How to Shop on a Budget (& Still Look Expensive)

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Growing up, if my mom couldn’t afford something popular (aka expensive) she would show my sister & I how to style the things we could afford and still make it cute! Now that I’m older, I’m blessed to afford the things I couldn’t but because I’m a blogger, I’m usually over trends before I get a chance to try them. It doesn’t make sense for me to spend money on things I typically will wear once or twice, so I’ve learned when & how to save!

Keep an open mind. This is the most important tip I have when it comes to shopping on a budget! The reason why I’m constantly finding hidden gems for the low is because there’s literally nowhere that I wouldn’t shop. I don’t let the exterior, name or location of a store stop me from taking a peek inside. If I see something cute in the window, or better, a big clearance sign I’m definitely stopping in.

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Focus on the quality of the garment. I’ve found clothes sold at “quality” boutiques that were a thread from falling apart. On the flipside, I found these heels in the hood on sale for $15 and these babies are damn near indestructible! It’s not about how much you spend on the garment, but how much it’s worth. (ie, how many wears will you get out of it, quality of material etc..).

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Give yourself a spending limit. Before you enter a store, give yourself a spending cap and do NOT go over it. It’s easy to “get full with your eyes” when shopping so start in the clearance section first if they have one. If you’re just trying to satisfy that shopping craving, this will definitely curb your appetite. If you plan on shopping in multiple stores adjust your budget with each expense. If your budget is $200 total, and you just spent $43.75 at Forever 21, then you should only be budgeting about $155 for Zara. But if you plan on hitting Urban Outfitters after Zara, you should budget around $75 for the two remaining stores. Got it?

Shop for your budget, not your taste. This one’s the hardest, oh I know! But chasing trends, or worse, chasing what other people have will keep you in the same position. Broke! If you can’t afford to buy it twice, leave it on the shelf. If your daily lifestyle (ie, eating habits, activities) will be affected in any way, you don’t need it.

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Knock-off no-nos. Personally, I’m not a fan of designer knock-offs. They always look cheap and it doesn’t take a vintage curator to spot a fake either. Logos, slogans, prints and blatant pattern rip-offs should be off limits. All wearing knock-offs does is send the message “hey I can’t afford (insert designer)”, and nobody needs to know that girl! My tip is, if you love a designers style very much find garments in a similar shape, silhouette or color scheme and make it your own. But if you’re still dying for the real deal….

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Thrift, trade, consign. Thrifting has, and always will be one of my favorite ways to shop. I completely understand why it’s not some people’s jam, but if you don’t mind the granny smell you’re truly in for some gems. You can find vintage designer threads, even 1 of 1 pieces you would never find online (duh because they’re sitting at your local thrifty)! I’m going to do an entire post on thrifting tips cause there’s just too much to say! Stay tuned…

The look

Wrap Dress: H&M on sale for $10

Booties: Local boutique $15

Denim Jacket: Found at a flea market in Brasil for 50 Reais (approx. 13 US dollars)

Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters $18

Belt: Thrifted $7

Total: $63

What are your tips when shopping on a budget? Share in the comments below!

Love,

G

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