Do you ever feel like a new outfit will brighten your day and give you some motivation for the stressful week ahead? Do you find yourself buying another pair of high-waisted jeans or your 12th band tee and only wear them once? Or, maybe you feel like you just can’t pass up on that sale, which leaves you struggling when it comes time to pay rent.
Sound familiar? If it does, you might be a shopaholic, but not just any shopaholic. You’d be a college student shopaholic.
The biggest stereotype that college students face is that we are all poor. Don’t get me wrong, this is very accurate. We’re all #ballinonabudget. But, somehow, we still find the money to buy things we don’t necessarily need-- just for a moment of temporary joy.
However, there’s no need to worry because there are ways that you can stop the madness. LEGACY has compiled a list of tips that’ll help you out and maybe even save you some money for food other than good ‘ol Ramen noodles.
Stay away from Target
This is no. one on the list because, let’s face it, Target shows us how weak we really are. You go into the store wanting only toothpaste and eggs, but come out with a new wardrobe, a pair of graphic socks, a pair of shoes, a bag of candy (for whichever holiday is around the corner) and a candle. There should be an “Enter at your own risk” sign on the store doors.
The best way to end the Target struggle is to simply stay away when you’re bored. Only go if you need something specific and be sure to make a list. And, whatever you do, do not stray from the list.
Stick to thrift stores and off-price retailers
A thrift store is a college student’s best friend. If you can get past the musty stench that slaps you in the face when walking in, then you’re one step closer to saving some major money.
Stores like Plato’s Closet and Goodwill are both excellent places to find cheap pieces. Goodwill has a huge selection of rainbow assorted t-shirts with some rad band tees thrown into the mix.
TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are also fabulous off-price retail stores where you can find the cutest name brand items for super cheap, even if they are so last year.
Sell your clothes to Plato’s Closet
Living paycheck to paycheck and need a few extra bucks to keep you afloat till next month? Try selling some clothes you don’t wear anymore to Plato’s Closet. All you have to do is fill a large trash bag with some of those tops and bottoms you’ve been hoarding since high school and boom… you’re looking at $20-30. Cha-ching! Now you can go buy that cute summer dress you saw on-sale at TJ Maxx.
If it’s not on sale, it’s not worth it
If it’s not on sale today, it will be next week. Instead of impulse buying and spending a ton of money on a full price shirt, wait a little while for it to go on sale.
Clothes are often overpriced and you should never give into the temptation. Have a little self control and give it some time. Also, if it’s something you don’t need, but you really want, give it three days. If you still want it after the three days, go for it.
Shopping doesn’t cure everything
Students sometimes get lonely and bored when they live on their own at college, so shopping becomes a leisurely activity. Oftentimes, students end up window-shopping just to get out of the apartment, which never ends well.
Buying a new outfit to deal with loneliness or boredom will only help the situation temporarily. Try not to give into shopping to pass the time. Instead, find another activity that you will enjoy. Go to the gym or watch a new series on Netflix when you start to get that itch to spend money.
Don’t blow your paycheck on the first day
College students know all about the struggle of living paycheck to paycheck. As soon as we get that moola, we go buy everything on our “Things I want when paid” list.
After the first week, or even the first day, the majority of our check is history and we’re forced to eat Ramen noodles until our next paycheck. Instead of blowing your check on clothes and other items you absolutely don’t need, budget your money and spread it out evenly until you get paid again.
DIY or wear it more than once
Guess what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing something more than once. It’s very easy to get bored with clothes and to be tempted to buy something new. However, all you have to do is change it up a bit.
If you wore a shirt with some jeans one day, wear that same shirt with an adorable skirt next time. Change up the shoes, wear a cardigan or wear your hair in a different style. No one will ever notice.
If you want some cute ripped jeans and all you have is a pair of boring, ripless jeans in your closet, take some scissors and make your own rips. DIY projects will also keep you busy and out of the store.
Clearance and student discounts are your friend
There are so many stores out there that actually have a heart and give students a small discount in-store and online. Whether its 10% or 15%, there is a discount and it’s for you. Just show your student ID at checkout and you are good to go.
Also, just because you may be a broke college student doesn’t mean you have to break up with your favorite, pricey stores. Some more expensive stores have a great clearance section filled with top of the line pieces. Two places that have great clearance sections are American Eagle and Urban Outfitters. American Eagle’s clearance is usually 50% off and Urban Outfitters has tops and tanks as low as $9.99. Just pass up all of the overpriced junk in the front and head straight to the sale section.
Here’s a map of a few nearby thrift stores, stores with student discounts and those with great clearance sections.