If you do not want to debt to buy your summer wardrobe, how are you going to look fabulous? Where will the bathing suit come from if last year’s is a mess? Where are the shorts you need, the t-shirts, the halter dresses? Lots of stores have them, and the prices are reasonable, unless you are trying to get your money in order and have NO clothes funds.

Don’t gag when I say this, but your best friend this summer will be thrift stores. From Value Village, the more expensive store, to the Salvation Army, there will be clothes that fit you, and hardly worn at all if you shop carefully.  Does  this give you the willies? Other people’s clothes on adorable you?  Well, it’s just for this year.  Once you get into the swing of saving it forward, you won’t be doing this again. In fact, you’ll be donating to those stores to return the favour.

Where do you get the funds for fun summer outfits when your budget is tight? You take a plain white letter envelope, and for each check that comes into the house, you take a set amount of money from it or a set percent and put it, in cash,  into that envelope.  It might be 50 cents or $25, or 2%, but it will start to add up. 

While you are saving, make a list of the clothes you need and want.  Do not forget about the clothes you want. For example, if you have a special event coming up this summer, make sure you consider the whole outfit. The list is a promise to yourself, and a boundary around your spending.  

When you have saved a reasonable amount, by  your definition, bring your cash envelope with you, and your list, but before you go into the thrift store, say this prayer: God, please guide and protect me as I shop in this store.

Now you are ready to enjoy yourself.

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