having to worry about what the weather will do. Also in my lazy early morning state I’d much prefer be able to bung on a dress, tights and boots or skirt, jumper and tights than spend fifteen minutes changing three times and then rushing for the bus only to find that my clothes are inappropriate because it’s too hot/sticky/wet/windy/humid [delete as appropriate].
jolly jumpers
1 – £45 from Joy        2 – £22 from Asos           3 – £38 from Oasis
Anyway whilst I’m sunning myself on a beach I thought I’d allow you to see my current jumper wishlist, aren’t they all amazing? I want to own them all and I’m incredibly jealous of the models that get to wear these jumpers for a living – these lucky, lucky people!
Where to start with this luscious list? Well I seem to be having a grey jumper obsession if the first three are anything to go by! But I’m sorry how could you say no to any of them? number one has a unicorn, so enough said, the second features hearts on the elbows, which I believe is freaking genius and the this grey one? Just when you think it couldn’t get any better you see a grey jumper with a leopard print fur collar. A-MAZE-ING. Totes adore this! The other three, surely need no explanation either. We’ve got spots, birds and stripes on these. That’s essentially the holy trinity of jumper designs, yes?  [Also how abouts we just ignore that price tag on jumper number 6 – I meant £116 what the actual hell is that about?!]
So what Autumn lovelies are you lusting over, or is that just me?!

My autumn wishlist of gorgeous things

I’m loving that wherever I look at the moment Isee brand new shiny clothes, and pretty bags and lovely autumny things to buy! So far I’ve been very restrained, go me. But I do fear it’s only a matter of time, especially with all the online window shopping I’ve been doing… Maybe now I’ve gathered everything in one place I’ll be more restrained, yes? Hm and then of course hamsters will take over the world and fluffy tailed unicorns will start prancing round the countryside…
So here’s what I’ve fallen in love with – don’t you just love it all? Do you think I can convince myself that they are all essentials in my life…
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What about you, what are you lusting over right now, anymore lovely clothing items you want to share. Who knows I might then add them to my ever growing list…

My August budget – dresses, tops and shoes galore!

How on earth am I doing another budgeting bloggers post already? I swear it’s only August 10th, there’s no way it can be the end of the month. How on earth has August gone by so quickly?! Anyway, I really should spend less time freaking out about the speed that this month has gone past in and more time talking about what I actually bought, hooray! Well I’ve bought lots of lovely things and most excitingly I’ve been gifted lots of lovely things too. Aren’t friends just the best?! So I had been doing really well this month and up until a week ago I had only spent half of my budget and then the bank holiday weekend happened and I went a little bit crazy, oops. But I purchased lots of things on my list this month, so I shouldn’t be too upset with the amount I’ve bought.

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1) Floral top, Dorothy Perkins, £26 – Top of my current list at the moment are tops that are smarter than my usual array of T-shirts as I want to make my work wardrobe a little smarter. I think if I have a number of smarter tops that I can pair with jeans it’ll make the usual early morning panic a lot less stressful. So when I saw this floral top I couldn’t say no. It fits perfectly, although I might have to remove the big bow, I’m not sure it’s quite necessary and is a tad fussy for my liking.

2) Burgundy leather pocket top, Primark, £4 – I love this top, not only is the colour gorgeous (and great for the autumn) but it’s also got lovely (fake) leather detail on the pocket which makes it a bit more interesting. So far I’ve worn this with my jeans – see above – but I think it’ll work just as well with a black tube skirt for work.

3) Black Camisole, Dorothy Perkins, £14 – I’ve been searching for a simple black vest for a while now as I have a couple of really clingy skirts that really need one to make them more work appropriate. Plus I’ve got my eye on this skirt…! I also like the idea of pairing this with a bright necklace, cardi and skinny jeans – the perfect outfit for a meal or evening out I think.

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4) Brown bag, Zara, £19.99 – I’ve been searching for a brown leather-esque bag for quite a while now and I’ve not had any luck, that is until I came across this one in Zara. It’s perfect! It’s big enough for all my random crap, has two strap options (I’ve gone for the short ones) and goes with anything and everything. Plus it was so cheap and I know that it’s good quality as it’s from Zara. I’m so excited about this item.

5) Dotty Pumps, ASDA, £8 – I’m a sucker for cheap pumps and when i spotted the pattern, price and rounded toe on these I had to buy them. There was really no question about this!

6) Neon Pink Pumps, Gap, £15 – I first see these about two months ago but I couldn’t justify for £30 for a pair of shoes. BUT when I saw these in the sale I had to get them, it was clearly meant to be! Sadly though they absolutely kill so I had to stop wearing them after just an hour, but hopefully if I eBay these I should get back some of the money that I spent on them. They are gorgeous after all.

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7) Navy striped dress and 9) Pink and white chiffon dress – My lovely friend was clearing out her wardrobe when I was staying with her and she ended up giving them to me – how lucky am I! They both fit perfectly and are absolutely ideal for work so they are definitely great additions to my wardrobe. Thanks lovely Mara.

8) Black and white striped dress, Dorothy Perkins, £15 – I know I bought a striped dress last month, but I maintain that this dress serves a totally different purpose (sort of). Either way I fell in love with it when I saw it and it was in the sale, so it had to be done. To be honest anything that has sleeves like that is certainly a must!

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10) Navy Blazer –  This is another item that my friend gave to me during her cupboard sort out and it fills  another hole in my wardrobe, as clearly a navy blazer is one of the great wardrobe essentials! I’ve not worn it yet but it’ll be perfect for those days at work when I need to be a little smarter, plus it’ll be the perfect jacket as we head into Autumn.

11) Bikini, ASDA, £10 – I’m off to Portugal in just over a week and really want to sort out the hideous strap marks I currently have so a bikini seemed like an essential. I’ve not owned one since I was about eight, so this is a big departure for me, but at only £10 it doesn’t matter if I only wear it a couple of times and who knows I might get over my total phobia of bikinis!

12) Green skirt, Primark, £8 – I love this skirt as it’s got a really lovely flowery pattern and is a nice fabric. I’ve not work it yet, but as soon as the weather is perfect for black tights this will become a wardrobe staple.

So there we have it, lots of lovely things, lucky me! In total I’ve spent £119.99 this month, which is actually £10.01 under budget. I’m really surprised about this if I’m honest. I was definitely expecting to be over this month as I got so much! Although I do fear that the September budget might be in a bit of trouble as there are a lot of autumnal items that are coming into the shops that  just look so warm and cosy. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop myself from buying at least some of the things I’ve seen…

Clothing wish list

This sunny weather has me dreaming of more appropriate clothing. Apparently my wardrobe is severely lacking in the Summer clothes department. I’m not sure how as I’ve spent a small fortune recently, yet somehow it appears to be the case. So of course I’m window shopping online AGAIN, what is wrong with me?! Check out these scrumptious delights, aren’t they all wonderful and wouldn’t they be the perfect additions to my Summer wardrobe. Yes I think so too!

 

Leather Sandals, ASOS – £22.00

Grey Legging Jeans, Gap – £39.95

Grey Jersey Dress, Oasis – £15 (in the sale)

Meadow Floral Dress, Oasis – £65.00

Stripe Tube Skirt, Oasis  £22

Black Tie Sleeve Dress, Dorothy Perkins – £16

Coral Ballet Pumps, New Look – £7.99

Raffia Ballet Pumps, £9.99

What did I buy in June?

So June has been the first month that I’ve tried to stick to a budget (like the budgeting bloggers) and I have to be honest I’ve quite enjoyed it! It’s been good to properly consider what I am buying and if I actually need each item that goes in my basket. So just a reminder that I’ve tasked myself with spending just £130 a month on clothes. So what did I get and did I stick to my budget during my first month?

Paradise print dress, Oliver Bonas – £65.00. A new dress was an essential this month as in July I’m headed to a family friends’ wedding and I currently have nothing to wear, even after my attempts mentioned here. Okay that’s a lie I have a dress but it’s the same dress that I have worn to a wedding and a conference in the last eight months. So not really an option. I had no idea what I fancied for the wedding, I just knew it would be colourful – as after all it’s (supposed to be) a Summer wedding! When I saw this dress in Oliver Bonas it was love at first sight and I knew there was no way that I would not be buying it. It’ll be absolutely perfect for the wedding, not only is it super comfy, it’s also incredibly flattering plus it’s unlikely anyone else will have it. After all Oliver Bonas isn’t the most prevalent shop in the UK. What’s more I have shoes and a belt to wear it with already, so no need to spend more money this month – result!

Black and white stripy top, H & M – £9.99. This top has already become a wardrobe staple as I’ve worn it ALL the time. It goes with pretty much every item I own, is super comfy and really easy to wear. I also love the pocket detailing and the fact that the sleeves are three quarter-length and plain black rather than stripy. I think it makes the top a bit more interesting.

Purple vest top, H&M – £12.99. I really love this top as whilst it is simple it has some interesting detailing that seems like a necklace. It’s another easy to wear item too and perfect once the Summer arrives, which had better be soon!

Dotty Keds, Asos – £37.50. I’ve been searching for some trainers for a while now as I want a pair of shoes that I can wear whatever the weather and with tights, skirts, dresses, jeans or shorts. No mean feat I know! When I saw these on Asos I was really happy as not only are they super cute, they aren’t that expensive and they are turning out to be quite comfy. The real proof will be my upcoming sightseeing trip to Dublin, but so far they are working well!

Basic items that don’t need explaining, you know those items that you NEED in your life to complete most outfits but aren’t that fun or interesting.

  • White vest top, H&M – £3.99
  • White and aubergine lace strap vests, H&M – £3.99 each
  • Calf-length and long black leggings, Topshop – £12 each

So what’s the damage I hear you ask? As to be fair this is quite a lot of stuff. Well in total I spent £161.45. Oops, that’s over £30 more than I was meant to spend. In my defence (*clutches at straws*) if I hadn’t included my basic essentials on the list I wouldn’t have been over and it’s just annoying that all of them were needed this month. I did consider leaving them off as they really are all essentials BUT I figured the whole point of this budgeting malarkey is to be transparent and to make myself aware of what I spend. So it would be wrong to leave off things that are essential to my wardrobe, especially as I know I’ll wear all of these items so much. So yes, I might not have been completely on budget on my first month of trying, not really ideal but I’ve decided I’m not going to beat myself up about it as it’s only month one and I didn’t go completely crazy on loads of stuff – just some Summer essentials. It’s at least a start on the road to proper budgeting!

Sticking to a budget, is it possible?

A couple of months ago I made the mistake of looking at my credit card statement and totting up the amount I’d spent on clothes since the start of the year and I was slightly hideously shocked at the amount I’d spent. I really had no idea that such a big proportion of my pay goes on clothes, oops! If I think about it it’s not that surprising as on an average day I’m probably wearing three items (clothes, shoes or jewelery) that I’ve purchased in the last six months – the perils of shedding weight I suppose. Since looking at that credit card statement I’ve started to think about what I’m buying as my spending has clearly been getting out of control. This has being going quite well, but I do find that sometimes that impulse to buy anything and everything that fits rears its ugly head again, so I figure I need another incentive to ensure that I don’t spend stupid amounts on clothes each months. The solution? Budgeting Bloggers, where the idea is to stick to a budget each week and other bloggers will help to hold you accountable to this amount. Lau has already been doing it for a month (check out her recent post here) and I think it’ll definitely help me make better shopping choices and stick to a budget, as let’s be honest if I have a budget I’m less likely to spend £50 quid on stuff I don’t need in Primark. So I’m now in my first month of budget blogging – eek what a scary thought.

So first off I need to come up with a budget amount. The general rule is to do between 5 and 8 % of your wage, so I’ve settled on £130 for all clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty products – nail varnish, make up, etc. that I buy a month. Before I get started on the first month, I thought it might be interesting to look back to the last month and see how much I’ve spent and what I’ve got for that money. This could be eye-opening….

May’s shopping in pictures

Sunkissed Pullover, Gap (£17.99) – This is the comfiest jumper I’ve ever owned and I love the colour. It’s perfect for the summer thanks to its pastel shade and goes perfectly with my silver starred skinnies – although I feel like a walking talking Gap advert in both items!

Aztec Pump and Navy Pumps, Primark (£8.00 each) – Also known as the comfiest pumps in existence, hence why I ended up buying these in two colours. Sometimes you just know you’ll be wearing a pair of shoes all the time so it makes sense to buy multiple pairs. Three of my friends also have these shoes in various colours. I think that’s 100% proof that these shoes are awesome.

Pink v Neck t shirt, Gap (£4.99) – I needed another plain t-shirt, so when I saw that this one was in the sale, I was all over it. Thankfully it’s perfect with everything I could want to wear it with and at less than a fiver it’s not exactly expensive!

Black Heels, H&M (£25.00) – I am totally in love with these, I bought them on a whim the day or so before the big 60th birthday bash earlier in the month and I was mildly surprised that they were so comfy as they were only £25. They’ve already had two outings in the last month so they’ve definitely paid for themselves already.

Studded Belt, Gap (£5) – Basically an essential item for my wardrobe as my current belt has seen better days.

Mint Jumper, H&M (£12.99) – Yes this is the second jumper I’ve bought in May, further proof that Summer is yet to arrive, but I’m not complainging that a new jumper was needed. As it’s mint (a fave colour of mine) and super soft. The only bad thing about this is that I can’t get it in any other colours, which perhaps is a good thing for the budget, yes?

Cream and Navy Bowling Bag, Primark (£9.00) – I didn’t need another bag as I have about 25 in my wardrobe, however seeing as I don’t have a cream or blue bowling bag and at only £9 it was sort of a no-brainer!

Navy Cardigan, Primark (£4.20) – An essential in any wardrobe and a total steal at only £4.20 (who knew Primark had special offers?!)

Floral Skater Dress, ASOS (£22.00), Chambray Skater Dress, Oasis (£36.00) and Bright Pink Dress, Dorothy Perkins (£20.00) – I’ve discussed all three of these lovely dresses here and I think these three will get me through the Summer and Winter as they are all versatile and season proof (my new word).

So the grand total of all these lovely items? £168. Yes I fear this budget malarkey might be trickier than I think….

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