Tips for Staying Fashionable on a Budget

June 15, 2015

I am a firm believer that you can dress well without spending big, and in this post I thought I’d share a few of my tips for staying fashionable on a budget. I love fashion. I’ll always love designer items, and although I have a few here and there purchased with birthday money, saved for, or as gifts, the majority of my closet is made up of Forever21, Gap, LOFT, J.Crew, and the like. Designer items are not a reality for me, and this was reinforced by my trip to New York. It was amazing to see and go in some of the shops I’ve always heard about (I’m talking to you Chanel on Madison Avenue), but  I am a sale shopper at heart. My monthly shopping budget is $75. I know for some that still might be a lot and for some, it may not be much. I’ve touched on it before here if you want to read more about it. For Russ and I, this is a number we feel comfortable with each month. Although I could technically spend more, and believe me there are times I do with NYC being a great example, that is not how we choose to spend our money. This is a judgement free post. Everyone is different, and everyone spends money differently – it’s a touchy subject. This is just what works for us. I’m also lucky enough to often have my budget supplemented by gifted clothes from blogging. When I do make money from ads or affiliate links (which is NOT often), it does often go back into my budget. It’s a definite perk to have my wardrobe augmented by blogging, but I do work hard for it. Blogging is so fun, and I count myself lucky to be able to do it.

I just mention all of that to say that I don’t think women have to spend buckets of money to feel stylish or good in their clothes. You can be fashionable and on trend for $75 a month. Today’s outfit is a perfect example of this idea. I bought this cream crop top sweater and these white cullote/wide leg pants at LOFT (first seen on Heather) when their sale was an extra 60% off. Together they were $30. I rarely buy things full price. I have to really like something to pay more than $35 for it. If I did, it would basically be the only thing I bought that month. Here are my tips for staying fashionable on a budget. They help me, and I hope maybe they will help you too. If you have anything that helps you, please share in the comments!

1. Know your stores – Once you find stores that work for you fit wise, get familiar with their sales and how they price things. If you know they often mark things down, wait for that item you love to go on sale. This also helps because when you know your size you can order online with worrying whether or not an item will fit.

2. Use the internet to your advantage – Check in on your favorite items regularly to see how the stock is holding up and whether or not said item has been marked down. Often in store and online sales are different, so sometimes you can get a better deal at one or the other.

3. Know your limit – Decide on a budget and stick to it. Is this item way over your budget? Is it worth it? Consider what point in the month you are and what else is on your list. Thinking through these things often helps me make a more level-headed decision.

4. Keep a list – I keep a running list on my phone of things I actually want. It helps me stay on track when I find something I really want. Is it on my list, or did I just see it and get sidetracked? Is it just on major sale, and I think it’s a great deal, or do I really want it?

cream culottes, cream crop, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch details cream culottes, cream sweater, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, tan mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutchCream Crop Top: Loft // Cream Culottes: Loft // Gold Bib Necklace & Cuff Bracelet c/o Purple Peridot (use code realarnold10 for 10% off) // Mules: Sam Edelman // Leopard Clutch: Express // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via Ditto’s Endless Eyewear Program – use this link to get your first month FREE

Linking Up With: Gina & Carylee / Lauren / Molly & Carly / Rhea / Whitney / Rachelle & Charnele / Laura / Jess / Erin & Laura / Elizabeth / Pumps & Push Ups / Shanna / Lindsey / Liz / Alison / Alice / Danielle / Sydney / Tara / Jill & Carrie / Lauren / Jacqueline & Elle / JoLynne / Rachel / Dawn Lucy

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  • Reply Brooke June 15, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I agree 100% My monthly shopping budget is low too and I really think there is a lot to be said about the fashionable ladies who are also financially responsible. 🙂 The very few designer items I own are mostly handbags, that were birthday gifts or something like that. I do all of the things you do to stay on track; keeping tabs on what I really want and taking the time to think if I really like something or not helps me!

    pumps and push-ups

  • Reply Aracely June 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I find that having an organized closet space also helps me stay on budget so I can actually see what I have and not purchasing pieces I already own. Love the look!

  • Reply Tori June 15, 2015 at 8:33 am

    omgsh I love when its 60% off the sale price–I am always in heaven 🙂 I LOVE this outfit on you–so freakin chic!! And what a steal–you can’t beat that at all!!!



  • Reply Natali June 15, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Great tips and I agree with all of them! You look so pretty and elegant in this outfit!!

  • Reply isabel selles June 15, 2015 at 8:10 am

    love it!!! i love the total white look!!!



  • Reply Gina Daily June 15, 2015 at 8:10 am

    First of all, I really love your openness and honesty about your budget in this post. And I think you did a great job of presenting it in a matter-of-fact, no judgment way. (Which can be tricky when it comes to money!!) I totally agree with your tips! I am especially a fan of #1 and #4 for myself. I shop at one store a lot (obviously!) but part of it is because if I spend too much time in too many stores…I want too many things!! And #4 really helps me control my impulses. If I have something on my list, I know I have a place for it in my wardrobe and how I will wear it. If I buy something on impulse that’s *not* on the list, I’m taking money away from that item I really useful item i wanted. Anyway, great post and thanks for sharing your tips on this!

    Gina || On the Daily Express

  • Reply Lauren {Fizz & Frosting} June 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    You look so chic in all white! I love your bag too!
    Fizz and Frosting

  • Reply ADA June 15, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Fantastic tips, especially since I am also a budget shopper. That crop sweater is stunning and the length and style of those pants are beautiful. Tres chic in all-white!

  • Reply Laura June 15, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Great tips! Love this all white look on you. It’s so chic!

  • Reply Gold Coast Girl June 15, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Your style is always on point! Loving this all white outfit paired with the leopard clutch. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Red Reticule June 15, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Great tips! And your look is so sophisticated.

    Red Reticule | Red Reticule Collection

  • Reply Preeti June 15, 2015 at 6:17 am

    love this look and i love your tips!

    xoxo, Preeti

  • Reply Whitney June 15, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Loving the white on white look, fabulous!! I really need to start keeping a list of wants and needs, it’s would help control my spontaneous purchases and maybe keep to a budget! Great post!


    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

  • Reply Marta C June 15, 2015 at 4:41 am

    I totally agree that you can look great without spending big, you look amazing in this all white look Amy Ann! Such a classic and chic look.

  • Reply Rachelle June 15, 2015 at 4:27 am

    I love that you have a set budget, good for you. This year I am learning to be better about sticking to a budget. Love this look, stunning!


  • Reply Arden Rubens June 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    I LOVE this look! Amazing shoes. xx


  • Reply Alyssa June 15, 2015 at 3:15 am

    I like your look, so lovely 🙂


  • Reply theblackblush blog June 15, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Love this all white look! The clutch is the perfect touch! Great tips too, I have to confess I’m trying to learn a little bit more how to spend less in clothes and wait for the right time to shop!

  • Reply Kileen June 15, 2015 at 2:21 am

    love an all white look with leopard! and thanks for the tips on staying within budget — could always use more help with this one!

    cute & little

  • Reply Deniz June 15, 2015 at 12:38 am

    This is a great look Amy Ann! I am glad to hear that you had a great time in NYC – I hope you were able to check out some of my recommendations! If not, then you have an excuse to visit again (:

    – Deniz

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