How to Have a Great Wardrobe on a Small Budget

I had a lady special request this post. I'm going to try to do my best in answering it for her and hopefully help some others along the way! Her exact question was:

Hey Lauren - I was wondering, have you ever done a post on anything having to do with how your family manages finances? Since you are also a style maven and a shopper who tries to do things on a budget; I was just wondering how you make it all work. My husband and I are currently setting up a budget and I am trying to find ideas/boundaries for myself so I can learn to be a better steward with what God has provided us.

First of all, I do not have a specific budget set aside for clothes. Now, that doesn't mean I run wild every weekend in the mall buying everything I want. I am a VERY frugal person! I've told you all before my husband and I are both Christian school teachers, therefore if you know how much a Christian school teacher makes, you know why I can't just go spend whatever I want on clothes! (haha!) I'm very limited even with both of us working. Just to give you an idea, one public school teacher makes twice as much as my husband and I do combined! I say all of that to say, I know what it's like to need some help on being a good steward with what God has blessed me with.

Here are some tips that will hopefully help:

1. Tithe first! "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." -Malachi 3:10 The Bible commands us to give 10% back to God. I truly believe my husband and I never want for anything because we have been faithful in the area of tithing to our local church.

2. Always check the thrift store first. I would say about 50% of my wardrobe is from Goodwill. Depending on where you live, you can find some GREAT classic pieces at thrift stores or consignment shops. Before you hit up a mall, check and make sure you don't find what you're looking for at Goodwill!

3. I usually only go shopping with a list of what I need. Here's a past post that talks about some staples I think every lady should work on building in their wardrobe. Honestly, at this point, I pretty much have all the staple pieces that I need at this moment, so when I go shopping nowadays, it's just for random accessories or new tops to remix with my staples. The reason you want to go shopping with a list, is the same reason you go grocery shopping with a list, to prevent you from buying things on a whim that you don't really need.

4. I try to not spend more than $10-$20 on any classic staple piece. Of course, I do sometimes, but that's a rare occasion. For example, if I need a staple piece like a solid pencil skirt or a solid cardigan or blazer, I will spend up to $20. Remember, if you are going to wear the same pieces a lot of different ways, (which should be your goal), then you will get your money worth on a staple piece.

5. I do not spend more than $10 on trendy pieces. Trendy pieces that you know are going to go "out of style" eventually are not something you should spend a lot of money on. I try not to spend more than $5 on my statement necklaces, because they are extremely trendy! Charlotte Russe often has $5 scarves and necklaces.

6. Always check the Retail Me Not app for any coupons. When I do go shopping at the mall, I always use coupons. Almost every store has some kind of 20% off deal at all times, so download that app, and save some more money!

7. If you don't have an income, save a little at a time, and then go shopping. My friend Melissa, a stay at home wife, says she saves $10 a week, and then when she feels she has enough saved, then she goes shopping. She follows all of the above tips as well.

I'm sure there are many more tips, I like the Dave Ramsey Envelope system as well, I just hate dealing with cash, so I've never tried it. But, many of my friends have been successful savers by using Dave Ramsey's methods! Hope that helps!

Here's my week of outfits! Feel free to hover over the pictures and pin them as well! ;)

Day 9: Graphic Tee

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Day 10: Hint of Mint

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Day 11: Feminine in Floral

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Day 12: Black & White Chic

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Day 13: Plaid or Checkered

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Day 14: Queen of Hearts

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Valentine Date Outfit

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Day 15: Darling Dress

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I hope you all have a GREAT week! God Bless! ♥

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  1. I LOVE the "Feminine in Floral" outfit!! Aaahh! So cute! :) And great post, by the way. I love your blog!


  2. Day 12 is my favorite! I love black. You V-day outfit is so beautiful as well. The shoes go so well with the outfit.
    Thrift shopping is always the best. I have found shirts before still with the tags from the original store on them. Great post. I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

  3. Wow, great advice! You won't believe this, but all of those tips you gave are actually like the tenets of my faith as far as fashion/style is concerned lol You are such an encouragement with your blog because so many blogs have these trendy, stylish women who are wearing $50 skirts, $30 shirts, etc. You show us that you CAN be stylish and still be frugal. You don't have to choose between being on a budget and being stylish. To illustrate my point, I just got a dressy dress from Sears originally $70 for $15, including the shipping!

    1. Yay! I love proving you can be stylish & frugal!

  4. Love those tips! Glad I stumbled across your blog today :) Oh, and my favorites are Days 11, 13, and 15 (but they're all great!)

  5. Great advise, Lauren. I love that. I've slacked when it comes to tithing. I would love to go into details as to why I stopped paying, but its a debate in itself, so I'll let it slide. Praying about it. When it comes to your outfits -Love me all. I'm a budget shopper too. Pretty woman! :))


  6. Lauren, what are your standards as to where the hem of your skirt hits? My personal standards are right above my knee, but I am a taller woman so it isn't very short on me. Just curious. I love your blog, it is such an inspiration! I too am a Christian school educator and know that I need to be a good steward of what the Lord has blessed me with. It isn't easy at all, LOL!

  7. My personal standard is knee length. I'm short, so I don't usually have a problem with pencil skirts being too short.

  8. Fantastic tips! Thanks so much for the inspiration again, I'm just in love with your blog & style ideas. Loving Days #9 & #11. I love the feminine feel but I also teach Youth Girls... You Rock!

  9. Great tips! Have you ever checked out modest clothing online? My sister and I have a small business selling modest dresses, and we regularly have sales! www.skylarkclothing.weebly.com


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