Welcome to our Spend Wisely segment— a Boss Lady’s guide to smart spending. With these easy-to-follow budgeting tips, you’ll learn how to save money on clothes without sacrificing on style.
Meet Budgeting Boss Lady, Tori Dunlap
I’m Tori Dunlap, a nationally-recognized millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, I quit my corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money.
I’ve helped over 50,000 women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest. A Plutus award winner, my work has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, and more.
Her First $100K— A Boss Lady’s Go-To for Budgeting Tips
Having a great financial education from my parents — which included starting my first business when I was 9 — I thought everyone knew how to save, invest, and negotiate. It wasn’t until after college I realized most women are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to their money and career knowledge.
I watched female friends get paid less than their worth. I read stories online about women being denied career opportunities because they were seen as “less.” I had sexist, negative comments said to me at work by male colleagues. So I knew that I had to fight back.
When I started my business, Her First $100K, I had no idea the impact that it would have on other women’s lives. I was able to grow my business organically using my skills as a Marketing and Content Manager — never paying a dime for advertising.
Followers would constantly DM/e-mail me for advice on how to save their money, what tools I used, and how I was able to negotiate successfully during job interviews. Soon I began making templates, offering live online workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and even being asked to speak around the world.
How to Save Money on Clothes with Clothing Rental
Clothing rental can be a HUGE money saver while also allowing you to Marie Kondo your closet. I enjoy shopping, but I’ve always hated how much it costs. Now thanks to my Armoire membership, I can wear all my favorite styles without purchasing a thing. I use Armoire because it’s an affordable way to keep my closet looking fresh without breaking my bank account (and because I love supporting women-owned businesses)!
A Peek Inside Tori’s Closet
One of the things I tell my clients is that budgeting doesn’t have to be deprivation. Figure out your financial priorities and then go from there. Only spend money on things you give a shit about — whether that’s coffee, makeup, or Armoire!
Does renting clothes save you money? Click here to find out!
The ‘Three Budget Bucket’ Method
I created a method called The Three Bucket Budget that simplifies your spending habits and lets you save for emergencies and future you (aka retirement).
Bucket 1: Expenses
This type of spending is everything you need to eat, sleep, breathe, move, and live. Everything that is absolutely necessary to your life that you could not cut in case of a job loss: rent/mortgage, insurance, groceries, loan payments, etc. And yes, credit card payments belong in this category too.
Bucket 2: Goals
Goals like filling up your emergency savings, debt pay-off, saving and investing for retirement, “big life stuff” like saving for a down payment, etc. I recommend having at least 3-6 months of your living expenses (bucket one) stowed away in a high yield savings account.
If your employer offers a retirement plan it would be wise to opt in a contribution per paycheck. This puts your money on autopilot because the payroll department does it for you. If you don’t have a retirement plan at work, there are still plenty of options to open up traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Roth IRA’s.
For other goals — such as debt pay-off and an emergency fund — set up an automatic transfer month from your checking account to a savings account so you don’t accidentally spend that money. Keeping your money in a high yield savings account also means that your money is working for you, not that other way around. (You’ll earn 20 times the amount of money you’re currently earning.)
Bucket 3: The Fun Stuff
The last bucket is for fun spending. Remember how I said that spending doesn’t mean deprivation? There are certain things in life that bring us true joy and happiness— like my Armoire membership. It’s fun lookin’ like the Boss Lady that I am without blowing my budget on my wardrobe. As long as I’m automating money into my other two buckets, I feel guilt-free spending on these last few items.
A good strategy to make sure you’re meeting all these goals is to automate your savings. This means making contributions to your retirement each pay period, monthly transfers into a high yield savings account for emergencies, and understanding your approximate monthly living costs. Automating savings means one less item you need to think about.
Creating a personal budgeting method that works for you doesn’t have to be complicated. Using simple budgeting tips, like the Three Bucket Budget, gives you freedom without the anxiety of being tied to a spreadsheet. And remember, your budget numbers and spending abilities will change along with your income. Where you are today, doesn’t mean you’ll be there always.