Photo: Adobe Stock
Photo: Adobe Stock
Breaking the bank for that new pair of sneakers is a very real student struggle. Campus often looks like it is hosting SA Fashion Week, with a few exceptions here and there (we all know those students who opt for baggy pants and slops), and that can be tough. You do not want to be the uncool one in class, wearing last winter’s styles.
So how do you do it? Do you eat less and never go out, just so you can buy the latest runway favourites? And if you bought it, where would you wear it to, if you have no money to go out? This is the story of almost every student, and that is why you NEED these tips…
Firstly, keeping up with trends is easy. Every Hollywood A-lister and influencer will be quick to show off their latest closet additions.
The real challenge is where do you find these items, hopefully for a fraction of whatever the rich and famous is paying?
My first go-to is online. Not just online shopping, but really the good ol’ “surfing the internet”, going through every store’s online catalogue, and comparing prices.
It is especially useful during these lockdown times, where strolling around in the mall just for the sake of window shopping, is classified as somewhat illegal.
Most online stores have wish-lists, make sure to keep those wishes updated for quick access.
While online “window shopping”, make use of filters. It can be daunting to have to go through thousands of catalogues.
Use filters to set the maximum price you are willing to pay, the colour you are looking for, and even the style of the boot, shirt or dress you want.
Okay, now that you know where to go to find the latest and hottest items in store or online, the issue is really what you are paying for it.
Okay, we all want the coat that costs R3 000 and the boots that cost more than R1 000, at the very least. The No 1 tip when it comes to managing your student budget is to make peace with the fact that you are not in a season of your life where you can afford, or where you really need clothes that will surely break your bank.
Tell yourself that one day you will graduate, earn a lot more money and then you can strut your fancies at the office or those classy after-work drinks. Buying cheaper does not mean you have to compromise on quality though.
The best thing you can do is allocate certain amounts in your budget to certain pieces of clothing you need. Most students cannot just walk into any store and buy whatever they like. If you need new knitwear and perhaps a scarf, decide what you are willing to pay and stick to it. There is no way that you will not find what you are looking for in your spending range.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you really do not have to buy everything you need or want in one month. Plan and buy a few things each month. Make use of the end-of-season sales and buy those statement pieces for less. If you really want to go for the more expensive option, save some money in advance so when the season arrives, you can afford that item you have been dreaming of.
We are spoiled for choice in SA with many different stores that cater for all kinds of budgets. I have personally bought jeans that were not the most expensive, and I have had them for years. It is all about where and how you are looking for those bargain buys. Considering thrift markets have even become a trend and is very popular.
Another quick-and-easy ‘recipe’ to getting the best buys?
Subscribe to newsletters of brands and stores that you like; they very often send coupons or discount codes to their subscribers. The same goes for push notifications, especially for online stores. If there is a sale, you will be the first to know!
Shopping should not have to drain your savings, especially not when you are a student.
Be on a constant lookout for the best deals in store so you don’t miss anything, find the perfect balance between cost and quality and finally, remember that no one can see the label inside your clothes, so don’t sweat it!