Meet Brigit Bauma

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Fashionable even while fishing.

Brigit: fashionable even while fishing.

The SALT™ Blog improved our look with a redesign last month. Now, our content is getting fashionable, too—thanks to our newest contributor, broke college fashionista Brigit Bauma. Here’s her story.

I love all things fashion: clothes, makeup, hair, accessories—and let’s not forget the unmentionables! To my friends, I am a fashionista. But, believe it or not, I grew up on a farm wearing hand-me-downs from family and friends.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, so my parents saved where they could. They taught me the value of saving because they knew how hard it was without money.

As the years went on, my parents built their assets and I was able to get more of the things that every other kid had: my own clothes, little video games, and cable television (finally!). Of course, my parents still drilled into my brother and me the value of money and earning what we wanted.

My Passion for Fashion

It was with cable television that my love for fashion grew. I saw all of the new trends on television shows and tried to wear them in school along with the other kids. My biggest push, though, was when I found the show America’s Next Top Model. I fell in love.

It wasn’t the drama that I loved, though that was definitely entertaining, but the fashion side of the show. The makeovers they had, the outfits they wore, and the pictures they took all looked wonderful to me. I wanted to be a part of it.

My parents didn’t understand. They thought I didn’t need new clothes, makeup, shoes, or accessories. As farmers, they didn’t really care all that much about those things. It was hard for me at the time because I loved fashion so much. However, I made a deal with them to help around the house and earn money for what I wanted to buy.

Learning to Shop

The $20 I earned from them didn’t go very far, and I wanted so much. I decided to shop the sales racks and look for discounts where my little Andrew Jackson would buy me more than if I bought things at their regular price.

After high school, I got a part-time job while in college. It was minimum wage, but that $7.25/hour was my money. I was able to buy whatever I wanted. I earned so much more; therefore, I bought so much more! I felt so ready for the “real world.”

I saw myself dressed up like the girls on Gossip Girl or Glee. I’d be the envy of all of the girls on campus. College was going to rock. Goodbye farm girl, hello city woman!

Boy was I wrong.

Changing My Ways

After the first few months of college, my parents stopped giving me money for gas or going out with friends. I was lucky that they still paid my car insurance and phone bill and that a scholarship was covering my tuition at the time. Everything else, though, I needed to use my own money for.

It never got to the point where I had no money in my debit account, but I noticed that my money in that account never went up either. Every time I got paid, I used that money. I was going nowhere. That was when I decided to change my shopping habits—and look for other ways to save money. If I wanted to be fashionable, I had to be smart with money too.

Now, my friends call me “frugal” (but that could be a little green-eyed monster speaking because I usually spend so much less than them). I am always on the lookout for sales, coupons, and markdowns. If there is a sales rack or clearance section, you know I am going there first. It is rare to find me paying full price for any of my clothes.

And that is what I’ll be blogging about here. I will give tips on how to save money, where to look for deals, do-it-yourself projects, coupons, looks for less, and more! There is no problem with saving money while still looking fashionable! You might not be Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, but I can help you get pretty close!

Have a topic you’d like Brigit to cover? Share it in the comments.

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