To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

July 2019 Budget


Oh, guys. I spent A LOT in July. Like, a lot a lot. As a result, I really struggled with writing this budget post. How can I explain spending so much money, money I don’t really have, on unnecessary material items? Especially when I’m not even okay with how much I spent myself! How can I justify it?

Initially, I went through the usual critical reactions: I need to be more disciplined, I’m bad with money, I’m irresponsible, I just won’t buy a thing next month, etc. etc. The things that I thought I should be saying.

Enter The Papaya Podcast. I recently discovered it, and its host, Sarah Nicole, when she guested on Approachable. Sarah Nicole is just the bubbliest, brightest, realest light I needed in my life right at this moment. I listed to her first episode this week, and she said something about her experience with weight loss that really struck me: “I targeted my body as something to hate. […] I looked at my body and said, ‘You’re fat, you’re ugly, and you’re going to make a change.’ And, I mean, you can’t hate yourself happy.”

WOW. Negative self-talk has totally been my approach since high school at least. Push through, work harder, you suck, shove down your feelings, keep moving... But, as Sarah Nicole pointed out, that approach is harmful and counterintuitive.

What if I could look at budgeting as a way to show myself love, rather than as something restrictive to scoff at or as something to beat myself up about? What if I didn’t treat shopping as a coping skill? What if I was able to reframe things like, “Sticking to my budget helps me to feel less stress and anxiety. Present Jess is helping Future Jess do things she loves.” Or something like that. Those words certainly hurt less than the litany of criticisms I listed earlier.

With all that said, here are the many things I bought in July:

  1. Panama Backpack (Ron Pon Pon): $100 on sale for $60

  2. Clinique Even Better Glow Foundation (Ulta): $29 - 20% off coupon = $23

  3. Shade & Shore Tashi Yoga Sling Thong Sandals (Target): $18 - coupon = $14

  4. Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream (Ulta): $50 - 20% off coupon = $40

  5. Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Sneaker (Nordstrom Rack): $50

  6. Kylie Cosmetics High Gloss in Snatched (Ulta): $16 - 20% off coupon = $13

Not pictured:

  1. Wild Fable Hooded Cropped Sweatshirt (Target): $18

  2. Twisted Chevron Ring (Etsy): $12 + shipping = $15

  3. BOBS Plush Twiggy (Nordstrom Rack but I can’t find them there online, so the link is to Amazon): $40

  4. Active Hooded Slub Knit Top (Forever 21): $15

  5. Tie-Dye Waffle-Knit Tee: (Forever 21): $13

  6. Comfort Colors Men’s Pocket Tees (Amazon) : $8

  7. Pink Republic Velour Sweatshirt (Kohl’s): $36 on sale for $4 - coupon = $3

TOTAL: $312

(This total should actually be even higher, but I’m gong to count a few items in August’s Budget post because I’m not sure if I’m keeping them etc.)

And now, some quick reviews! (Sorry this post is basically War and Peace length!)


Clinique Redness Solutions Moisturizer: This is the first green-tinted product that I feel like both tones down my redness (to an extent—I mean, it’s not a miracle worker) AND doesn’t require use of a foundation or concealer to bring my skintone back to normal. 😮👏🏻

Clinique Foundation: This is pretty great. Super lightweight but also has a good bit of coverage, particularly for my redness. (Can you tell it’s my biggest skin concern?)

Braided Chevron Ring: Just a perfect dainty ring!

Forever 21 shirts: They’re both lavender and atheisure-y, and that’s all I ever want in life.

BOBS + Adidas sneaks: It’s like feast or famine with me and shoes. Naturally, I had been to the Rack like two weeks before this shopping trip and found absolutely nothing. But these two pairs of shoes are both cute and comfy, and now, I can toss my old pair of Toms that were literally falling apart!

Pink Republic Velour Sweatshirt: I had actually seen this in the wintertime but stopped myself because… it’s a mauve velour sweatshirt? But for less than $3, sign me up!


Shore and Sand Sandals: I do really like these. They are squishy and supportive for a sandal that costs less than $20. The only hiccup is that the strap is kind of tight. When I manage to get the knot part closer to my ankle (as opposed to having it press on the middle of my foot), that helps a ton.

Target Cropped Sweatshirt: I do really like this (have I met a cropped sweatshirt I don’t like??), but it’s kind of tight in the head/neck area and hard to get on and off without taking off my glasses. (It’s the little things, guys.) But it’s very cozy and cute—and super-soft on the inside!

Ron Pon Pon Backpack: UGH I TOTALLY SUCCUMBED TO INSTAGRAM ADS AGAIN. 😭 I wanted a cute, dressier backpack for traveling, and this one checks a lot of boxes… but even on sale, $60 still seems too high. Plus, it had a really weird smell and needed a lot of time to air out.

Kylie High Gloss: Snatched is an AWESOME shade, just a nice wash of MLBB color. Unfortunately, it’s also quite sticky (like the regular Kylie gloss I got last month). At least the the applicator is 1000x better and the color is prettier!


The Amazon men’s tee is for a little textile project that Timmi and I are cooking up for when she comes back in August!

What did you guys buy this month? How do you stick to your budget?