Shopaholic Guide: How to Shop on a Budget

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It's almost pay day so I wanted to walk you through how this shopaholic shops on a budget utilizing my three tips. If you are following fashionistas on social media it may seem like gosh, that person spends a ton on clothes. I always choose to speak for myself, and as far as for me I really don't. I stick with a pretty tight budget and make it work. The big reason why I make it work are the three tips I wanted to share with you. I promise you that you can look very fashionable on a budget. I am the prime example. This outfit I am wearing minus the shoes is $40, but this $40 outfit goes a long way because I can wear these two pieces so many ways. The shoes were $22 once I applied the coupon on top of the sale price. However, these shoes match every single outfit because they are nude which means that I don't have to budget for shoes. I like the whole one shoe fits all type of concept. 

Tip One: Set a budget based on your own personal finances

Do not try and ball on a budget with a budget that does not match your finances. This can go really wrong real quick. I am in education so you know I do not make a ton of money and my budget on clothes has gone from $50/paycheck and up depending on what is going on that month. There have been times that I could not spend a dime on any clothing items. To set my budget I take all my expenses out first that I need to take care of: car payment, mortgage, child care expenses, utilities, etc. Once I have the necessities taken out I then get with my husband and talk about any fun items or anything we are saving for is taken out. Right now we are putting money aside for our Paris trip so that is the next thing that gets taken out. I always like to leave a set amount each paycheck for me to have but then challenge myself that I will still have most of that left because that means that is more money towards clothing. For example, I may set aside $500 but that is going to go towards groceries, eating out, anything fun I want to do, gas, etc. The goal is always to not spend all of it. I then set a clothing allowance for myself. Each paycheck may be different. It may be that my clothing expense is $100, and I make that work. 

Tip Two: Know how to shop at the right retailers 

I don't buy anything that is not on sale. I much rather be able to buy five items versus only being able to buy one. Also, I am very particular about the items I buy. I want to buy items that can work in various settings and that I can transition to various seasons. If I buy the most trendiest outfit for that moment then I have completely wasted my money. I tend to buy items from the following retailers: Nordstrom Rack, Loft, Ann Taylor, and Target. I shop at these places because I love the quality of clothing from these retailers, they always have some sort of sale, and I always find the best transitional pieces from these retailers. Every time they have a sale I look to see if there are any pieces that fit in my budget. Another thing I do is pick out all the items I like and put them in my cart and I sit on them until I can get the best deal. Since I do not buy the trendiest items I still stay in trend no matter the season. Always go for buying 80% transitional type pieces and 20% trendy pieces. Always think, is this an item I can see myself wearing continuously or one that will be donated very soon? Believe me, it will change the way you look at pieces if you ask yourself this question. Anything you spend money on is an investment so invest wisely. 

Tip Three: Know how to shop for your body type

I am a curvy girl so I know not all items are going to look good on me. I love a swing top, but if I do not add a belt to it to cinch it in I end up looking bigger than I am. So if I am not willing to invest in getting a belt I will not buy a swing top. When you know how to shop for the items for your body type then it helps you stay on budget even more because you start looking at items differently. You start asking yourself: How many other pieces do I have to buy with this so it looks good on my body? Will this accentuate my assets or the areas I want to keep covered? How many ways can I wear this? What undergarments do I need for this?

Let's take this jumpsuit. I read reviews and looked up the brand. I needed to know if I needed Spanx with this bad boy because if I did then I was not going go buy it. It's super hot right now and the last thing I want on are Spanx. I needed to know if at the waist did it cinch because if it did not then that would affect my sizing. I also wanted to make sure I could adjust the tie because I don't have much girls so I needed to be able to make it fit to my needs. When you shop based on your body type you know how far your dollar will go for that particular item.

Bonus Tip: Set a budget for how much you will spend on each clothing type item

I can tell you now that I will not spend any more than $40 on a dress, $20-$25 on a top, $20 on accessories, $120 on shoes, and $50-$60 on bottoms. I put more money towards my bottoms because it is hard for me to find bottoms that work. I do well with bottoms from Ann Taylor so I stock on work pants from them every year and the quality is superb. Since I already know my top bottom limit I will spend on each clothing item type then this really helps me stay on budget. I can quickly look over items very quickly when they are not in the ranges I am willing to spend on them.

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how this shopaholic stays on a budget. I have been sticking to this for years, and this helps me tremendously. Now head to my Instagram and find the first photo in this blog post because there is a $100 Nordstrom Giveaway and all the details will be on that post.  Again, I think that you can find amazing pieces for not a whole lot of money.

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