Budget Shopping Strategy (Part II)

The Planning Phase

But first, you need to figure out what your budget is. This is actually the most important part of the whole process. It’s also where I see many ladies make a huge mistake and go into debt. If you don’t know what your budget is, you will overspend and on the wrong items.

Your budget can be either a lump sum or an amount you spend monthly. The important thing is that it doesn’t cut into your essential expenses or savings. Being in debt is not elegant, no matter how well you dress.

Step 1 – Create A Budget Wardrobe Pie Chart

This step might sound boring, but trust me when I tell you that it will be a light bulb moment…

…your clothes need to be appropriate to the function and occasion you wear them for. So in order to plan your wardrobe in an intelligent way, you have to figure out how you spend your time. For example:

  • Do you work full time?
  • How do you spend most of your free time?
  • Do you exercise often?
  • Are you a big traveler?

Basically, I want you to think of your time like a pie chart then divide that pie chart into chunks. The biggest chunk is what you spend most of your time doing and also what you need more clothes for.

Now you can divide your budget up accordingly. If you spend 60% of your time at the office, then around 60% of your budget should go towards work clothes.

Step 2 – Curate A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe consists of a few essentials that you can wear for multiple seasons and that can work for different occasions. That means sticking to more classic pieces that can be easily coordinated together or worn interchangeably. You’ll choose a limited color palette, such as black, white, navy, and a range of neutrals that you can easily mix and match. Then add a pop of color or some accessories as an accent.

When shopping for a capsule wardrobe, ask yourself:

  • Will investing in this piece offer long-term value?
  • Is this something I can wear no matter the trend?
  • Does this piece go with most of my other garments?
  • Can this piece work in more than one area of my wardrobe pie chart?

A “yes” to these questions saves you the trouble of having to update your wardrobe every season or every time the trend changes. Instead of running to Zara each winter to get five new sweaters, you invest in a high quality cashmere cardigan from The Outnet that you can use for many years to come. Also, capsule items can work for different occasions. For example, an all-purpose luxury handbag will take you from day to night and allow you to allocate more money to other items.

This mentality is actually part of the values that Old Money families hold because it helps keep their generational wealth intact. So why not you, too? Plus, now you can look rich while you mingle with them.

By the way, if you want a cheat sheet on where to meet the affluent and powerful, I got you. And make sure you read the next post of my Budget Shopping Strategy series for the most fun part: the shopping!


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Anna Bey is an educator in the elegant feminine empowerment space and the founder of an online finishing school for women. She can confidently call herself a pioneer in this genre because she was the first to be sharing content in this niche since 2012.

Anna Bey is an expert on Modern Elegance™, upscale transformations, and leveling up, with over 150 million channel views. Since 2012, she has taught women how to develop a more refined personal presence and lifestyle inside the Anna Bey Academy, where she hosts her various classes and courses. Her publication features include The Times UK, Newsweek, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more.

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