Budgeting for Your Style

Budgeting for Your Style 17th June 2019Leave a comment

by Jennifer Van Dijk


Have you ever felt that you couldn’t go to a networking event without buying a new outfit, so you ended up not going?  Or have you ever found yourself thinking it’s easier to buy new jeans than go to that yoga class that’s on your calendar?

Have you ever felt, “I work hard and I deserve something new”?

Yup. Me, too!

Budgeting for your style requires you to recognize the triggers that make you want to shop

I had the pleasure of having Allison as my Personal Style Coach during her Style Suites course. As part of this course, I challenged myself to stop purchasing clothes for the six-month duration of the course.

As a result of my spending freeze, I realized that there were two specific triggers that made me want to shop:

“I have worked so hard, I deserve this.”
At the time, I really hated my job and was a stressed out mama of two young children. I was rewarding myself for the hustle when what I actually wanted was more ease. It was also ‘easier’ for me to buy a new pair of jeans than to get myself to a yoga class which would actually bring me more physical and mental ease.

“I am going to meet new people, so I need a new outfit.”
Yes, first impressions matter. Allison’s class reinforces that. And she will make you into a rock star of first impressions — to the point that choosing an outfit from your wardrobe will become second nature.

Making a great first impression does not mean having to to buy a new outfit.

Allison’s class demystified the myth I had that a first impression meant a new outfit. Besides, I knew I was making the wrong style choices. Buying a new outfit before finishing Allison’s class was just going to bring another wrong outfit into my closet. The deeper work, though, was addressing that buying a new outfit was a distraction from the discomfort I felt with networking. Once I realized this, I could take steps on finding networking opportunities that were more my style.

Together, we’re going to walk through how to shift your FOMO mindset so you can fully embrace a feeling of abundance in your life and invest wisely in the power of your own personal style.

I stopped buying clothes for six months so I could put that money towards a new wardrobe at the end of my style course with Alison. Had I thought of it, I would have started budgeting and stopped buying clothes earlier so that I could pay for the entire style course in one go.

How do you figure out how much you are currently spending on clothes? Most banks and credit cards have the functionality (via an apps or in your online account) that allow you to categorize your spending. Each time you buy something at your favorite retailer, it classifies it as “Clothing”. American Express, for instance, provides you with a pie chart as part of your monthly statement to indicate how you are spending your money. A great tool to keep your budget on track!

FOMO Detox Tips


Tip #1: Unsubscribe. Unfollow.
Unsubscribe from the retailers that send you emails. Unfollow the retailers on social media. Just do it once. If you can’t bring yourself to do that then mark the emails as spam and choose to hide the retailers from view.

That way, the emails and posts are there for you in the future if you want to, for instance, buy something during Allison’s class and are looking for a coupon.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the biggest mind shift for me was to unhook from the retail culture – FOMO – the fear of missing out. I like to think of it as the fear that makes you look out(ward) for what is missing inside.

In the course, I learned how to build a wardrobe and a personal brand where I was in control. It is not about chasing every trend and every sale and trying to wear what the most popular celebrities are wearing.

Tip #2: Stop (Virtual) Window Shopping
Stop using a website’s shopping cart. Oh, I know this tactic well. I get a coupon from my favorite store, go online to their website and put what I want to buy into the shopping cart. I apply the coupon to see how much I would be saving. Then I abandon the cart. First of all, at best, you’ve spent 30-90 minutes on the Shopping Cart Game. Secondly, you may feel like you are doing this from the privacy of your own home, but your favorite store is watching. The technology is there nowadays so that your favorite retailer will send you what is called “Abandon Cart” follow up emails to entice you to buy. Stop that cycle.

Pinterest Parking Lot
Instead, if you are tempted to do some virtual window shopping, save your wishes to a Pinterest Board. I call mine “My Waiting Room”. What if the item is gone in six months? No problem. Pinterest has a section below each pin called “More Like This” that will help you find a replacement.

What is more likely to happen is that the results will lead you to a different buying decision. I say this from experience. Because, yes, I did cheat while I was in the course and bought a top for an event that was on sale and I was sure would fit into my future style (old habits die hard). I wore it once; realized later that the pattern was too small for my features; and then ended up giving it to an intern in my company so she could wear it to the office.

You can apply these tips for saving for other large ticket items – a vacation, new computer, new car. It is all about building awareness of the stories and messaging that are getting you off track. Flip the narrative. Change your focus and your internal stories so you can reach your personal financial goals. And then you can successfully implement easy tools and calculations.

Learn more about budgeting and reaching your financial well-being

If you want to learn more about this type of values and money story-driven approach to reaching financial well being, I lead workshops in person and online. You can go to my website, www.jennifervandijk.com. I have three events coming up in Amsterdam in June and July. I will also be launching online versions two courses – “First Money Memory” and “Plan Your Ideal Year”. You can go to my website and join the waiting list to get informed of when those courses become available.

About Jennifer van Dijk

Jennifer Van Dijk - budgeting
Photo by Cristina Stoian

For me, financial planning begins with your first money memory because what keeps you from your financial goals isn’t a spreadsheet or a good budgeting, but your emotions, values, and memories of money.

This is true for all women, including me.

I’m a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Financial Manager. I worked for 15+ years in corporate environments. And now I am the CEO of my own company because I want to build my life around my goals and dreams.


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