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23rd January 2020

Accounting for Style #4: Winter coat investment means spending over budget

With Christmas parties and the aftermath of Black Friday sales, December can be a difficult month to stay within a reasonable budget…
Accounting for Style #4: Winter coat investment means spending over budget

Accounting for Style is a series at the Mancunion Fashion & Beauty section in which anonymous Manchester students track all of their fashion and beauty purchases over the period of a month. Get a glimpse into the way your peers spend their money on their style, the splurges and the savings…

Age: 20

Degree: English Literature

Degree year: 2

Yearly student maintenance loan: £6692

Rent: £130/week (£520/month)

Part time job? I have a part-time job at Hugo Boss

Monthly budget: £557

Fashion & beauty spending habits: Because of my limited budget, most of which is spent on groceries and social events, I don’t regularly spend money on fashion and beauty. When I do, I look for quality over quantity because it’s really important for me to feel confident and comfortable in what I am wearing. I rarely make beauty purchases simply because I don’t wear makeup regularly.

Monthly estimated spend on fashion & beauty:

I don’t normally set myself a budget for fashion and beauty. However, I am planning to take advantage of the Black Friday and Christmas sales this month to purchase a good quality winter coat that will see me through the unforgiving Manchester winter. I plan to put away £150 from my budget for this purchase. I am looking for something costing around £100, but I’m giving myself a £50 margin. Overall, I’d like to spend £150.

3rd December: I browsed the web for Black Friday sales, looking especially for coats. I was tempted by a lot of items that weren’t what I was looking for but I managed to not buy anything. 

4th December: I was browsing some of my favourite retailers’ websites, and I spotted a beautiful cream faux fur coat in Reiss’s outlet. It was reduced from £325 to £160, a massive £165 reduction! Reiss is one of my favourite retailers, and I trust them completely because I have felt confident wearing every single thing I’ve bought from there so far. They do not normally participate in Black Friday sales, so I could not believe my luck when I saw this piece. When possible, I will always try an item on in store before I spend my money, so I went to the Reiss store on cathedral street, but I could not find the coat. So, I decided to buy the piece online! £160

6th December:  My new part time job demands that I wear formal black shoes as part of my uniform, so I went to Primark to pick up a cheap pair. I almost never shop at Primark because it is a cheap, fast fashion brand, which is reflected in the quality of its products. Nevertheless, after spending what to me was an insane amount of money on my coat, I wanted to be frugal for the rest of the month. £7

08th December: I received my coat that I’ve ordered online. It’s perfect! Warm, soft and fits like a dream.

10th December: I bought some replacement shoe insoles for my Stuart Weitzman boots. I bought my SW boots on sale in my size, but when they arrived, they were way too big for me. However, I love them to death and I cannot imagine a life without them. I have worn them basically every single day since I bought them, so I think it’s worth parting with the extra cash for the insoles. £7

12th December: Another maintenance purchase for my boots. I some bought waterproof suede spray because I was running out and it has been raining dreadfully for a week. A necessary, albeit boring, purchase. £18

21st December: Okay, I am not proud of this. Christmas was approaching, and I was tempted by the high street’s December sales, so I impulsively order some cheap H&M skirts online. I told myself that I needed some new party wear for upcoming Christmas celebrations and was tempted by H&M’s promise that they would delivery before Christmas. £23

22nd December: I impulsively booked myself an appointment to get my eyebrows threaded in preparation for Christmas parties. I also ran out of hand cream, so purchased some more from Boots. £31

26th December: My H&M order did not arrive on time, which is unsurprising based on previous experience. But because I’d already planned some festive outfits around the skirts I purchased, I went to their store to purchase a similar one. £13

31st December: My skirts finally arrived when I no longer needed them, so I took them back to the store to return them. +£23

Overall spent: £281

Fashion: £250

Beauty: £31

Overall verdict:

I have spent way above my planned budget this month, I am not proud of this and I have no excuse, other than the fact that I easily fell prey to the siren call of December sales. This means that I need to be more frugal in other aspects of my life to make up for these purchases.

Even though my winter coat cost more than what I had planned to spend, I have worn it almost every day this month. I have received so many compliments on it so I believe that I have spent my money well.

On the other hand, I am not proud of my impulsive purchases, and I must work on preventing these in the future. Above all, I want to spend less money on fast fashion as it is not only bad for my wallet but also harmful to the environment.

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