As a third-year college student, I can strongly say that I feel I honed in on how to maintain a sense of style without spending a load of money. Just to give you an idea of what I am working with, I have a part-time retail job, but only work when I am home, which is basically only around holidays. That being said, it is hard to get used to not having a steady flow of income. (I am now trying to get a job around campus, but it has been proven to be quite difficult).
First, my money goes to what matters most in life — food. To save money in this department, I cook all my meals at home. Trust me, this saves so much money. I tend to spend approximately $15/week on groceries. I am a strong advocate of learning how to cook on your own (not just ramen and easy mac either). Not only do you save major moolah, but you can control exactly what you are putting into your body. As much as I would love to order takeout every night, I feel good knowing that I am ingesting healthy foods. Think about it, if you spend at least $5 for dinner alone every night, that’s $35 a week?! You could buy a cute shirt with that, haha!
The next thing I do is periodically go through my wardrobe and get rid of any clothes that I have not worn in awhile. I used to have such a hard time with this because I was a pack rat and felt the need to save everything in case I wanted to wear it that one time (aka never). Take the time and really think about if you need that sweater sitting forlornly in the depths of your closet. After collecting all the clothing, go through and pick out the pieces in good condition and take them to your nearest consignment shop. I go to places like Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet to try and sell my clothing. Although they do not necessarily give you what you initially paid for it, it definitely helps. Or you could try and sell your clothing online at places like ThredUP or Poshmark (I am just too lazy for this option, lol). If anything else, you can always just donate what did not sell.
Let’s get down to the good stuff. What do I do when it actually comes to shopping? Before even stepping out the door, I make sure to set a budget for myself. I come up with a max amount and as I shop, I know I cannot exceed this amount. It is all about self-control. In the actual store, you come across the cutest blouse, but it is slightly expensive. Be logic about it. Do you think you can create at least 5+ different outfits with this blouse? Do you have anything similar to this? Can you get it somewhere else for cheaper? After appropriately evaluating you can then decide if you should treat yourself to the blouse! Avoiding impulse buys and being a smart shopper is essential to saving money.
Lastly, do not be afraid to shop at the inexpensive stores if you are trying to save finances. As much as I would love to blow my money at my favorite stores (Zara, Topshop, Nastygal, etc.), I just cannot let myself spend that much. You have to accept this. I know that Forever 21, H&M, and even thrift stores are not the best quality, but they are the best price. These stores are a great place to purchase your trendy items without breaking the bank. I know that once I graduate and go into the “real world” with a (hopefully) decent salary, I will then be able to spend money on nicer clothes. You do not always have to wear the best labels to be a good fashion blogger! Work with what you got and your sense of style will be communicated. 🙂
Those are some of the most important tips I came up with when it comes to being fashionable, while also being in school. Tuition is high and finances are tight. Trust me, I get this. Which is why I encourage you to be smart when you shop! Be creative and rework some pieces in your wardrobe into different outfits. I have been wearing clothing I have purchased all the way back in middle school because I just find different ways to wear it! Style on a budget is possible, you just have to work a little bit harder! xo