February 11, 2014  |  27 Comments

I think money and finances can be a very taboo topic to talk about in the blogging world.  After all, we are supposed to be rocking our latest purchases without a care in the world…right!  I often get the question, “How can you afford to shop?”  Although this is a question that I do not believe is very tactful, it is a really good topic because living in an economy like this can make for a non-extent shopping budget.  Most of you all know that I am an educator, and when you love shopping like I do it can really put a dent in your finances.  I will not go into specifics about my personal finances (or lack thereof..lol) out of respect and privacy for my husband, but I will give you some useful tips that are helping me along the way.

Shop With A Purpose
These days I only buy something if it is going to be a wardrobe staple, or I need it to complete a look.  I use to waste so much money buying clothes that I did not need (impulsive shopper here).  That has changed. If I don’t feel an item will contribute to my wardrobe in a significant way, I leave it right where it belongs…on the rack. Assess what you have in your closet already and then add pieces accordingly.

Coupon Codes are a MUST 
Avoid shopping on sites that do not offer coupon codes or free shipping.  I hate to pay for shipping.  I always do a Google search for coupon codes before I buy anything. Sites like ASOS, Lane Bryant, and Forever 21 often offer sale codes or free shipping, so always do your homework before making an online purchase.

Shop at the End of the Season
There are so many high and low-end stores that offer end-of-season sales, so check out your favorite stores close to the end of a season because you may find major sales.

Shop Small and Online Boutiques
Lately, I have been contacted by small boutiques that offer stylish and trendy clothing at affordable prices. Yes, a lot of them sell the same thing, but so what.  I really don’t care in the least.  Everyone is essentially hustling in one form or another.  I don’t mind anyone making money, as long as they are honest and fair.  So give small and online boutiques a chance because you might find something you like. 

Be Creative
Sometimes I find an item that is too big, but it is something that I really want to add to my wardrobe. If the price is unbeatable, I will go ahead and buy the item (this only applies if an item is too big, not too small). Then, I take it to my tailor and have her revamp the item for me because in the long run it will be worth it.  There are times when I find an item that is perfect for a particular look, but I don’t like where the split is, or it doesn’t fit exactly the way I want it to.  These are all things that can be fixed easily by a tailor. 

I have found some really nice blazers and unique pieces thrifting.  You can read about my first thrifting experience ever HERE. I do not frequent thrift stores a lot because I don’t have the patience, but I try to go once every couple of months.  Believe me…you will be glad that you did!  You may also want to give sites like ebay a try! I have purchased makeup and clothes from ebay for great prices!

Mamma’s Advice
Many of you know my mother (well not personally), but you have seen her at many of the events that I attend.  She is my muse!  My mom has always sacrificed for her children, and she is really an amazing person.  I would like to think that she gets most of the things that she wants, but this is because she knows how to save her money.  Learn to save!  I am going to be honest, I struggle with this aspect of my budgeting. As I stated before, I am very impulsive sometimes and “I want what I want,” but in 2014 I am going to try to listen to my mother and save more money.

Leave your tips for shopping below! We are all in this together!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05638921419072341267 melissa ward

    Great post …. I’m all about thrifting

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      I know you are:-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10394822325225922678 gaetha pierrelouis

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10394822325225922678 gaetha pierrelouis

    Such a refreshing post. I am a beginner at blogging and it’s so easy to get caught up in keeping up with new trends and all the beautiful blogs. My tip would be to Stay true to yourself and always try to shop on sale

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      Great tip!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04555478183769268662 Traci Lewin

    I appreciate this post because just the other day I was on youtube looking at all the ootd, and haul videos and I just got so depressed. My finances are going thru some changes right now! lol. I want to look fabulous but I wasn’t sure how to acheive the looks I want without breaking my budget. Thrifting seemed daunting because I feel like all the plus size clothes at the thrift shop look Crazyy!!! But I just have to learn to think outside the box…and I will

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      Keep your head up! We have all been there with finances, but if you are creative, you will find ways to shop!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12876340899479216094 Karlisha

    What a great post! I love your blog because you seem to have a reasonable shopping budget. Some of these bloggers I can’t relate to because they wear name brand everything.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      Yeah….even if I had all the money in the world I wouldn’t spend it all making designers rich! I would mix and match to keep things interesting!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07182487798088658077 Style4Curves

    For me, it’s easier to allow my job to automatically direct deposit what I want to save into my savings so when I see my check in the bank it’s automatically minus what I wanted to save. I also do the 52 week challenge as well (I found it on pinterest) and at the end of year I have an additional 1,300 to save or to use for my vacation fund. At this point I’m like you I only buy things I deem a need or to complete looks…I buy way more basics that I can revamp than trendy items because I have tons of trendy items in my closet with tags on them never worn and I learned from those past mistakes trying to keep up with new trends.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      I love that idea! I have to give it a try!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08268732827719307430 My Kurves

    Great post and very realistic. I only shop at end of season sales and my good friend Clearance. I have thrifted once and just cannot get the hang of it.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      Thank you! Yeah….thrifting is a gift!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07240305480568444830 MARGIE MOBLEY

    Looking in the Menswear Dept. in stores and at thrift stores is also a great idea to get the fashions you want. Shirts can be tapered by a tailor to fit female figures.Men’s sweaters, jackets, and coats can also look great on curves. I am a tall (6′ 2″), plus-sized woman, with big feet(size 11) and I look in stores like Ross for things in the men’s dept.that look items that are androgenous to wear. I may also wear a pair of men’s pants if they fit properly!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      That is a great idea!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07551491494173078731 Dionne – Supersize My Fashion

    Wow, this is a great post! As a fellow blogger I am very sensitive about following trends and buying new pieces. I’m still a impulsive buyer but I completely agree with your statement in being more selective when it comes to buying something new. So, my plan is to work on that this year :). Thanks for this post! xxx

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      You’re welcome girl!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14154849461824960674 Jiten Mallik

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff you post. Bulk SMS Service Provider in ORISSA

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01664655090937726673 Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth

    It’s nobody’s business how YOU spend the money that YOU earn.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17090456745952636631 Bleu Styler

    I love shopping like the next person. One piece of advice is to remain open minded about stores. I’ve found some great places like JC Penny, Kohl’s, and Sears. There was a time when I had counted these stores out, but not anymore. The bonus is they ALWAYS have coupons. One added bonus, if I don’t like it I can return it easily since they have brick and mortar stores.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01275417897014340453 NaturallyFashionable

      Yes, I agree! I shop everywhere!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01089758474137849126 Sharon D. Ward

    Great Post! I love your blog. I appreciate your realness and the way you set boundaries in regard to your blog and personal life. I am also an impulsive buyer and it is SO HARD not to overdo it. I usually curb my impulses by reminding myself while shopping that I don’t want to be old and broke. It helps me to envision scenarios like my kid not being able to go to college because Mommy had to have that dress. Also the thought of having no choice in working until I’m 75 or 80 and also the worst thought of them all —being so broke that we end up living with my in-laws. Oh….The Horror! Those thoughts are usually enough for me to regroup and realize I don’t have to splurge to be fabulous. I use coupons and frequent the clearance racks. I love thrifting but the disorganization in most stores usually keeps me away. I have had wonderful luck in consignment shops though.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07255090913948629815 ebby. K

    Fabulous, fabulous post Kim – I love all of your ideas and pointers. Like yourself, I don’t have patience for thrifting AND I don’t purchase without a coupon! LOL

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11106529862824795627 Timeka Winters

    Great post. I am an impulsive shopper as well but since trends to be the hot thing I just have to look at whats a need more so a want because it’s cute. I have scaled back on spending so much on clothing just to be more mindful on my “basic” pieces as an investments of fashion for me. I have started thrift in more for blazers mostly and some “different” yet basic tops because I literally want to get rid of all my clothes in my closet!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11106529862824795627 Timeka Winters

      And I am trying my best to save more and better in 2014.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11106529862824795627 Timeka Winters

    Great post. I am an impulsive shopper as well but since trends to be the hot thing I just have to look at whats a need more so a want because it’s cute. I have scaled back on spending so much on clothing just to be more mindful on my “basic” pieces as an investments of fashion for me. I have started thrift in more for blazers mostly and some “different” yet basic tops because I literally want to get rid of all my clothes in my closet!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14856445501351833110 Stylish Sana

    Firstly, great post! I can be an impulsive shopper but as of late I think I have found the best way to remedy this problem for me. You have to believe that what you have in your closet is enough, say to yourself and embody the idea ” I have all the items I need to create whatever fabulous look I want to create”. I say this because many times I believe us women have been programmed to think and believe we don’t have anything to wear, in so doing and walking around in this mindset, we always feel like we are lacking, therefore wanting more, more and more. So it is easy to feel to pressure to jump on the next trend or to feel like “Oh I can’t live without this or that”. This mental shifting has allowed me to feel so enriched and eager to re-create many looks with what I’ve got – let’s be honest here, it is a lot of things I’ve got too! I love the challenge of ” How many ways can I wear this or mix it”. Another way I control my shopping is to shop with cash only when I go to stores. Leave my card at home, only draw out the amount I am budgeting to spend. Lastly, with online shopping I use a site called Fashiolista, it allows me to bookmark any and everything I find online, this way I control my impulse. I don’t buy it or bookmark the actual website , instead I click my “heart” it button, it uploads it to my Fashiolista and whenever , if I do at all, visit the site I can see all the items I have liked. By then my impulse has died down and I can reason properly do I really need this or that. However, many times I don’t even go to my fasholista (lol). One last thing (promise) we have to re-train the language we choose to use towards clothing and items, stop saying ” I cant live without this to yourself” or “I am dying to get this item”, ” I need that”. We tend to associate desperate language with clothing and then we really react on it because we have created a big deal out of things we can deal with. I have adopted a different language to my mental discussion with items, instead using languages such as ” This is nice’, ” this may pair well with my blouse’ this newer language leaves room for I can do without it. It makes it super easy to walk away.

    StylishSana of mixupfixup.com