Don’t you just love that feeling of wearing something new? How a different outfit has the potential to change your style, your image and maybe even your life? And so with this lofty goal in mind, you shop. You shop for the new, the current and the unique, always looking out for the next great piece for your wardrobe. But all this shopping can put a strain on your finances. So here are a few tips to help you stay in your budget while still getting something new and fabulous to wear.

Shop your own closet. Go through every piece of clothing you own and find those things you rarely or never wear. Ask yourself why? If something doesn’t quite fit, is too long, too big, too whatever, think about having it altered. There is a tailor or seamstress near you that would love your business. You can have your clothes tailored to fit better and just possibly create something new out of what you already own.

Organize a Swap party. Gather together your friends/family/co-workers and have a clothing swap party. Lay some general ground rules i.e. only things in good shape, bring only twenty or less items and agree to swap with no monies involved. Serve refreshments, put on some music, laugh and have fun and just maybe get something fabulous to wear.

Shop at garage sales. Garage sales are probably the all-time best place to get deals on used clothing. So get out there on a Saturday morning and hopefully around the next corner you’ll make a lucky find.

Support thrift stores. Thrift stores used to be a secret but now they are big business. It has made it a little harder to find amazing deals but it’s still possible to score something cool.

Go online at Ebay. People have gotten savvy to the idea of selling their used clothing online. Ebay is like a worldwide garage sale you don’t have to drive around to find. You can search by brand, style, color and size and you may get lucky and find just what you’re looking for.

Shop the sales racks. Department stores and smaller shops know they are competing with all of the above for your clothing dollars. Sales are pretty much year round events. On any given day you can walk into a clothing store and head straight to the sales racks where the prices are slashed from what they were charging just a few weeks before.

Shopping wisely while staying in your budget is a great exercise in healthy spending and creative living. But always remember, the most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile and those are free.