Skimp on the dry cleaning — "Dry clean sparingly," advises Alexa. "It’s easy to blow $50 on a few blouses and dresses. Sometimes it’s necessary, but many times it’s not." She suggests several tips to lower your dry cleaning bill, which can add up to a whopping $300/year (approximately $25/month). Firstly, dry clean items like wool coats much less frequently — "between wears, use a garment brush to get rid of surface dirt." In addition, instead of cleaning a garment for every drop of wine or cranberry sauce you spill, invest in products like Dryel or Woolite’s Dry Cleaner’s Secret for quick fixes.
Sell, sell, sell — It's better to give than to receive, and it's also better to sell than to have a great item sitting, unworn in your closet. Take inventory of the items you know you'll never wear again (that leather jacket that no longer fits, the amazing designer bag that's just not your style) and cash in those treasures for a little extra cash. Bring your goods to a local consignment shop and find out what kind of items they're looking to buy right now. If you're skilled with a camera, set up your own eBay account to clear some closet space, thanks to the highest bidder.
Patience is a virtue — When a beautiful Marc Jacobs coat beckons us, we sometimes can't resist the urge. But with a little patience, you may be able to have Marc and keep your budget sanity, too. Lyst is a website that allows you to get instant sale notifications on the items that are haunting your dreams. We know it's hard to wait when you're in love, but a simple Lyst update can make the difference between fabulous and fabulously broke.
Learn to DIY — Knock the socks off your friends' feet (or knit them a new pair) with a killer DIY present. There are tons of simple, and some not-so-simple, ideas that can help you make a big impact on a small budget. Stay tuned for more of R29's amazing DIY projects coming up soon, or check out past projects for a little creative inspiration, like our own Cut25 necklace and Missoni-inspired sneaks.
Use 'em or lose 'em — Obviously we love a great deal, but somewhere between scoring one and actually redeeming it, we get a little sidetracked and then suddenly we have an expired coupon we can't use. Luckily, Alexa introduced us to CityPockets, an app for iPhone and Android. "One of the best services the site provides is sending you alerts when a coupon is going to expire," she says. "And if you’re not planning on using the coupon, you can even resell it in their marketplace."
Woolite Dry Cleaners Secret Photo: Via Woolite; Gift Card Photo: Via BFishadow/Flickr; DIY Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh; Lyst Photo: Via Lyst
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