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7 Tips for Looking Good on a Budget

Author: Financial Success | Image: Financial Success

Your physical appearance is usually the first thing people notice about you. As a college student, when you’re starting to interview for internships and full time jobs, a great first impression goes a long ways. A lot of experts say looking good on the outside starts from the inside. Remember to drink enough water, eat a balanced diet, and get active for at least 30 minutes a day. Multivitamins are also a good way to make sure you are getting the extra nutrition you need for staying healthy. 


The first step to looking good on a budget is pretty straightforward -create a budget. Start by looking at your income versus expenses and needs versus wants. Once you have all your expenses and needs paid for, the left over money can help you splurge on the wants. In some months, your expenses will cost more and that means less money to splurge on and you may have to forgo that trip to the salon. However, when you do have left over money, use the tips below to get the most out of your budget.



1. Buy the basics. If you have a collection of basic pieces, like a plain colored shirts, you can wear them with virtually any colored or patterned bottoms. Or you can buy plain colored bottoms and go for fun tops. Basics are necessary in changing up your outfits so you don’t feel like you are constantly wearing the same thing all the time.

2. If you need a specific piece of clothing for a special event or for a job interview, start by looking at reasonably priced department stores (Dillard’s, J.C. Penney’s, Marshalls, and T.J. MAXX.) These stores get name brand clothing items for less which is a good way to get high quality pieces without paying the price.

3. Finally, thrifting is a great way to save money. It can be kind of frustrating to have to dig around racks of clothes that have no order, but it feels like hitting the jack pot when you find something cute for way less.



1. Join reward programs at places you shop frequently for makeup or skincare. Reward programs are free to sign up for and give great benefits. Places from Sephora to CVS all have reward programs that give points that can be redeemed as a discount on later purchases. Also if you join reward programs they tend to send coupons in the mail or via email. Combining the points and coupons can lead to great savings.

2. Only buy what you need. Facemasks that have glitter in them may be screaming “buy me,” but it isn’t need on a daily basis. Splurging every once in a while is fun, but they make as great gifts for holiday or birthday presents.

3. Finally, shop around. Places like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have started carrying makeup and skincare in their stores. Their stores may be hit or miss when it comes to finding what you need, but if you find what you are looking for you will save a lot of money. Ulta and Sephora are known for their variety of beauty products, but they can be pricey. Make sure you buy when they have a sale or if when you have redeemable rewards points.


Written by: Lillie Perry, Peer Mentor