Crystal from That's So Crystal recently interviewed me for a Meet and Greet on her blog. She asked me for one tip on how to stick to a budget and still look fabulous. I had so many ideas, I wanted to share them with you. Make sure you stop by Crystal's blog not only to read the interview but because it's a great place to find inspiration on creating your own personal style.
How to Stick to a Budget and Still Look Fabulous
- Create Pinterest boards and pin outfits that you like. See what you already have and what can be substituted. You don't need to match exactly, use it as a guide and be creative.
- Don't buy anything full price. It will go on sale. Last spring, I met my friend for lunch and afterwards, we walked around the mall. I saw these cute pink Rich & Skinny jeans for $198 in Nieman Marcus. I know, I had no business being in that store. A month later, I checked their website and they were on sale. I checked again a month after that and finally they had a 30% off clearance promotion and I got them for $29!
- Buy scarves, jewelry, accessories at stores like Target and Forever 21. You don't have to splurge on these items and adding a scarf or statement necklace to a basic tee changes the entire look.
- Sign up for store reward programs. Years ago, when I still had to dress for work everyday, I applied for a Banana Republic store credit card. What they sent me was a Banana Republic Visa card that earns rewards that you can use at Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta. To maximize the rewards, we charge groceries, gas, etc and then pay it off every month. I usually get a $20 - $50 reward in my statement each month.
- If you like to do your shopping online, I recommend using Ebates. Ebates is the leader of online cash back shopping and they are linked to over 1700 retailers. Signing up is free and when you connect to a retailers site through them, you receive a certain percentage of cash back for your purchases. The percentage varies with each retailer. They also have all of the retailers promo codes so you can save even more. Ebates will send you a check four times a year or you can have your cash back transferred to a Paypal account or charity.
I've mentioned before that my clothing budget is so minimal that its almost non-existent. I try to be creative and remix what I already have to keep my spending down. I have done a little shopping this year and wondered how much I have spent since I started blogging in February. Luckily I had racked up a ton of Gap rewards from holiday shopping and I had a few unused gift cards which helped the bottom line.
Converse sneakers $44.95
Gap sweaters $58.93/promo code savings= $14.73
Gap rewards used= $40
total cost for both sweaters= $4.20
Total Spent in February= $49.15
Old Navy shorts and monogram sweater= $42.91/ promo code savings= $21.57
Gap rewards used= $20
total cost for both= $1.34
Old Navy sweater, Gap cuffed skinny jeans & Old Navy oxford top= $71.97/
promo code savings= $18.54
Gap rewards used= $50
total cost for all three items= $3.43
Chambray shirt, green button down & polka dot sweatshirt= $72.84
Nordstrom Gift card= $25
total cost for all three items= $47.84
Total Spent in March= $52.61
Gap tank & eyelet shorts= $64.90
promo code savings= $25.96
Gap rewards used $30
total cost for both= $8.94
Banana Republic bracelet & Gap flats= $20.98
Promo code savings= $6.00
Gap rewards used $10.00
Gap rewards used $10.00
total cost for both= $4.99
J.Crew Factory top & sweater= $45.87
Both pairs of J.Crew shorts= $37.50
Total cost $83.37
Total Spent in April=$97.30
I was on a spending ban for May and am happy to report I stuck to it!
Total Spent in May= $0.00
Hot Pink Flats & Leopard Sandals = $73.00
Nordstrom & Visa Gift Cards used= $60.00
total cost for both= $13.00
Total Spent in June= $13.00
I spent way too much in April, but with the shopping ban in May, my average for five months is $42/month. Plus my Ebates cash back will be about $15. I love fall fashion and will be on another spending ban for the rest of the summer so that I can have some fun and shop in September!
I would love to hear your tips on maximizing what you have and staying on a budget.
Thanks for reading!
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