This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo.
If you’ve ever looked at your bank balance three days before payday and realized that you barely have enough cash left to feed yourself decently nevermind get the haircut you so desperately need, you require some advice on how to look good on a shoestring budget. While you might want to head to the designer stores, check out the latest catwalk trends and spend your non-existent money on the finest makeup and beauty products, you’re more used to making do with budget buys. However, there are ways you can spend your cash a little more wisely to look good on a shoestring budget.
You don’t have to pick up the latest en vogue trends to show off your fashion credentials. Instead, why not take a look at last season’s pieces. To the untrained eye, you will still look as fashionable in a year old Stella McCartney coat as one from the current collection, and you’ll have got it at a much more reasonable price. Just like cars, clothes can depreciate in value.
Another tactic is to try the designer outlet type stores. These tend to comprise of excess stock or seconds. While it may seem like you’re getting the dodgy clothing that wasn’t cut right, it may be something as simple as a misplaced button or a minor color issue that has made a garment fall under the ‘seconds’ category.
If designer clothing isn’t your thing, but you do want to look fashionable when out and about, why not express your individuality by upcycling your current wardrobe. By utilizing some of your sewing skills, you might be able to turn a dress into a top, add detailing to a pair of trousers or change the look of a skirt. One-off pieces always shine through the mass-produced high street attire.
Remember to save money by selling what you don’t wear. You’d be surprised just how much you could pocket from the pieces that languish at the back of your wardrobe if you list each item on an online auction site. This will give you even more cash to splash on your next items of clothing.
If you fancy a new hairstyle to revolutionize your look, make sure you find a cut that suits your face shape and personality. If you are a little extrovert and outgoing, don’t opt for a conservative bob. At the same time, for a round face, you could look at the cute pixie cuts and layered styles to elongate your face, creating the illusion of length rather than width.
When it comes to choosing your salon, don’t go for the most expensive expecting the highest quality cut. What you are paying for is the cup of coffee and more expensive glossy magazines that you can read in between your color and cut. Instead, ask family and friends if they know of any good stylists. A good strategy is to pick a top rated and popular high street salon but then select the junior stylist. They will be cheaper than the more established stylist, they’ll have bags of enthusiasm, and they’ll be keen to impress.
You only have to head onto the websites of beauty magazines and bloggers to know that the most expensive product doesn’t necessarily mean the most effective. The latest nonsensical phrase is the ‘redensifying’ moisturizer. With this meaningless word on the label of a beauty product, you can expect to pay a fortune for ridiculous jargon. Instead, opt for the tried and tested established brands that are more reasonable in price.
Don’t overbuy simply because you’ve seen a well-polished advert on the TV making miracle claims about the anti-wrinkle abilities of cream. All you need in your repertoire is a moisturizer, a cleanser, an exfoliator and maybe a little toner. Add to this a small and exclusive selection of makeup, and you should be able to fit all that you need into a large toiletry bag. You shouldn’t need a chest of drawers full of beauty products and makeup. This will be a waste of money, and you won’t use a tenth of the stuff that you own.
Although you may not have wads of disposable cash at your disposal, this doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good. You simply need to be a tad more astute with your hard earned money to purchase the high-end wardrobe, get the perfect haircut and have an exclusive selection of makeup. Follow this advice, and you will be looking stylish every day of the week.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.