Shopping is by far one of my favourite activities. I would even go far as to say it’s my favourite sport. However shopping on a student budget can sometimes be tricky and if you’re not careful you may be in a situation where you have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes, but a cupboard full of Asda smart price baked beans.
So here are my tips on how to still look good and dress well at uni… without starving yourself for a pair of shoes.
- Student Loan: DO NOT SPEND YOUR STUDENT LOAN IN YOUR FIRST WEEK. I’ve seen so many people blow their student loans on silly things, only to be moaning the following week that they have no money to do anything. Part of university is growing up, so exercise some responsibility and don’t spend the money you’ll be needing for essentials on handbags and bottles of Moët.
- UNiDAYS: the UNiDAYS site will provide you with a student discount when shopping online with some of your fave brands. Saving a little 10 or 20% here and there will make all the difference. The more money you save, the more money you have for jagerbombs when you go out.
- NUS Card: An NUS card will also help you get a student discount where possible. I don’t have one, but I’ve heard they’re good.
- Shop around: If you want something in particular, take the time to browse websites and look for cheaper alternatives. As most shops follow similar trends, the likelihood is that one top you like has about 5 different variations, so just pick the one that suits your budget
- Be smart: If there’s a white jersey t-shirt by Alexander Wang going for £100 and the exact same t-shirt in Primark, make the right decision. No one will be able to tell the difference. You could probably still tell people that it’s Alexander Wang.
- Keep it simple: Buy items of clothing which are simple and won’t go out of style. If you’re latching onto every trend that hits Topshop on a weekly basis, you’ll only be buying a new wardrobe each season to keep up. Stick to being simple and stylish.
- Get what you’re paying for: Don’t bother with clothes which aren’t good quality. You can feel when you pick up certain materials whether they’re worth the price tag.
- Do I really need this? When I’m out shopping I always have a moment where I think “do I really need this?” If I can’t think of at least 2 or 3 different ways to wear the item in my hand, then I put it down. There is nothing more upsetting than the pile of clothes that have only been worn once which create a pile in the deep dark depths of your wardrobe. In the pictures in this blog post I’ve shown at least 3 ways of wearing my Topshop crop top for 3 different occasions.
- Don’t deprive yourself: finally, never ever ever ever ever deprive yourself from having something that you want. Moderation is key when dealing with a student budget, but don’t be too strict. Shopping and dressing up is meant to be fun. If you feel like you’re going to walk out of that shop and think about the skirt you want for days on end, then buy that skirt! After all, nothing haunts us more than the things we don’t buy.