Shopping on a Budget

Shopping on a Budget
April 16, 2015 Rachel Spross

Shopping on a budget can be a daunting task. Clothes can just be really expensive, and everything always seems to add up so quickly. Personally, I am one of those people who can open up a magazine and always manage to find the most expensive thing on the page (seriously, it’s a skill… or maybe a curse). Despite this, I have a very diverse wardrobe that ranges all the way from designer down to discount because I know how to shop. In this post, I’m going to give you guys a few of my tips on how to save some money, but still get the look you want.

Set Your Budget
Before ever setting foot into a store, you need to set some ground rules. Everyone has a different budget, so you need to decide how much cash you feel comfortable dropping on certain items. Be realistic here based on your own needs, values, and income. When setting your budget, some other things to consider are how often you will wear certain items and how long they will be in style. A good general rule of thumb is to pay a little more for some classic pieces you can wear again and again, and to spend less on things that are one timers. This brings me to my next point: when to save and when to splurge.

Save or Splurge
First, I would just like to clear something up… Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t have nice things. In fact, you can actually save yourself some money in the long run if you do buy a few nice, quality pieces that can last. I view some of the items in my closet right now as an investment because I know I will have them forever. With that being said, as I mentioned earlier, you have to be practical. When trying to decide when to save and when to splurge, here are some important questions to ask yourself:

How much will I wear this? How long will this be in style? Can I find a cheaper alternative? And finally… Do I love it?

If you feel confident about the answers to those questions, it might be ok to splurge. However, I’d like to take a quick time out here to highlight finding cheaper alternatives. Some items are very difficult to replicate, but others are readily available. Below I have put together some of  my affordable spring/summer picks:

Shopping Smart

Going the less expensive route may seem like it’s the only way to shop on a budget, but in reality there are lots of other ways you can shop smart. As a design major and fashion enthusiast, I really value quality. In order to get some the quality stuff in the quantity that I want, most of the time I shop sales! Going off of that, timing is everything. The end of a season is always a great time to hit up some sales. On top of sales, many department stores also have various events where they offer gift cards or other promotional items when you spend a certain amount. Besides shopping sales and hitting up store events, I also go to resale shops. You never know what you might find, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to spend less than the normal retail ticket price.

Another way to shop smart is discount designer websites. There are tons of sites out there where you can get some killer deals on some really nice stuff, such as Rue La La  and Gilt.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to shop on a budget! So what are you waiting for? Your closet isn’t going to stock itself. Get out there and start getting the look you want. Happy shopping!

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