As a fashion blogger, I bet you’ve lost count of the number of times people assume your life consists of glamorous A-list events and free designer clothes. Watching Zoella on Youtube and InTheFrow on Instagram, it’s easy to tell ourselves that fashion blogging is a fast-track ticket to wealth and success. But although the big timers are able to make a living from their blogs, for those just starting out, fashion blogging can be a pretty expensive hobby. If your purse is taking a battering and your bank account has become a desolate wasteland, here are my top money saving tips to keep up with the trends without screwing your finances over.
1. Shop at charity shops & thrift stores
If the last time you visited a charity shop was when your grandma used to drag you around BHF in the nineties, I dare you to start visiting these second hand havens again.
You’ll be amazed just how much high quality stuff you can pick up for the fraction of the price it is new. It’s a sad fact that people are far more likely to donate their old clothes than they are to buy other people’s, and as a result, many charity shops are drowning in high quality donations that they can’t actually get rid of. Not enough people are going through the doors!
Charity shops are particularly useful if you’re looking for wardrobe staples such as jeans, stripey tops, leather jackets and trench coats. These items are often in great condition and have barely been worn. Unconvinced you can get anything nice from charity shops? Here are a few of my favourite charity shop bargains that still hang in my wardrobe. Also have a nosey at @charityshopgold‘s photos on Instagram. Her account is filled with gorgeous second hand items she’s snapped up in the past.
2. Look for timeless classics
If you’re a fashion blogger who likes to showcase the latest trends, your bank balance is likely to suffer. There’s no need to give up new styles completely, but try to balance the latest fashion must-haves with timeless classics. For example, if you’ve fallen for some wacky autumnal prints, team it with timeless classics such as black boots and a simple jacket.
Although it may seem like a good idea to snap wardrobe staples up for as cheap as possible, think about how long these items will actually last. Surely it’s best to get a pair of boots that will last you three years for £70 instead of a pair for £25 that will last you a matter of months?
3. Get an NUS card – even if you’re not a student
If you spend a lot of money on clothes, it’s worth having an NUS extra card. And the good news is, you can get an NUS card even if you’re not a student. All you have to do is purchase an online course for as little as £10 from e-Careers and cite that course when purchasing your NUS card. Take a look at this guide to find out more.
4. Buy discounted gift cards & use them to pay for your shopping
Next time you spot an item of clothing you want to buy, have a look on Zeek first to see if you can save money. Basically, Zeek is an online marketplace that lets people buy and sell unwanted gift cards at a discount. After purchasing a gift card from Zeek for less than its actual value, you can then use this gift card to pay for your shopping. Most stores will also let you use student discount cards and vouchers alongside your gift card, meaning you can save even more money on that must-have handbag or pair of shoes.
If you add the promo code 2LINA2YS to your account before making your first purchase, you’ll get an additional £5 off that gift card! Get your free £5 here.
Here are a few stores you can often find gift cards for on Zeek:
- New Look
- Ted Baker
- Miss Selfridge
- All Saints
- Urban Outfitters
There are also gift cards for department stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser, Harrods and Selfridges, meaning you could get a discount on a much wider range of brands.
5. Swap clothes with your friends & other bloggers
If your wardrobe is overflowing with items you know you’ll never wear again, why not organise a clothes swapping party with your friends and other bloggers?
Alternatively, attend an official ‘Swishing’ event in your city. Simply take a bag of clothes you don’t want and use the vouchers you’re given to purchase other people’s unwanted clothes for free. Learn more about Swishing here.
6. Sell your old clothes
Alternatively, boost your bank balance by selling your old clothes. eBay, Depop and BuyMyWardrobe are great if you have time to photograph and promote your items online, while a car boot sale may be best if you’re looking to sell a large quantity of items in a short space of time.
Take a look at my guide to making money by selling your old clothes.
7. Approach brands yourself – don’t wait for them to contact you
Don’t be afraid to ask companies for blogger discounts and items to review. The idea of actively approaching brands and asking for ‘free stuff’ might sound cheeky, but if you adopt this approach, the stuff you receive won’t be free at all. You’re working for what they send you. They’re getting something back and your time and influence could lead to countless sales for them.
But before you tweet a vague #PRrequest asking brands to get in touch if they’re looking for a blogger to review their stuff, ask yourself what kinda message this approach conveys.
To be completely honest with you, I think this ‘pick me’ attitude just comes across as a little desperate. And I bet nine times out of ten you’ll only hear from companies with irrelevant or low quality products and small budgets. Do you really want to spend hours photographing and reviewing the same measly perfume sample that 30 other bloggers have also tried this week? No. You deserve more. You deserve brands that actively want to work with you and properly compensate you for time.
Instead of sending out vague tweets begging for freebies, contact the brands you want to work with directly. Track down the Digital Marketing Executive or PR and Outreach Manager for the company in question and send them an email introducing yourself. Be sure to emphasise the value you can bring and send them links to the most relevant content you’ve created so far.
8. Abandon your basket
Next time you want to buy something online, log into your account and add the item to your basket as usual but before typing in your card details and completing the transaction, close the tab and step away from your computer. ‘Wait? But what about my trainers?’ I hear you say. Patience, chiiild. Patience. Because you abandoned your shopping trolley without buying the very thing you showed an interest in, chances are the company in question will offer you a discount. This discount might soon appear in the form of an ad on your screen or you might receive a voucher in an email. Some websites will magically have reduced the price next time you check your basket.
Do you have any other money saving tips for fashion bloggers? Give me a shout in the comments below or send me a tweet to @CantSwingACat.