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5 Tips For Staying Fashionable On A Budget

5 Tips For Staying Fashionable On A Budget

Keeping up with the ever-changing trends in fashion can be an expensive affair. Every year, it seems, clothing tastes change so much that last season’s clothes feel dated and frumpy. Complicate that with different clothing needs as the seasons change, and staying fashionable can seem like an insurmountable task.

Luckily, fashionistas know how to put together hot outfits for any season on a budget. The process of looking stylish and seasonal doesn’t have to rack up expenses, as long as you know what pieces to select and when and where to get them. Here are five tips for staying fashionable on a budget.

1. Look for staples first

The first tip to building your wardrobe is to make sure you have enough basics to serve a variety of different outfits. This means looking for clothes that are neutral, free of complicated patterns and easy to pair with other clothes. These staples should include plain t-shirts with simple necklines in multiple colors (but you’ll want neutral colors like white, beige and black most of all), a pair of form-fitting blue jeans in your favorite cut, simple ballet flat shoes, a decent jacket or blazer in a dark color and a pair of black plants.

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This list is not exhaustive, of course, and your location can also determine what’s necessary in your collection. These staples should be items that you can interchangeably mix in to fill out your daily outfits.

2. Sell or swap with friends

Rather than giving away unwanted clothes to Goodwill or throwing them away, see if your friends are interested – then ask if there’s anything in their wardrobe they don’t want anymore. Swapping clothes with your friends can give new life to unloved pieces and help everyone pick out new pieces to freshen up their wardrobe.

Maybe your friend picked up something nice and in season, but found that it just didn’t flatter her the way she expected. These can be an excellent resource for fun and creative additions to your wardrobe you may not normally look at in a store.

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3. Look for sales and clearance items

The best way to keep budgets low is to get your clothes from resale or outlet stores, rather than straight off the rack. Many fantastic pieces end up in these stores due to an inability to move product, or sometimes because a store simply needed to make space for new goods, meaning you’ll find great pieces at low prices in these stores.

Many outlet stores like Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s or Ross also let you shop for cheap dresses online, where prices have been slashed for out-of-season clothing, and gives you a chance to stock up on especially well-priced goods that may have once had triple-digit price tags.

4. Browse thrift stores

Along with looking for sales and clearances, your clothes can also come from thrift stores, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and and your local thrift shop. These places hold an eclectic mix of clothes donated by those who lost interest in them for a variety of reasons.

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Perfectly good clothing will end up here for outrageously low prices. I once purchased an elegant prom dress easily worth $150 for no more than $20 from a thrift store. Thrifting, although more frustrating and difficult than shopping in a regular store, can turn up absolute gems to add to your collection for rock-bottom prices.

5. Get creative with combinations

The best way to keep your outfits fresh is to swap out small pieces or parts. This is why you want staples, and why you should build up a generous collection of accessories such as cardigans, scarves, belts and jewelry that can add flair and a sense of change to your outfits. Changing your blazer to a cardigan and your heels to some sneakers can take an outfit from work-friendly to weekend-outing. Think of outfits as entire combinations, and each item you swap in or out can make a new look.

Staying fashionable doesn’t have to break the bank. Watching for sales, monitoring your local outlets and thrift stores and letting friends breathe new life into your wardrobe can keep you well-dressed without racking up a debt. Get creative with your wardrobe building to live the fashionista life on a budget.

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Featured photo credit: Susan Sermoneta via flic.kr

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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