Date night on a budget? We raided a secondhand shop to find a look for under $20

In this episode of "Change for a $20," I attempted to put together a date night look at a secondhand store for under $20.
by Brooke Sassman / / Source: TODAY

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Let's face it — living on your own as a 20-something can be expensive!

Bills, groceries, the occasional mid-week splurge (hello, chocolate!), dog food, social events ... it all adds up.

So, my new mission? Trying to spend $20 or less on everything from beauty to home decor items. (Yes, I can feel you cringing from here.)

In this first episode of "Change for a $20," I've attempted to put together a date night look at a secondhand store in New York City for, you guessed it, less than $20. I quickly realized I had my hands full.

I couldn't afford these funky red sunglasses
Spoiler alert! These glasses didn't make the cut.

I thought I'd be able to find at least two items in my budget — and maybe even an accessory or two if I got lucky.

But with tops or light cotton dresses at roughly $13 each, finding a second piece was proving to be extremely challenging. It was time to get creative!

Here were my options:

1. Find a simple dress and add a handkerchief as a neck accessory.

A dress and handkerchief were one of the only combinations I could afford
One of the rare combos I could afford for under $20!TODAY

2. Scout out a nice skirt and dress it down with a T-shirt.

Sorting between options before going with the Zara skirt and cat t-shirt
A $50 Zara skirt with the tags still on?! Yes, please! TODAY

3. Trade in an item I was wearing. (I'm only half joking.)

Scouring the racks of a secondhand store in midtown Manhattan
Fact: I considered trading in my tennis shoes to earn an extra buck or two.

In the end, I came across the most adorable and versatile cat T-shirt that I combined with a fun striped skirt from Zara ... tags still on and everything!

Sadly, I didn't leave with any change for my $20, but I did leave with an outfit I could dress up or down based on the occasion — and the satisfaction of knowing I found something cute on a tight budget.

Budget thrift store shopping
Staying under budget is no joke ... but absolutely possible!

New episodes of "Change for a $20" are released every other Friday at 12 p.m. Eastern time on TODAY's YouTube channel. For more like this, be sure to subscribe here.

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