How I Fashion Blog on a Budget
I’m 11 years old in the first memory I have of leaving a store without a piece of clothing I wanted. My mom and I were at Kohl’s and, suddenly from the aisle, I spotted a red, ribbed zip-up sweater with fuzzy pompoms on the hood's strings. It was bright, it was comfortable, it looked cool—I was in love.
“Mom can I get this?” I asked as I pointed to the masterpiece, sure she would agree. But to my 11-year-old dismay, she said the exact opposite. My world, as far as I was concerned, had collapsed. I spent the rest of our store visit crying and pleading with her to let me get it. I needed it, I argued. It would go with everything. My life wouldn't be complete without it.
Like a good mom, she didn't reward my behavior and I left the store empty handed.
You probably don’t think of an instance like this when you imagine a fashion blogger, but I go back to this moment all the time. To be honest, it's my favorite shopping memory because it reminds me of exactly who I do not want to be when I'm browsing for new stuff.
Hi, my name is Kendall and I'm a fashion blogger—who posts photos on Instagram nearly every day of my closet conquests—and I fashion blog on a budget. To be exact, I fashion blog on a $315 monthly budget, which is also used for haircuts and other necessary expenses. I know that sounds like a lot (and it is!), but when you are doing life and have things you have to pay for, that amount can go fast. It sounds silly actually typing this, but sticking to this budget isn't easy. It is, however, always wonderful. It's a constant lesson that fashion isn't everything and that I should cherish the pieces I do have—and choose wisely, rather than constantly vying for the next best thing. Here's how I stay in the green (mostly...).
I set a per-item spending limit.
What you consider a reasonable price for clothes can skyrocket real quick when you spend a majority of your time looking and talking about fashion. Suddenly, you'll find yourself saying $300 for one item is a good deal when, a few months before, you wouldn't have considered paying $100.
You know what I love even more than buying new clothes? Self control—knowing I always have the right to say no. So, I have a limit: I don't spend more than $100 (or right around that) on any one item. If I pick up anything that's more than that, it's immediately out of the question. Easy peasy!
I make lists.
And by lists, I mean lists of what I want to shop for next and new companies I want to shop at. We've all had A Target Run. You know, when you go into a store looking for one thing and then walk out with ten things that were never on the checklist. Imagine that happening to you every day—that's what it can be like to be a fashion blogger. I'm always looking at great new pieces and amazing new boutiques I want to support and can easily lose track of what I was looking to buy in the first place. So, I have lists on my phone to keep my mind and my wallet in order.
I live by budget reports ... kind of.
My husband and I have an absolutely amazing, free, account with Mint (maybe you've heard of 'em?). And, when you have a Mint account, you get access to an equally amazing budgeting app. One click into the system on my phone and I can see how much I've spent that month, how much I have left (the thing even does the math for you!) and if I'm on par with how far into the month we are. If Mint doesn't bless the amount of money I'm thinking of spending, I either put said item away or talk with the husband about spending some of next month's budget early.
There have been many times where I find something I would love to have in my closet, but can't buy just yet. So, I put said item back and wait for the next month, crossing my fingers it will still be available in my size. Sometimes, I get that stuff at a great sales price.
Also, know I'm not perfect.
I work my hardest to stick to this plan, but know that I'm not perfect at it. There are months I still go over or times I forget what I went out to buy. Life isn't perfect! But every day I am learning more and more how to make the most out of my closet with what I can spend and what I've got.