August Budget pt. 2: winter gear

Clearly, Tammy and I have both been a little busy as neither of us has posted consistently since August. However, literally the day after making my August budget post, I went crazy and bought a ton of stuff. Like a ton. Sigh. So I’m already rethinking my $150 clothing budget especially since one of those items was already $150.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I recently moved to the Midwest, where things get ridiculously cold. I got a taste of the cold weather last January/February (a week after the polar vortex) when I did my interview at my school (which I’m loving so far, by the way), and I knew that my West Coast (Best Coast!) gear (aka cardigans, wool sweaters and like three jackets/coats) would not cut it. And as many winter/heavy duty clothing items cost a whole lot more than normal, I realized my $150 total clothing budget is also not going to cut it. So I’ve decided to set aside a lump sum of $350 for “necessary/winter clothing” and I’ve given myself three months (September -November) to prepare for the cold.

So my future budget posts will contain two parts: 1) $150/mo for normal clothing purchases and 2) $350/3mo for winter gear.

Here’s my tentative list of things I should probably buy. Any input/recs would be welcome!

1. coats
I’m looking to get 1) a heavy-duty down insulated coat and 2) a lightweight down insulated coat(s). And then just layer the hell out of things. I think I got the heavy-duty jacket covered but I’m searching for a lighter weight one. Thinking about getting a Uniqlo one but idk yet.

2. wool socks
I have two pairs of Smartwool socks, but I think I should get a few more just in case I need to layer them.

3.winter boots
My waterproof boots + wool socks did not work so well last winter. Definitely going to need insulated or lined boots. I ordered a pair of Sorel boots that I’ve had my eye on, but I’m not sure if the sizing will work out.

4. rain boots
I have a pair of waterproof boots but they only come up to my ankle and are more style > function. I’m thinking of getting a pair of short Hunters. Tammy got a pair last year and I wanted to steal them off her feet haha I also don’t want to wear my winter boots everytime it rains.

5. gloves
I have a fleece pair that is supposed to be warm, but I feel like they’re still a bit thin. Want/need more heavy-duty gloves to protect my poor phalanges. And since I mainly work with my hands, frostbite would be the end of my grad school career lol… but seriously though.

6. scarves (optional)
After my Madewell splurge a while ago, I feel like I have enough scarves but I already bought another one, so you never know.

Like I mentioned, I bought a few things already, but I’ll include them in next month’s budget post.



  1. Sorels are a good choice and they aren’t completely ugly (unlike my Thinsulate-lined UGG snow boots, which are incredibly warm and functional but deeply unattractive – I cannot wait for them to die so I can buy something more feminine).

    I have lived in the Midwest for most of my life and also travel to even colder climates for work most winters so I can attest: once you have endured several days in a row of sub-freezing weather, you will probably stop caring about style. Most winters I will wear my snow boots to and from meetings or office visits and do a quick change in to everyday heels or whatnot once I’m indoors. It’s just not worth it hobbling across a frozen parking lot in anything other than high traction snow boots.

    1. Awesome!
      Haha about the Uggs. I hope they die soon so you can buy new ones too 🙂

      Hoping these will be sturdy enough for the snow. Definitely going to keep a backup pair of shoes in doors.
      Thanks for the input! Most of the people I’ve asked for advice have just kind of grown up knowing what to do in the winter and don’t really go into details.

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