When I did my poll on Instagram asking for post topics, one of the questions I was asked was how to shop on a budget. Today I am here to deliver on that question with my thoughts as a fashion blogger. I’ve posted about this exact topic before here. It’s worth a read because nothing has really changed for me. This will be part one in a series to fully answer because it started to get long. I’ll share a second part with more tips on how I shop on a budget.
My Shopping Budget as A Fashion Blogger – NOTHING
In my previous post I mentioned that my monthly shopping budget was $75. I am happy to report that I no longer have a shopping budget at all. My shopping is effectively a nothing line item on our family budget. I, of course, still have an area in our budget that we track as a family. I keep my poor husband pretty busy, but I do not cost our family anything with my shopping. How? Well, I use the income I generate on the blog to shop. I never go over what I make. In fact, I am always in the black, and most of what I make actually goes to pay my taxes.
Did you know that bloggers have to pay taxes on all gifted items? So, for a real life example, let’s say I am gifted this dress (because I was). Though I didn’t have to buy the dress at the cost of $69, I do have to pay tax on it. I normally estimate it is around 30%. To the government, that is seen as income just like the money you would make at your job. 30% of $69 is $20.70. Though this dress was gifted to me, I have to pay $20.70 for it to the government. Each time I am gifted something, I track it. Each quarter, Russ takes 30% of the cost of what I have been gifted out of what my blog has generated as an estimate, so when April comes, we are ready.
I’m so thankful to have gifted clothing. It allows me to pick new, trendy items to share with you all at a discount. It keeps my content fresh and new. I also try to be very careful about what I select knowing that 1.) I want to stay true to my blog and style 2.) Anything I am gifted ultimately increases the taxes I pay. 3.) As a Christian, I really try to only pick things I feel like I will wear, fit with my lifestyle, and keep my closet from bursting at the seams. I regularly go through it and donate/sell clothes to avoid being overrun by things I don’t need. That being said, I could still do a better job at this. I get caught up in the “I need something new” thoughts just like everyone else.
I use what is leftover from taxes to pay blog related expenses such as my host site, Tailwind (the Pinterest scheduling system I use), Planoly (the Instagram scheduling system I use), my monthly Adobe fee, and other associated things that come up. After that I use what is leftover to shop or chose not to shop and happily see that my blog has generated some income for our family. It’s a balance. It has made me shop more carefully and selectively. It has made me plan more for things like the Nordstrom sale.