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Emily Chantiri, author of The Savvy Girl’s Money Book, shares some insider secrets on how to look chic while saving cash.

1. Set yourself an annual clothes allowance

It’s fine to buy clothes and shoes but set yourself a limit. A savvy girl knows she has planned for her annual allowance and can spend this when and how she likes, with no nasty surprises when the bill comes in.

2. Don’t be a trigger-happy shopper

We all get pleasure from buying new things, but don’t shop in an emotional state or it will prove costly. Be aware of your state of mind, and if you are stressed, call a friend or go for a walk (in the opposite direction to the shops).

3. Take a friend shopping, not a group

It’s great to go shopping with a girlfriend who will tell it to you like it is, but shopping with a group is not a good idea. It slows you down and you’ll be bombarded with a whole lot of conflicting opinions. Even if your friends mean well, you’ll end up with mixed messages and end up buying unwisely. Leave the group experience for the nightclubs.

4. If you like designer clothes, train yourself to wait for the sales

I swear the seasons begin earlier and earlier each year! To keep track of when they start, get onto the mailing list of the fashion houses to keep informed of upcoming sales before the general public.

5. For basics, aim to pay a basic price

If you find a good-looking white T-shirt at Target or Just Jeans, stock up and save a heap. Several years ago Sharon Stone caused a stir as she walked down the red carpet at the Oscars. The paparazzi asked who had designed her outfit, which included an elegant body-hugging, basic black T-shirt. She stunned them with the news that she’d bought it at the inexpensive US chain The Gap.

6. Buy to fit your real body – not your dream body

This is tough for any woman but it’s time to come clean about your body image. Whether you are think, plump, tall or small, choose the clothes that compliment your body. You will get so much more wear out of them than in ill-fitting piece that you hope to fit into ‘one day’.

7. If in doubt, leave it out

Wait 24 hours or at least until the end of your shopping expedition for something you’re not quite sure about. If you’re still unsure either bring a friend for a second opinion or don’t buy. They might be sold in the meantime but that is a risk worth taking. There will always be another item around the corner.

What are your tips for staying stylish on a budget?