Top 10 Tips for Staying Fiscally Fabulous

Recession-proof ideas for remaining fashionable without blowing your budget

1. Go Faux in Style

When purchasing trendy items that may only be worn once or twice before going out of style, seek out the bargains. Faux leather handbags or inexpensive accessories can be found at discount retailers that look very similar, if not identical to the real deal found on fashion runways. Save your hard-earned dollars for other fabulous purchases!

2. Invest in the Basics

Go ahead and splurge on timeless wardrobe classics in neutral colors, such as well-fitting black slacks or a seasonless trench coat. These items can be worn again and again as the foundation of your wardrobe. Mix them up with differing accessories and trendy items to stay in style. By spending a little more on quality, these items will last several years.

3. Dress for Success

A little black dress can easily go from office to happy hour to evening wear with a simple change in accessories and/or hair style. Plus, it is only one item and offers countless different looks depending on what accessories it is paired with. Find 2 or 3 knee-length solid-color dresses in fits that are flattering to your figure, and you can have a whole week’s worth of outfits or more!

4. Can the Credit Cards

If you can’t afford to buy something with the cash in your account, don’t even think about reaching for your plastic. Some stores will give you a discount for using their card, then allow you to pay the balance right there – this is a smart way to save some extra money. But if you aren’t able to pay the balance right there, it is not worth the 5-10% savings on your bill. By design, discounts often end up being paid back to the retailer in interest and fees.

5. Diminish Debt by Maximizing Minimum Payments

If you’re only paying the minimum balance due on your existing credit card debt it could take you up to 8 years to pay off the balance, depending on how much you owe. Discover what it feels like to live debt-free sooner by paying more than the minimum due. Even paying just $5 more per month makes a difference.

6. Recycle and Refresh Your Wardrobe with Resale

Clean out your closet and make some quick cash with gently-used fashionable items. Take those items you‘re no longer wearing to a consignment shop and receive some of your investment back. Resale shops pay you up to 50% of what they are able to sell your items for, sometimes paying you when you drop the clothes off.

7. Stay in Season with Color

Determine the season of your skin, hair and eye color, then stick to your season’s palette when purchasing clothes. For example, if you‘re an autumn, you‘ll look smashing in oranges, golds, browns and olives. But pastels will only wash you out and will end up hanging unworn in your closet. Springs, on the other hand, glow in pastels and should avoid the fall colors.

8. Beef Up Beauty Treatments

Extend the time between expensive beauty treatments with some expert tips on maintaining your manicure and hair color. To prolong the life of a natural nail manicure, put a top coat over your color at least every 3 days – this simple step could give you up to an extra week! Postpone the next fill on your acrylics by massaging oil into your cuticles and nails every night. This will keep your natural nails from separating from the acrylic and keep them on your nails longer. And if gray roots give you grief after even 3 weeks, ask your colorist if she will do an interim coloring just along your part, allowing you to go closer to 8 weeks between full color treatments.

9. Skip the Soda

Try ordering water with lemon when dining out rather than ordering a Diet Coke or Iced Tea. Most restaurants now charge upwards of $2 for a soda, which can end up being 25% of your total lunch bill! Save the beverage indulgence for cans at home or the office, and you will also experience some added health benefits from drinking more water.

10. Java Justification

If you simply can’t bring yourself to give up the daily $4 latte, at least try bringing your own mug. Many coffee shops give a discount for bringing your own, and it saves all those extra cups from their landfill destiny. A 10 cent discount each day for a month will save you enough for a free latte, and Mother Earth will thank you as well.

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