Link Love

Happy Monday! Enjoy these reads to start your week!

Media & Feminism

It’s almost summer (or so I hear), which means a lot of nonsense about “bikini bodies.” This piece on loving (or at least ignoring) your cellulite will remind you that a lot of it is nonsense.

Speaking of bikinis and the like, NPR had an interesting piece examining sexism in two very different places: the Middle East and Latin America.

Pretty Little Liars can be a very silly (but entertaining) show on many levels, but Hello Giggles reminds us it does nail one thing: the workings of female friendships.

How Jennifer Garner’s career transformed from Alias to moving maternal figure.

Money, Money, Money

Bad news if you’re going to be borrowing more student loans: rates are going up (again).

And in case you forgot, student loan debt is costly to the economy as whole, not just students.

Need some encouragement to pay off loans and stay on budget? This handy millennial finance infographic from Greatist will help.

Misc.

Pretty cool: the Beatles waiting for traffic to shoot their Abbey Road album cover.

Any list reminding me why Florida is awesome is guaranteed to make me homesick.

It’s spring so these tips for buying flowers on the cheap is especially timely. Then use these tips to make your flowers last longer.

~ Sarah

March Budget

March Purchases

Corduroy Leggings (Kmart), $12.74 (not pictured, seen here)
Printed Dress (Ross), $9.99 (not pictured, seen here)
InPink Necklace Set, $20.00 ($0 with promo code) + $6.95 shipping
Aphillyated Ben Franklin Tee, $16.00*
Aphillyated Cheesesteak Tee (worn here), $24.00*

*courtesy of item — thanks, Aphillyated!

Total: $29.68 ($160.08 total over the last three months, $19.92 under quarterly budget of $180)

As I expected, I didn’t go too crazy in March. Besides my jewelry purchase from InPink (because of course I’d buy a statement necklace as the trend is exiting), my two other purchases were impulse buys. The leggings I’m still “meh” on, unfortunately — our local Kmart is going out of business, so I was expecting a bigger discount. I was also hoping the leggings would be more like jeggings, but they don’t even have pockets. If it wasn’t final sale, I would’ve most likely returned them, but after a wash and wearing them in a snowstorm, I’m kind of okay that I couldn’t. The dress, however, I love — I’ve worn it three times already, including with the necklace for a night out.

I also want to talk about how I set my clothing budget. Often it feels very much on the low-end, especially when I see other budgeting bloggers spending over $150 a month. Hey, no judgement there — more power to them if they’re at a point in life where they can afford to invest in quality clothing. Almost a year out of college, and I’m not there yet (though trust me when I can say I can making my cheaper clothing last). Then I realize I’ve budgeted $720 a year to just clothing and really, that feels like more than enough.

How are you doing with your budget so far this year?

~ Sarah

Linking up with Fran and other budgeting bloggers.

February Budget

Feb Budget

Old Navy camisole, $3.50 (originally $4.50)
Old Navy hair ties, $4.00
Print Button-down (Burlington Coat Factory), $10.98
Nude Flats (Burlington Coat Factory), $9.99

Total: $28.48 ($10.40 over my budget of $18.08, after going over in January by $41.92)

News flash: it’s still cold and miserable here in Philadelphia, so I guess it was a good thing I don’t have all that much money to spend on clothing right now. I swear I shop at other stores besides Old Navy and Burlington, but my office is attached to a mall and these are by far the best managed stores there.

Like last month, there were the practical purchases and the fun ones. I went into ON after work one day because I desperately needed hair ties and found this cheap camisole, perfect for a base layer during this eternal winter (though it is a little too sheer to wear alone in the summer).

As for my fun purchases, they came out of sheer boredom but I’m pretty happy with them. I haven’t worn either the button-down or flats yet because of the weather, though hopefully that changes soon. The flats are a tad too girly for me, but I’ve been looking for nude flats for ages, and you can’t beat the quality and price.

I’m really excited about the button-down though, and it’s easily my favorite purchase in a while. The splotchy dot print is fun but still dressy, and it can be worn cuffed or uncuffed (and the button tab is camouflaged perfectly in the print). So it’s pretty well-made and the original tag listed the price at $59.00, so it was a definite score from the clearance racks.

For March, I’m happy I’ll have a little more wiggle room budget-wise (just shy of $50 set aside), but I’m hoping to take sometime before shopping for any spring pieces. I’ll be too happy to reunite with my old favorites before wanting to add more to the mix.

~ Sarah

Linking up with Fran and other budgeting bloggers.