How to Find Joy in the Little Things (aka Living Large on a Shoestring Budget)

Since departing from my role with The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center in August, I’ve been on the job hunt for 2 months. Which, as I am sure many can relate to the process of submitting resumes into the online black hole– it can be frustrating, emotionally exhausting, and financially straining. What if you’re a stylish gal that loves to have a full shopping cart during your Target excursions? Not to fear! You can keep your spirits up and fashion forward during less-than-ideal times without having to master the art of extreme couponing. Here’s 5 ways you can live large for less:

1. As mentioned in “My Favorite Things: Author’s Edition” it’s all about the small things. One way to brighten your day is with a pair of fun socks. I mean really bright, bold, and fun socks. A wardrobe piece that you often can find while on your shopping excursions at Target for under a DOLLAR! Put those zebra-print socks in the cart and let’s move on!

Found these beauties for just .45 cents!

Found these beauties for just .45 cents!

2. Get Connected: Remember that friend you had in college you haven’t connected with in awhile? Reach out to him/her on Facebook, tag them in a #tbt photo (throwback Thursday), give them a call… something to bring them back into your circle. It’s amazing how good you’ll feel after getting back in touch- instead of posting tweets of your lunch or LinkedIn statuses out to the world- make a meaningful connection with someone who supports you and supply a good laugh. Oh, and it’s free!

3. Dining in is the New Going Out: Design Within Reach, a modern interior design studio just launched an ingenious Polyvore campaign “Dining in is the New Going Out“. Which is true, one of this fall’s biggest trends is getting reservations at your own dinner table. Why not invite some friends over and have a cozy dinner? It’s more economical and if everyone brings their favorite dish, it adds spontaneity to your meal. No chance of a rude wait staff, circling for 20 minutes for parking (unless you happen to be meeting friends in San Francisco), or the possibility of having to out a loan to pay your drink tab!

red Wine, old taste
4. Greener (and Cheaper!) Shopping : You know that voice- it tells you those fall ankle boots are so trendy right now, you just need 20 minutes of freedom among racks of retail, or even just a browse in the Dollar Spot at Target. Since my budget doesn’t allow for much more than eggs, milk, and cheese I have to find very creative ways of getting my “me” time in. As mentioned in my guest post with A God Fashioned Life earlier this week, consignment shopping is one of the best ways to get more bang for your buck when you are jonesing for an oversized cardigan. There are event websites like Twice where you can consignment shop and sell without even leaving your couch. Bonus! This alternative retail is also great for the environment.
5. Pinterest for Less: In the crafting mood, but don’t want to lay down $100 at Michaels? There are hundreds of craft ideas on Pinterest you can do by just using dollar store items like plates, mugs, and artificial flowers along with items you most likely have in your home. Get creative and check out my Crafting on the Cheap Pinterest Board.
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