It’s confession time. I’ve had a little bit of a shopping problem recently.
I’m usually pretty good at saving money and saying no to impulse buys, but in the last few weeks it seems that when it comes to new shoes or clothes my self control has been less than stellar. It’s beginning to impact my budget in a not-so-good way.
I’ve pulled smart shopping tips from a number of sources, including one of my favorite blogs, L Bee and the Money Tree, to get back into my money saving ways.
Check Your Closets
What do you already have in your closet that you haven’t worn recently? Are there items in there that you’ve never worn at all? I’m definitely guilty of this. I have more than a handful of dresses, shirts and skirts that still have the tags on them. Whoops.
If you’re craving a new look for a night out this weekend, go “shopping” in your closet first. Pull out anything that you haven’t worn in the last month and see if there is an outfit you can build from existing pieces. Tie it together with your favorite pair of shoes or your go-to accessories for a fresh look that doesn’t cost you any money.
Always Make a List
So you know you “need new clothes” but what exactly do you need? If you’ve already gone through your closets from step one, you probably have a good idea of the areas that your closet it lacking. If your go-to pair of jeans is starting to fade or rip, then add those to the list. If you’re trying to build a certain look for a special event, use Polyvore for ideas on piecing the outfit together and add only the items you don’t already have to the list. Just like food shopping, you should never hit the mall without a list of what you need.
Sleep On It
Did you find THE PERFECT leather jacket while out browsing for a pair of work shoes? Is it everything you’ve ever dreamed of but you’re worried about the price tag? Take a step back. Go home, eat dinner, go to bed, and when you wake up the next morning think back to that jacket. Is it really the perfect jacket that you’ve been looking for? Could you find a similar style online for cheaper? Is it a versatile piece to add to your wardrobe, or will it be worn for certain occasions only? Taking an extra 24 hours to think about a purchase will answer a lot of these questions.
Take a Lap or Two
Okay, I know walking away from the most beautiful pair of shoes you’ve ever seen takes a lot of willpower. If you can’t bear to sleep on it wait a whole day to add them to your collection, at least take a few laps around the store.
On the first lap, don’t look at them, just visualize yourself wearing them. Think of the clothes in your closet: Which outfits will they go with?
On the second lap, try to keep them in your focus. Ask yourself the same questions as before: Are they versatile? Could I find them cheaper somewhere else?
If on the completion of your second lap you still think they are a wise purchase, pick them up and carry them with you as you take one more lap around the store, this time thinking only of price. A $100 pair of shoes is more than I spend a week in groceries. I could use that $100 to go see a concert with friends in the city. Are these shoes the best use of my $100?
At the end of your walk, you’ll be more prepared to make a smart shopping decision.
How do overcome impulse buying?