Lovely ericamissamerica asks:
I’m a shopaholic and have been splurging on a lot of clothes and shoes lately. My bank account is not looking so good. I want to save money, but can’t help buying new things everytime I go shopping.
Any tips on saving money, Lovelies? How do you prevent yourself from spending?
You are in safe territory, my fellow shopaholic. Growing in a household where the answer was seldom, “yes, of course we can afford to go buy you lots of new things!” I grew into a young woman who sees shopping as a sign that I’m doing well for myself. Just the idea that I can buy something gives me license to go troll the mall and just see what’s there, but if I’m broke I feel like I can’t even go look. Somehow I keep from breaking the bank, even on my limited budget. Here are some of my tips for keeping your shopping addiction healthy instead of crippling.
1. Leave the credit cards at home. Or better yet, don’t get one. I don’t have one and guess what? It makes it pretty hard to rack up debt when you don’t have a charge account. It’s sort of magical in that respect. I know a lot of girls say they have a credit card so they can get a good credit score and they pay it off every month. Well, I’m not disciplined enough for that, so I just don’t spend it if I don’t have it.
2. Take inventory. I went through a period of time wherein I realized every long statement necklace I owned was sitting in a drawer somewhere, unworn. Why? Because I’m a hairdresser and shampooing people with a giant charm around your neck can have dangerous results. The same goes for things that are dry-clean-only. If I can’t machine-wash something it often ends up unworn because hair clippings + merino wool makes for a really itchy and uncomfortable situation. So take a look at the things that you get excited to wear. Shop for more of that. Don’t get to the mall and decide to reinvent yourself that day, or you’ll end up buying a lot of stuff you don’t need.
3. Think of the retail industry as the enemy. Not in an angry way, but understand how much everything you’re shopping for is marked-up. This will motivate you to never pay full price. Don’t be afraid to shoot to the back of the store where the sale section is. Don’t be afraid to ask what the 40 percent-off sale applies to and what it doesn’t. Buying things on sale (if you wanted them in the first place — don’t buy just because something is on sale) is an empowering way to love and value the things you do buy as if you won them, instead of just conceding to the retail giants’ highest bid.
4. Try everything on. A lot. Look at yourself. Is this garment or accessory going to make you want to wear it all day? Do you have something a lot like it at home? Even if you can afford it, is it worth the price? Can you think of the things you’ll pair it with off the top of your head? If something caught your eye and then it doesn’t look right in the dressing room, don’t let your initial impression of it sway you from the fact that it doesn’t fit as well as you’d hoped.
5. Walk away. Think of every purchase you don’t make as money in your pocket. Instead of “stuff” think of it as “future stuff” and walk out of the mall saying, “your stuff wasn’t good enough for me today.” There’s no shame in shopping without buying. Just know what you’re looking for, know what price you’re willing to pay, and don’t get distracted. And if you’re not sure, leave the store. If you can’t live without something and it’s worth standing in line for it, give it a chance. But keep in mind that a piece you pay a lot for should be worn a lot. If you’re cycling out garments often, don’t pay a lot for them or just enjoy what you have.
If it really is a serious case of spending addiction, just try to keep an eye on your budget and reverse your thinking about whether shopping is really “good” for you or not. But if you’re like me and you just get a thrill from a shiny new thing, keep those tips in mind to make sure you’re not buying anything you won’t wear. I hope this helped — if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!
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