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Frugal Fashionista? How to Embrace Both Fashion and Frugality

September 28, 2015


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Don't believe you can love fashion and still embrace your frugal side? You can! How I embrace fashion and frugality - and how you can too!

It’s hard to be a frugal-minded minimalist when you love cute clothes and shoes SO MUCH. It’s also really hard to stick to your budget and reign in your spending when you have an unquenchable desire for cute new things to wear.

Did you know that Kayla doesn’t track her spending on clothes at all anymore? She has embraced her love of fashion, and she has moved on from her original 2015 goal of keeping her fashion budget to $500 for the year. If only we could all embrace our true selves like Kayla! She doesn’t berate herself for spending her money on clothes and shoes. She worked hard for her money and she deserves to spend it on the things that matter to her or bring her joy.

Just because Kayla doesn’t track her shopping expenses, it doesn’t mean that she just throwing her money willy-nilly into the Kansas wind. There are so many ways to embrace a love of shopping without going into credit card debt or wasting your money on things that don’t matter. If you love both shopping and balancing your budget, have no fear. There are great ways to embrace both fashion and frugality.

Emergency Fashion Fund

Sometimes a girl just needs to shop. After a terrible day, buying a cute new pair of shoes can really brighten your outlook on life. I don’t recommend using shopping as an emotional crutch, but sometimes it really does help to just go out and try on pretty things.

Instead of dipping into savings or using a credit card, set up an “emergency fashion fund.” While it sounds silly, setting aside $50-$100 a month to use for shopping or undesignated expenses can be a really great way to embrace your love of fashion without killing your budget. Building a little bit of shopping wiggle room into your budget is a great happy medium for being true to both your inner fashionista and your frugal side.

Start a Capsule Wardrobe

One way to keep your shopping habit in check is to start using a capsule wardrobe system. By only wearing clothes from your seasonal capsule wardrobe, you’ll know which items you need to buy to truly improve or enhance your outfits.

A capsule wardrobe helps you to realize if you should buy another pair of jeans, a different pair of winter boots, or another cardigan. Capsule wardrobes make you aware of any gaping holes in the functionality of your closet. Instead of shopping aimlessly, capsule wardrobes help give you a plan for your next shopping trip. If you feel the need to shop, use your emergency shopping fund, and try to buy only the items you really could use on a daily basis.

Find the Best Coupons

Coupon codes are fantastic for when you’re shopping online, but it can be a huge hassle to find current or valid codes that apply to your particular purchase. Instead of wasting time by searching for a coupon code which may or may not work, install the CouponSumo google chrome app to your web browser.

The CouponSumo app kicks in no matter when or where you shop online. If there is a current deal or coupon for that website, a little box will pop up alerting you to current deals. Sometimes I will get caught up with trying to find something quickly online, and I don’t even think to look for a deal. CouponSumo compensates for that, and it has been amazing for saving money without any extra effort.

Embrace Your Frugality and Your Inner Fashionista

Don’t feel guilty for having an interest in both personal finances and fashion. It’s completely valid to self-identify as a frugal fashionista. You don’t have to spend a ton of money or use credit cards to embrace a love of shopping. If you love shoes and they make you happy, buy them! Set money aside from your monthly budget to account for any shopping trips or clicks, use coupons when you can, buy things you know you’ll use, and you’ll be just fine.

Do you struggle with fashion and frugality? How do you embrace it?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, A Disease Called Debt and She Picks Up Pennies*

Don't believe you can love fashion and still embrace your frugal side? You can! How I embrace fashion and frugality - and how you can too!

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Kristi Muse

Kristi Muse is a freelance writer, blogger, police officer’s wife, and millennial mom to two beautiful children. She loves homeschooling, organic gardening, sustainable living, and cooking from scratch. To hire Kristi as a freelance writer or to read more about how she lives a balanced life, visit her website moderatemuse.com or follow her on twitter @moderatemuse.

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14 responses to “Frugal Fashionista? How to Embrace Both Fashion and Frugality

  1. Shopping my own closet has been huge. That phrase gets thrown around A LOT in both the PF and the fashion blog worlds. However, now that I’ve tried to edit my closet, I realize how many things I have that I’ve forgotten about. Also, once I really started trying to make 4-5 outfits out of each new piece I bought, it really reframed my shopping habits. That’s also a great test for me to see what gets to stay in my closet.

    1. I love that phrase “shopping your own closet.” I have too many clothes that I forget about or go through phases where they didn’t fit me for one reason or another. Rediscovering those clothes is almost as fun as shopping!

    1. What’s fun is taking those items that have nothing to go with and adding them to your capsule wardrobe. By adding some basic shirts or pants that match everything, you really can expand your outfit options.

  2. Kristi,

    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I’m trying it out this fall, and so far, it’s going great. It makes picking out my clothes so much easier, and I have noticed I look more pulled together.

    I used to think that a smaller wardrobe would get boring and repetitive. But I have found quite the opposite.

    I love fashion, and I am a strong believer that you should dress for success. Thanks for the tips here!

    1. That’s great, Ginny! I find that I usually won’t even spend it all if I have it. It’s something about self-deprivation that makes me want to go out and rebel against the budget. Having that amount set aside prevents that from happening.

  3. I can’t say I’m a fashionista, but I have recently been slammed with the need for more professional attire. I “blew” $300 on some nice dresses, but it has made all the difference. I’d like a few more items, so maybe a “professional attire capsule wardrobe” is the way to go. I really like the idea of having a “fashion emergency fund.” That way I’ve got money set aside specifically for updates and any tailoring costs that might come up.

  4. I’ve read that one definition of middle class is that you can afford anything you want; just not everything. If you are going to feel deprived without $X to spend on fashion, by all means, budget for it.

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