Welcome to Money Diaries, where our #womenofstyletheory community give us a candid 30-day all-access pass into their personal journey with money, fashion, and lifestyle.
In the first of our series, our Business Development Associate Cendy Bastasa gives us a sneak peek into how she’s been holding up during the pandemic, and a glimpse into her relationship with fashion and money. Let’s dive right in:
Hi Cendy! We’re excited to have you kickstart our Money Diaries series. Are you ever in the habit of keeping track of your finances? What are your expectations for the next 4 weeks?
I don’t usually keep track of my finances, so it’s such a great idea to participate and see the breakdown of my monthly expenses. I’m excited to see which category I saved and spent the most!
Before you started renting with Style Theory, what was your relationship between fashion and money like?
I was an impulsive buyer! As long as I love a piece, it’s mine — regardless of sale season or not! To be honest, because of that habit, I couldn’t save money for things that matter more.
When I became a subscriber, everything changed! I wear a Style Theory outfit every time I go to work, travel, or even when I go to the grocery store.
I stopped buying clothes and designer bags too. Not only did I save, but renting also gave me a chance to wear different clothes, and discover brands and styles that suit me.
How has your attitude towards money changed since the pandemic happened?
During a long circuit breaker, I had a chance to organise and declutter my wardrobe. It was only then that I found out how many clothes, bags, and shoes I’ve not even worn once. It now makes sense that even though I’ve been working hard for years, my savings weren’t enough for me to work on my own entrepreneurial dreams.
The pandemic made me realise the importance of financial management and why it’s so important to achieve financial freedom. Am I able to survive for a month or a year if I lose my job? Am I financially stable enough to provide myself with basic necessities during this crisis? If I get sick, am I able to afford my medical bills? These are the few questions in my mind that changed my perspective and priorities. “Spend less, Save more” indeed!
Cendy’s Week 1
This first week has been quite depressing –I had to see a few of my friends lose their jobs because of the pandemic. At the same time, it humbles me and I am all the more grateful to be able to continue working.
Because I still spend most of my working hours at home, I spent most of my budget on food! Working from home somehow helps me to save up, especially in the entertainment category. Even though I’m working from home, I still love dressing up to look good all the time. That’s why I still chose to rent my WFH clothes from Style Theory. I usually opt for a feminine styles in a comfy material for my WFH outfits.
The highlight of the week was going out with my housemates to the Botanic Gardens! I really love how we were able to enjoy the scenery and spend quality time with each other amidst the busyness of work.
Cendy’s Week 2
I am very grateful to catch up with my old friends at Ion Orchard. We had the best conversation ever and we even did a fun TikTok dance video together. LOL! It was indeed a very fun moment.
Work wise, I had more challenges on how to hit the business target. I need to be more creative to think of ways to drive positive results at work!
Oh, I had my nails done too! It was indeed a blissful reward after a rough week.
This week, I didn’t spend anything on fashion because I’ve got an infinite wardrobe thanks to my Style Theory membership! Such a big save!
Cendy’s Week 3
I took a few days of sick leave because I was suffering from heart palpitations. I went for an ECG to check on my heart condition. Luckily, the doctor said there’s nothing much to worry about. In any case, that summed up my biggest spend this week: health.
I didn’t get to take a nice OOTD this week as I didn’t have any special dates planned. But I still managed to strike a candid pose wearing cowboy denim during dinner time!
I spent a lot more time at home this week. I did several workouts such as stretching, yoga, and zumba. Plus, I went on a massage too! I really cherish these me-time moments.
Cendy’s Week 4
It’s my last week of my Money Diaries, and my highlight of the week was visiting my friend’s restaurant in Arab Street! I really love their unique twist on Peranakan dishes.
I also had lots of thoughts running through my mind that made me quite stressed, like “When will I get married?”, ”When can I find a boyfriend?”, and “Gosh, I’m turning 30 soon!” But no pressure, let’s wait until this pandemic is over, then I can find The One!
My biggest spending of the week was in the Home category. I bought a lot of stuff for my mom and sisters.
I ordered my Style Theory box this week and all of the items fit me perfectly! Here’s a dress that I wore for the weekend:
Thanks for bringing us on a 30-day journey with you, Cendy! Looking back on your month of tracking, did you notice anything new about your own spending habits?
Yes! Looking back on my expenses, I’m now able to see which categories I save and spend the most in. I realised that this pandemic helped me change my spending habits. I went from a big-time spender to being quite thrifty. Also, I noticed the amount spent under the Fashion category is quite low — that’s a big “Thanks!” to my Style Theory membership.
What’s one lesson you’ve learnt about budgeting that you’d like to share with our readers?
Budgeting helps me figure out how much I’m actually saving and it helps me understand where my money is going. The most important lesson I’ve learned, of course, is to spend less than you earn to avoid debts. I’m also now becoming more aware of my bad spending habits. I’m learning to make smarter spending decisions, while also saving at the same time!
Enjoyed Cendy’s Money Diaries? Stay tuned for more Money Diaries coming up soon!