How to feed your shopping addiction while on a budget


CAMERON SWIER, Fashion Columnist

As college students, many of us are broke. Staying up-to-date with the trends while having no money to spend is difficult. Here are some tips to help you stay in style.

The first tip is thrifting, which is a great alternative to buying new things. Not only is the price lower, but it’s also better for the environment. Buying something that was already purchased, rather than new items, reduces production and prevents build-up in landfills.

Thrift shopping means getting items cheaper than what a store paid the vendors. You are never going to get anything this cheap, so make the best out of a thrift shopping spree and search through those racks.

Along the same lines of thrifting is shopping online rummage sales or joining a community like Poshmark.

Poshmark is a marketplace where people in the United States can buy and sell used clothing, shoes and accessories. The nice thing about Poshmark is you can search a category or brand of something specific and see items posted by people throughout the entire U.S. You can also offer bids and negotiate prices on items.

I once got a Kate Spade purse on Poshmark for around $80. Brand new, it would have cost about $300. I have also sold hundreds of dollars worth of old clothing on my profile from shoes to prom dresses to casual wear.

One rule I make for myself to save money from my job is to only use the money I’ve made from selling my old clothes for working on my wardrobe. It seems to work pretty well for me. I keep my closet updated with new things while getting rid of the items I do not wear or need anymore.

The second tip is accessorizing. You can find accessories for quite a bit cheaper than clothing, so sometimes I will just buy a little accessory when I’m really craving something new but don’t have the money to purchase a new outfit.

Some of my favorite accessories that can change an entire look are hair accessories and gold jewelry, such as chunky vintage earrings or a coin necklace.

You don’t have to buy accessories to feel like you are changing up your wardrobe. Just wear some items differently, like pairing jewelry with an outfit you wouldn’t typically, or wearing a cute scrunchy in your hair. It’s surprising how just a few small changes can make older clothes feel like something new.

Next is shopping sales and deals. Most stores (whether brick and mortar or online) tend to have all their items on some sort of discount at some point in time. The key is to wait and buy then.

Most stores use any holiday as an excuse for a sale, so just wait for the next holiday to buy. For example, I saw many online shops having deals on both Halloween and Labor Day. Another way to get a discount is to sign up for their email list because most places will give you 10% off if you sign up. Later on, you can unsubscribe if you don’t actually want to be receiving emails from that company.

The final thing: shop your friends’ closets. You might as well make good use out of each other’s clothing. Maybe you have an event coming up, like a birthday party or family photos, and you want something new and fresh for the occasion but don’t need this item for anything else.

This is the perfect time to dive into your favorite items that your friends have. It will make you feel fabulous for the night without having to pay the bucks. It’s a win-win. Just be sure to return the favor when they want to borrow an item of yours.

I hope these tips help you save an extra buck or two while trying to maintain a stylish wardrobe. Happy shopping and happy savings.