9 Tips for Living a Fashionable Life on a Budget

Life lived more beautifully, doesn't have to break the budget. These 9 tips for investing wisely in home wares, cosmetics and fashion, may just save you the big bucks!

Living a fashionable life on a budget, is actually a lot easier than you think. All it takes is a bit of research, creativity, and effort. These 9 tips will show you how.


1. List your needs, not wants

Home ware is a seductive species; one minute you’re shopping for an office chair, and the next you’ve exited the building with 12 throw cushions, two side lamps and a duck feather duvet. The key to not getting caught up in multiple, unwanted purchases – no matter how pretty – is to write down what you need, not what you want. Home wares are a big investment, so spend wisely – not widely – here and stick to the script. 

2. Ask and you may receive

If you miss out on a furniture sale by ‘that much’, speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Post-sale, many retailers are still trying to get rid of last-season’s stock, and may be surprisingly open to striking a deal. It’s not always a given, but it's worth asking the question.

3. Stand up + shop

When it comes to tactile items – and precise tones and textures that need to be matched perfectly – online purchases can be fraught with danger. For sure, log in to find your closest retailers – but strap on your shoes and hit the pavement to really uncover the match for your home and avoid wasting oodles of cash in the process.


4. Take your time (it’s free)

First impressions don’t always last with cosmetics. Think of the last time your lipstick stayed that picture perfect for longer than six minutes, or your perfume smelt as sweet after 20 minutes on the hop. The best tactic to save money on cosmetics is to see how they settle on your skin, as you may not love them as much once they've lingered for a while. So go crazy on the testers when you enter the store, and don't decide on purchases until you've left a while later.

5. Only splash physical cash

Small makeup investments add up to big costs. A few eye-shadows here and several new lip-glosses there may look like tiny purchases, but the bill can prove mighty. So when shopping for beauty, only do so with cash and when you’ve spent that, you’re done. Now, slowly move away from the cosmetic counter…

6. Don’t be dazzled by department stores

You would be amazed at how many fantastic, inexpensive brands are stocked in pharmacies. So avoid over-spending by dodging the department stores, and instead taking your cosmetic shopping list to the chemist. Some of the most basic creams and mass brand cosmetics are on-par – if not superior – value compared to their luxury counterparts.


7. Lights, camera, fashion

“These fluorescent lights make this outfit look fantastic!” said no one ever. Change rooms are not only cramped, they are often over – or poorly – lit. So if you are trying on garments, get closer to some natural light to gauge the exact colour, how it suits your complexion and whether there are any sheer areas or bulky silhouettes before parting with your money. This will save you from making any surprising - and unwelcome - discoveries at home.

8. Take two

Loving the shoes that are on sale? Get two pairs. If you find a perfect style and fit, picking up two pairs in different colours will ensure you get maximum wear out of them, without having to re-purchase during non-sale periods. If you want to save a pair for next winter or summer, be sure to keep them stored in their box and confined in a cool, dry place.

9. Buy big on basics

When it comes to the foundations of fashion, you can never have enough white shirts, LBD’s or ballet pumps. So purchase these basics in bulk. It’s the bigger ticket items – such as a gorgeous coat, a classic trouser or a designer heel – that you can save for. Ensure that you stick to tailored styles that are perennially flattering when shopping, and be sure to check out style websites from America and Europe to get a hop on the next season styles if you want to wear an expensive piece for years to come. 

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