That necessary word…Budget. My husband and I own a small design and advertising firm and are on a tight budget in all aspects of our life. We budget EVERYTHING. Birthdays, Holidays, Groceries, School supplies, utilities, and the list goes on. We live paycheck to paycheck and very rarely do anything on a whim and especially not before consulting “The Budget”. Partially because we have to and partially because we have both experienced financial troubles in the past. We use credit cards in emergency situations only and pay for everything in cash. If we come under the budget we rollover that extra in to a savings account. I scour the online sites, and paper ads for coupons and sales. Because I tend to go overboard on things occasionally, finding ways to save is almost an obsession to me.
I dress business casual most days and occasionally more dressy depending the situation. I own pieces in my closet that are years old. Finding and being able to afford to dress for work can be stressful but doesn’t need to be. You see a lot of articles online about dressing on a budget and after beginning to read the article you realize their budget is way more than what I would consider affordable. The struggle is real. Where I am certainly far from a fashion guru a few of these things have helped me CONSIDERABLY when dressing on a budget.
*Buy pieces a little at a time and that are interchangeable. As you begin to build your wardrobe there are still 5 days a week every week that you need to dress for and introducing a piece at a time seems like it wouldn’t be helpful. Black slacks, tan slacks, solid color shirts that can be changed up by adding a different scarf or a different piece of costume jewelry. One or two pairs of slacks and solid colored shirts can be worn repeatedly throughout the week just by adding those accent pieces. A little trick I learned from someone near and dear to me is to also try and style your hair a different way when wearing a repeat piece. Believe me, I do it!
*Stay away from clothing that needs dry cleaned! Added expense that is not necessary. Although, do pay attention to how your items need to be laundered. Washing and drying your clothes according to their care tags will keep the life of your items.
*Yes-I shop at Maurices, Old Navy, T,J Maxx, Wal-Mart, Target, Shoe Carnival. Wal-Mart is awesome for buying scarves and jewelry. And almost always they have that stuff marked way down. It is true, purchasing more expensive pieces of clothing will last you longer. Again, sometimes that just isn’t reality. Purchasing that expensive piece falls in to my category of buying one at a time, over time.
*Some of my favorite online shops are Groupon and Amazon. I am not necessarily a fan of shopping for apparel online but most companies now offer free return shipping if the item doesn’t fit. And if it’s a deal I just cannot pass up I am willing to take the chance that it may not fit. I am very thorough about reading reviews, where the items are coming from, checking the return policy, and sizing charts.
*Most businesses now have their own rewards programs-take advantage of those! They do reap in benefits.
*Purchase items that are timeless. Slacks, pencil skirts, blazers.
* Be sure to buy things that are you! Buying an item just because it is on sale and not necessarily because you like it will result in a top hanging in the closet with the tags still on.
*I have a few friends who are close in size. We will have swap parties where we bring the items we are burned out on and switch around with each other.
*I LOVE Shoe Carnival-am always watching for their sale BOGO 1/2 off. We are constantly buying shoes for sports, recitals, weather changes, etc…I never not buy that 2nd pair!
What are your ways to save when shopping on a budget for work?
Love to All-Kim