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4 Ways to Look More Fashionable Without Breaking the Bank

4 Ways to Look More Fashionable Without Breaking the Bank

Do you want to turn more heads the next time you go out? There are a lot of flashy accessories that you can wear. Unfortunately, many of them cost an arm and a leg.

The good news is that there are many ways to look more fashionable on a tight budget. Follow these tips if you want to dress to impress without breaking the bank.

1. Stick to Timeless Accessories

Many clothing and jewelry stores sell some very unique accessories each year. Many of these items are really popping while they are in style, but lose popularity in less than a year. Here are some of the fads that have gone in and out of style over the past couple of decades:

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  • Flashing LED necklaces
  • Gaucho pants
  • Fake sneaker high heels

If you are on a tight budget, you can’t afford to upgrade to the newest fad every year. You are better off investing in timeless accessories, such as:

  • Vintage black dress
  • Classic hoop earrings
  • Infinity scarf

You can buy a beautiful dress for less than $50. If you are careful, it should last at least five years.

2. Don’t Try New Clothing Brands Online

According to a recent study from Mintel, 62% of customers prefer to shop for clothes online.  It’s hardly surprising that customers prefer buying clothes online, because online retailers tend to offer great deals and don’t require customers to leave their homes.

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However, if you haven’t purchased from a particular retailer before, you should probably try them at a brick-and-mortar store first. Here are a couple reasons:

  • Every brand sizes clothes differently. You may find that most of your dresses are a size 3. However, you may find only a size 4 fits properly if you are trying a new clothing line. The only way you will know is if you try it on first. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to do that online, even with their simulated dressing rooms.
  • It is a lot more difficult to return clothes to an online retailer.

You can always buy clothes online after you find a good brand.

3. Don’t Sacrifice Your Comfort

Your confidence and stylishness are very tightly linked. You can’t pull off a style if you aren’t comfortable.

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It’s important to make sure you are relaxed and comfortable with your accessories. Here are some tips:

  • Buy heels with good support. Most women feel more attractive in heels, but hate the way they feel. It’s difficult to find a pair that you can walk in gracefully, because they don’t usually provide enough support for your arches. You may want to look into vionic shoes and heels. They have biomechanical orthotics, which provide much better support for your arches.
  • Conservative women may not prefer tight tops. Tight halter tops look great on models and women that are proud to show their curves. However, they aren’t designed for women that like to be more conservative with their appearance. If you are more modest, you may feel self-conscious going out in public with a top that fits tightly around your bust. You may want to buy something more free-fitting that won’t attract unwanted gazes from the opposite sex.
  • Choose lighter scarves. Heavy scarves may be fashionable, but they are too bulky in moderate and warm weather. Opt for something a little lighter. Ann Taylor has some great light scarves, which are comfortable year round.

There is no point wasting money buying something that you won’t be comfortable in.

4. Buy Clothes that Don’t Fall Apart

Many clothes are specifically designed to fall apart after a couple of years. Others are made from poorly woven wool or imported nylon, which don’t last very long.

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You are better off investing in clothes that will last a long time. Tom Cridland and Universal Utility provide a number of clothing lines that are guaranteed to last for years. You can afford to splurge a little with these brands, because you know you won’t be replacing them after a couple of years.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Ryan Kh

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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