Hellllloooo Tower! My name’s Felicia, well Frugal Felicia if we’re being formal. Let’s just say I’m the younger, more “in the know” sibling than my brother Financial Ed. I’ll be guest starring in Millennial Corner with the latest and greatest tips I have for younger Tower members. For this month’s spotlight, I’d like to share with you my personal tips for keeping fashionable without robbing the bank. Enjoy!
1. Pop Some Tags
Thrift stores are officially having a moment right now! Once deemed a stigma, “thrifting” is a total movement! I can easily walk out of a secondhand store with a head-to-toe outfit for less than $50— where the retail price would cost me double or even triple! It’s true that frugal fashion takes a bit more patience and digging, but the savings are undeniable. I don’t limit myself to thrift stores either—consignment shops are usually more curated and include designer pieces for a fraction of retail cost. Best of all, thrift and consignment stores are everywhere. Try searching here for a local spot to find your next leather jacket for a few bucks!
2. Buy Less, Choose Well
How many times have you heard quality over quantity? I hate to repeat it, but there’s mad truth to this age-old saying! With the popularity of fashion-for-cheap clothing stores such as Forever 21 or H&M—the sheer number of clothing thrown into landfills has increased to approximately 14 million tons annually— or about 80 lbs. per person. Yikes! Instead of falling victim to trendy “cheap” clothing, I like to spend more on a solid well-made piece. There’s a reason Coco Chanel made the “Little Black Dress” famous. Staple pieces like the LBD are timeless and outlast both trends and seasons.
3. Buy Bathing Suits in the Winter?
I know, who wants to buy swimwear in winter? Hear me out though— buying off-season gives you access to insanely good sales. Once retailers gear-up for season changes, they practically give away last season’s goods for bottom-of-the-barrel prices. Better yet, I scavenge the clearance racks in-store to find the best deals on items I need in my wardrobe. I may have to store out of season clothing, but the payoff is well worth it.
4. Get Paid to Shop
Freeeee Money! Ever heard of the cashback retailer EBATES®? It sounds too good to be true, but trust me, it’s real! EBATES acts as an online shopping portal that pays a “cash back” percentage when you make purchases with over 2,000 online retailers. Here’s how it works: Open an account, make online (and some in-store) purchases through the EBATES link—anddd that’s about it. EBATES pays on a quarterly basis via check or Paypal. Cha-ching—paid to shop! Tower offers free cash back debit rewards, too! Top tip: Activate a debit reward in Home Banking, shop at that same store through EBATES, and pay with your Tower debit card for double cash back! More money in your pocket!
5. Your E-mail is Your Best Friend
I give out my e-mail address like candy to online retailers. While my inbox may be overflowing (I know, I’m so popular) I’m always privy to exclusive sales and last minute discounts. Even better, most retailers give “birthday gifts” during your birthday month. Gifts may range from coupons, freebies, or even credit to spend in-store or online. You can’t beat free money!
6. Rent the Runway- Literally
It seems everyone’s getting hitched these days. With a ton of weddings to attend, I like a fresh new look for my Instagram feed. How do I manage this for pennies you ask? Rent the Runway of course! The online retailer offers rentable designer digs for prices as low as $30. Simply browse their selection of clothing, choose the date of your event and the outfit is shipped free of charge in two different sizes to ensure best fit.
Le Tote is another online clothing subscription service I use on the reg. For a $59 monthly subscription fee, I choose three garments and two accessories delivered to my door as often as I like. Cheap and chic at the same time!
Resources: CNN, Newsweek