wardrobe http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14383/all en-US How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wardrobe-459881341-small.jpg" alt="wardrobe" title="wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A massive clothes moth infestation triggered my minimalist wardrobe philosophy. The hard lesson I learned from the bugs that destroyed my favorite coat was this: There's no point in having a surplus of anything if I can't protect it. The moths that chewed quarter-sized holes in my cashmere sweaters had probably been munching away for weeks before I noticed their work.</p> <p>The moth infestation required a total closet reboot. To find and annihilate the Moths' Secret Headquarters (a wool coin purse I'd had since childhood), I had to pull every single item of clothing out of my closet and inspect it for damage. Then I washed everything, including the closet itself. It was a loathsome chore that I never want to repeat. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in?ref=seealso">5 Wardrobe Basics for Women That Are Worth Investing In</a>)</p> <p>With that in mind, I set some parameters about what items of clothing would be a part of my newly downsized wardrobe. My closet would contain only clothes that:</p> <ol> <li>I love; and</li> <li>I actually wear on a regular basis.</li> </ol> <p>Now, the only clothes in my closet are clothes that I love wearing so much that I can't wait for them to be laundered so I can wear them again. The speedy rotation of clothes through the laundry now allows me to catch problems early. Getting dressed in the morning gives me a little bump of happiness.</p> <p>To achieve this aspirational wardrobe, I made the following key decisions.</p> <h2>I Gave Up Dressing My Fantasy Self</h2> <p>While cleaning out my closet I realized that I had been buying clothes without considering my typical, daily schedule, or the climate. This was an enormous waste of money and storage space.</p> <p>In my fantasy life, I dress like I'm Robin Wright on <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BC5I6Q2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BC5I6Q2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PRXZHE2IWA3ZQWZA">House of Cards.</a> And, although I do need corporate attire for an occasional business meeting, in my actual life I don't need 13 of the 15 little black dresses in my closet, especially since I work most days from the comfort of my cat hair covered sofa.</p> <p>In my fantasy life, I also live someplace cold. I had tons of wool clothes. Because I live in sunny Los Angeles, I decided not to replenish my sweater and coat collection. Although I pine for autumn in New York, in Los Angeles it's basically summer from Valentine's Day to Thanksgiving. More than half my closet space was devoted to clothes I could only wear 60 days out of the year. That was dumb.</p> <p>In my fantasy life, I'm also the same size as I was in college. Contrary to popular belief, I was not inspired to get thin by the too-small clothes in my closet. Instead I was reminded daily that I spent money poorly on clothes that would have been out of date by the time I lost weight, and then not even be flattering on my skinnier body.</p> <p>My actual wardrobe for my actual life now consists mainly of jeans and blouses that are super comfortable, but still appropriate to wear to casual business meetings and dinners.</p> <h2>I Got Rid of Clothes That Didn't Make Me Feel Great</h2> <p>I put off selling an expensive handbag that had been given to me by a previous (bad) boyfriend, because I knew I would never be able to afford to replace it with something comparable. But, every time I used the bag, it triggered bad memories. Was owning a Status Purse worth the bad feelings attached to it? (No). I ended up selling it, and don't miss it now that it's gone. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you">Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bag</a>)</p> <p>Life is too short to wear uncomfortable clothes. I sold off beautiful shoes that made walking hard, and ditched anything that felt too tight or itchy. I realized that the clothes I wear the most are also the most comfortable.</p> <h2>I Learned Fit Is as Important as Price and Quality</h2> <p>Although the standard advice for buying anything is quality over quantity, buying $200 designer jeans is a huge waste of money if the $40 pair from Target fits perfectly. In addition to saving money on the price, well-fitted clothes give the illusion of quality and luxury. People who project wealth and success wear clothes that fit.</p> <p>I have to have the vast majority of my clothes tailored to fit my body, as I am very hard to fit off the rack. Through mortifying trial and error during my youth, I discovered that buying trendy clothes is my road to fashion and financial ruin. It doesn't matter how cool it looks on the hanger or on the model. If it looks terrible on me, it's not a good deal.</p> <p>Only fashionistas notice or care if I am on-trend, but everyone can see that my clothes aren't flattering.</p> <p>Since 95% of my wardrobe is made up of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">used clothing</a>, I am now extra cautious about shopping at thrift stores. I used to use thrift stores and department store clearance racks as a way to experiment on clothes with a lower financial risk. At least this is what I told myself. A truly good deal is based on price-per-wearing. A $10 dress that I wear once is ultimately more expensive than the $50 dress I wear weekly.</p> <h2>I Got Realistic About Wardrobe Projects</h2> <p>I am lucky to be surrounded by women who shop retail as a hobby. As a result, I get a lot of my clothes for free at <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">Girlie Swap Parties</a>. However, just because something is free, doesn't mean I should take it home with me. If something needs to be hemmed, professionally cleaned, or repaired to make it wearable, I really think long and hard before I bring it home. Do I really love something so much that it's worth the time and money it will take to make it perfect?</p> <p><em>What are your best tips for building a great, minimalist wardrobe? Please share your genius in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in">5 Wardrobe Basics for Women That Are Worth Investing In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids">20 Cute and Frugal DIY Clothes You Can Make for Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style clothing minimalism wardrobe Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Max Wong 1168784 at http://www.wisebread.com How an Expensive Wardrobe Saves You Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-expensive-wardrobe-saves-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-an-expensive-wardrobe-saves-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shoe-shopping-160330001-small.jpg" alt="shoe shopping" title="shoe shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one wants to spend more than they have to. Still, the saying &quot;you get what you pay for&quot; is a truism. While you might ask &quot;why pay more?&quot; when it comes to clothes there are ways that having an expensive wardrobe can actually save you money in the long run.</p> <p>Here are some ways that spending a little more up front will help you to avoid costs on the back end or even increase your earning potential. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate</a>)</p> <h2>Shoes</h2> <p>When it comes to shoes, there are basically two ways they're going to save you money: buying quality dress shoes and quality sneakers.</p> <h3>Dress Shoes</h3> <p>Dress shoes are a serious &quot;you get what you pay for&quot; kind of thing. People thought I was nuts when I shelled out $800 for a pair of biker boots. They thought I was less nuts when I told them the boots have a lifetime guarantee and that I met a guy once who owned his for over 20 years. A lot of companies have similar guarantees, be they lifetime, 25 years or 10 years. Divide $800 by 20 years and $40 a year doesn't sound that bad.</p> <p>When buying shoes with a 20-plus year guarantee, keep in mind that fashions change over time. As such, you're going to want to buy something basic and versatile &mdash; something that will go with your wardrobe just as well in 10 years as it does today.</p> <h3>Sneakers</h3> <p>Quality sneakers will save you money by saving on hospital bills. A pair of ten dollar running shoes from Payless just aren't going to get the job done &mdash; no matter what &quot;the job&quot; is. Good sneakers last longer, work better for what they're designed to do, and keep your feet and legs better protected.</p> <p>The National Center for Biotechnical Information found that 60% of running-related injuries were due to poor training, with <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3850616">the wrong footwear cited</a> as a major contributing factor. The NYU Lagone Medical Center found that <a href="http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=14645">poor footwear contributed to such injuries</a> and ailments as bunions, hammer toes, blisters, corns, callouses, and even athlete's foot.</p> <p>If you're just using sneakers to walk around the block, this might not be as much of a concern; But if you're engaging in any physical activity, get yourself a pair of good sneakers.</p> <h2>Denim</h2> <p>I don't wear cheap denim and I urge you to do the same. Not only will one pair of $150 jeans last longer than five pairs of $30 jeans, they also look and fit better. High-end denim is a huge trend right now. But again, the upside of it is that you only have to have a couple of pairs. Honestly, anything more than three is sort of overkill.</p> <p>Remember: You shouldn't be washing your jeans. No less a source than the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/22/living/dont-wash-jeans-levis-ceo/">CEO of Levi Strauss</a> says so. Buy them, wear them and <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5788793/freeze-your-jeans-to-keep-them-clean-and-the-denim-intact">throw them in the freezer when they start to smell bad</a>. This works because it kills the bacteria that create smell. Maybe wash them every six months or a year or so, if you must. And <em>hang</em> them in your closet &mdash; don't fold them or throw them in a heap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer?ref=seealso">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a>)</p> <h2>Suits</h2> <p>To be honest, I think &quot;expensive&quot; is the wrong word here. <a href="http://www.mademan.com/how-to-build-a-sharp-suit-ensemble/">You <em>can</em> get killer suits from the thrift store for cheap</a>. However, you need to meet a minimum bar of quality.</p> <h3>Quality Materials</h3> <p>The suit has to look nice from far away and close up, even if you only paid $100 for it. Inexpensive suits can look nice. &quot;Cheap&quot; suits cannot. Look for things like wear (especially on the knees and elbows) or &quot;pilling&quot; &mdash; those little balls that form on cheap materials.</p> <h3>Canvas</h3> <p>If your suit is glued together, it's not going to last as long as a half-canvas or a full-canvas suit. There are several ways to <a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/02/12/the-art-of-manliness-suit-school-part-i-fused-vs-canvassed-suits/">tell if a suit is canvassed or fused</a>, including feeling for a third layer of fabric on the jacket torso, looking for stitching underneath the lapel or just asking the salesperson if there is one.</p> <h3>Fit</h3> <p>Even if you get a made-to-measure suit it's going to require some tailoring. A good fit means a better-looking you, which can result in a higher earning potential. Nothing makes you look more pro than a well-tailored suit when you head down to that job interview.</p> <h3>A Good Suit Is Easy to Find</h3> <p>Again, the issue here is not &quot;more equals more.&quot; It's an issue of meeting some minimum requirements &mdash; no matter what they cost. So where do you find suits?</p> <ul> <li><strong>Thrift Store</strong>: This is a bit risky, but you can also score some <em>killer</em> finds for next to nothing. Still, if you're especially concerned that you <em>won't </em>be able to tell what's acceptable, try the next option. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Suit Outlets</strong>: These have the advantage of a salesperson on site who can answer your questions like &quot;Is this a full-canvas or a half-canvas&quot; and &quot;Do these suits pill quickly?&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Made-to-Measure Online</strong>: One of the great things about the 21st Century is that you can get a MTM suit for <em>cheap</em> online. My personal favorites are <a href="http://www.indochino.com/">Indochino</a> based in Canada and LA's own <a href="http://thickasthievesla.com/">Thick As Thieves</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Your Local Tailor</strong>: Yes, you can still get a suit from the local tailor. This is probably the most expensive way of doing it, but if you have the money to throw around, why not?</li> </ul> <h2>Dry Cleaning</h2> <p>Here's something else I do that people think is nuts: I dry clean all of my clothes. Seriously. I never wash anything.</p> <p>First of all, it's not as expensive as you think. <a href="http://www.dryel.com/">A home dry-clean kit</a> can be got for pretty much nothing and that will get you through 2-3 &quot;washes&quot; before you have to bring the heavy hitters in.</p> <p>When you spend more money on clothes, you're going to want to maintain them. I liken dry cleaning my clothes to putting gas in my car: Sure, I put low-octane regular in my 2002 Chevy Cavalier. But when it comes to my 1968 El Camino, it's premium <em>only</em>.</p> <p>Maybe have some stuff around you don't need to dry clean. But the stuff you spend money on you should treat as an investment; The more you wash it, the faster it depreciates.</p> <h2>Socks</h2> <p>Dress socks? Save your money. But when it comes to athletic socks, or socks you're wearing out hiking or hunting or doing other outdoor activities. Not only are they going to keep your feet in better shape (drier and warmer) when you wear them, they're also going to last longer, which as you might have noticed is a recurring theme here.</p> <p><em>What part of your wardrobe do you splurge on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-expensive-wardrobe-saves-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-things-to-buy-for-under-5">15 Fun Things to Buy for Under $5</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love">How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping clothing expensive clothing men's clothing wardrobe Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1165665 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-3930566-small.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to refresh your spring wardrobe? It's only natural to want a few new things as the seasons (and your tastes) change. If you're on a tight budget like me, though, you need to watch every penny. Check out these 50 money-saving tips before heading to the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe-for-spring?ref=seealso">Update Your Spring Wardrobe Frugally</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop Your Closet</h2> <p>Take stock of what you already have hiding out in your closets. You might be surprised to find exactly what you're looking for and discover other long-forgotten items in the process.</p> <h2>2. Set a Budget</h2> <p>I actually have myself on a clothing allowance for each season. I usually choose to shop seasonally versus monthly because it keeps me from picking up too many unnecessary extras.</p> <h2>3. Write a List</h2> <p>Go to the store on a mission. It's fun to shop around for the latest styles, but if money is tight &mdash; keep it simple. Use your list to target your shopping, and you likely won't grab up costly impulse items.</p> <h2>4. Use Cash Only</h2> <p>I never use credit cards to buy clothing. And I stopped using my debit card, too, after over-spending on clothes in my 20s. Instead, I like to take out my allowance in cash and leave the dangerous plastic at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-green-how-to-live-a-nearly-cash-only-life?ref=seealso">How to Live a Cash-Only Life</a>)</p> <h2>5. Start at the Back</h2> <p>The displays in the front and center of the store can be enticing (and expensive), so I avoid them. I like to make a beeline for the back of the store where the sale and clearance racks are located. Then I work my way forward (or not at all).</p> <h2>6. Shop Off Days</h2> <p>I also try to shop on weeknights versus heavy traffic times like weekends for two reasons. First, I can focus and take my time without so much congestion. Second, sale items are usually more plentiful than picked over mid-week.</p> <h2>7. Think Options</h2> <p>Before I buy a new shirt or pair of pants, I like to make a mental check through my closet. Would this item go with at least three to five items I already own? If the answer is no, I put it back. Pieces that don't marry well with others aren't worth the cash.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/50clothes-166671373-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>8. Mix and Match</h2> <p>To delve deeper into the options topic, if you are choosing to buy something new that doesn't go with what you already own, think mixing and matching with all the other items you plan to grab. I stick with a relatively neutral color palette which makes it easy to accomplish this goal.</p> <h2>9. Wear Last Season's Duds</h2> <p>I stock up at end-of-season sales almost exclusively these days. Sure, I'm not wearing the right patterns and colors a year in the future. However, the money saved is worth being a little less fashion-forward.</p> <h2>10. Sign Up for Store Emails</h2> <p>I know some people might advise you to avoid spending by turning a blind eye to merchant emails, but I like to get a heads-up for the really big sales. Sure you'll have a cluttered inbox, but sometimes it's worth it. For example, this weekend I got an email about a clearance sale at the Gap Outlet and saved big!</p> <h2>11. Connect Via Social Media</h2> <p>Along these same lines, link up with your favorite store's Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Sometimes there are special discount codes or news exclusively for followers.</p> <h2>12. Scrutinize Sales</h2> <p>However, if you do choose to keep shopping on the brain through email and social media &mdash; think critically before buying. Usually sales cycle around monthly (end of month), and there aren't always a plethora of truly amazing deals to take advantage of.</p> <h2>13. Check Thrift and Consignment Shops</h2> <p>Have you ever donated like-new clothing that just didn't fit right or strike your fancy? I think we all have. So, find treasure in someone else's trash...er, donations! You can often find designer clothing in great condition for sale at your local thrift stores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store?ref=seealso">10 Things to Look For When You Visit a Thrift Store</a>)</p> <h2>14. Scout Garage Sales</h2> <p>I like to roam the streets to find solid deals on <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/budget-friendly-ways-to-dress-your-kids-for-less">children's clothing</a> at local garage sales. You can find amazingly adorable options for less than a dollar &mdash; all while helping a fellow neighbor do some spring cleaning.</p> <h2>15. Sell Your Stuff</h2> <p>While you're combing the aisles at thrift stores and checking out garage sales, think about selling your own neglected shirts and skirts. A lot of shops will offer pretty impressive compensation for newer clothing without holes, rips, or other markings.</p> <h2>16. Search Online for Coupons</h2> <p>Before you submit that order, be sure to search around online to see if there's a coupon code hiding out. Better yet, check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">Daily Deals</a> for sales and codes at all your favorite stores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-cash-on-new-clothes?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Save Cash on New Clothes</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/50clothes-99697303-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>17. Think Investment Pieces</h2> <p>Particularly for work clothing, it's important to invest in something that will last a long time and go with a variety of basics. Usually investment pieces are items you wear multiple times a week. For example, a good suit can carry you through years if it's properly cared for and eventually prove less expensive than replacing a cheap one several times.</p> <h2>18. Calculate Cost-Per-Wear</h2> <p>If spending big bucks on a few items scares you, consider the ROI through a quick cost-per-wear analysis. Multiply the estimated number of times you'll wear something over a given time period, then divide the cost by that number for how much you'll spend per wear.</p> <h2>19. Avoid Trends</h2> <p>Love that new trendy pattern floating around on Pinterest? I suggest resisting the urge to paint your entire wardrobe in, say, chevron. Those pieces are fun, but definitely get old &mdash; and fast.</p> <h2>20. Shop for Yourself</h2> <p>I've seen lots of reviews of a popular &quot;stylist&quot; service with clothing delivered to your doorstep through the mail. In my opinion, the prices are way inflated for convenience versus quality. Shop for yourself. If you need some styling help, check out these tips for how to dress <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/shopping-guide/right-clothes-your-body-type-00000000007925/">your body type</a>.</p> <h2>21. Make Your Own</h2> <p>If you're crafty (or have the desire to learn), you can try your hand at sewing some unique clothes to hang in your closet. Here's a <a href="http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2010/04/20-minute-skirt.html">20-minute skirt tutorial</a> to get you started. You can find lots of inspiration by browsing Pinterest.</p> <h2>22. Host Clothing Swaps</h2> <p>My friends and I used to get together twice a year to have a fun clothing swap. We'd each bring a bag of clothing we wanted to off-load, a bottle of wine, and some music. In the end, we all had fun and got to take home new boots to, well, boot.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/50clothes-480486867-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>23. Shop Outside Your Section</h2> <p>One of my favorite tips for women: Scope out the men's and kid's sections of the store. You can often find similar items there, but on deeper discounts. I wear a men's small and a boy's XL, and I've found some fantastic deals and neat pieces this way.</p> <h2>24. Check Discount Stores</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with getting designer deals at your local Marshall's or TJMaxx. Usually these clothes are just out of season or were bought in bulk and not sold elsewhere. I do a large majority of my shopping at these places.</p> <h2>25. Buy Only Clearance</h2> <p>And even when I'm already shopping a sale or a discount store, I scope out what's on clearance first. I used to think clearance was just a bunch of ugly, discarded clothing. Now? Nearly daily I wear a pair of $5 dark wash jeans I found last year.</p> <h2>26. Keep Basics Basic</h2> <p>No need to spend tons of money on underwear, t-shirts, and other basic wearables. Stock up on these guys at your local Target or Walmart. Even better? Try to take advantage of seasonal or holiday sales for these simple items. August (back to school) is a particularly smart time to shop.</p> <h2>27. Skip Fussy Pieces</h2> <p>With the exception of a few investment pieces, I try to pass over clothes that require special cleaning. Instead, I stick with mostly wash-and-go stuff that can be tossed together in the washing machine and dried on medium. When choosing dry clean only or similar items, remember to add up in your head all those times you'll need to clean it to the overall cost.</p> <h2>28. Buy Just One</h2> <p>I'm really bad at this next tip, which is why I thought I'd mention it. When I find a shirt or sweater I really like, I tend to want to buy it in several colors. Thing is, I usually end up wearing one more than the other. Consider buying just one and being done. (Unless it's on a mega-sale.)</p> <h2>29. Wear Again</h2> <p>I never quite understand why some of my friends seem to shop for each and every event they attend. I have a black dress I bought over nine years ago that I often wear to special gatherings. Otherwise, I have a couple more formal things in my collection and try to avoid buying for a single wear.</p> <h2>30. Walk Away</h2> <p>If you're feeling a bit up-in-the-air about some decisions, before pulling out your pocketbook, ask the associate at the checkout to hold your items for you. Take a walk around the mall or store for 10 minutes and think about your purchases before you take the plunge.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/50clothes-163213352-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>31. Ask Around</h2> <p>My 77-year-old grandmother is quite a fashionista. Her tip? Become friends with a sales associate to get the low-down on any upcoming sales or promotions.</p> <h2>32. Have Patience</h2> <p>If you see something you absolutely can't live without, give it time. At many of the stores where I shop, in a few weeks I see that exact need-to-have blouse for less. Even if it isn't much more than 10%, at least it's some savings.</p> <h2>33. Return and Repurchase</h2> <p>My grandmother's other key tip? Keep tags on your clothes for a couple weeks. If you see something that has gone on sale after you've purchased it, you can sometimes return and repurchase it at the lower price. (Works at many stores in my experience, so long as you pay attention to their return policies.)</p> <h2>34. Abstain Entirely</h2> <p>If you spend more money on clothing than you'd like, consider calling it quits. Really. Likely you already have quite a collection and can &mdash; instead &mdash; benefit from trying to <a href="http://www.kendieveryday.com/p/30x30-remix.html">remix your wardrobe</a>.</p> <h2>35. Set Shopping Periods</h2> <p>If you can't see yourself stopping entirely, think about shopping seasonally like I do. That way, you aren't as tempted to pick up every stray skirt you find.</p> <h2>36. Check Online and Store Prices</h2> <p>Occasionally you'll see an item online for less money than it is in the store. And vice versa. I don't know exactly why it works that way, but it sometimes does. Before you pay full price, it's worth a check to cross-compare.</p> <h2>37. Save Gift Cards</h2> <p>Whenever I get a gift card, I usually let it burn through my pocket. I'm trying to get in the habit of saving it for clothing I need versus clothing I want. That way, I can use it almost like a coupon to get those higher ticket items.</p> <h2>38. Ban Duplicates</h2> <p>Ever wonder if you have jeans like the ones in your hand at home? You likely do. Before purchasing something over again, go home and check your closet. Or at very least, keep your receipt and tags intact.</p> <h2>39. Try All Items On</h2> <p>Take 10 minutes to try on your picks before purchasing. You will fine-tune the fit this way and also get to see how things really look when they're on. I've saved lots of money this way. What something looks like on the hanger versus body is often a huge difference.</p> <h2>40. Buy the Right Size</h2> <p>And by trying items on, you can see if that tried-and-true size eight really fits in that specific cut. Store sizing varies greatly (check out this <a href="http://sizes.darkgreener.com/">handy guide</a>), so it's in your best interest to take the time to put stuff on.</p> <h2>41. Know Your Vices</h2> <p>Do you gravitate toward a certain something? Before you pick up yet another pair of leopard print heels, considering either trying something new or saving your money.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/50clothes-481991693-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>42. Favor Accessories</h2> <p>A great way to spice up your wardrobe on the cheap is with inexpensive accessories. Colorful scarves, dangly earrings, bold necklaces &mdash; these are all high-impact items when combined with a more neutral base. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories?ref=seealso">Where to Find Affordable Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>43. Remember Function</h2> <p>What do you do in your everyday life? Think about this question foremost when picking out clothing. If you work from home like me, you likely don't need lots of dressy duds. If you're at the office, you'll need more business casual or even formal attire.</p> <h2>44. Learn to Mend</h2> <p>We've fallen away from the days of patching clothing and into the toss away culture. Pick up an inexpensive mending kit at your local store and learn to sew on those buttons or even add knee or elbow patches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h2>45. Embrace Minimalism</h2> <p>I've become quite intrigued by capsule wardrobes, which are simply closets consisting of a few classic items that won't fade from style. If this idea interests you too, check out this quick <a href="http://theproject333.com/how-to-build-a-capsule-wardrobe/">how-to guide</a>.</p> <h2>46. Borrow and Lend</h2> <p>So, maybe you don't want to wear that same black dress yet again to an important event. Ask a friend if you could shop her closet for a one-time wear. But be sure to avoid red wine spills and snags. Oh, and also return the favor!</p> <h2>47. Find Your Own Style</h2> <p>The mannequins are surely a good place to turn for the hottest looks of the season, but you need not purchase exactly what they're wearing to be stylish. Instead, look at the general concepts (a skinny pant with a flowing tunic, a voluminous skirt with a fitted top) versus the specifics.</p> <h2>48. Scan eBay</h2> <p>I've also had some success searching for designer items via eBay. Some tips: Read all the listing's (and seller's) fine print, check the seller's reviews and star-rating, and wait to bid on items until the very end versus getting engaged in a bidding war.</p> <h2>49. Alter What You've Got</h2> <p>In the summer, cutoff shorts are my thing. Buying them made that way seems ridiculous to me, so I make my own. If you have an item you're thinking of culling from your collection, look into its potential before tossing. Here are some creative ideas for modifying <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=diy%20t-shirt">basic T-shirts</a>.</p> <h2>50. Shop Alone</h2> <p>When I shop for clothes, it's fun to be with friends. If I need to save money? I shop alone. Blame it on the good vibes or peer pressure, but I'm much more likely to indulge if I'm making shopping a social event versus a simple mission.</p> <p><em>What are your tips to save on clothing? We'd love to hear them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-money-saving-items-everyone-should-own">23 Money-Saving Items Everyone Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-grocery-shopping-techniques-you-need">The Only 5 Grocery Shopping Techniques You Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-expensive-wardrobe-saves-you-money">How an Expensive Wardrobe Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping clothing saving shopping wardrobe Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:36:35 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135084 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/closet-1935109-small.jpg" alt="closet" title="closet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="192" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tired of walking into a closet that looks like a bomb just went off? Whip that storage space into shape with these closet-organizing tips, tricks, and ideas designed to make getting dressed a little more enjoyable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesome-storage-solutions-for-under-10">15 Awesome Storage Solutions for Under $10</a>)</p> <h2>1. Add Another Clothes Bar</h2> <p>My husband and I have a fairly large walk-in closet, which is hard to find in New York City. It's tall and wide, and it can comfortably keep all of our stuff organized and within reach. When we first moved in, however, there was only one bar below a spacious shelf, with about five feet of unused space above it. To capitalize on that open area, I installed another bar near the ceiling that effectively doubled the amount of hanging area we had. Unfortunately for my husband, he only gets a fraction of the combined area because I'm a clotheshorse. Win some, lose some, as they say. I don't feel too bad about it though, since I'm the one who has to take out the ladder to reach my clothing. Adequate compromise, I think.</p> <h2>2. Hang Shoes on the Back of the Door</h2> <p>When thinking of ways to organize your closet, take a look at all the space that's not being used and think of ways to use it. The back of the door is perfect for hanging a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Z912RC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Z912RC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">canvas shoe storage apparatus</a> that will hang from the top of the store and allow you to stow at least a dozen pairs of shoes.</p> <h2>3. Put Cubby Cubes on the Floor</h2> <p>While we have a large closet in our bedroom, there's not much room for a dresser in the room, which forced us to think of ways to store our socks, undies, and tees in an organized manner. The solution we decided on was a few six-cube cubbies in which we put inexpensive bins to keep all our undergarments. Two of the cubbies are stacked vertically so the top areas can be used as shelf space for watches and sunglasses, and one is laid horizontally against a wall so the side area can be used as a shelf for additional shoe storage.</p> <h2>4. Install Hooks for Scarves, Hats, and Accessories</h2> <p>Unless you have a closet with 360 degrees of clothing racks, there's probably a lot of unused wall space that you can turn into storage. To keep scarves, bags, and other accessories off the floor and from cluttering up drawers, install a few hooks on the walls so you can hang these items in a way that's aesthetically pleasing and easy to grab. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>5. Swap Out Clothes Seasonally</h2> <p>Every spring I pack up my fall/winter clothes and put them in storage. In the fall and winter, I do the same with my spring/summer clothes. Swapping these seasonal items out keeps my closet from overflowing with an abundance of garments, and it gives me an opportunity to sort through the pieces to decide what to keep and what to donate.</p> <h2>6. Fold Tees and Sweaters</h2> <p>Not every item that goes on your back needs to be hung. You'll save a lot of precious rack real estate by folding tees and sweaters and storing them on shelves and in cubbies. My T-shirts are rolled up in my cubbies and my sweaters are folded and stacked neatly on a shelf. The latter method helps me choose what I want to wear on a cold day quickly, while the former frees up hangers that I can use for button-downs and polos. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fold-your-shirt-in-2-seconds-best-shirt-folding-video-ever">How to Fold Your Shirt in 2 Seconds</a>)</p> <h2>7. Store Watches in a Compact Case</h2> <p>Instead of throwing a hodgepodge of watches in a box or tossing them on your nightstand, look into an inexpensive watch storage case. I have one that I found on Amazon that holds 10 watches comfortably. The case latches easily, and there's a handle that makes it easy to carry. When I want to pair a watch with a particular outfit, I just open up the case and pick my preference. Until then, it stores perfectly on top of my clothes cubby without taking up too much space.</p> <h2>8. Stack Sunglasses Vertically</h2> <p>Another one of my amazing storage finds was a vertical sunglass rack that I purchased on eBay. It's just like the ones that retail stores have to display glasses, and mine holds about 20 pairs. Before investing in this piece of equipment, I stored my glasses in their respective cases. This kept them from getting damaged, but when I wanted to wear a pair, I had to open up multiple cases until I got to the pair I wanted. Now all I have to do is spin the display and choose my style. And instead of taking up three feet of horizontal space on a shelf, the display consumes vertical space, of which there's plenty.</p> <h2>9. Label Your Drawers</h2> <p>Because my husband and I have so many cubbies, it was necessary to label them so we could go into the closet and grab what we wanted quickly. After a while the labels aren't necessary because we memorize the sequence, but labels are quite helpful the first weeks after organizing if you want to save some time.</p> <h2>10. Eliminate Excess</h2> <p>I touched upon this a few tips earlier and I can't stress how important it is to go through your garments periodically and get rid of what you're not wearing. My basic rule is that if I haven't worn something in a year or more, it has to go. How you choose to get rid of it is up to you. Donating to a local charity seems to be the preferred method, but don't discount yard sales (I had one recently, and I made about $25 on clothing and accessories alone) and planning a clothing swap with your friends wherein you can unload some of your old items and take home a few new(ish) ones through trading. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate">8 Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate</a>)</p> <h2>11. Stuff Bags With Bags</h2> <p>For reasons that I can't comprehend, my husband has several duffel bags that he never uses but with which he's not ready to part. To keep them neatly together, I stuffed the bulk of them into the largest bag and stuffed that bag inside a suitcase. The suitcase can't be flattened, so it made sense to utilize the space inside the suitcase by filling it with items that would otherwise take up a lot of space that they didn't necessarily have to. Ladies, you can employ the same savvy storage technique by placing smaller handbags inside larger ones and hanging those on the wall.</p> <h2>12. Categorize Your Clothing</h2> <p>To make it easier to put together a complete outfit, especially when you're layering, consider categorizing your clothing. For instance, on the hanger bar organize shirts into categories like button-downs and polos, and where you keep your pants, separate them into categories like jeans, khakis, and cords. By having certain types of clothing in specific places, you'll be able to dress more efficiently since you'll save time on a daily basis when choosing what you want to wear.</p> <h2>13. Color Code Your Garments</h2> <p>My closet has been color coded for years, and it's one of the best organizational systems I can recommend &mdash; especially for tops. If I feel like wearing a certain color on a particular day, I know exactly where to look. Plus the closet looks fresh, fun, and happy when you walk into it when it's color-coded. Another added bonus is that your mom will be duly impressed if she ever happens to wander into it. Trust me, the time investment and upkeep is worth that tiny bit of praise alone.</p> <h2>14. Keep a Small Ladder Within Reach</h2> <p>I use my small ladder on a daily basis. It's cumbersome at first, but eventually it becomes part of the routine. The ladder is necessary if you plan to maximize your space and use an increased amount of the unused area of your closet. With the ladder in the closet, you can build higher, placing shelves above shelves, installing more hooks for accessories, or even adding another clothes bar to reduce some of the overcrowding on existing bars.</p> <p><em>Do you have even more ideas on how to organize a closet? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization closet clothing organization storage wardrobe Fri, 13 Sep 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 981863 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Do a One-Month Spending Freeze http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001769284Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making a big financial change is like getting in a cold swimming pool. You can oh-so-slowly walk from the shallow end to the deep end, shivering all the way &mdash; or you can hold your nose and just jump in. It might not be pleasant, but it sure is faster &mdash; and you might be surprised at how quickly you acclimate to the water.</p> <p>Similarly, if you&rsquo;re looking to overhaul your finances &mdash; whether you want to pay down debt, save more, or just spend your money wisely &mdash; you can develop little habits bit-by-bit, or you can jump into the pool with a spending freeze. By cutting out all unnecessary spending, you can jump-start your financial goals &mdash; and discover lots of fun, free things to do that you might have never thought of.</p> <p>You can do a spending freeze for any amount of time &mdash; a week, two weeks, even a year &mdash; but one month is a nice. It&rsquo;s enough time that you can save what feels like a significant amount of money, but not so long that it feels like it&rsquo;s going to go on forever. (For longer time periods, check out our article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to Do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a>.)</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what to do.</p> <h3>Look at Your Budget</h3> <p>Actually, there&rsquo;s a step before this &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">start a budget</a> if you don&rsquo;t already have one. The only way you can take control of your finances is to understand where your money is going.</p> <p>Now, look at what you spend money on every month, and separate the needs from the wants. Common &ldquo;want&rdquo; categories include clothing, entertainment, and dining out &mdash; but there are other, sneakier wants too. For example, how much of your weekly grocery bill is wants, and how much of it is needs?&nbsp;Also look at regular subscription services &mdash; such as newspapers or Netflix. Many will allow you to put your subscription on hold without actually cancelling it.</p> <p>After you&rsquo;ve done this, make a revised version of your budget where you spend nothing on these want categories.</p> <h3>Figure Out What You&rsquo;re Doing With Your Savings</h3> <p>Now that you&rsquo;ve established where you <i>won&rsquo;t</i> be spending money, you have to decide what you <i>will</i> be doing with those funds. Whether it&rsquo;s a large debt payment, creating your first emergency fund, or even saving for a vacation, having a goal you&rsquo;re working towards will make the spending freeze easier.</p> <h3>Enlist Others</h3> <p>Anybody who&rsquo;s ever had a gym buddy knows that doing something you don&rsquo;t want to do gets easier when you do it with someone you like. In this case, it might be your significant other, your parents, or a friend. This step isn&rsquo;t necessary, but if you do the spending freeze with someone else, you&rsquo;ll be able to support each other along the way.</p> <h3>Clean Out Your Pantry, and Plan Your Meals</h3> <p>Now that your plans are in place, it&rsquo;s time to get into the nitty-gritty. While food is a need, there are several ways that you can cut down on food costs over the next month.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash">Cleaning and reorganizing your pantry</a> will remind you what foods you have hiding in your cupboards. After you&rsquo;ve made a list of what you have, use these foods as the basis to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">plan your meals for the next month</a> &mdash; not only will you use up ingredients that have been sitting around, but you&rsquo;ll slash your grocery bill.</p> <h3>Schedule Free Fun</h3> <p>One of the most difficult things about being on a spending freeze is the &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t&rdquo; feeling. Instead of moping around feeling annoyed that you can&rsquo;t go out for drinks with your friends, be proactive! Invite people over for a potluck, schedule a hike for next weekend, or set up a weekly board game night with some friends. If you need to get some ideas, check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House</a>.</p> <h3>Remix Your Wardrobe</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t think you can go 30 days without a fashion infusion? Then try the <a href="http://www.ajwearsclothes.com/2012/05/30-for-30-wardrobe-remix-pieces.html">30 for 30 Remix</a>, which challenges you to take just 30 pieces of clothing you own and make them into 30 different outfits in 30 days.</p> <h3>Track Your Progress</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s important to track your progress &mdash; seeing that you&rsquo;re on the right track can make you charged up to keep going. Consider putting up a chart on the fridge where you can track your savings.</p> <h3>Adopt Permanent Changes</h3> <p>At the end of the month, take some time to consider what worked for you. Maybe you discovered that packing your lunch for work wasn&rsquo;t so bad, and you didn&rsquo;t miss eating out. Or that there&rsquo;s more versatility in your wardrobe than you thought. Or you didn&rsquo;t miss cable. Whatever it is, see if there are some frugal changes that you can adopt as long-term habits instead of just going back to your old ways.</p> <h3>Need Motivation? How About $10,000 in Prizes?</h3> <p>Almost inspired to start a spending freeze but need a little extra motivation? We're here to help! Wise Bread has teamed up with SaveUp to give away $10,000 worth of cash prizes to reward you for not using your credit card. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/saveup-s-no-spend-giveaway-win-up-to-10000-in-rewards">Check out our contest post for full details</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you done a spending freeze? Or are you thinking about trying one? Share your experiences in the comments!</em></p> <div align="center"> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saveup-s-no-spend-giveaway-win-up-to-10000-in-rewards"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/saveup-nospend-300_0.jpg" width="300" height="300" alt="" /></a></p></div><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting free things to do pantry spending freeze wardrobe Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:36:34 +0000 Meg Favreau 965736 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things You Should Spend More Time On http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-should-spend-more-time-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-you-should-spend-more-time-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/955561067_9111745994_z.jpg" alt="brushing teeth" title="brushing teeth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In our rush-rush, hurry-hurry world of multitasking and automation, we&rsquo;ve managed to cram more into an average day than ever before.</p> <p>But there are some things that shouldn&rsquo;t be left to an app, condensed to an audio book, or squeezed in between yoga class and clearing out your DVR. Yes, you heard me&hellip;there are still some things that require your full and undivided personal attention.</p> <p>Now, things such as your health and your money go without saying, and I doubt that you need any convincing on those points. For that reason, the obvious priorities have been left off this list &mdash; instead, you&rsquo;ll find aspects that are easier to overlook. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy&nbsp;Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your Teeth</h2> <p>We&rsquo;re all aware of the importance of having a bright and shining smile, but the cosmetic benefits are only the tip of the iceberg. And according to a <a href="http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/50-dentist-secrets-ddms-share-hygiene-advice-on-teeth-gums-and-more/">2009 survey of dentists</a>, we&rsquo;re not taking the care we should when it comes to our teeth.</p> <p>A healthy mouth prevents bad breath and tooth decay, but it also helps prevent gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss and a contributing factor in heart attacks and strokes. To get the benefits of a healthy mouth, however, you need to spend at least 10 minutes a day practicing good oral hygiene and make regular visits to your dentist for a deeper cleaning.</p> <h2>2. Your Home</h2> <p>They say that your home is a reflection of what&rsquo;s going on in your life, so if things seem chaotic or &ldquo;out-of-sorts,&rdquo; that sensation is then mirrored in the design and decorating in your house.</p> <p>But sometimes, the opposite is true. Your home also influences your mood, so if your study is cluttered and messy, for example, you&rsquo;ll likely feel frustrated and agitated whenever you enter the room. Likewise, an unorganized kitchen can make cooking a pain, encouraging you to eat something fast but less-healthy to avoid spending time in the room.</p> <p>And now, new studies show that clutter isn&rsquo;t the only factor to consider. Dubbed <a href="http://www.oprah.com/home/Mood-Boosting-Home-Decor/">neuroarchitecture</a>, research shows that lighting, color, space, and general d├ęcor have the ability to actually enhance our mood and even improve our performance.</p> <p>So, the next time you&rsquo;re feeling stressed or blue, take a look around at your environment&hellip;it may be time to redecorate.</p> <h2>3. Family and Friends</h2> <p>While there&rsquo;s much to be said for alone time (see #5 below), we are still very much social creatures at heart and our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">relationships are an important component of our self-esteem</a>.</p> <p>Unfortunately, our busy schedules can make quality time with family and friends difficult to achieve, meaning that you have to work at it if you want to see some positive results.</p> <p>And if an improvement in mood and outlook aren&rsquo;t enough to motivate you to connect with others, check this out &mdash; a <a href="http://champagnelab.psych.columbia.edu/docs/tara6.pdf">2003 Study at Ohio State University</a> (PDF) suggests that illness and injuries actually heal faster when we&rsquo;re surrounded and supported by those we love.</p> <h2>4. Learning</h2> <p>A while back, I wrote about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-memory-and-even-get-a-little-smarter">ways to improve your memory</a> and possibly stave off dementia and other degenerative diseases of the mind. Since that time, I&rsquo;ve added daily lessons of Spanish and French in my household (as well as my mother&rsquo;s), and I&rsquo;m also relearning algebra as well.</p> <p>The results are noticeable. Nevermind that I feel a little smarter; I&rsquo;m also finding it easier to recall information and talk intelligently without struggling for words along the way. And what I realized was this &mdash; we spend our school years cramming and memorizing and studying a wide variety of subjects, but once we enter the &ldquo;real world,&rdquo; we tend to specialize in our profession and that constant challenge of learning new things seems to stop.</p> <p>Is it any wonder, then, that our minds begin to deteriorate?</p> <p>Now, the good news is that you don&rsquo;t have to restrict yourself to language and math. You can memorize the presidents, study geology or history, rekindle that love of science, or dive into the crazy world of politics. The point is to keep learning&hellip;and the more you learn, the more new pathways your brain will create.</p> <h2>5. Solitude</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with craving the company of others, and if you read #3 above, then you know that I&rsquo;ve already established the importance of reinforcing and nurturing those human connections.</p> <p>But solitude is important too&hellip;so much so that several <a href="http://www.marksdailyapple.com/solitude-health/#axzz224cAyf4v">recent studies</a> suggest that there&rsquo;s definitely some benefits to going solo on a regular basis. That alone time allows you to clear your head, balance emotions, process and memorize information, and even tap into your own &ldquo;meaning of life.&rdquo;</p> <h2>6. Your Beliefs</h2> <p>One of the things I enjoyed about my college debate class was that my professor often asked us to argue the opposite point of view.</p> <p>This forced us to set aside our own personal belief systems and &mdash; to the best of our abilities &mdash; find a way to justify an opposing opinion. Granted, some topics were easier than others, but the result was always the same &mdash; we found that we understood more about the other side than we might have previously been willing to admit.</p> <p>Now, imagine what kind of progress we could make if we employed that tactic all the time?</p> <h2>7. Your Wardrobe</h2> <p>In the corporate world, it&rsquo;s widely known that what you wear can have a direct effect on your confidence level. People tend to take you more seriously when you&rsquo;re dressed for success, and the mere knowledge that you look good is enough to make you feel empowered.</p> <p>So why should that practice begin and end with the boardroom?</p> <p>Like our homes, how we dress is a direct reflection of how we feel, meaning that t-shirts and sweats are OK, but if they make up the majority of your wardrobe, you&rsquo;re doing your self-confidence an injustice.</p> <p>No, power suits aren&rsquo;t required for everyday attire, but some bright colors can do wonders for your mood and more importantly, your self-esteem, both of which can improve your negotiating skills, productivity, and outlook on life.</p> <h2>8. Your Memories</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m a genealogy junkie. What started as a curious search for my great-grandmother&rsquo;s birthplace has turned into a full-blown obsession to discover everything there is to know about my ancestors and their lives.</p> <p>This obsession, however, has also made me realize the importance of preserving the memories I&rsquo;m creating along the way&hellip;not just photographs, but stories and thoughts that will tell my grandchildren (and their grandchildren) exactly who I was and what mattered to me the most.</p> <p>Creating a scrapbook of your life also allows you the opportunity to take those walks down memory lane and discover some life lessons you might have missed along the way. It&rsquo;s therapeutic, it&rsquo;s comforting, and it has the potential to be eye-opening.</p> <h2>9. Creative Expression</h2> <p>We spend quite a bit of time doing what has to be done, whether it&rsquo;s paying bills or washing dishes or going to work.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-less-creativity-can-make-you-more-creative">Making time for creative expression</a> gives you the chance to use a different part of your brain and focus on something that comes from deep within your own psyche rather than our usual day-to-day grind. Studies show that regularly dabbling in something artistic improves problem-solving skills, relieves stress, and lifts your mood &mdash; three good reasons to make art class high on your list of priorities.</p> <h2>10. Your Manners</h2> <p>We&rsquo;re all quick to talk about morals and values, but whatever happened to manners?</p> <p>Somehow, it&rsquo;s become acceptable to be indifferent (or worse, downright rude) if it serves our cause or ensures our success. I see kids acting in ways that I would never have behaved growing up, and I see adults acting with the same belligerence and discourteous mannerisms that we used to chalk up to the younger generations who didn&rsquo;t know any better.</p> <p>Now, don&rsquo;t get me wrong&hellip;I&rsquo;m all for a good debate, and I&rsquo;m the first in line when it comes to standing up for a good cause. But I think we lose something very vital to our society when getting our way means that we forget our manners.</p> <p>Call me old, call me out of touch&hellip;just be sure to say please and thank you when you do.</p> <h2>11. Your Dreams</h2> <p>When you were young, what did you want to be? A firefighter? A doctor? An astronaut? A princess? It&rsquo;s easy to have big dreams when we&rsquo;re little because there was nothing to force us to think otherwise.</p> <p>Of course, as we grow older, reality sets in and we learn to settle for something that will pay the bills rather than seek out that thing that makes our heart sing.</p> <p>But your dreams are your dreams for a reason &mdash; they represent your passion, that thing that makes you tick, and if you don&rsquo;t give them some attention now and then, dreams tend to wither away and die.</p> <p>The good news is that you don&rsquo;t have to quit your steady accounting job in order to explore your notions of becoming a cowboy. Small steps and small changes are often all it takes to revive those dreams and set you on a new and potentially more satisfying path.</p> <h2>12. Your Fears</h2> <p>I recently wrote an article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">getting things done</a> and noted that &ldquo;fear&rdquo; was actually our biggest motivator and also our biggest obstacle. Fear makes us behave in ways that are unbecoming to such an intelligent species, and it also keeps us from pushing the envelope and discovering what we&rsquo;re really capable of achieving.</p> <p>The bottom line &mdash; if your life isn&rsquo;t exactly what you want it to be, look at what you&rsquo;re afraid of. Chances are, fear is holding you back from your true potential.</p> <h2>13. Your Strengths</h2> <p>Self-improvement experts have always taught us that we need to work on our weaknesses if we want to improve them.</p> <p>But instead of spending so much time focusing on the things we despise and don&rsquo;t do well, why not spend more time focusing on areas in which we excel?</p> <p>Using this mindset, we&rsquo;d spend more time doing things we love, things that come naturally to us and that we have a talent for mastering. Imagine what a wonderful world we&rsquo;d live in if everyone spent their days doing the things they love the most?</p> <h2>14. Your Unchartered Territory</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve already mentioned fears, dreams, and beliefs, but I want to take things one step further before we call this article &ldquo;done.&rdquo;</p> <p>Taking risks and venturing out into the unknown is something we don&rsquo;t like to do&hellip;and we don&rsquo;t like it because it requires us to change. But if there&rsquo;s one thing constant in the universe, it&rsquo;s the fact that everything is changing and will continue to do so, regardless of whether we&rsquo;re changing with it or not.</p> <p>So if there&rsquo;s one thing you take away from this article, let it be this &mdash; you don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s out there until you look. You don&rsquo;t know if you like something until you try it, and you don&rsquo;t know if you&rsquo;ll succeed unless you&rsquo;re willing to take a chance with the possibility that you&rsquo;ll fail.</p> <p>Life is what you make of it. Choosing to live it inside a safe but predictable bubble won&rsquo;t get you to where you really want to go, and you&rsquo;ll never know what kind of amazing surprises were waiting for you in that unchartered territory.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-should-spend-more-time-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-more-eureka-shower-moments">How to Have More Eureka! Shower Moments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">25 Ways to Boost Creativity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/90-free-activities-to-get-your-creative-juices-flowing">90 Free Activities to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-go-for-inspiration">10 Places to Go for Inspiration</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development creativity healthy living learning a new skill relationship building wardrobe Mon, 06 Aug 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Kate Luther 947044 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Build a Fabulous Career Wardrobe for Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-build-a-fabulous-career-wardrobe-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-build-a-fabulous-career-wardrobe-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5821616807_208a74d48c_z-1.jpg" alt="Build a Fabulous Career Wardrobe for Less" title="Build a Fabulous Career Wardrobe for Less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on building a fabulous career wardrobe for less, choosing a community college, and retiring early.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/build-a-career-wardrobe-for-less/">How to Build a Fabulous Career Wardrobe for Less</a> &mdash; To build a fabulous career wardrobe for less, check out second-hand stores. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/what-to-look-for-in-a-community-college/">What to Look for in a Community College</a> &mdash; If you are looking at going to a community college, find out about guaranteed transfer programs. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/retirement/want-to-retire-early-follow-these-5-steps/">Want to Retire Early? Follow These 5 Steps</a> &mdash; Retire early by being realistic in your expectations and diversity in your investments. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/real-estate/improvements/10-diy-projects-your-basement">10 DIY Projects for Your Basement</a> &mdash; Want to give your basement a makeover? Try installing peel and stick tile. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/choose-traditional-roth-ira/">How to Choose Between a Traditional and Roth IRA</a> &mdash; When choosing between a traditional and Roth IRA, take into consideration whether or not you might need to use your investment soon. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/07/use-someone-elses-frequent-buyer-card-for-savings-and-rewards.html">Use Someone Else's Frequent Buyer Card for Savings and Rewards</a> &mdash; If you don't have a frequent buyer card to a grocery store or restaurant you visit, use someone else's card! That way you save money and the other person ends up with points. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/investing-in-fine-art/">Investing in Fine Art</a> &mdash; Quality fine art appreciates in value over time so if you can prove it's authenticity, you can sell it and make a profit. [Narrow Bridge]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/07/26/how-i-launched-a-successful-kickstarter-campaign/">How I Launched a Successful Kickstarter Campaign</a> &mdash; To launch a successful kickstarter campaign, get so excited that you just can't hide it! [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Recycle-K-Cups-24158156">8 Creative Uses For K-Cups</a> &mdash; Use K-Cups to make Jell-O shots or place-card holders. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/katie-holmes-great-escape-what-tomkat-can-teach-us-about-parenting-with-religious-differences">Katie Holmes' Great Escape: What TomKat Can Teach Us About Interfaith Parenting</a> &mdash; If you will be raising kids in an interfaith household, don't let the opinions of the kids grandparents cause you to ignore your partner's wishes. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/07/money-crashers-tweetchat-mcchat-0">Money Crashers Tweetchat (#MCchat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss Money Crashers weekly #MCchat! They will be giving away prizes!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-build-a-fabulous-career-wardrobe-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Shopping best money tips career fashion wardrobe Fri, 27 Jul 2012 10:00:38 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 945275 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom-picking-wardrobe-605.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post was brought to you by T-Mobile. America's Largest 4G Network -- Now faster than ever. </em><em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;242263171;67368453;j;pc=[TPAS_ID]">Click here for more details</a>.</em></p> <p>Are you a mom with nothing to wear? Have you wasted precious early morning minutes trying on and then discarding clothes that aren&rsquo;t working? Maybe you need a wardrobe update. Moms spend a lot of time and money on others, relegating their own appearance to the bottom of the list, but looking good is feeling good, and a happy momma is a good momma. Here is a systematic plan to give your wardrobe a makeover without breaking your budget.</p> <p><b>Step 1: Clean and Organize</b></p> <p>Taking inventory ensures you won&rsquo;t unnecessarily spend on items you don&rsquo;t need. Organize your existing wardrobe into pants, skirts, jackets, blouses, and dresses. Except for workout clothes and what I refer to as &ldquo;extreme casual&rdquo; wear, resist the urge to make distinctions between work and casual clothes. You&rsquo;ll get more value from your wardrobe by opening up your options to dress up and dress down.</p> <p><b>Step 2: Edit Ruthlessly</b></p> <p>Anything that does not make you feel good about yourself has to go. Every time you try on something that doesn&rsquo;t flatter, that is not only time wasted, it also chips away at your self-image. Not sure if something looks great? Enlist help. Some moms have friends who tell them whether or not something is better off retired. I have an 11-year-old daughter. Much as I hate to admit, her fashion choices are usually correct.</p> <p><b>Step 3: Play Favorites</b></p> <p>The standard rule is to toss, donate or sell anything you haven&rsquo;t worn in a year, but there are exceptions to every rule! I keep certain favorites around, just in case. (Keep reading!) Send things you can&rsquo;t part with to the back of the closet, or better yet, to another room entirely so they don&rsquo;t take space in your now clean and organized closet.</p> <p><b>Step 4: Identify Must-Haves</b></p> <p>Make a list of key items depending on your work and lifestyle. I need a lot of jeans, colorful form-fitting tops for TV appearances, and just a few business/formal basics like black slacks, a white shirt, and a nice jacket. If any of your essentials need replacing, put these on your list first, and plan to spend the most on these (but only if you have to, more on that later.)</p> <p><b>Step 5: Flip and Click</b></p> <p>This is the fun part. Get your favorite beverage and head to a well-stocked magazine rack or public library. As you flip the pages pay attention to styles you already know will flatter you and fashions that show up over and over. Think about how things you already own can be incorporated into new outfits. Catalogs are another great source of what&rsquo;s hot in a particular season. If you don&rsquo;t get catalogs shipped to your home, go to the online stores to see what everyone is wearing. I also like to tape morning television shows, which have a fashion segment almost every day.</p> <p><b>Step 6: Choose Your Trends</b></p> <p>With the latest trends in mind, add to your list those fun seasonal pieces you&rsquo;re going to incorporate into your wardrobe. Don&rsquo;t forget to check the back of your closet for one of those favorites you&rsquo;ve put away in seasons past. I recently pulled out a great vintage lace dress and a metallic knit cardigan. I haven&rsquo;t worn either in years, but they both look like they&rsquo;re ripped from a page of any recent fashion layout.&nbsp;<b><br /> </b></p> <p><b>Step 7: Swap and Shop Resale</b></p> <p>Some moms save a lot of money by swapping clothes with friends. I like this idea for certain essentials&mdash;suits and little black dresses&mdash;but I prefer to get my gently used clothing from a consignment store. Armed with your list of essentials and trendy items, hit your best local resale shops. Remember to factor in the cost of any alterations.</p> <p><b>Step 8: Hit the Web</b></p> <p>Online shopping is great, especially if you know certain brands that fit your body well. Sites like eBay and Craigslist can be an inexpensive source for fun fashion items. You can also often snag great deals by signing up for new accounts or subscribing to alert or newsletter lists. Always search for promo codes before you checkout.</p> <p><b>Step 9: Never Pay Retail!</b></p> <p>Your next stop for wardrobe updates is traditional retail outlets. Start first at discount outlets like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and then head to the department and specialty stores. Take advantage of coupons and rewards points if you have them, and use your smart phone to search for coupon codes before you get to the register. Always ask the cashier if there are any coupons he or she can scan for you.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Step 10: Document Your Best Looks</b></p> <p>Whether in a journal, on your phone, or file in your computer&mdash;make note about or take pictures of outfits you love. In a busy mom&rsquo;s morning, it&rsquo;s easy to forget a fabulous combination you put together on a particularly good day. Having a record of great looks ensures you&rsquo;ll always feel great about yourself when you step outside your door!</p> <p><em><strong>What are your wardrobe updating secrets?&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p><em>Lela is the senior editor of our sister blog </em><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/"><em>Parenting Squad</em></a><em>&nbsp;and the author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936214431/?tag=hubp045c-20"><em>Blacklisted from the PTA</em></a><em>.</em></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lela-davidson">Lela Davidson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love">How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in">5 Wardrobe Basics for Women That Are Worth Investing In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes">Make Your Clothing Fit Perfectly With These 10 No-Sew Fixes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style style wardrobe Wed, 17 Aug 2011 14:19:47 +0000 Lela Davidson 662699 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Wardrobe Basics for Women That Are Worth Investing In http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_in_coat.jpg" alt="Woman in coat" title="Woman in coat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am not the most clothing-minded individual. I enjoy dressing up and looking nice, but buying new clothing makes me grind my teeth. Everything seems so expensive! Perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm a big proponent of thrift-store shopping and clothing swaps (as well as hand-me-ups, which is what I call the cast-off clothing my younger sister gives me).</p> <p>However, there are a few wardrobe items that I think are worth more of an investment, because spending more money means you'll end up with a substantiallly more comfortable, flattering, or long-lasting garment. I'm not suggesting that you drop outlandish amounts of cash; many of the the items on my list can still be found for substantial discounts at places like <a href="http://www.overstock.com">Overstock</a> or <a href="http://www.tjmaxx.com">T.J. Maxx</a>. But when you're shopping for the following five things, it will serve you well to consider quality and fit above cost. (See also: <a href="http://getcurrency.com/life-style/6-work-wardrobe-staples-to-invest-in">6 Work Wardrobe Staples to Invest In</a>, via Currency)</p> <h2>1. Shoes</h2> <p>Shoes are one of my biggest splurges. There are many reasons why expensive shoes are worth the indulgence, (Chris lists several in his <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes">Case for Expensive Shoes</a>), but my big two are comfort and longevity. In my experience, it's much more likely that cheap shoes will cut into my feet, cause blisters, and generally provide poor support. Furthermore, well-made shoes can last several seasons as long as you show them some TLC. Have a cobbler fix any rubbed-down heels or soles before the shoes become unwearable (I find that once a year is usually enough, and I tend to drag my heels).</p> <h2>2. Handbags</h2> <p>Like shoes, a well-made bag can continue looking posh for several seasons, and it's much less likely to suffer from ripped straps, broken hardware, and fussy zippers. Don't go all out for a bag that's made to get dirty &mdash; a cheap canvas tote does just fine for the beach &mdash; but a stylish clutch in a color that matches a lot of your going-out wear should serve you well for quite some time.</p> <h2>3. Coats</h2> <p>A good-quality coat can last for several seasons, as long as you don't purchase anything too trendy. Vintage stores can be a great place to find classic wool coats &mdash; just check to make sure the lining, buttons, and pockets are all in good condition.</p> <h2>4. A Dress You Love</h2> <p>I have a wedding problem. Every time one comes around, I poke around my closet until finally settling on the same meh cotton dress that I wore to the last three weddings I attended. I look fine in it, and it's dressy enough for most celebrations. But I don't feel wildly attractive or fancy in it, and even though I'm not the girliest person ever, I do think every woman should own a dress (or similar fancy outfit) that she <em>loves</em>. Whether it's the &quot;little black dress&quot; or a bright-red stunner, this should be something that looks great on you and you can always count on when you need to look awesome. If you can dress it up or down, even better.</p> <h2>5. Good Jeans</h2> <p>I don't care if you think your butt is weird, you don't like your thighs, or you feel like your inseam is outlandish. There are so many companies making different cuts of jeans now, you should be able to find a pair that fits and flatters you. Like other items on this list, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clean-jeans-right-without-going-to-the-dry-cleaner">properly cared for jeans</a> can last for years. That said, don't think this is an excuse to pay $300 for jeans. There's a difference between paying for quality and paying for a brand name.</p> <p><em>What other wardrobe staples are worth investing in? Share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love">How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids">20 Cute and Frugal DIY Clothes You Can Make for Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style clothing wardrobe women's shoes Mon, 25 Jul 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Meg Favreau 634367 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Work Wardrobe Staples to Invest In http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-work-wardrobe-staples-to-invest-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-work-wardrobe-staples-to-invest-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009008345Small-1.jpg" alt="Work Wardrobe Staples to Invest In" title="Work Wardrobe Staples to Invest In" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on work wardrobe staples to invest in, what it takes to clean up your credit, and how to create a new habit.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://getcurrency.com/life-style/6-work-wardrobe-staples-to-invest-in">6 Work Wardrobe Staples to Invest In</a> &mdash; Make sure you have quality shoes in your work wardrobe. [Currency]</p> <p><a href="http://deliverawaydebt.com/credit-report-and-score/clean-up-your-credit/">What it Takes to Clean Up Your Credit</a> &mdash; To clean up your credit, make a budget and stick to it. [Deliver Away Debt]</p> <p><a href="http://zenhabits.net/new-habit/">5 Steps to Create a New Habit</a> &mdash; Create a new habit by first making a plan. [Zen Habits]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/6-ways-to-steer-clear-of-financial-fraud/">6 Ways to Steer Clear of Financial Fraud</a> &mdash; Steer clear of financial fraud by getting information in writing. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.investinternals.com/2011/07/gas-and-electricity-saving-tips.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+investinternals+%28Money+Hacker+Blog%29">Top 5 Money Saving Energy Tips At Home</a> &mdash; To save money at home, completely turn off your air conditioner. [Moneyhacker]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/protect-your-family-from-the-danger-of-cell-phones">Protect Your Family from the Danger of Cell Phones</a> &mdash; Keep your family safe from cell phones by not using your cell phone when the signal is low. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out">7 Ways To Self-Promote Without Selling Out</a> &mdash; To promote yourself without selling out, recognize that the world doesn't owe you anything. [American Express OPEN Forum]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/travel/10-things-state-fairs-wont-tell-you-1310959406666/?link=SM_spend_ls4e">10 Things State Fairs Won't Tell You</a> &mdash; One thing state fairs won't tell you: your kids can get really sick at a fair. [SmartMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/2011/07/19/the-3-secrets-to-staying-motivated-in-a-corporate-job/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+prolificliving%2Fblog+%28Prolific+Living%29">The 3 Secrets to Staying Motivated In A Corporate Job</a> &mdash; Stay motivated in a corporate job by watching your attitude like a hawk. [Prolific Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/11/island-approach-credit-cards.asp#axzz1SfjAZtyx">The Island Approach To Credit Card Use</a> &mdash; Consider using the island approach to credit card use and have a different credit card for different expenses. [Investopedia]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-work-wardrobe-staples-to-invest-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort">10 Times at Work You&#039;re Just Wasting Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freedom-from-the-day-job">Freedom From the Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-2-boost-income">Getting by without a job, part 2--boost income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income best money tips investing wardrobe work Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:00:16 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 631290 at http://www.wisebread.com