A “Starving Student’s” Guide to: Ballin’ on a Budget

I started these “starving student” guides to help college girls out with routines, tips, tricks, and how-to’s. My first post of the series was on transferring, why I chose the title, and a little bit of my college experience, but decided now it’s time to get into it.

I personally believe that so much more goes into feeling great than looks, but that’s a big part of it for me. One day, I’ll add a mental checklist to this, but for now, read my post on confidence for a start. This post explores physical tricks and tips to feeling your best with minimal effort and ways to save time and money. College can be hard and, if you’re like me, nothing makes me feel better than retail therapy. Unfortunately, I don’t have a black card (yet), so here are some things I do to make myself feel a little more put together and sites I use to save some money on.

Everyday Tips:

+ Pair basics with a statement piece– In my opinion, the best clothes to bring to college are neutral basics that you can dress up or down. I am a firm believer in pairing designer pieces with inexpensive basics. Yes; obviously we love the Gucci purse you’ll have until you’re 90, but the $10 white dress you wear with it? Perfect for the next six months. My go-to stores for inexpensive basics are Zara, H&M, and Target. Having a few hoodies, dresses, tees, leggings, sweatshirts, pants, shirts, etc. on deck is a must. If you have a closet full of transitional basic pieces, it takes up less space and if you do it right, you’ll always look put together. With that being said, leave room for prints and fun pieces, just don’t fill your closet with wear-once items. Instead, keep a few and work them into your wardrobe.

+ Haircare– Contrary to popular belief, I have super curly crazy hair that has a mind of its own. I’d probably wear it curly most days if I could, but it’s virtually impossible. I try to blow dry (with this round brush) or at least straighten my hair after I wash it and found it to be another way to be low-key look put together. Doing it after a shower saves me a ton of time and I typically touch it up with my straightener in the morning. 

+ Keep your space clean– Keeping your dorm or apartment clean is another way to feel and look put together. If you’re living in a cluttered space, you’re not going to feel your best. This tip requires no money and is something everyone should practice… this includes making your bed. Nothing is worse than looking at someone’s mirror selfie and seeing what a disaster their room is!

+ Lashes– This one sounds weird, but hear me out. I’m not the biggest fan of everyday makeup and wish I had perfect skin so I never had to wear face makeup ever again. I started using GrandeLash about a year ago and it is something I’d bring with me to a deserted island. I apply this most nights and curl my lashes before bed. When I wake up, my lashes look amazing and, again, just need to be touched up in the morning. Even though it can be a little pricey, GrandeLash has made my lashes super long and worth every penny.

For Buying Clothes:

+ Poshmark– I love selling on Poshmark but have recently become obsessed with buying from there too. In a personal effort to make more sustainable purchases and save money, I’ve found that Poshmark is perfect for that. I’ve purchased some designer items, replacements for broken things, and different colors of pieces I love but are no longer in stores. Being able to ask questions and send offers on items is what makes me prefer Poshmark over other resale sites. 

+ The Real Real– Another great place to buy secondhand designer items is The Real Real. What I love about buying from them is the guarantee that the items are authentic and looked after. The consultants are generally pretty helpful and willing to hunt things down for you if you’re looking for something specific.

+ Basics– Already touched on this, but my favorite places for inexpensive basics are Zara, H&M, and Target. Most of my clothes are from small businesses in Southern California that have reasonable prices and tons of cute stuff. Some of my favorite Instagram handles to shop are @shopellea, @shopvandevort, @clyquethelabel, @sirena.santabarbara, @swirlboutique, @elison_rd, and a ton of others.

Hopefully, I can build on this more in the future but hope this is a good start.


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