Skip to main content

5th December 2021

Accounting for Style #11 – Long term broke student finally has money

In the Accounting for Style series, we follow the monthly spending of a previously broke student who finally has enough money to live her fashion spending dreams (within reason).
Accounting for Style #11 – Long term broke student finally has money
Photo: Alice Henderson @ The Mancunion

Accounting for Style is a series at the Mancunion Fashion & Beauty section, in which anonymous Manchester students track all of their fashion and beauty purchases over the period of a month. Get a glimpse into the way your peers spend their money on their style, the splurges, and the savings…

Age: 22

Degree: International Fashion Marketing

Rent: I live with the parents

Part-time jobs: Tutor and campaigner

Extra cash: No

Monthly budget: I recently got not one, but two part-time jobs. It’s my first time being paid to work in 3 years! It’s definitely been a while since I’ve had my own money to spend. A Masters degree means no maintenance loan, hence the living at home part and the recent job. In my undergrad, my maintenance loan was my clutch and even then, I struggled. Moving home and attending uni without a loan sounded like I’d be fine, but it felt like just breathing air cost money. God bless the two companies that decided to give me a job and relieve me of the struggle. For once, I’m not stretching a tiny loan to survive and a have a roof over my head that I don’t need to pay for. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be reckless with my spending, I definitely understand the importance of saving. However, every month until now, my monthly fashion spending budget has been basically zero. But this month? I kind of wanted to spend (within reason, I’ve only been working a month. I’m not Elon Musk… Yet).

Fashion spending habits: Honestly, I don’t really buy clothes as often as I used to. I try my best to limit myself now. I want to say I’m that woman who always shops at sustainable brands and doesn’t fuel awful fast fashion companies, but truth be told, I’m not. Shopping sustainably all the time is something I want to do but struggle with greatly. I have no self-control. I see low prices on websites like Shein and I’m a sucker. I want to change my spending habits so that I invest in more sustainable items that will be in my wardrobe for a very long time and I’m slowly getting there. It’s a process and for now, just reducing the amount that I buy is hard enough. My fashion sense is kind of a mess as well. I love street style but sometimes I want to be a sophisticated gal. One day you’ll see me in baggy jeans and an oversized tee, the next I look like I’m going for a business meeting with Coco Chanel herself.

Monthly estimated spend on fashion: I don’t expect it to be too high. Higher than usual, for sure, but very far from breaking the bank.

Monthly Spending:

Photo Credit: Zahra Mukadam
Photo Credit: Zahra Mukadam

November 1st: £19.80 – To kick off the month, I had already given in to my fast fashion urges. A big fat fail on my behalf. I had kept getting Facebook and Instagram ads showing this navy and green frog sweater vest from Romwe. If you haven’t heard of Romwe, it’s basically Shein but smaller and with less advertising. I’d been glaring at this sweater vest for the whole of October but kept telling myself that I didn’t need it. This is my process for buying a lot of clothes and usually after a month of watching it, I get over it and don’t buy it. Not this time. Along with the sweater vest, I bought a pair of brown tartan print trousers which I thought would go well with the vest so it felt like I had a whole new outfit coming my way.

November 17th: £25 – my new job requires me to work outside for 6 hours a day and let me tell you, it is cold. It made me realise that I was seriously lacking in the hoodie department. One minute it was summer and suddenly winter just hit out of nowhere. I owned 2 hoodies and switching between the 2 each day at work was becoming boring. I have always liked the navy-blue Thrasher hoodie but had never bought it because I had no reason to. I finally had an excuse so I decided to full send it and search for it on Depop. They’re usually around £60 brand new but I managed to barter with a guy on Depop who sold it to me second hand for £25 including shipping. A massive bargain if you ask me and also a bit better for the planet – a win win.

Photo Credit: Zahra Mukadam

November 25th: £12 – one thing I like about winter is feeling nice and cosy inside with the heaters on. I wanted to feel extra cosy this winter so decided to buy myself a pyjama set to reach ultimate comfy vibes. I don’t usually wear proper pyjamas, it’s usually a big t-shirt and loose lounging bottoms. There’s just something about a proper pyjama set that just hits different though and I definitely think it was a good and justified purchase.

November 26th: £18.90 – it was Black Friday on this day and let me tell you, the temptation to buy the entire world was very strong within me. After hours of searching (I know, I need to get a life), I ended up buying just one singular dress and for that, I applaud myself. It was a knitted black and white dress from Collusion and honestly, it stole my heart. I’m absolutely in love with it! Will I be cold wearing this outside? Absolutely. Do I care? Not at all.

Total monthly spend: £75.70

Overall verdict: I’m quite surprised with how much I spent but I definitely don’t regret any of it. I finally have money to treat myself and I don’t think any of my purchases were reckless. It was a good month of finding clothing items that I love and will hopefully have for a long time.

Read last months’ accounting for style: ‘A serial spender on a budget‘.

Would you like to anonymously track your fashion and beauty purchases for the period of a month for Accounting for Style? Email [email protected] to express your interest or come along to our weekly meetings every Monday at 6:15pm.

More Coverage

2024 fashion forecast: A peek into what you can expect to see trending next year

As the year comes to a close, here’s a guide of what trends we think will be seen all around campus next year

Black Friday: Is the thrill of a good deal worth our dying planet?

Black Friday equals huge hauls and slashed prices, meaning it’s only too easy to overindulge, but garment workers and the planet are the ones paying the real price

The best beauty advent calendars of 2023

From Soap & Glory to Charlotte Tilbury, here are the best beauty Advent Calendars of 2023 for every price range

When will WE become the trend?

Despite the body positivity and neutrality movements, diet culture and changing trends regarding body types are still engrained in our society