Tag Archives: shopping plan

Ballin’ on a Budget–Ditch Fast Fashion

Today, I’d like to continue a favorite series on the blog! One that highlights easy strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET. Each month, I’m proposing something for all of us to ditch in order to free up some line items on our budgets with values that can go to more practical expenditures like paying down on debt and saving for special occasions. (You can catch up on last month’s suggestions HERE.) Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you! So, let’s get started…

tshirts

When you don’t have the money for a bunch of high-end outfits, it can be really tempting to spend $10 here and $15 there on clearance rack tops and “here today, gone tomorrow” trends. I’ve definitely been there. In college, I would constantly tell myself not to spend money on clothes. Then an occasion would pop up, I’d whine, “I have nothing to wear!”, and head straight for the cutest but cheapest option. The problem with this strategy? I was purchasing an item of clothing with only ONE outcome in mind. Wearing it to whatever party, banquet, or trip I bought it for. And often that’s the only time it would get worn. Sure, it might have only cost me $7.99 but was that money well spent for one time use? Hardly! And when I did manage to work these pieces into my everyday clothing repertoire, they weren’t long for this world anyhow. Fast fashion falls apart quick, y’all.

So what’s a penny-pinching girl who still wants to look put together to do? Enter: CAPSULE WARDROBES. If you haven’t yet heard of this fashion sorcery, a capsule wardrobe basically involves streamlining your clothes to a collection of pieces, placing value on quality over quantity. The more outfit combinations the better! Capsule wardrobes are a cohesive collection. And they’ll certainly save you money. Investing in a pair of black skinny jeans is a smart idea…if that’s your favorite type of trouser, you feel awesome in them, and they match every single t-shirt and sweater in your collection. When you have a stash of clothes you actually enjoy wearing, it is easier to create practical outfits. No more last minute trips to Forever 21 before that gallery opening or feverish sale rack rifling before that interview. Convinced you need a capsule wardrobe. Here’s a plan of action…

Week 1. Evaluate all your current clothing items. 

Take all your clothes out of your closet, dresser, etc. and lay them out on your bed or a table. Take time to evaluate each piece. When was the last time you wore it? Do you still like the color, the pattern, the fit? Try items on if you haven’t worn it in awhile. Has it gotten loose? Snug? A stain you can’t identify? Once you’ve gone through all your items, start placing everything into three piles.

  1. Items you wear on the regular. These items are non-negotiable. They are your current closet staples and/or wardrobe basics. Place them back in your closet or drawers.
  2. Seasonal items you’d still like to keep and pull out when appropriate. You can store these items away for later use.
  3. Items you’re not so in to. This is stuff you haven’t worn in forever, doesn’t fit, is damaged, or doesn’t really match your style, other clothes, lifestyle, etc. Give this stuff away to your friends and family or donate it to your local Goodwill.

Week 2. Put Pile #1 into practical application. 

For this week, wear ONLY the clothes you kept in Pile #1. This may be a bit difficult style-wise but it is the best way to identify holes in your wardrobe. Keep a list of those items you wish you had available. Do you need more pants for work? Are your tennis shoes starting to look a little too scuffy for their own good? Take note! Also, begin to evaluate your wardrobe as a whole instead of lots of different, individual pieces. Does the ratio of business-wear to casual-wear match your current lifestyle? Is there a cohesive color palette? Enough “mix & match” potential? Play around with the possibilities and then…

girl in sweater

Week 3. Make a shopping list! 

After identifying the holes in your wardrobe, start filling them in. This doesn’t have to happen all at once but keeping a list will deter you from making those fast fashion purchases. Instead, you’ll have a plan. Keep the list in your purse or on your phone. That way, you’ll always know what to keep your eye out for and you can hunt the best bargains while still making an investment.

Week 4. Time for a fashion show. 

Now that you have a pared down collection, and perhaps a few items purchased off your shopping list, it’s time to experiment with your new wardrobe. Try on different and new-to-you combinations. Write down the outfits you love and want to replicate or SNAP A SELFIE! Finally, decide how long you’d like to keep this particular capsule. Many capsule wardrobe aficionados go for a three month/seasonal duration. If you’d like to try for longer, go for it! Either way, set a date for a re-evaluation and wardrobe update and jot it down in your calendar or set a reminder in your phone so you don’t forget!

girl with glasses

Resources:

Week 1 —

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

 Project 333

The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart by Nina Garcia

Week 2 —

Free Wardrobe Planner

Defining Your Style

50 Piece All-Season Capsule Wardrobe

Week 3 —

Stores you like! Duh!

Week 4 —

Pinterest 

Outfit Posts

Add Variety to Your Wardrobe with One Little Trick

A Week in Outfits

Ballin’ on a Budget–Ditch the “Here and There” Purchasing

Today, I’d like to continue a favorite series on the blog! One that highlights easy strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET. Each month, I’m proposing something for all of us to ditch in order to free up some line items on our budgets with values that can go to more practical expenditures like paying down on debt and saving for special occasions. (You can catch up on last month’s suggestions HERE.) Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you! So, let’s get started…

mall escalator

Ballin’ on a Budget means being super mindful with your spending habits. It’s not possible to stop spending all together so taking time to separate wants from needs can curb the flow of dollah bills from your bank account. However, it’s easy to get in the habit of “here and there” spending. Buying things as needed or when the inkling for an item creeps up. Unfortunately, this eliminates that all important meditation on whether the purchase is a crucial one, turning mindfulness into mindlessness. Eliminating mindless spending will take work but it’s possible! Here’s our plan for the next 4 weeks…

Week 1. Track your spending. 

If you’re looking to make major lifestyle changes, it’s important to identify what’s going on in the status quo. Set aside a week to write down every single thing you spend money on. This might be a little bit nerve-wracking or even a little bit annoying (“Hold on, I gotta document this latte!”) but it’s just seven days and it has the potential to be a really eye opening experience. Grab a notebook (or the Notes app in your phone, whatever works) and get to jottin’!

Week 2. Identify spending categories. 

Now that you have a week’s worth of spending habits, it’s time to do a little analyzing. If you like charts, spreadsheets, and data of any kind (*raises hand*) you may enjoy this step just enough to soften the blow of “Holy Shit, I used my debit card HOW many times?!” Read over your list of expenses and identify a few major spending categories of tangible items. Think: Groceries, Clothes, Bath/Body/Wellness, Home Necessities, Gifts, etc. Other line items; like Bills, Entertainment, Eating Out, are a topic for another day. Break things down in whatever way works best for you visually. Going through your money diary with color coordinated highlighters, Excel spreadsheet, handwritten lists with category headings, you get the gist. This is a great step to return to whenever you need to hit the reset button on your spending.

produce section

Week 3. Set up a schedule for when to shop. 

Next, you’ll translate those categories into a shopping schedule based on their importance and necessary frequency. If you stopped by an expensive city-market to pick up a few groceries every evening on your way home from work, try wrangling all your food for the week on 1-2 scheduled days. Did you run out of shampoo mid-week and have to run to CVS, where you also grabbed nail polish and a stack of individually packaged face masks? See if you can make bath and body product purchases a weekend thing. Keep a list of the items you need (or think you’ll need). Whenever I do this I always end up whittling down the list because I’ve included things that weren’t actually needed. By the time the weekend trip rolls around and I’ve got to part with a lump of cash, instead of spaced out over the course of many shopping trips, I tighten the belt…or, errh, wallet. Play around with how often you need shopping trips to occur based on the category. Could you buy household goods (like cleaning and paper products) once a month? Can you shop for new clothes just once a quarter? It’s totally up to you!

Week 4. Find a day to treat yourself. 

Even when you’re Ballin’ on a Budget I think it’s a-okay to splurge once and a while. Total deprivation and super strict purse-strings are a recipe for disaster. And in my experience, going that route just isn’t sustainable. So, one little trick I’ve grown to love? Plan when you’re going to treat yourself! Look back over your week of spending or just think about what you often find yourself impulse buying. A few years ago, when I was trying to pay off a bunch of debt and actively attempting the Ballin’ on a Budget lifestyle in order to do so, my go-to splurge was magazines. I LOVE magazines. And they’re fairly cheap reading material! But I was impulse buying them way too often. So, I decided instead that I would treat myself to a new magazine once a month. I picked a day of the month (like the 24th or the 5th) so that I would remember and I stuck to the routine. Weirdly, it became SO much more satisfying. I looked forward to the treat so much more because it WAS a treat, not just a mindless purchase. I took great care in picking one out (opting for a different one each time ) and really savored the experience of reading it. You could do something similar with any number of things! A new makeup item, fun stationery, a little plant for your porch, a vinyl record, GO WILD!

journal display

Resources:

Week 1 —

How to track your spending (and why you should)

Keep a Money Diary and Become Better With Your Spending

Financial Planning in a Bullet Journal

Week 2 —

How to Track & Analyze Spending

Ways to Categorize Your Spending

Week 3 —

The Only Grocery Shopping List You’ll Ever Need

Best Time to Buy Things

Week 4 —

Why You Should Splurge Sometimes

Do you have your own tips or resources for eliminating “here and there” spending? Is this an area of your budget that you struggle with? Do you think following these weekly steps could help? Let’s chat in the comments below!

And tune in next month when we tackle fast fashion!