Shop Without Breaking The Bank


I’m here to tell ya that dressing cute doesn't have to cost you a fortune. One of the most frustrating things as a young 20-year-old is scrolling through Instagram, falling in love with an influencers' outfit and it costing 5X what you were willing to spend.

Over the past few years, we’ve learned that it does not matter where you shop from, as long as you love what you're buying - that's all that matters. Here are some tips I have for all you college girls & young 20 year olds out there ballin' on a budget while wanting to look cute. 

1) Forever 21 - Don't be afraid of it 

I'm sure if you're reading this, you used to shop at good ole Forever 21 in high school. This store was my favorite place to get anything and everything. In college, I cringed when I heard of this store and avoided it at all costs. BUT, now I am a big supported of Forever & know there is so much potential here for a cute outfit. The secret to shopping at forever 21 is making sure what you're buying is good quality. Yes, this means actually trying on what you picked up in stores! This way, you can see if something is see through, or if you need to size up a few sizes. So many of my favorite pieces are from here, so don't be afraid to shop here! 

2) Sales are your best friends

The majority of the nicer items in my closet were purchased when they were on sale! One tip I have is to buy things when they are "off-season." 95% of the time I buy my wedges in the winter when they are on major sale, and vise versa with my booties. I scored a pair of Marc Fisher wedges for $70 a few weeks ago when they are originally $140. Make sure to sign up for emails on your fav websites + brands because they'll email ya when a sale is going on. I also make sure to follow them on instagram because they aaaalways are hinting at sales coming up. I also don't buy something if I know it'll go on sale soon. If I've seen It for a lower price previously, I never buy it - chances are it'll go on sale again. 

3) Poshmark - Out with the old & in with the new

Poshmark is an app where you can sell your clothes you don't want & purchase clothes from others doing the same. A few of my co-workers are amazing with selling their old pieces and I've gotten some tips from them to help with the whole process. A lot of the times, I just let things sit in my closet, and allow it to accumulate. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it! I highly recommend purging through your closet, and selling some stuff. That way, you have room to buy new pieces & you get some extra cash to help ya! 

4) TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack & Amazon

These are a few of my FAVORITE places to shop at. I'm not kidding, I have scored some pretty amazing pieces at each of these places. TJ Maxx & Nordstrom Rack have always been stores I've shopped at. Some of my favorite pieces have come from their stores & have lasted my years. Paige jeans, Steve Madden shoes, Free people apparel. Just a few things I have scored at these places. They both have an amazing assortment of shoes, beauty products, home goods and more. Amazon is one I've recently started investing in. You guys, some of their apparel is incredible and at prices that can not be beat. My one tip when it comes to amazon shopping is to read reviews. I never buy something that hasn't been purchased before, and I always check and make sure it's a credible company. 

5) Follow girls on instagram that are known for affordable shopping 

A big tip I have is to watch who you're following on insta. If you are constantly wanting to buy high end items & spending way too much money on things influencers are posting, chances are your'e not following the right people! Let's be real, in college you aren't taking amazing care of your items. (if you are kudos to you) There are so many great bloggers who are 20 something year olds sharing their affordable finds. The more I follow gals in the same stage of life as me, the more pieces I'm finding that are in my price range! 

6) Have a budget & stick to It 

The most important tip I have for y'all is to create a budget, and stick to it! This is definitely something I've struggled with in the past + it's one I'm still working towards. If you know you have a ton of bills to pay coming up, don't go shopping! Get some extra cash by selling stuff on poshmark & using that money to buy new things. If you sit down and take the time to figure out realistically, how much you can spend on shopping for the month, you can figure out how to use that money. Do you want to buy those $200 pair of shoes you've been eying or do you want to buy 10 different things for that price? Use the money to buy something you've been wanting for a while and focus on what you will wear the most. 

-Written by Maude Joanne. Follow her shopping journey at or her Instagram feed.