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Balling on a Budget: A Broke Girl’s Guide to Thrift Store Shopping

College is a unique time where you’re finally living on your own—a freedom that you’ve never experienced before. Unfortunately, with freedom comes a budget. Often times, students don’t realize how hard it is to live on a budget until it’s too late and you only have a few cents left in your bank account.

For you ladies that love to shop till you drop, don’t panic! Having good style isn’t synonymous with being expensive. Here are five tips on thrift store shopping to develop or transform your style on a budget, making you look as good as you feel.


#1: T-shirts! T-shirts! T-shirts!

Some of my favorite clothing items I have purchased from a thrift store have been T-shirts. They are cheap, whimsical, and can add a fun twist to an outfit.


#2: Look for new pieces to transform a simple wardrobe

Thrift stores are an insane place to find just about anything you can think of.  Fur coats, vintage dresses, cozy crazy pattern sweaters! Do not let Urban Outfitters trick you into paying full price to look shabby chic.


#3: Do not get caught up with labels

Thrift stores can and often do carry name brand designers, but do not allow yourself to become burdened by something not being a brand you know. Clean, functional, and fun clothes need not have a fancy designer to back them.


#4: Be open minded

Be willing to look in EVERY SINGLE AISLE. Thrift stores tend to be priced based on the location of the clothing item, and so you might come across an amazing and soft sweater in the men’s aisle. Or a brightly patterned mini dress that happens to have been lumped into the children’s sections.


Open yourself up to old clothes by giving them a new home. Do not fear the journey ahead of you, because it is oh so worth it. So, suit up, remember your debit card and remember to walk with your head held high as you move past the ladies in True Grits or Lily Pulitzer dresses in Furman Hall, and proudly boast your six-dollar jacket that they all compliment you on.  

Happy Thrifting!

Olivia Glad

Furman '21

Olivia Glad is a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies, a writer for HerCampus, a peer leader and mentor, as well as a Resident Assistant. She is an avid supporter of women, social justice, and self-reflection and has written numerous papers and engaged in passion projects about these topics. She loves the color pink and a nice iced coffee after a long day of classes. She hopes to become a college professor or program director to enlighten young minds, but ultimately to become a mentor and friend to all.
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