Affordable Fashion Sense

Claudia Balthazar is a journalism graduate of Hofstra University with a minor in Political Science. She a freelance journalist currently writing for online publications.

She is a 2009 recipient of the Dale R. Wright Scholarship, the 2012 recipient of the New York Women in Communications Foundation Scholarship, 2013 Fox News Rising Ailes Apprentice Scholarship, the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Student Journalist of the Year and a former fellow of the Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Reporting initiative.

We all like to look good with all the fashion trends and new outfits each season. A lot of us try to keep up. But I try to keep my bucks.

My fashion sense is affordable so I shop out of season and on a budget. Yes, I buy boots in the summer and swimwear in the winter. I once purchased a pair of boots for $15 in the summer that went up 70 bucks in just a few months.

Buying books and traveling throughout school is expensive enough so why not shop on the clearance rack? The bills definitely piles up after college when you have to start paying back school loans.

But shopping on a budget does not mean that you will always have to dress out of style. The good thing is that there are coupons and trendy clothes that also go on sale.

Rule No. 1 to shopping on budget is to always go to the store with a list. There are two people in this world; people who buy what they need, and those who splurge. Do not splurge. Going to the shopping mall with an idea of what you already need, will keep you on budget.

Rule No. 2 is to set a reasonable budget based on your steady income and bills. Aim to go under that budget!

Rule No. 3 is to use coupons. Before going into any store, use your smart phone to browse their website. A lot of stores have coupons listed on their website.

My favorite store is Express. It’s classy and their sizes are great for my body but the store could be a bit pricey. The good thing is that there are usually coupons on their website which usually saves me at least 40 percent on my total purchase.

Another option for using coupons is to sign up to a store’s website where they could email you the coupons or mail them to your home. A lot of these have set dates so make sure you use the coupons before they expire.

My favorite style right now is the crop top look that you can sometimes find Kim Kardashian wearing. A side rule to shopping on a budget is that you can treat yourself…sometimes. Choose something that really catches your eye and save up a little money from a few pay checks so that you could buy it.

Still keep in mind that you should never splurge! Even though some people are against credit cards, if you have a favorite store that you go to a lot, getting a credit card in that store could help you save money.

Shopping at outlets could also give you more bang for your buck like Woodbury Commons in New York. I found a Michael Kors bracelet for $30 at a jewelry store at there that was worth $200. Then, I got 15 percent off of an already bargained price just for using the store’s credit card.

So you have it, shop on a budget, shop at outlets, shop out of season and shop on the clearance rack. Then, when you have your eye on one special thing, it is okay to put aside a little bit of money for it. But never ever splurge.

You can look great and feel great knowing that you are not going broke.

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