Ballin’ (and Bloggin’) on a Budget

I’m relatively new to the blogophere, but I am quickly seeing how trying to run a fashion or lifestyle blog, especially before you get brands sponsoring you, can completely blow your budget. I may be a Baby Blogger, but I am a fully minted Adult(TM) and as I’ve begun to navigate the fashion instagram space, I wanted to make note of some tips so you don’t feel like you have to sacrifice milk and bread to keep up with the Joneses. 

Make a Budget

The first thing you want to do regardless of whether you’re blogging or just existing in capitalism is make a budget. When I realized I needed one, I made a spreadsheet of all of my bills and how much they typically are each month. Then I added everything up and subtracted that from my take home pay. This is the money you have control over. If you see that number a freak out that it’s not enough, that’s when you gotta make some changes to your month to month. Either pay less for bills or make more money. You can call your phone or internet provider and ask if there’s any promotions you qualify for (ask for the retention department!). For more money, you could drive for Uber, walk dogs on Rover, or deliver for Postmates. Nothing says your second income stream needs to be a traditional job. 

One trick I’ve adopted to keep me on track is to have 2 checking accounts. As soon as I am paid, I transfer half of my bill money for the month into the bill checking account and have my bills set you autopay. This way I don’t miss payments (no late fees!) and I don’t overdraft my account. 

With the left over money after rent, utilities, car payments, etc take a look at how much you spend on entertainment, groceries, and other variable expenses. If blogging is something important to you, you can set aside a set amount each month to invest in it, whether its buying your domain name, shopping for decor or clothes, or paying for editing licenses. Make sure you’re staying within your budget so you don’t overspend and can’t pay for necessities. Can’t blog if the lights are off. 

Shop Sales

To constantly be creating new content for instagram, sometimes you are going to have to buy new stuff. The best way to do this is to strategically shop. Research the stores you frequent to determine what their absolute best sales are, and when they typically occur. For example, Torrid has surprise sales for 40-50% off regularly, so you can get in-season merchandise for half off. Eloquii is my go-to splurge, but they often have sales where you can get tops for $29, and dresses for $49. Sign up for emails and join Facebook groups (like Fattoo Blue Light Special) that share when the best deals are or available promo codes.

Shop Pre-loved Items

I love Poshmark, not just for cleaning out my closet, but also for getting a great deal. You can find new or gently used clothes for a fraction of the original price! It’s also a great way to free up a little of your monthly budget. Just this week, I have made $75 from items taking up space in my closet. That $75 is going STRAIGHT to my credit card payment, but if you are blessed enough to be debt free, thats another $75 to invest in yourself!

One of my favorite instagrammers, @sarazork, is the QUEEN of Thrifting. You can find extremely cute stuff second hand, and it typically goes to a great cause.

Recycle, Repurpose, Restyle

Some of the best content I see on instagram is how to style a staple piece multiple ways. Don’t let a limited closest deter you, this is where you can SHINE! Get those creative juices flowing and add a jacket or tights to a dress to transition it to a new season. Tuck a dress into a skirt or pants and all of a sudden, you have a new shirt.

You can also learn to sew from Youtube tutorials to add fringe, beads or patches to simple items to jazz them up. A yard of fringe from Michael’s is way cheaper than a new jacket.

Don’t Get Too Attached

After an item has served it’s purpose for you and is sitting dormant in your closet, sell it. It allows you to recoup some of the cost and lets you rotate more things into your closet and feed. I use Poshmark, but Depop, Mercari, and Thread Up are all great options fro buying and selling. This is something I still struggle with, but as I’ve confronted my clothing budget, I know this is something I have to do! (Also I am out of hangers.)

Try-Ons

My last tip is one I am still working on being more comfortable doing: the try-on video. It doesn’t cost anything but gas to go to the store and film a try on video in the fitting room. I find these super helpful as a shopper because you get to see how different clothing fits your body in a non-posed way. I know damn well that I try to get my good angles in my photos (and my boyfriend is trained to find them) but there’s something very real about being in the fitting room with someone and seeing the good and the bad. I will note, that the reason I feel uncomfortable is the work it causes for the fitting room attendants, so if you do them, hang your clothes back up and bring them to the designated go back rack, or put them back yourself!

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to blog on a budget! If I missed something you do, let me know!

 

XOXO

Chelsea

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