Category Archives: Money Savers

5 Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe


A capsule wardrobe can be defined as a minimal collection of clothing ( usually about 30 items including shoes and accessories) that contains interchangable and versatile pieces.  I originally came across the idea from Caroline’s blog Unfancy– and when I did, my wardrobe world was turned upside down. It has changed my nights, my mornings, my days! I don’t have trouble picking out what I’m going to wear, and I always feel good and presentable.  So here are a few reasons why I think downsizing to a capsule wardrobe would benefit pretty much anyone: 
1.  Less stress

I used to look into full drawers and full closet thinking I had nothing to wear– STRESSFUL when you want to look put together on the fly.  I would dread parties or events because I didn’t know what I was going to wear and then think I had to go out and buy something new.  To reduce my overall stress, I set everyone’s clothes out at night– having a minimized wardrobe literally reduces the time it takes to prep at night DRASTICALLY .  I can pretty much just pick any bottom and top and they will go together, then just pick the shoes by function for that day. On dressier days I can pick a little chunky heel, and on days I’ll be running around I choose sneakers- simple as that! 

2. Money saved

At first, planning the capsule wardrobe may pose you to purchase a few items. For instance, this summer I need to purchase some sneakers and a few clothing items.  Once that wardrobe is in place though, you have everything you’ll need for the rest of the season. This means no need to use shopping as a hobby, and no need to spend money on fast fashion clothing or that doesn’t even go with anything you have.  Having this kind of deliberate wardrobe really helps to curb that shopping urge.  When that impulse to buy more clothing arises, try to substitute shopping with a different endorphin releasing activity.  Try listening to upbeat mysic, taking a walk in nature, doing a hobby you enjoy, or reading a book ( even reading a blog post on minimalism to help redirect yourself to your ultimate goal). 

3.  You always like what you’re wearing (and how you look!)

I’ve been guilty of buying clothing impulsively for an event- spending money I didn’t have and then I’ll see pictures of me wearing that outfit and UGH didn’t quite look the way I had envisioned.  The beautiful thing about putting together the capsule wardrobe is that everything is loved.  When I put mine together, I made sure to only keep clothing that I felt great in.  Anything that I even remotely felt inconfortable physically or wasn’t living how it looked on got eliminated from the wardrobe.  If you don’t live it, you won’t reach to wear it.  If you don’t wear it, it doesn’t need to be in your closet. 

4.  Creativity:  

I love having such versital and interchangable pieces.  Having fewer pieces means that I’ve been able to pair pieces that I wouldn’t have thought to do, just for the sake of wanting a “new” outfit.  I love giving feminine pieces like eyelet shorts or denim skirts with more tomboy pieces like sneakers and a graphic tshirt or racer back top then add a functional cross body bag, sprinkled with some simple delicate jewelry. Effortless and totally functional as a mom of toddlers.  

5. More room: 

This one’s a given. There’s so much more room now that I don’t have so many clothes!! My closet actually fits my husband’s clothing AND mine. I use my dresser now as storage for pictures and some of my childhood memories that were tucked away in boxes not being appreciated. I got rid of what wasn’t needed, and made room for what I love and cherish.  

I’ll be posting how I put the pieces of my capsule wardrobe together on my instagram @jana.ullrich 

Thanks for reading!

-Jana 

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5 Areas I Still Spend Money on as a “Minimalist”

First off I must explain that I put minimalist in quotations because some people take minimalism very seriously, and I don’t think our family is AS extreme as some.  We are trying, though, to really downsize our possessions all together and put our money towards bigger goals like becoming debt free and experiences rather than material items.  In trying to simplify life for our family and get out of debt, I stopped buying cheap clothing that was on sale, I stopped buying skin and hair products constantly, I stopped spending money on little things that I thought were cute but in actuality had no purpose, and I just tried to stop spending money on things that weren’t useful or loved by our family.  There are a few areas though, that I find such a huge benefit from and I still think are worth the money.

  1.  Quality Groceries and Supplements

I absolutely believe that you are what you eat, and treating your body right from the inside out can actually help save money in the long run by keeping your body in tip top shape.  I also think quality groceries tend to TASTE better (maybe it’s psychological?), and that helps me personally not crave restaurant food so badly…I know that what I’m cooking is going to taste good to me and I won’t need to go searching for something filled with MSG to satisfy my cravings.  Likewise, quality supplements are usually more potent and more pure-so you are actually getting the benefit you’re looking for out of them.  As an example fish oil is amazing in so many ways for you, from brain health to heart health to SKIN and intestinal health, but quality fish oil is essential to avoid the excessive mercury content.

2.  Education

This is one that I believe is always something everyone should invest in.  Furthering your education is so essential to growing and developing as a human being.  By education I don’t just mean college education-although I think it’s fabulous if you have a goal and a degree that you’d going after.  Books can teach you so much about anything and everything, and learning is something that should never stop.  Some examples of what I consider amazing education are:

  • seminars/webinars (sometimes these are even free)
  • books/audio books
  •  memberships to online support groups
  • apps that make life easier and/or teach

3.  Networking

We’ve all heard the expression “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and there’s a lot of truth to that.  Who you know can open doors that you had no idea existed, and likewise you could do the same for someone else.  A lot of times there are networking parties (sometimes free even) that can help acquire new relationships and connections.  If the opportunity is there and I am able to work on my computer, I like to just spend the $2 on a coffee out somewhere.  It puts me in the position to open up dialogue with different people and expand my network, and sometimes even knowledge base by talking to others!

4.  Vacations

Everyone needs a break at some point.  “Work hard, play hard” and I believe in that.  I personally can get really burnt out if I go hard for too long without taking a breather.  It’s something that I’ve learned is a necessity in my life and my family’s life.  We’re all much happier and refreshed when we take regular breaks and just get out of town.  There are many less expensive options like trying out AirBNB, renting a condo for a week (or a long weekend) and cooking your own food.  Sometimes it’s refreshing just to be in a different scenery altogether.

5.  Photos

To me, photos are SOO important.  With all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s so easy to literally FORGET pieces of our history, and if you have children like i do they grow up almost overnight.  I literally found myself looking through pictures of my kids in the infant stage–the pictures were almost unrecognizable.  I had forgotten what they looked like!!! thank goodness for pictures…they capture moments that our minds just cannot remember.  Nowadays pictures are saved on the cloud which is great, but if anything were to happen to technology, computers, the CLOUD, we would lose all of our history! I spend about $10 every few months just printing my favorite pictures of my kids and our family, and that is TOTALLY worth it to me.

4 Ways to Save Money

When my husband and I decided to live a more minimal life style ( I wouldn’t call us complete hard-core minimalists-just trying to cut down on the amount of spending and consumerism we partake in) we started researching and brainstorming about different ways to conserve the money we did bring in, and not to spend on unnecessary or short-lived items.  I stumbled across Caroline’s UNFACY  minimalist fashion blog, and the idea of a capsule wardrobe completely resonated with me.  I’m a momma of two toddlers, and I constantly struggled with waking up and fumbling through the clothes in my closet and in my dresser..still feeling like I had nothing to wear-and then feeling less than confidant in what I was wearing all day.  So this is my #1 way to save money, and I’ll be doing a whole separate post on my capsule wardrobe later on.

#1: Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is basically a collection of clothing (usually under 33 items total-accessories,shoes, and your everyday clothes) that are all interchangeable and therefore can be worn together).  This absolutely changed my life.  I now have only clothing that I love, and I wear all of them.  AND this totally curbs the appetite for more clothing.  I used to be totally tempted to buy clothes that were on sale or that I may have loved…but would have never had an event to wear it to.  It makes life so much easier when you’re a mom, and it saves you a ton of money to not go buying whatever you are drawn to.  It’s a planned out wardrobe that is meant to last for the season, and can be applied to your spouse’s and children’s wardrobe as well.

#2: Meal Planning-Nothing Goes to Waste

This was one of the areas that I noticed was a problem area for us as a family.  I sort of would wing every night’s dinner and end up running to the store multiple times throughout the week and end up buying “snack items” or random things that were on sale.  These extra items added up throughout the months, and so by planning what I was going to the store for, it made the grocery trip faster and smoother PLUS cheaper.  Peace of mind financially and literally. We also plug in a day for leftovers (usually a weekend day) so nothing goes to waste.

#3:  Purchasing Second Hand

This one ties into the capsule wardrobe too.  There are always going to be new or different things that you need especially with kiddos.  They are constantly growing out of clothes and toys, and likewise as us adults go through the years we need to update our wardrobes,  cooking tools, cars, furniture, etc.  Facebook  buy/sell/trade groups and Ebay have been my go to.  Also we are fortunate here in the Wake Forest/Raleigh area there are many thrift and consignment shops, as well as Goodwills that are in wealthy areas and usually have amazing finds.  We rarely buy anything new anymore.  You can clean and disinfect anything you buy, and many times you can even find things that actually ARE brand new or barely used.

#4: Practical Gifts

Families and friends love to be generous when Christmas and birthdays roll around.  Make it known that you and your family are trying to save money and working on your goal to not accumulate things that are not necessary.  Instead, gifts like a dental cleaning or an oil change are inevitably needed and not something that will have to be returned at a later date.  This isn’t a traditional way of handling gifts, but if your goal is to save money for your family, the people that love you and want to see you succeed will understand and oblige.

Let me know what you do to save money or any hacks you’ve learned along the way!

 

-JANA