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saving money

Saving money and spending wisely can be tough – especially for the fashion lovers amongst us.  Seeing your dream dress shimmering in the store window or those shoes calling out to you on the mannequin can sometimes be more than our willpower can handle.

Maybe our lives really would be better if we owned that scarf/belt/handbag …but probably not.  If ‘frugal’ is a dirty word in your house because you are used to spending your money as and when you fancy it then it might be time to test yourself a little to check that you are still able to shop within your budget.

Start with a realistic amount of money which is well within your means – say, $25 – and challenge yourself to buy an entire outfit, including accessories with that amount.  If you are really up for taking yourself out of your comfort zone then include getting your hair done into the deal too.

It can’t be done?  Well give it a try!  You could even make an afternoon of it with your girlfriends one weekend.  To make it a real competition, whoever gets the full ensemble the cheapest wins a prize such as free drinks/meal/cinema ticket etc.

It certainly makes learning about saving more and spending less far more fun than simply drawing up a list of your incomings and outgoings and only ever buying things you need.   This way, you are learning to budget and live within your means, whilst spending only a very small amount.  It is active learning!    Once you have taken up the challenge and completed it, you will see that spending less does not mean the end of the world and is in fact extremely do-able, if not fun!  Our brains enjoy a challenge…and in this case, so do our bank balances.

So where to look for your bargains.  Well of course the main place to start would be the thrift stores which are often home to many wonderful items at a tiny fraction of its original cost and more often than not unworn and still tagged, courtesy of other women who also love to spend, spend, spend.  Without the ease of the endless racks of identical clothes laid out for you as in highstreet chains, it is like an exciting hunt and when you find the perfect item for just $5 or $6, you get a real rush of excitement!  It is extremely satisfying.

Other places to look are vintage stores which have classic pieces from around the world dating back as to the 1940’s and 50’s.  Vintage clothes are fantastic as they are totally unique and often a bargain.

Finally, if you love your clothes to be a little different, then buy from a thrift store and embellish with items from your local haberdashery.  You can buy stick on gems, rolls of lace, gold plated spikes (which are very on trend right now) and so much more, for a tiny fraction of the cost of buying the clothing with these embellishments already on them .  Let your imagination run free and have fun.

When it comes to getting your hair done, you need to find your nearest student salon.  Trainee hairdressers need customers to practice on and there is no harm in getting a simple wash and blow dry from them. Prices start from around $10 for cut and colour which is extraordinary.

Taking yourself out of your spending comfort zone and challenging yourself in this way can be a real eye opener and help you keep your spending  realistic and in check.

This article was contirubted on behalf of the UK money saving and freebie website wickedfreebies.co.uk.

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