16 October 2013

Am I a birthday treat cheat??!!

Ok, so maybe October wasn't a good month to start my £100 budget challenge as my birthday falls on the 6th!! Or maybe subconsciously it was the perfect month as I knew it might come with a few extras in the way of vouchers or gift cards thus easing me gently into budget mode?? Should these be included in my monthly allowance or would that just be conning myself?? I did have a little conversation with some if the lovely ladies on Avenue 57 and the general consensus was that gift cards should be treated as a bonus! So who am I to argue?

At this point I should also divulge that apart from the added birthday vouchers I have also been 'gifted' a couple of other wonderful items.....honestly how lucky am I? First up, the darling DH came up trumps a few months ago. Long story short I was promised a trip to Bicester as I wanted to procure some Rag & Bone boots. Alas trip was cancelled at the last minute but as fate would have it....said boots came up greatly reduced on The Outnet. With the hubby's consent I snapped up the boots but I promised that they would be my birthday treat albeit that they were purchased 3 months in advance of my big day.

Also my lovely mum (my shopping partner in crime!) bless her is having a major sort out at the minute and has given me the chicest, classic white Aquascutum shirt from her wonderful clothes collection and that's not all! Years ago when I left school I was lucky enough to gain employment in a lovely family run designer boutique Kimberly which is still going strong today. Around 25 years ago whilst working there I bought a lovely Ferragamo navy short sleeve sweater with gold buttons around the neck, another really lovely classic piece. My mum loved it and when I left the store to move onto to pastures new I gave the sweater to her. Guess what?! She has looked after it all these years and has now given it back to me!! What joy! It still fits!! And boy has it stood the test of time and style!

The Ferragamo sweater

The Aquasctum shirt didn't photograph well so I've left it out but I'm sure you will see it modeled in the very near future!

More birthday good fortune came my way as I had vouchers from T K Maxx to the tune of £40 and a further £10 in gift cards for H&M. In T K Maxx I netted myself a gorgeous navy 7 for All Mankind biker jacket.

I did say there would be more stripes didn't I??! I realised I also had a whole in the wardrobe needing to be filled with a black and white stripe top so I used the H&M voucher on this little number....

Whilst in H&M children's section looking for an outfit for mini-me's school disco this week, I stumbled across a great Breton in the sale section reduced to the princely sum of just £3. I did have a chuckle with the young chap manning the fitting room whilst trying it on......who'd have thought a 44 year old would be buying age 12-14 clothes!! A bargain with the power to give you a good laugh....bonus!

Admittedly I feel a bit of a cheat but you know what who could turn down all these lovely extras and the brilliant bargains! What do you think? Would love to know how you would have treated the extra vouchers?

So how is the budget faring? I've done a quick tot up of what I've spent so far and I'm doing good! I spent, £11 on the red & white stripe top from French Connection, £35 on the Mango jacket and £3 on the H&M kids Breton so I've not even hit the halfway mark yet and there are still 2 weeks to go! Anyone else in on the challenge?? Have you blown your budget yet? What purchases have you made? Would love to hear all about your shopping tales!

So what have I been wearing these past few days?

First up a slobby Sunday outfit

Topshop Slouchy T
Gap Real Straight Jeans
Converse Trainers

The first wear of my new Rag & Bone birthday boots and some more shirt and sweater layering

Jaeger Vintage Silk Blouse
Topshop Sweater
H&M Jeggings
Rag & Bone Newbury Boots

A day at home with a poorly chick just called for something comfy

H&M Sweatshirt
H&M Boyfriend Jeans
Primark Smoking Slippers

Now today, I had planned to wear this......however the rain scuppered all that and meant I actually ended up wearing something far more practical as it was lashing down! But I thought I'd show the Birthday jacket in all it's glory! Ta-dah!

7 for all Mankind Jacket courtesy of T K Maxx
H&M Kidswear Breton
Topshop Leigh Charcoal Jeans
Rag & Bone Newbury Boots
Primark Scarf

In reality.....this is the outfit that went down today! My H&M parka got it's first airing as practicality prevailed!

H&M Parka
Zara Grey Sweatshirt
Gap Outlet Skinny's
Converse Brown Leather Hi-Tops
Mulberry Seth Bag

Off into town to run some errands.....will it get me into any more budget trouble?? Michelle x



  1. Love all your new purchases Michelle & it's definitely not cheating...vouchers & gifts are a lucky bonus in my book. Your birthday boots & biker jacket are both stunning xx

    1. Phew Jane....glad you think the gift cards should be a bonus too!!

      Hope the weather stays warmer for a while so I get to wear the biker jacket before I start getting the coats out!! x

  2. The Rag and Bone boots are amazing. Love them. And yes. Giftcards don't count in the budget xxx

    1. How lucky that The Outnet had them in my size?? I'm a 6 and that seems to be so popular, really chuffed they ended up being a bargain too xx

  3. Love the Rag and Bone boots, so gorgeous!
    I have to admit that at first I thought it was an easy challenge and that I usually spend less money per month, well not in September but that`s an exception and now I feel it`s always exceptions. I already spent 47€ in H&M (black/white scarf, hair elastics, black oversize jumper and pyjamas), 39€(oh my gosh)for the Boden statement necklace and today 19€ for a dress in Tesco (oooops). So I`m already done, spending ban for the rest of the month (knee high boots have to wait)...

    1. I'm glad I've my money so well for October Evi, but like you I have some boots on the wish list which will more than likely blow the November budget! That could make it a long, dark month for me! x

  4. Fab purchases, Michelle. Efinitely a bonus! I have overspent already! A bangle from Banana Republic, 2 skirts and a jumper from Boden. I knew I'd be rubbish! Must try harder!

    1. Start next month Lynne!! There is so much temptation out there I could have gone really mad spending wise this month but I am keeping myself in check!! Mind you.....my Christmas wish list is growing and growing! Lol x

  5. Fab purchased Michelle, the boots are particular are gorgeous! Is the parka recent too? I'm waiting on a few to arrive this week.

    1. Trea, the parka is current season so snap it up while the Grazia 25% off voucher is flying around!! x

  6. No argument ... birthdays, gift cards etc. are all bonuses. Definitely not part of the budget. But wow! Didn't you do well. Love, love, love the boots and will be scouring our local TK Maxx for that jacket (don't you love my optimism?!!)

    1. Glad you agree they should be a bonus Helen! With T K Maxx you just never know, I have managed to find things that I've seen featured on blogs so you may get lucky....you might end up finding something even better! Good luck x

  7. I think you've done exceedinly well - credit to you. I've already bought far too much and trying to decide what I really don't need i.e. all of it. I might try the challenge in December. I can't do November - just incase I find something nice in the Marant/H&M collaboration. No point starting off with a disadvantage :o)

    BTW - I would love a pair of Rag & Bones. In my dreams, in my dreams.

    1. Sadly there will be nothing from the Marant/H&M collaboration for me Sue. I already have my mind set on a particular item that will blow the majority of the budget in November.It's so hard to sit tight and wait for the 1st of the month to roll around when you have really your heart set on something. I am hoping I will love the item all the more for having to wait for it as we are just not used to having to wait for anything these days! Who knows, with any luck a code will pop up and make the wait a bit sweeter too!

      I have acquired far too much, not just this month but the Autumn stuff I was busy buying in August/September which hasn't even been worn yet!! Time to stop and turn my attention to getting organised with the Christmas shopping me-thinks!

  8. You know I love the boots ( spit/hiss ) but I also think your other purchases are spot on. xx I have been loving all of your' looks. xx

  9. Fabulous gifts Michelle & yes Birthday treats do not count in the budget challenge! The 7 For jacket is just lovely & bless your Mum for keeping such wonderful items for all these years! She sounds like a Diamond! Ax

  10. Firstly, belated Happy Birthday! And secondly - lusting over those boots. They are fab and look amazing on you. Enjoy wearing for many years ahead. Your mum's shirt and jumper are proof of the benefit of buying quality. Amazing they are getting a second wind now! Ax