By Whitney Sylvain
HERE’S THE THING ABOUT SHOPPING ON A BUDGET:
So often we find ourselves in one of our favorite stores looking at an item and falling in love with it on the hanger, only to glance down at the price tag and see an expensive, less than desirable price. It’s like being told Santa Clause isn’t real, or traveling 5 hours to see Beyoncé only to find out the concert was rained out and cancelled. Yes, a total let down. Though the latter never actually happened to me, I can only imagine how distraught I’d be if it did. Although I can’t completely prevent this from occurring again in the future, I can give you a few guidelines on how to successfully shop on a budget and where I got all of the pieces of this look which cost less than $50.00 total!
FIRST THINGS FIRST: SALE!
First rule of advice (and undoubtedly one of the most enforced rules of my household), don’t overlook the sale area; go there first. I can’t even tell you how may GEMS I’ve purchased that I found in the sale area of some of my favorite stores. Keep an eye out for those stores that also have BOGO deals (Buy one get one deals) and extra percentages off, which makes them much cheaper! I know a lot of people shop the new arrivals (which are always full priced) in hopes of wearing something no one has seen before, but remember, with the right styling, you can make anything look brand new.
With my many years of shopping experience I’ve noticed that the best sales and steepest reductions usually occur when the seasons change. When the seasons are approaching change, tons of clothing goes on sale. All the styles that didn’t sell from the previous season get marked down to empty the store of merchandise before the next season. Which leads me to my next tip…
BUY YOUR WINTER CLOTHES IN THE SUMMER
And buy your summer clothes in the winter! Coats, sweaters, and boots aren’t likely to be on sale during the winter or fall, because of the increased need for them around this time, but they definitely are on sale in the summer time. I know it seems useless because you won’t wear the item for a couple of months, but when the season you shopped for comes around and you don’t have to buy anything because you’ve already stocked up last season it will be so rewarding!
KEEP IN TOUCH
It’s not always easy to find out about the sales that certain brands have unless you go into the stores. Signing up for email blasts can be a simple way to stay informed on product launches, but most importantly the sales and promo codes! Most brands are eager to send customers details on sales in store and online. Also, certain brands will post discount codes on their social media. The only way to know those codes are to follow these brands. You never know what discount treats they may send you next.
STICK WITH CASH
Sometimes when shopping, paying with card can be detrimental to your bank account. You can’t see how much is coming out of your account and it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending and how much money you have left. So, use cash. It basically gives you a specific budget to adhere to so you don’t spend outside of the amount of cash you have and you can see what’s leaving your pocket, so it makes it easier to question your purchases and make final decisions on whether or not you need to buy anything.
Finally, my last piece of advice for shopping on a budget is to give yourself a reality check. Rather the item is discounted, or full price ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” and if the answer is yes, follow up with “How often will I wear this?” We must be practical with ourselves and know how often we’ll wear our clothing when making these purchasing decisions.
I rarely pay full price for anything, so of course I utilized all of my tips above while finding this look! The look cost no more than $50.00. I got the off-the-shoulder sweater from Forever 21 for $6.00 this summer. The wool pants were purchased in the Spring time for $12 at H&M. I got the heels a long time ago from Love Culture for no more than $30. The accessories were gifts. I won’t stop talking about my love for block heels because they’re so comfortable and practical. So, to all the penny pinchers and budget babes, I hope this article was helpful in finding your budget shopping flaws, and how to correct them.
All photograpahy was done by Kendall Jackson. Check out his work at kendallnjackson.com and follow him @kendallnjackson on Instagrama. Also, please follow my Instagram @whitneysylvain for more looks and check out whitneysylvain.com for more fashion tips like these!