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25.05.2018

Teen Fashion on a Budget!

Having a child was for me undoubtedly the best thing in the world but every parent out there will agree that, financially, it can put a strain on every day living. In this next series of blogs, I’m going to tackle a few particular issues that comes with the joy of parenthood.

The first on my list is fashion!

My daughter has just turned 16. She’s shooting up like a beanstalk and has now totally outgrown me. She’s 5ft 4 (I’m 5ft 1) with size six feet, compared to my small size three! I can no longer save money by offering her my ‘hand me downs’, unless she wants to use them for her old Barbie dolls…. At the moment I’m trying to keep up with the latest teenage trends and am actually finding out that, thank goodness, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

No matter your teenager’s personal style or taste, there are many ways to help them dress the way that makes them happy. Here are some of my tips for doing so on a budget:

Check out the charity shops for one-off bargains

I encourage my daughter to follow online bloggers that are all about individuality and retro style. Though rather than browsing premium vintage stores, this look can often be achieved by exploring your local charity shop too.

Luckily, many charity shops these days have had a trendy makeover, most with creative windows to inspire outfit choices, and are now extremely cool – it shouldn’t be too difficult convincing your teen to shop there to pick out some low priced finds. This is good news for your wallet and, of course, we are able to give money to amazing causes while our teens are living the retro dream.

I donate to my local charity shop every time I have a clear out and I’m just waiting for the day when my daughter purchases one of my ‘non cool’ outfits without realising it was her mum’s!

There’s an app for that

 If your teen does have a taste for designer clothes, peer-to-peer reselling apps such as eBay and the more recent, Depop, are the perfect way to invest in their favourite labels for less. As well as clothes, sellers upload all sorts of items online such as makeup, accessories and even homeware, making it a great destination to source birthday and Christmas presents too.

As well as signing up to purchase cheaper goodies, your teen can also resell their own unwanted clothing to fund their newfound shopping habit (teaching them a bit about running their own ‘business’ too!)

Get duping

 As children grow older and refine their own style, they’ll also become interested in cosmetics – whether that’s makeup, perfume or hair styling products. While the big-name makes may seem attractive, there are often much cheaper alternatives that are just as good but available for half the price! Again, using the power of online influencers, you can research ‘dupes’ for your child’s favourite brands online to find reviews for products that pass the test.

At this time, encouraging your teen to invest in loyalty cards from certain stores is a great way to get more bang for your buck too. Rather than store cards (which are a very different thing!), these cards simply collect rewards points whenever you spend money there, eventually allowing you to treat yourself to whatever you fancy.

Shop online for pre-loved schoolwear

Trendy, weekend fashion isn’t all that makes up a teenager’s wardrobe so it’s important to consider budgeting for schoolwear too. When you are starting out as a new parent and the apple of your eye is starting school, it is tough. Not just emotionally (heart strings, tears, fears, flying the nest and all that) but financially. New uniform, sportswear, shoes, trainers, school bags and lunches are just some of the outgoings you’ll need to account for.

Don’t try and keep up with, or outdo, anyone else. The most important thing is happiness and not overstretching your budget. Your mini person will unconditionally love you forever.

I went to school wearing a second hand blazer that was my cousin’s before me, with slightly scuffed shoes donated from my neighbour and beautifully polished by my mum!

If you don’t have a helpful neighbor or a large family, there are websites such as Families Online, Gumtree, Preloved and Netmums that put you in touch with other parents to offer second hand uniforms and school necessities.

Reach out to the school

Never, ever be embarrassed to contact the school prior to the starting date or the new term beginning. They always have extra uniforms, books and gym gear from previous pupils. I always hand my daughter’s uniforms to the school when she has outgrown them. Why throw something away when someone else can benefit from them?

Contact your child’s school to see if they have any donated items they can offer you and if not, they may be able to point you in the right direction of other local groups and organisations that do.

As you can see, there’s no need to break the bank when it comes to your teenager’s fashion sense as they grow. There are so many ways to save so you can even afford a treat for yourself too, after a long day of being a parent. You deserve it.

Happy parenting!

Gail

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If you need more information about the options available to you in dealing with your debt, you can always speak confidentially with one of our friendly advisors on 0808 2085 198.