Is it possible to be thrifty and fabulous? Absolutely! Can you stay on a budget, while still rockin’ your fav outfits and dressing your home in style? With a little planning and creativity, anything is possible!
When I was in debilitating debt, I was forced to think outside the box. I needed to find ways to express myself with style and comfort, without breaking the bank. Here are the real-life strategies I use every day.
1.) Give Generously.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” – Malachi 3:10
No matter how little you have, be faithful to give to your church and those in need around you. This may seem counter-productive, but it is essential. God promises that if we are faithful to him financially, he will bless us. It may not be in the form of money, but in my own experience, it often is. My husband Joey and I gave when it hurt, because God calls us to be cheerful givers. You too can be more generous than you ever imagined! God is faithful when we are faithful. Always START here.
2.) Get to Know Your Thrift Stores, Craigslist, and Discount Stores.
I go to the thrift stores in my town at least once a week for a walk through. Instead of being tempted to purchase something, it becomes a treasure hunt! This allows me to know which place has the best furniture or clothes, and helps me catch the really good items. I keep a running list on my phone of my wish-list items and keep an eye open when I am shopping. My favorite “name brand” places are Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I recently bought my favorite Kate Spade coffee mug for half the normal cost. You can still have the things you love without taking a chunk out of the budget!
3.) Learn to Think Outside the Box.
Decorating your space? Give a fresh purpose to an old staple piece! I use $10 bar stools as night stands. I created a huge statement piece for my daughter’s room with some leftover paint and a $5 window frame. Spray paint can transform anything! Give a new look to picture frames & patio furniture- even old toys can become new decor!
Rearrange rooms to share furniture- a front porch decoration may be fit perfectly in that bare spot on your living room shelf. Problem solved, no money spent. Not the creative type? Check out my Pinterest page for fun decorating ideas or check out my friend Natalie’s adorable site for cute updates on the cheap!
4.) Don’t Be Afraid of Generic Brands.
I grew up with all name-brand food. There was never an “Always Save” brand in my cabinets, and I had a weird aversion to labels I didn’t recognize. If this is you, you gotta get over it, sister! Be mindful of the food you purchase, but know that name-brands aren’t magic. I cut over $100 from my grocery bill by purchasing the generic brand, and no one in my family could taste the difference!
5.) Save in Community.
“Sharing is caring,” as my kids say. The key is to find someone else who is your same clothing size, has kids the same age, or has a talent you would love to learn from! Trade a friend for free babysitting. Begin a hand-me-down system for your kids AND yourself! I gladly accept hand-me-downs, and the amount of killer outfits I get for my own closet is totally worth the trades! For home decor, I glean all the wisdom I can from my talented friends who can refinish furniture. It helps me transform trash into treasure, and now my house is full of beautifully restored pieces. It is green-minded and cheaper!
Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays- it adds up fast! If you are married, sit down with your spouse and decide what holidays are important to YOU to celebrate. You may find neither of you cares about Valentine’s Day, but you have been celebrating it out of habit. Discuss where you want your money to go and honor that decision (ladies- no games of “Oh, don’t buy me anything…!” Decide when he should/shouldn’t purchase and don’t hold grudges!) A birthday doesn’t always warrant a gift- maybe an entire day off work and freedom from your kids is what you value most!
7.) Be picky about clothing and shoes.
Don’t purchase something just because it is on sale! This only contributes to feeling like you aren’t “you” while on a tight budget. Ask yourself these questions:
“Would I buy this if it was full-price?”
“Will it coordinate well with the other clothes in my closet?”
“Does it fit my body correctly?”
If the answer is “no” to any of these, PASS! Save your money and be patient. The right piece will come along!
What are your money-saving tips for your style personal style and home? How do YOU stay thrifty and fabulous?