When Hurricane Sandy flooded the first floor (including my bedroom) of my parent’s house, I was thrilled to find out my mom had managed to save so many of my belongings. However, my clothes did not fare so well. Luckily I had just moved the entirety of my winter wardrobe up to Boston with me; however, my spring/summer wardrobe was pretty much destroyed.
As the warm weather approaches and I start to pick up a few pieces at a time, I have put myself on a strict budget. However, it is very difficult to stick to a budget when you are shopping for everything from shorts to sandals to bathing suits. But there are ways to build a wardrobe on a budget. I plan to continue following these tips and rules to be sure I do not go over my budget:
- Start shopping in your closet. Before I even started shopping, I was sure to do a complete inventory of what I actually had. Many of my basics such as cardigans and jeans from the winter are perfectly fine to transition into spring and summer. This also forced me to do a little spring cleaning. By taking an inventory of what I had, I was able to donate and sell what I didn’t need or want anymore.
- Buy pieces that work with what you already have. By looking at what I already had, I also got a sense of what styles, colors, and shapes I had and take this into account when shopping. This is key when sticking to a budget to ensure that you will get the most wear out of the items you are purchasing.
- Always shop the sales. I rarely pay full price for any clothing item. Shop the sales and find coupons online before checking out. It’s a good way to avoid credit card debt. However, don’t buy something just because it is on sale. Consider whether it is something you would have purchased at the full price. I also use my student I.D. to get a discount at retailers such as J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Madewell.
- Look for timeless pieces, stray away from trends. It is best to look for classic styles that will not look dated soon after. While it’s okay to indulge in trends from time to time, it is best not to comprise your wardrobe solely of this season’s trends. Accessories are a great way to incorporate trends without breaking the bank.
- Don’t always purchase the cheapest option. While this may seem counterintuitive to the budget mentality, it is important to recognize the value in the pieces you are purchasing. Cheap or off brand clothes are often made of made of lower quality materials and will not last as long. It is better to shop for quality or name brand items on sale or at second hand stores and discount retailers.
- Don’t feel like you need to buy everything in one outing. I have been slowly picking up pieces here and there, whenever I happen to be out and near a store I usually shop at. This has allowed me to comparison shop and find the best deals. It is also a very budget-friendly method because I am not spending a ton of money at once and can save and plan for my purchases.
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