Broke Girl’s Gift Guide: Affordable Christmas Gifts Under $25

One of my many, many talents (besides being able to talk the ear off a brick wall and trip over flat surfaces) is the ability to find products (clothing or otherwise) that look expensive, but in actuality fall into my broke AF budget. London is an expensive city, and with so many festive things to do around Christmas (rooftop ice skating! prosecco pop ups! carnivals in Hyde park!), it can be difficult to scrounge together the cash for presents while still taking part in every mulled wine soaked outing. Really, even outside of London, Christmas seems to squeeze every last penny out of you, and it can be difficult to find affordable gifts that at least don’t look cheap or utterly lame. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m sharing my talent with you, and have found a heap of pressies perfect for your friends and family that deserve Cartier when you can only afford Claire’s.

But first, some of my top broke girl tips for finding affordable gifts:

Shop the sale. I’m a big fan of higher end stores and brands like Madewell, Shopbop, and Wildfox, so I always check their sale section before assuming you can’t afford anything. A few items in the guide are heavily marked down luxe.

When in doubt, personalise. You can’t go wrong with a monogrammed necklace, personalised notebook, or zodiac bracelet. Find affordable personalised jewellery and bits on sites like BaubleBar and Etsy. There are plenty of options under $20, and personalisation always adds a dose of thoughtfulness.

Use a shopping aggregator like Shop Style. you can search hundreds of stores by item and then refine by price, color, brand etc. Want to know what you can afford at Topshop? Simply select the store and slide the price down to $25 and under – piece of cake. These tools cut down on so much aimless searching and scrolling and have helped me find items I never would have just searched for on my own.

Now, on to the gift guide!

 

Broke Girl's Gift Guide Affordable Christmas Gifts Under $25

Phone Case // Luggage Tag Set – timeless and expensive looking for under $20 // Personalised Initial Ring – to show you actually gave AF // Frank Coffee Body Scrub //  // Sassy Sticky Note Set // Wildfox Perfume Rollerball – rollerballs are a less expensive alternative to buying bottles of perfume // Grey Pom Pom Beanie // Bath Bomb – a night of self-care for under a tenner // Velour Slipper and Eye Mask Set – super cozy and made by the queen of The Hills herself, Lauren Conrad // Bangle Bracelet – Madewell is by no means cheap, but when you keep a beady eye on the sale section, you can snag a great deal // Off the Shoulder Top – this is on sale for under $20!  // Marble Cactus Decoration // Pajama Pants – for staying cute and comfy without breaking the bank

Do you have any tips or go-to sites for finding stylish bargain gifts?

Gift Guide: The Festival Fanatic

Christmas is less than two weeks away! I can’t believe it! I already have festival season on my mind, however, and this gift guide is for that music festival obsessed friend who just cannot tear off their flower crown and still posts Coachella photos on instagram, 8 months later (guilty!). Help them continue the desert Woodstock vibes at home or prep for next year’s fests with these perfect bohemian pressies. You know they already bought presale passes.

#1 Embrace the “Dirty Hippie” stereotype with this cheeky sweatshirt during those cold desert nights
#2 A candle that smells like cacti, so you have the Palm Springs vibes, down to scent, at home
#3 The best self-tanner so you can have that Chella tan without the Chella heat stroke
#4 My all-time favorite booties – these will carry you through the winter, through festival season, and back again
#5 A dreamcatcher yoga mat, so you can get in festival shape with the perfect boho vibes; this might actually get me to do yoga for once
#6 Evil eye iPhone charger; I have a thing for the evil eye symbol (kind of like how some girls love arrows? idk), and this will be useful as your phone is bound to die every day at the fest
#7 Foldable water bottle – space saving, eco friendly, and will save you money at the fest; great for any traveler
#8 A bit of hair chalk, because flower crowns are so 2014
#9 This might be one of my favorite items in this guide; a photo printer that hooks up to your phone and can create polaroids; hang all your festival memories around your apartment, without the hassle of carrying around a polaroid camera
#10 Battery operated radio (it can hook up to your phone too, don’t worry) to tote to the campgrounds with a cool vintage look
#11  OR, if, like me, you’ll never camp again, inflatable drink holders for lounging by the pool; it’s a rough life, but someone has to do it!
#12 Festival Survival Kit – filled with ear plugs, dry shampoo, rain poncho, earring backs, and oh so much more – this bad boy will be your secret weapon
#13 One Teaspoon makes the best denim shorts, and I love this pair in worn white for summer, not only festival season. Besides, Coachella is prone to wind/sand/Mad Max storms – so you won’t want to be caught out in a skirt or dress on those days

Happy shopping, friends! Doesn’t seem all that bad when it’s from the comfort of your bed instead of the chaos of the mall, right? Just grab a cup of tea and dream of that Palm Springs weather.

2016 Black Friday and Cyber Weekend Sales

Christmas at Cartier in London

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! While they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in England, I thought I’d at least take advantage of all of the sales happening online. You better believe if I can’t partake in massive amounts of gravy, pumpkin pie, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles – retail therapy will be occurring on a massive scale. When stuff is marked down so much though, who can blame me? I’m sharing all of the deals at some of my favorite stores below and even some picks on my wishlist. So settle into a food coma, listen to the dulcet sounds of John Candy and Steve Martin, and let the Christmas tree’s glow lead you into an online shopping trance.

Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code THATSALE; they have the in best effortless, cool-girl style; NEED that nightshirt

J. Crew – 40% off everything in-stores and online with code HOLIDAY

BaubleBar – 30% EVERYTHING with code THANKS30 – so many pretty pieces for the holidays

ILY Couture – 25% off your entire purchase with code GIFT25; I love her festive holiday themed tees and sweats for Christmas!

Urban Outfitters – Up to 50% off selected lines

Anthropologie – 20% off EVERYTHING with code GIFT

Banana Republic – 50% five regular priced items with code BRFIVE; lots of beautifully made, high quality staples including coats and cashmere blend sweaters

Shopbop – use code GOBIG16 for 15% off of $200+, 20% off $500+, and 25% of $800+; Shopbop has some big-ticket items, so if you’ve been eyeing a luxury purchase, definitely snap it up with the promo code.

Revolve – up to 65% off select items; Revolve can be quite expensive, so I like to stock up during sales! Lots of cute jeans, bohemian blouses and booties.

Nasty Gal30% off their best loved black items; perfect for when, like me, you prefer dressing like a witch

Nordstrom – up to 60% on over 266 pages of items; and that’s just the Women’s section! Snag some Ugg slippers or Tory Burch riding boots, while they’re seriously marked down.

Gap – 50% off everything with code TGIF50

Missguided – 50% off everything with code YESYESYES – SO affordable and great trendy pieces including super sassy NYE dresses

Athleta – 20% off everything with code BOOST

Asos – 20% off EVERYTHING with code GOGOGO; SO much to love here with super affordable pieces to the more high end; I also love that you can stock up on literally everything from sunglasses to shoes to makeup

Uniqlo – Massive discounts on their warm winter styles including their Heattech line. I love how these pieces keep you warm and hold in heat while wicking away any sweat. Perfect for cold-weather layering.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have an extra helping of mashed potatoes for me!

Gift Guide: I Can’t Adult Today

Perfect for your bff or friend who literally CANNOT

We all have that friend (or maybe it’s you!) who LITERALLY CANNOT adult today. Even though I’m a few years out of college, sometimes all it takes is a gloomy winter day with no direct sunlight (WTF London) to make me want to hibernate my life away. Well, these gifts are here to help you or your BFF boss up, get your shit together and adult like a champion! Or at least pretend to. So fake it til you make it and snag a few of these sassy, but oh so useful presents.

1. I Need a Day Between Saturday & Sunday Sweatshirt – because don’t we all?
2. Liquid Therapy Wineglasses – because what 9 to 5 doesn’t warrant a bottle of wine (or two)?
3. Smartphone Projector – for when you can afford an iPhone and leech off your parents’ Netflix subscription but don’t own a TV
4. I Can’t Adult Today Pouch – I SEE NO LIES
5. I Am Very Busy Portable Phone Battery – for that friend whose snapchat selfie addiction always kills their battery or they don’t charge their phone like a capable adult
6. Binge Watching Survival Kit – includes marathon essentials including coasters, a sofa yoga guide, and emergency socks
7. I’m Outta Here Passport Case – sometimes real life needs to be avoided and last-minute getaways need to happen
8. Facial in a Box – Less than $20 because who can afford the real thing?
9. More Mimosas Please Phone Case – chasing away the Sunday Scaries by spiking my orange juice since 2012
10. Sriracha 2 Go – if you can’t cook, you can make literally anything taste good with Sriracha
11. French Press – I can’t afford my Starbucks habit, but goddamnit I deserve fancy coffee
12. YOU are a Badass Book – for when you’re ready to stop avoiding responsibility, get shit done and start adulting
13. Cactus Neon Light – One plant even you wont’ be able to kill, no matter how hard you try