The 20/30-Something Guide to Budgeting

Thank you to our friends at Klarna for partnering with us on this post.

Our 20/30-Something guides give you the inside scoop on our favorite destinations and show you how to shop like an SN insider, and today we're tackling another pressing topic: budgeting. Learning how to manage your budget and spending takes time and patience, but a few tips and tools can help you along the way. One of our most-loved tools here at SN is Klarna.

Klarna is the ultimate shopping service on a mission to make paying simple, safe, and smoooth. When you use Klarna, you can pay for your purchase in 4 interest-free installments, so you can spread the cost out over time. These installments will be charged to your card every two weeks. You don't have to worry about hidden fees–Klarna's interest-free benefit is as simple as it sounds–plus Klarna has other services to make your next shopping session a breeze. With Klarna's app, you can create a virtual wish list, a curated list of items you want to save from a range of stores so you can easily find your favorites when you're ready to shop. Klarna also has a rewards program called Vibe. You'll earn Vibes every time you shop with Klarna, which you can redeem for gift cards at your favorite retailers and more. Best of all, the program is completely free to join!

As we prepare for the holiday season, getting our spending in order is more important than ever–and tools like Klarna make it as easy as can be. We asked two members of Team SN to breakdown how they budget their purchases for their lifestyles. Read on as Sydney and Meghan share their 20-Something and 30-Something budgeting breakdown, from how they factor in household expenses to how they plan for larger purchases this holiday season.

Sydney's 20-Something Guide to Budgeting

The 20-Something Beauty Budget

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask: This is my holy grail product! This mask and moisturizer has totally changed my skin. I notice a regular glow, less breakouts, and I don’t suffer from dry patches like I used to. The formula is perfect because it is not too thick and goes on super nicely. I cannot go a day without this, which is why I always make sure to budget for it by shopping with Klarna. The amount I use it makes the purchase so well worth it!

Farmacy Green Clean Cleanser: I love this cleanser so much. After using a cleansing balm, I’m never going back to a soapy cleanser! My skin feels so hydrated, soft and amazing after using this product and it really gets all of my makeup, especially mascara off so easily. This lasts me a bit longer, especially lately since I’m not wearing makeup everyday. The best part about it is that a little goes a long way, so I make sure to budget for this every 2 months or so.

The 20-Something Self-Care Budget

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil: I love a 2 in 1 product and as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized self-care should always be worked into my budget! It’s so important to take care of our bodies, and when you look good you feel good! Once I find a brand I love like this one, I always want to work it into my budget. Thanks to Klarna I can do that easily by adding this product to an in-app wish list, plus I can stay up to date on price drops within the Klarna app.

Koral Blackout Sports Bras: Over the past few months I’ve been making a conscious effort to workout more, because I feel like I'm moving a lot less as I work from home. I have a bigger chest, so quality workout wear is important for me because I need extra support. I love the selection from Koral! When I budget for workout wear, I make my investment piece high-quality sports bras, and being able to pay for them in installments through Klarna allows me to do that.

The 20-Something Household Budget

Blvd Co. Dog Couch: My dog Paddington loves his hand-crafted dog bed from Blvd Co–it has an orthopedic foam which makes it supremely comfortable! With Klarna, I was able to purchase this dog couch and pay for it in interest-free installments. Plus, I like to place a big order of pet supplies through retailers like Pet Pro Supply Co. for things like pee pads, treats, shampoo, and toothpaste every few weeks, which I can seamlessly manage with Klarna.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp: I love a contemporary accent piece, and I’ve been on the hunt for some affordable ones. In love with this lamp! Normally I would shy away from it because I could find a more affordable lamp of a different style, but since I’m able to separate my payments with Klarna, I don’t have to sacrifice the style of decor I’m looking for!

BergHOFF Ron Cast Iron Frying Pan: I started cooking a lot more in quarantine, and now I’m obsessed with buying different types of tools and nice pots and pans I can use in the kitchen. I'm especially looking to stock up on these now that I’m moving into an apartment with a bigger kitchen! More cooking = less eating out, which is doing great things for my budget.

The 20-Something Fashion Budget

Jacket, Cardigan, and Boots all from ASOS: I try to budget for a slight wardrobe refresh every month or two, and lucky enough one of my favorite retailers, ASOS, offers Klarna's installment payment option. Shopping for a few new pieces and updating my wardrobe once in a while is easy, guilt-free, and budget-friendly when I finance through Klarna!

The 20-Something Investment Piece Budget

Vioria Solid Wood Dining Chair and Manhasset 101" Left Hand Facing Sofa & Chaise: Over the next few months, I'll be investing in some key pieces for my new apartment in addition to shopping for the holidays of course. Moving is always stressful, but being able to break down larger-scale purchases into multiple smaller payments has been a lifesaver and allows me to balance my monthly spending better. This couch, for example, costs 4 payments of $167.49 with Klarna.

Right now, I want to get a few nicer investment pieces for my home that I can keep for a while and I can make that happen by using Klarna! I’m keeping everything I want to buy on my “Apartment” and “Holiday” wish lists in the app, so I can go back and find everything in one place when I’m ready to purchase. This has also been super helpful because I can look at everything in the big picture and track total spending.

Meghan's 30-Something Guide to Budgeting

The 30-Something Beauty Budget

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream: I have now been using this product for 8 months straight and it has worked like a dream while pregnant and postpartum. It is absolutely worth budgeting for because it’s an all-in-one product, so I don’t need to invest in a serum, oil, or other facial skin products since it’s most effective on its own. I am now on my third bottle of The Cream and it is worth every penny.

Creed Acqua Fiorentina: I am a HUGE scent person. Anyone who knows me knows that I am always chasing the newest and greatest fragrances on the market, but one that has been consistently in my life and the leading lady of my perfume rotation is Creed’s Acqua Fiorentina. The price point is steep, yes, but you only need one spritz to get the effect you want, and a bottle typically lasts me a full year. Plus, if you purchase it with Klarna, you have the option to spread the cost across 4 interest-free installments, which helps make payments more manageable. The 75ML bottle is 4 easy payments of $103.43 when purchased with Klarna!

The 30-Something Self-Care Budget

Miamily Hipster Smart Carrier: I am a new mom and I'm constantly on the go. If there is one essential product recommend to new moms, it is the Miamily Hipster Plus Carrier. I use this item daily both inside the house and out. Not only are there 6 carry positions, but it also acts as a diaper bag with all the different compartments–investing in this carrier enabled me to save on buying a diaper bag, since the carrier covers all diaper bag functions on its own with features like a credit card holder, bottle container compartment, and more.

Owlet Smart Sock: As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started to budget for baby safety items. One that really mattered to me is the Owlet Smart Sock, which is a first-of-its-kind baby monitor that tracks oxygen level and heart rate while your baby sleeps. I budgeted for this well ahead of time and prioritized it above all other baby items. One of the great perks of using the Klarna app is its wish list functionality. My daughter's first holiday season is around the corner, and I can create a wish list of toys and clothes for Colette and share with friends and family to shop–it's been a total lifesaver!

The 30-Something Household Budget

Cuddle + Kind Hand Knit Dolls: I love Cuddle + Kind’s handcrafted doll sets because they are multi-functional and great quality. They act as nursery decor as well as a cherished toy for your little one! I am aiming to add to our collection over time (because I loved my doll collection growing up), so I factor that in my “baby spending budget” to ensure I can get new doll sets every few months!

Baby Relax Rivers Pure White 5-in-1 Convertible Crib: Cribs can be super expensive, but of course they are an essential item to budget for when you’re expecting. There are so many amazing cribs out there though, so you really don’t have to break the bank. I had my eye on a traditional white crib on Overstock but it was out of budget when I first hearted it. Thanks to Klarna’s price drop alerts, I didn’t have to pay full price for it–my suggestion to any new moms-to-be would be to do your research early on cribs because prices fluctuate and you can absolutely score a deal on your crib if you’re patient!

The 30-Something Fashion Budget

Le Color Crop Denim: Denim is an important part of my wardrobe all year round, so I make room in my budget for denim purchases at least four times per year, ahead of each new season. My most recent denim buy was a pair of cropped black denim that I plan to wear with flats and booties all winter long!

Superga Platform Sneaker: I’ve always been a big Superga girl and that is even more true now that I’m a mom since I’m always on the go. I love a crisp white sneaker and Superga’s 1-inch heel option is clean, classic, and gives me a little extra height that I love! Because they are white and I wear them almost every day, I make sure to factor in a few pairs of Supergas into these seasonal refreshes!

The 30-Something Investment Piece Budget

Le Petit Flower Arrangement from Venus et Fleur: I’ve always loved flowers and try to have a fresh batch in our home as much as possible. Last year I learned about Venus et Fleur flower arrangements that last an entire year and became obsessed! We currently have one of their round small arrangements in our living room and now I’m eyeing their Le Petit version for my daughter’s nursery. From a budget standpoint, I see this purchase as a way to save on my weekly flower spending by instead investing in arrangements that last a full year. Totally worth it!

Rimowa Cabin Carry-on Suitcase: Now that I’m a mom, traveling is a different ball game. Packing is a whole new feat and babies need SO much gear, burp clothes, everything! Traveling in style, however, makes the process much more fun, and next on my wish list is Rimowa’s Essential Cabin carry-on suitcase in pink for my little girl to match back to my husband and my existing Rimowa luggage. Expensive, yes, but their products are incredibly durable and timeliness so I plan to budget this item in for a Christmas gift to Colette!

See Klarna terms here. CA residents: Pay in 4 loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license.