It’s a cinch to stay fashionable when the sky’s the limit on what you spend. It’s a different story, however, when a single big-ticket sandal purchase means choosing between food and your fashionista status.

With these 10 on-trend spring updates, you’ll look instantly modern without sacrificing your ability to survive.

New Heights
Skyscraper-tall platforms are the perfect way to modernize last year’s summer dresses. Check out these length-lengthening babies from Newport News in bronze, black or white, at a budget-friendly $25.

Cuff and Ties
Recessionistas know that the easiest way to stretch a dollar is to make your purchases do double-duty. We adore the tie (and cuff) trend because it dresses up or down, works for day or night, and is the all-in-one perfect sandal update for the season. The Rita style from Bakers is $29.99, but we guarantee your cost-per-wear will be down to small change by labor day.

Updated Gladiators
Just when you’ve think you’ve seen the last of the gladiator, they’re back this season with updates including ankle straps, toe bands and adornments. Here’s an understated pair from Aeropostale for $19.99 that lets you feel modern without going completely Greco-Roman.

This new incarnation for spring suddenly makes last year’s simple strappy sandal seem outdated. This style from Charlotte Russe is bright and happy thanks to punched up colors, patent and metallic faux leather, plus an updated design. So fun you’ll never think they’re $24.99!

Zippers, Studs and Snaps
You can embrace the rock-star trend without going all-out bad girl thanks to subtle detailing a la zippers, studs, snaps and grommets. We love this side-snap faux suede peeptoe bootie from Wet Seal, an essential for spring, which flies right under the budget radar at $24.50, while giving you instant hip appeal.

Fringe Benefits
We love the tribal influence sans the moccasins. Leave it to Target to bring trés-chic spring styling to the fashionista who loves to shop and still have money left to pay the rent. We’ve got our eyes on the Xhilaration Taryn Fringe Sandal, which takes the trend up a notch in a shocking shade of yellow for very little green: $16.99.

Rainbow Brights
It’s true that flats are practical, but in spring’s hottest hues (oranges, pinks, blues and metallics) at equally cool prices, you’ll forget that buying a pair is downright sensible. Our fave? This faux patent open-toe number from Buckle in refreshingly spirited teal. If the color doesn’t lift your mood, the price sure will: $12.25.

Flower Power
Who doesn’t adore this season’s highly coveted Moschino Cheap and Chic Flower Thong Sandal? Sadly, 400 big ones for a rosebud design isn’t exactly a smart steal. Luckily they’re not the only brand to rock the rosette trend. Case in point: this beauty from Penny Loves Kenny. We like the bronze, but we love the $24 price tag even better. Another sweet style with a pop of color? The precious Preciosa from G by Guess.  A sweet deal by anyone’s standards at $29.50

Natural Materials
Woods, beads, shells, fabrics—Mother Nature’s finest makes a bold entrance on spring footwear. This East-meet-West-inspired sandal from CL by Chinese Laundry showcases your global fashion sense, yet keeps your frugality under wraps. $19.95

Perfect Raingear
Spring rains can be cathartic, if not uplifting, unless of course you’re trudging around in 10-pound galoshes (sorry, they’re not sexy, no matter what they cost). Trade up in style (and down in price) with a patent number that won’t get waterlogged, nor drown you in debt. We’re eyeing a low-heel slingback Steve Madden (Stock Quote: SHOO) perfect for running between raindrops The price? An equally energizing $29.99.

—Keep coming back to MainStreet for more recession-friendly fashion tips.