How Francy Stays Frugal in New York City
Posted 42 days ago by Amanda Raye
Francy is the voice behind fashion blog, Fancy Francy. In the past year, Francy moved from Atlanta and got an adorable apartment with her older sister in Brooklyn.
Here’s one of the only problems with New York — It can be very difficult to control yourself when you first move here. It’s just so easy to blow all your money on fashion, good food, yummy desserts, coffee and late-night drinks with friends in Soho’s trendiest bars. But if you want to be able to stay in New York for the long haul, you have to watch your finances.
We recently sat down and enjoyed coffee at a popular Lower East Side eatery and had a chat with Francy. According to Francy:
Living in New York, you have to be disciplined with your money. Lucky for me, being a recent grad, I still have a college mindset and I really hope I keep that as I get older and my salary increases. Being a poor college student isn’t glamorous, but that experience can really determine how you treat your bank account as you age.
Below, Francy shares her secrets on how she’s able to stay frugal while living in one of the world’s most expensive cities:
1. Bring Lunch To Work
I try and bring my lunch to work as often as possible. So many of my co-workers leave work everyday and spend $12-$15 on lunch. I’ll do it every now and then, but if I made that an everyday habit I’d be very sorry later.
2. Keep Food At Work
I like to keep oatmeal and cereal at my desk. That way, if I forget my lunch or didn’t have time to eat breakfast I don’t have to leave and buy something. If your office or work place has a kitchen with a microwave and fridge for milk I’d take advantage of it.
3. Only Go Out To Eat On The Weekends
Going out to eat every night is very tempting, but it’s not realistic. If a friend wants to grab brunch or dinner on the weekend, I’m down, but if it’s a Monday, I’d rather pass. Going out to eat two days out of the week is budget friendly, but going out seven days a week is just a waste of money. It’s also not very healthy.
4. Don’t Take Cabs Too Often
I avoid them as much as possible. If the traffic is light it’s usually between $9 and $11 (not including tip). But if it’s rush hour, the price just increases. Definitely take the Subway on a day to day basis (it’s only $2.50 a ride) and save cabs for late nights out with friends only once or twice a month.
5. Price Adjust Your Clothes
My Aunt taught me this when I was a kid. Say you bought a jean jacket from H&M last weekend and you love the coat, but when you go back to H&M the following weekend you find the same coat you just bought on sale for $7.
Just bring the coat and receipt back to the store and ask for the price to be adjusted. What they’ll do is give you back the difference. For this reason, you should save all your receipts!
If it’s been over two or three weeks, forget about it, but if goes on sale shortly after you bought it then go for it. I’ve saved a lot of money this way!
6. Don’t Shop At Expensive Stores
I’m not talking about Celine Paris or Chanel, but stores like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Trendy, yes, affordable, no. What I do is go to expensive shops and boutiques for inspiration only. If I like something, I leave and try and find something similar at a more affordable store.
7. Shop On Ebay
If I find something I like at say, American Apparel, I’ll search for it on Ebay. There’s two ways you can go about this. Say I really want a pair of their black disco pants:
- 1. You can search for a used pair for less.
- 2. You can find something similar that’s made in China that’s $20 or less.
If you care about the brand, go with the first. If you care more about the look, go with the second.
8. Look for Discount Codes When Shopping Online
Whenever you’re about to pull out your credit card while shopping online, quickly Google if there are any discount codes available from the company you’re buying from.
You can also go to one of the websites below and search for discount codes.
Remember, these tips aren’t just helpful in New York, but all over the world! If you loved Francy’s tips make sure you follow her on Twitter and check out her awesome blog.
Do you have any money saving tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Coffee Runs: Not Just For Sweatpants Anymore
Posted 128 days ago by Amanda Raye
Broke & Chic recently teamed up with Marcus Cooper and Shelby Beamon, two talented NYC based photographers, to prove that the best time to test the waters with fashion is when you’re running errands.
Most people aren’t overly adventurous with their personal style, but we all wish we could mimic the awesome styles and fashions we see in our favorite magazines and street style blogs.
So seriously, why don’t we just suck it up, and build the fashion confidence Lady Gaga has? You probably have many reasons: what will your boss say? What if your friends hate it? What if you scare guys away?
Obviously you shouldn’t be too daring with your style at work, and maybe you shouldn’t even wear a bold outfit all day. So when can you experiment? We here at Broke & Chic have the perfect plan for you.
Test out those dream outfits you’ve always been to scared to try when you’re walking to your local coffee shop in the morning, when you’re spending your Sunday afternoon at the laundromat, and if you’re still not brave enough, in the comfort of your own home when you’re scrolling through Facebook or playing FoxyBingo.
That’s right, wear your short sequined shorts, spiked Lita’s, orange lipstick and grandma’s vintage fur coat the next time you have a load of dirty laundry to deal with. Once you get back home, you can switch back to your usual look…but only if you want to.
Note: Bold and daring makeup is another thing to have fun with the next time you run down the street to grab your latte.
Are you thinking about being daring on your next errand? Snap a photo and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a possible feature.
A big thanks to Redlight PR for supplying the clothes, Kensie for supplying the jewelry, Kyle Harder for makeup and of course, Gasoline Alley for the coffee! To stay Broke & Chic, everything but the leather coat was under $80.00!
How To Survive Your First Trip To New York City
Posted 142 days ago by Amanda Raye
New York City is a beautiful place filled with wonder, excitement and opportunity — the list goes on and on. Before moving here I used to look at New York as big, overwhelming and scary. It’s still big, but it is no longer overwhelming or scary, mainly because I know the do’s and don’ts.
As a tourist, I used to think NYC was Times Square…wrong! Here’s a guide on how to survive your first trip to the Big Apple!
1. Avoid Times Square
Everyone has to see it once, but don’t go believing this burnt toast-smelling, loud, obnoxious, expensive, dirty and hectic place is what all Manhattan is like. Go see a Broadway show, take a few pictures in front of all the big lights and then get out of there!
I used to live in the center of Herald Square not too long ago and what I hated the most about it was how expensive all the bad tasting food was and the amount of tourists.
Sorry guys! But Times Square is filled with tourists. If someone is rude or obnoxious they’re probably from a small town in New Hampshire and they’re staying at the Holiday Inn on 31st and Broadway.
If you are staying in the Times Square area, make sure you don’t get ripped off on your food. Instead of spending all your cash at Ruby Tuesday’s or Planet Hollywood, head to one of these wonderful Midtown Manhattan restaurants for a more authentic experience that won’t break the bank.
For pizza, head to Vezzo on 31st and Lex. For brunch, head on over to Penelope’s on 30th and Lex, and for that Seinfeld-era lunch joint, head on over to Johny’s Luncheonette on 25th and 6th. For great coffee, take a trip to Stumptown in the Ace Hotel on 29th and Broadway. Happy dining!
2. Pass On The Right
We don’t drive here. Walking is our main form of transportation and so there are rules. Just like in a vehicle, always keep to the right. Similarly you can’t just stop out of nowhere in the middle of the sidewalk — taking up space and holding up traffic. If you want to pause and rest for a minuet, just move off to the side.
3. Don’t Wear Flip-Flops
There is a time and place for flip-flops: the beach in the middle of summer. Your $2 Old Navy flip flops are not meant for the streets of New York.
For one, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and flip flops aren’t very good for your feet. Instead, you should wear a pair of something more comfortable, especially if you aren’t used to walking everywhere (hint: Converse and oxfords are a much better option). Secondly, it’s one of the most unfashionable things you can do in a city, sorry!
4. Visit Brooklyn
Brooklyn is a New York City borough that’s often overlooked by tourists. After all, it’s home to great thrift and vintage shops as well as a full frontal view of the Manhattan skyline…which is gorgeous!
Spend an afternoon thrifting in Williamsburg, shop in all the cute boutiques in Park Slope, eat at the famous Grimaldi’s Pizza in DUMBO, and sip a classic chocolate egg cream at the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain in Carroll Gardens. Just like Manhattan, Brooklyn is filled with numerous neighborhoods, each with its own identity.
5. Visit During The Week
Visting a museum or going shopping in Manhattan on the weekend is just as bad as going to Ikea on a Saturday…don’t do it! Also, many NY museums have “pay what you want” days during the week. The MoMA is usually $25/person, however it’s free between 4-8pm on Friday’s. Do your research.
Now onto the shopping: Soho is a prime destination for tourist and residents alike. With affordable stores such as Necessary Clothing, Uniqlo and Forever 21, how can it not be?
But going into any store in Soho on a Saturday is just suicide. You’ll be standing in line for a full hour just to try on a shirt, and the crowd on Broadway will be ridiculous.
Instead, go shopping on a Monday or Tuesday in the late morning or early afternoon. The crowds won’t be so large and you’ll get better service. To avoid the annoying Broadway cattle walk, walk down Crosby St instead. It’s the street parallel to Broadway, which is much calmer and also the home of the famed Saturdays Surf.
6. Learn How To Hail A Cab
Stand on the side of the street, look straight ahead and put your right hand up when cabs begin to approach. If a black cab stops, DON’T GET IN! Stick to the classic yellow NYC cabs only. I hailed a cab and made the mistake of getting into a black one, while going from 31st st to Union Square. The driver charged me $20, when a yellow cab would have only charged $4.50. If a black cab does stop, just wave him forward and keep looking.
Cab drivers also don’t know exact addresses — you have to give them cross streets. After hailing a cab, get in, shut the door, then tell them your destination. Lastly, don’t forget to tip your driver 15%.
If you want to avoid all this confusion, and don’t mind spending a little more, download the Uber app onto your phone. It’s a wonderful car service.
7. Take Advantage Of Your Smart Phone
Before arriving in NY, make sure you know how to use Google Maps. Also, download Yelp for finding restaurants fast, Scout Mob for discovering great food discounts and City Transit to navigate through the Subway system with ease.
This is just a start. New York is an amazing place, and you’ll have fun and fall in love with it if you just follow my simple tips! Have you been to New York City before? If so, what are your favorite parts about it? Let us know in the comments below!
Pepsi Presents Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday Tour: NYC
Posted 283 days ago by Amanda Raye
Guess who is going to be live tweeting the Nicki Minaj concert in NYC tomorrow? Broke & Chic is! If you don’t already have tickets or don’t happen to live near the Big Apple but LOVE Nicki there is still some hope…Pepsi is going to be live streaming the whole event!
Watch the whole concert live on Pepsi.com starting at 9:30pm EST on August 14th! Don’t forget to follow our tweets as well! We’ll be using the hashtag #NickiMinajConcert.
Come Join Us: Salsa and Secondhand with Krrb & Furnish Green
Posted 426 days ago by Amanda Raye
Join Krrb and Furnish Green for a night of scavenging one-of-a kind vintage finds, free salsa lessons and enough sangria to keep you dancing through the night. All furniture in the Furnish Green showroom will have special Krrb-friendly prices, including $2-5 records and LP’s.
Bring your dancing shoes and be prepared to exit the dance floor with a doozy. At wallet-friendly prices, you’re sure to partner up with a gem from Paul McCobb, Cushman or Kling. One two cha cha cha!
Furnish Green is located at 1261 Broadway, Suite 505, New York City. Tickets are $5. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Rhythm Break Cares, a non-profit senior citizen dance program. RSVP on Eventbrite. And do it soon because space is limited!
A night filled with affordable vintage furniture and free salsa lessons seems like a win to me! Hope to see you there!
Furnish Green Finds
Broke Fashion: Chic Winter Style in Manhattan
Posted 458 days ago by Amanda Raye
Winter can be a tough season for style. With slushy snow filled streets, below freezing temperatures and a gloomy overcast of grey, getting out of bed and putting effort into our outfits isn’t always first on our list’s.
Another factor to consider is that we’re all hidden by big warm coats! These things aside, Broke & Chic found a few girls who know how to look stylish — no matter what the weather is!
- Top: $3.50 Forever 21
- Cardigan: Vintage from her mom’s closet
- Belt: $1 Thrift
- Bag: $10 Thrift (in Los Angeles)
- Pants: Free from American Apparel (employee)
- Boots: $115 Dr. Martens
- Zebra Top: $14.50 Strawberry
- Skirt: $22.80 Forever 21
- Leggings: $6.50 Forever 21
- Boots: $40 Journey’s
- Top: $30 H&M
- Shorts: $19.95 H&M
- Tights: $9.95 H&M
- Belt: $20 Gap
- Vince Camuto Boots: $150 Bloomingdale’s
Broke Fashion #37
Posted 533 days ago by Amanda Raye
♥ Broke Fashion is a series by B&C that shows off stylish people on a budget!