Balancing a frugal lifestyle and a passion for fashion can be hard. How do you choose between saving money and splurging on the latest trends? This is something we've struggled with, but we do have quite a few tricks up our (very stylish) sleeves:
Only buy what you need. When money is tight, paying down debt and purchasing necessities has to be your priority. Only buy the shoes you need, and skip the cute top you want-- at least for now.
Splurge occasionally. We look at saving money the same way we look at healthy eating: If you only eat junk food, you won't appreciate how yummy it is. If you only eat salads, you'll crave junk food, and binge on it eventually. Similarly, if you never splurge on clothes, eventually you'll max out your credit card on one shopping trip. The lesson? Treat yourself (occasionally) remember: everything in moderation, including moderation!
Look for deals. Try sites like RetailMeNot for online discount codes, sign up for your favourite stores' newsletters (they often include coupons) and shop around for the best bargains. Also hit up stores like Winners (in Canada) or TJ Maxx (in the States) for lower prices on name brands-- and don't overlook the sales rack.
Share with friends or family. If someone you love (and whose style you love) wears the same size as you, consider sharing some of your favourite pieces. We do this sometimes, and it works great!
Have a swap party. Each kick in a couple dollars for pizza and a few bottles of wine (or non-alcoholic beverages), and bring clothes that you don't wear, but are in good condition. Have fun, and leave with a brand new wardrobe!
Try thrifting. You never know what treasures you'll find at Value Village or Good Will. We've found vintage slips, cute purses and fun t-shirts.
Order online. Use coupon codes, keep up with sales and pay attention to return policies. Also consider leaving potential purchases in your cart for a day or two. That will give you time to ponder whether you really want that gold lame skirt, plus sites like Amazon sometimes offer small discounts to entice you to buy whatever is in your cart.
Your turn: How do you save money on clothes?