BRAIDS, BOOTIES, AND BUDGETING

Fridays are my favorite!! It’s the day that I put up my weekly Fashion & Finance post and it means I’m one step closer to the weekend for plenty of fun!! Today’s outfit is a mix of white and grey with a bit of western flair. I adore these western booties by Sam Edelman that I picked up on sale during the fall from DSW for less than $100. I’m always trying to stick to a budget when it comes to my clothing shopping that way I don’t have any buyer’s remorse, or guilt afterwards. Have you ever felt like you had to hide your shopping bags from your husband?!? Haha that was me eeek. I love telling him though when I pick up an item that’s a great deal. Who doesn’t love to save?

This really cute fishtail braid was so easy to create and is a perfect way to wear 2 or even 3 day old hair. I wash my hair 3x a week max otherwise it gets way too dry. How I created this side braid was I brushed all my hair over to one side and then twisted the back a bit and bobby pinned it so that it would stay nicely and not fall out of the braid. Then I put the hair in a small clear elastic and separated into two sections to start my fishtail braid. If you don’t know how to fishtail then HERE is a great video to teach you. Once I finished the braid I tied it off with a small clear elastic and snipped off the clear elastic at the top of the braid by my neck. I just pancaked it a bit to give some volume, sprayed with my Living Proof hairspray and I was good to go!!

Similar Poncho / Top / Similar Jeans (Express Jeans Sold Out)

Booties / Necklace / Earrings / Sunglasses

Hermes Bracelet Dupe / DY Bracelet 1 / DY Bracelet 2

Lips – Nyx Lipstick Narcissus & Lip-gloss Do the Hustle

Eyes – Urban Decay Smoky Eyes Palette

FINANCIAL TIP 

So earlier I was talking about budgeting for clothing purchases, but it’s really great to budget for your daily life. When I track my income coming in and my expenses going out I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I know how much I have to save and how much I have to splurge if I so choose. I also can decide if there are items I am spending too much money on and should cut my spending back in certain areas. My weaknesses are shopping and eating out haha.

The first step when creating a budget is to calculate your income and expenses. Next you need to determine what your financial goals are that way you can implement a plan to reach them. Most people budget on a monthly basis because that’s the schedule that your bills will follow. Planning and monitoring your budget will help you identify wasteful expenditures and let you decide whether you can afford to stop and grab that bite to eat, or if you should just wait to warm up something from home. You may be surprised when you list out all your expenses how the little things really add up. With a budget you can live a bit more stress free because there won’t be any surprises. Budgeting will give you a sense of financial clarity that everyone needs throughout life.

I created this budget template that you can download for FREE and use to your heart’s content to help you get started in order to reach your financial goals!! Leave a comment below with what some of your goals are! ūüôā

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CAMEL & BLACK – MIX & MATCH

Happy 2017 everyone!! Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA, but I have had so much family stuff going on through the holidays and I’ve really been enjoying spending time with my hubs, kids, and friends. Sometimes you just have to take a break and chillax. One of my 2017 goals is to not rush, or overwhelm myself. If I feel like I don’t have good content to put out to all of you then I will wait on writing a new blog post. If I’m tired and feel like just drinking wine and watching¬†TV rather than taking a new photo and posting, then that photo can wait for another day haha. We are here on this planet to live life and enjoy every amazing moment we are given, so social media can sometimes just take a back seat to living our wonderful lives.

Hat / Cardigan / Boots / Purse

Top / Leggings / Earrings / Necklace

Lipstick – YSL #003 Ultimate Beige

Here is a super cute casual outfit that you could wear on the weekend, or for a casual Friday at the office. I’ve never been one to mix brown and black, but I really love mixing and matching now and camel on black is such a chic neutral combo. This look is so comfortable with the loose boyfriend cardi and leggings. Plus these boots are warm with shearling on the inside and a chunky heel for comfortable walking. These are such a fancy UGG boot and water resistant, so a closet staple.

FINANCIAL TIP

So everyone uses the start of a new year to set some new goals. I definitely wanted to have 2017 be a year that I be a bit more frugal and practical because I am such an avid shopper, but then I tend to have too many items and things go to waste. So….here is my MAJOR goal for 2017. ZERO shopping!!! (Minus the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, that’s just too good a deal for the year to pass up LOL.) Yes you heard me right no shopping for clothing, shoes, or accessories. Instead, I am going to shop my own closet for 2017. I have 3 closets in my house plus two dressers. I have probably 100 pairs of shoes a whole shelf unit of purses, and an overflowing jewelry box. Do I really need to shop in order to have something cute to wear?? No I don’t, even though most of us women look in our closets and think to ourselves, “Man I have nothing to wear.” I have clothes in my closet that I have had for 6 months still with tags on them. #fashionbloggerproblems I don’t want my blog to be an excuse for me to spend unnecessary money, or for¬†women to think they need to be constantly spending money in a keep up¬†with the Joneses kind of craze. ¬†I plan on re-wearing the clothing in my closet and coming up with new combinations. So here is my financial tip…I am challenging all of you to also do less spending, so that you can travel more, or save more. I am challenging all of you to re-work your closet for at least 30 days. Think of it as a game with a different theme daily for ways to wear items. Perhaps one day you wear a bright color on top of neutrals, or mix two patterns you haven’t mixed before. I wonder if it will become as addicting to you as it is to me. Right now I can’t even get myself to shop because I’m having so much fun trying to figure out new and interesting outfits out of my own closet boutique.

I would love to hear from you for any outfit themes that you think of. Also, have any of you tried a challenge like this before?

Happy Friday! XoXo

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THE PERFECT OFFICE PARTY DRESS

If your office happens to have an annual¬†Christmas party¬†this can be a¬†very fun event to¬†dress up for. But it’s not always easy to decide on what to wear and how formal you’re supposed to be. You don’t want to come off as a bore, or too over the top. In the end dress how you feel comfortable, but here is¬†a very stylish dress that can be office appropriate for a party, or even anytime of the year!

Dress & Dupe / Purse & Dupe

Pumps & Similar / Tights / Earrings / Similar Jacket

Lipgloss – Color is Bae in Red Chili

If wondering what to discuss to avoid awkward silences, when forced to make conversation with that person in a different department you barely have spoken two words to, here is a list of some topics to aid you:

  • the weather
  • themselves, people love to talk about themselves ūüėČ
  • how cold it is outside
  • how cold it is inside
  • this weather though‚Ķ

Ha, look at that, your a pro at holiday party conversation!!

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FINANCIAL TIP

The final holidays are fast approaching, and it can be tough to make time to organize all your finances. Though it seems like the easiest solution to simply push off your financial planning until next year and lump it all together with your other New Year’s resolutions, there are a few financial moves you can contemplate before year end.

Max out your retirement plan. Most people’s income is from their W-2 job. Many people receive an annual bonus in December. In order to minimize¬†your tax liability and maintain that retirement money,¬†you can put that¬†bonus towards¬†your company 401(k) plan‚ÄĒand the max for 2016 is $18,000. This is something you can update anytime throughout the year, not just during open enrollment.

Review health insurance and your HSA. If after maxing out your 401(k) plan you have income left you still want to reduce, then why not max out your HSA to minimize your tax liability. You would need to meet with your health insurance agent during annual enrollment to review the health insurance plan.

Check your FSA balance. This one I haven’t been the best at this year and today, since I am off work early, I plan on running to the eye doctor and purchasing contacts with the rest of mine. With a flexible spending account (FSA) you are not allowed to carry over a balance into 2017 and you don’t want to lose any of your money. Therefore, make sure to check your balance and purchase any medical items that you can use it on, or pay towards child care for the dependent care side of it.

Be charitable and give! There are some great tax benefits of gifting cash, or other assets, to charity. Therefore, why not give donations in peoples names as Christmas gifts!? Or, do you have any items that you need to drop off at Goodwill? You may want to hurry up and get that done, in order to help minimize taxes.

Start thinking about next year now. If you have a financial planner schedule a meeting to start thinking about 2017. Figure out what your financial goals are for the year and think about how you want to achieve that month to month. Also, why not set up a new budget for the next year while you are at it, which will help you meet any goals you have.

Do you have any office party outfit tips you would like to share? Or, any financial goals already for 2017? I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with warmth and joy!

Happy Friday!!

Xoxo

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