The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM member Toni Patton.
One of the first things people assume when you become a mom is “Oh, there goes her style.” After all we are chasing kids, cleaning up messes, cooking dinner and some working outside the home. Sure, it would be an easy thing to throw on a pair of running shorts, tank top and tennis shoes everyday and go about all of our daily tasks. Not to mention when you have little mouths to feed and are putting their needs first it’s easy to fall into the “I can just wear this until it falls apart, at least it’s comfy” mode.
I like being comfortable just as much as the next mom and some days it’s just easier to put on that pair of old shoes and shorts. However, when I became a mom I didn’t turn in my fashion card, I still like to look cute because it makes me feel good. I have three kids who need their own clothes because they are growing faster than I can keep up with, so finding fashion on a budget is a must for this mom.
I can hear the thought in your head now “Fashion and Budget – there is no such a combination.” I am here to tell you there is! My family went through a hard time several months ago where my husband lost his job and when he found a new one it came at a salary much less than he was making so we must make our dollars stretch. I wanted to buy the capris, shirts, sandals, dresses and all the other fun fashions but with our tight budget and three kids to shop for, I had to make sure I was finding the best deal. So I want to share with you some tips on fashion and stretching that dollar when you are shopping:
● Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to stop shopping in the junior department. I know too many moms who think “Oh I have to go to the misses now.” NOT TRUE. Sometimes the juniors departments have some of the cutest and length appropriate sun-dresses.
● Dress your age, just because you can shop in the junior department at 31 years old (or older) doesn’t mean you should wear anything they have. Heck, I don’t even think teens should wear everything they have!
● Know your body type! I could wear the skin tight leather pants they have hanging on that rack but my muffin top would give away that was not made for this momma.
● Don’t be afraid of the numbers (sizes). I can’t tell you how often I have freaked out thinking, “I am going to have to go up a size” and almost went into hysterics. Numbers are numbers and in today’s fashion world they really don’t mean anything. I could take anywhere from a size 1-5 in the dressing room with me. The 5 could make me look like a stuffed sausage and the 1 fit perfectly. Or vice versa. I think the fashion people are playing a twisted joke on us.
Now let’s talk a little about how you can get more for your dollar! This is my favorite part. I love saving money or rather getting more for my money. For this section, you will want to have your momAgenda or myAgenda planner ready.
Stretching That Dollar:
● When you already know you have to get something that isn’t going to go on a big sale shop when they have the “Spend x amount and get x amount of store bucks” sale. However, be careful when doing this and don’t go spend that amount just to get the store bucks. Be careful with this and make sure you look into their policy on reusing the bucks because some are only offered on certain days and then when you want to use your store bucks you still have to spend a certain amount to use them.
● Shop the sales! Think Memorial Day, President’s Day, Back to School, Black Friday (I know some of you are cringing at that)….you get my drift. These “holiday” sales are the ones where more often than not you can find that thing you have been eyeing for less.
● Shop after season for next year. So when they start bringing in the winter stuff in a couple months and start marking all the spring/summer fashions down that is a great time to buy for next year. I try to pick up a few items during this time because it’s definitely a money saver. Don’t worry, while fashion is always changing buying stuff this season doesn’t mean next year it will be frowned upon.
● Watch store circulars and note the dates of sales they have coming up. That dress you have been eyeing may be marked 50-75% off.
● Check online! This is a big thing because sometimes you can find that item you loved in store online for less, even on the store’s site. I have no idea why companies do this but I have been glad for the times I have caught this. I would much rather spend $9.99 than $24.99 if I have the choice.
With all ways to save money you will want to keep track of the dates the sales are going on and that is where the momAgenda or myAgenda comes into play. You don’t want to forget to use those store bucks so mark the dates in your planner. You want to hit that sale for those shoes you have been eyeing, so mark the date.
Being a mom doesn’t mean our fashion sense has to go away or that we have to sacrifice our fashion because we have to buy our children’s fashion needs first. It just means we have to do what we always do as a mom and be super awesome. We can do both, multi-tasking, it’s what we were made for. You deserve to be the fashionista that is crying out. So go on all you moms out there, take back the fashion for yourself and save a dollar or a few while doing it.