Happy Monday blog friends! I hope you all had a great weekend 🙂
The reason I started this blog was to help inspire and encourage other women to look and feel like a million bucks while still being able to afford their other goals (whatever they may be!). I thought I’d talk about how I shop on a budget in order to be able to afford my own goals. I know that fashion is often expensive, but style doesn’t need to be! Here are a few things I ALWAYS do whenever I go shopping to keep my spending in check while still being able to get what I need.
1. Go in with a goal – Now, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes you just want to go in and browse, or walk around outside on a nice day and window shop. However, whenever possible, try to narrow in on what you’re actually shopping for to avoid spending unnecessary money. For example, instead of just shopping for “new work clothes” or “back-to-school” items, make a list of exactly what you want. This could look something like: I need new jeans, new running shoes, and a black pencil skirt. By narrowing in like this, you’ll save yourself both time and money.
2. Start at the sale section – Stores usually put their sale items in the back in hopes that you’ll get sidetracked on the way there by regularly priced merchandise. But by starting at the back in the sale section, you’re actually prepping your brain to see the sale prices as “standard”. This means that you’ll be unlikely to fall for something that’s not on sale because it’ll seem that much more expensive. By beginning with a whole rack of $10 skirts, you’re more likely to see a $60 skirt as unnecessarily pricey.
3. Set a limit – This is a tough one! It’s really easy to get carried away (especially on one of those magical days when everything fits and looks good!). However, by setting a limit and telling yourself that you won’t exceed it, you’ll ensure that you won’t go over your budget. You could set a limit on a single clothing item (i.e.: I won’t spend more than $30 on a new pair of jeans) or a general limit (i.e.: I won’t spend more than $100 total today). If you don’t trust yourself to stop at your limit, take out the cash beforehand and don’t bring any kind of cards to force yourself to stop shopping when you hit your specified limit.
4. Look for coupons or discounts – Don’t get turned off by the idea of coupons! You no longer need to clip them out in advance and bring them to the store with you. One of my favourite ways to save money is to pull up a company’s website while I’m in the store to see if they are offering any promotional codes or discounts. Also, make sure to google “coupon code X store” and the current month to see if any bloggers or sites have discount codes you could use to save on your purchase (RetailMeNot.ca is excellent for this).
5. Check loyalty program advantages – Another way to save money in store is by checking to see if the store offers a loyalty program and what their perks are. Many companies offer 10-15% off your first purchase or a free welcome gift just by signing up for their app/e-mail list on your smartphone. You can always delete the app or unsubscribe from e-mails later if they get annoying.
6. Put it on hold (even for a short period of time) – I honestly swear by this one. I’m extremely guilty of seeing something and immediately feeling like I need to have it because it will completely change my life (bravo, marketing professionals, bravo). One way I counter this is by putting the item on hold and walking away, even temporarily. If they let you put it on hold for a couple of days then that’s even better, but just putting it down for even an hour will help you really evaluate whether the item is worth the money. This also gives you a chance to stop and consider on a big goal you’re saving for (maybe a new house, grad school, or a car) and whether this one purchase will help you on your way to that goal. 75% of the time I usually decide that I can live without it, no matter how nice or pretty the item might be.
By having a budget when shopping, you can help to ensure that you have enough money to devote to your other goals (and save for the future) without sacrificing your fabulous style! If you’re in the market to splurge on an investment piece, check out my posts about deciding on what items to invest in, and 30 ways to save up for it quickly!
See you on Thursday!