I used to be an impulsive shopper until I started becoming aware of all the clutter that was collecting dust. I was always complaining of my money situation because I never had it where I most needed to spend it. Here’s a million dollar secret, no matter how much one earns, it all boils down to their money management skills.
Let me repeat; its ‘Money Management’. I don’t want to go too deep into why some people are good managers and other’s simply struggle to get by. Maybe their upbringing is to blame, maybe they don’t make enough money or maybe they are trying hard to keep up with the Joneses. Whatever the reasons are, each one of us can learn money management and saving skills. Let’s start with the very basic skill; to save money when we are shopping.
7 Tips To Save Money When Shopping
Most of us girls have a hard time controlling our impulses and when there is cash in the wallet, we can’t resist buying another lipstick, a cute top, earrings etc etc. I am going to give you my 7 tips that always leave me with surplus money when I am back home from shopping.
1. Always Leave with a List
Make it a habit to write down everything you want to buy on your shopping trip. When you leave with a list in your hand or phone, you wouldn’t be distracted with buying other things as the first priority would be to check off those items on the list. The written items on a list will hold you accountable when you begin to stray to check out other unimportant stuff.
2. Stick to a Budget and Don’t Settle
With all the items written on your to-buy list, write down a rough estimate of how much you can or would like to pay for a certain item. Having a budget and a rough estimate of every item set in mind will encourage you to look for a better deal.
Note: Looking for a deal does not equate to buying the cheapest product available. Instead look around and always buy a higher than average quality available in your budget.
3. Wait it Out Rule
The wait it out rule is that if something catches your eyes which can disturb your budget or you are indecisive about it then sleep on it for a week. The rule has to have an amount set which will alarm you to wait and buy later.
For instance if you are looking to buy a handbag and the maximum amount you can pay for it is around Rs. 2500-3000 and you stumble upon a high quality bag (which could possibly qualify as your dream bag) for Rs. 5000 on sale. This kind of situation should prompt you to wait and sleep on it for a week. If you can’t stop thinking about it even after a week then you buy it as its true value over weighs its cost.
Note: Handbags don’t sell that fast even on a sale so you don’t have to be hasty in buying the moment you see them on sale.
4. Buy only if you LOVE it
Always buy things which you truly love and see yourself wearing them again and again. Lot’s of women have a habit of buying sale items even if they are defected or does not matches their style. Buying things you don’t love will only lead to increase in clutter and you will always hear yourself say these classic feminine words; I have nothing to wear.
5. Price Should Justify the Wear Time
This is especially true for clothes and trendy/statement pieces. If your favorite floral stilettos only work with a single outfit in your wardrobe then its a total waste of money. Always ask yourself of how much wear time will you get out of that trendy/statement piece.
I also feel the same way about clothes. Clothes only last you a season even if you buy a three piece branded dress consisting of silk dopatta and lace motifs costing you Rs. 8000+tailoring charges. Do the math of how many times you will wear that dress and if it really justifies the cost per wear.
Note: A good rule of thumb is that the things which you have to buy over and over again should be bought in a medium range. Every person’s medium range is different but a product’s medium range is universal. E.g. A branded kurta or un-stitched dress of a medium range costs around Rs. 1800-2200
6. Shop for Your Wardrobe
Keep every item in your wardrobe organized so you get an idea of your favorite and non-favorite items. Organizing will also prompt you to buy the items you truly need as staples in your wardrobe.
I take a good look on each and every item of my closet before I go shopping and if any outfit lacks a staple or matching piece then I note it down and buy it first.
Note: One helpful tip is to go on Pinterest and get outfit inspirations. For instance if you have a grey denim but nothing goes with it then search ‘styling grey skinny jeans casual/formal’ to get a basic idea of what kind of tops, scarves, sandals would work best with grey skinny jeans.
7. Buy Basic Pieces from Sales
I always run to buy staples whenever there is sale going on. Staples include white, black, nude trousers, camisoles, everyday comfy and cute chappals and single print tops. This is the best time to stock up basic items for your wardrobe.
I am not a fan of the sales culture in Pakistan because brands over here mostly want to sell defective and over the top statement pieces. I am not saying you cannot find anything good from sales but if you want to exploit sale opportunity to its fullest then first buy basic staples then move over to other items.
Note: But remember to always buy things you truly love even from the sales.
These are my tips to save money when shopping and I am not asking you to consider them as rules. What works for me might not work for everybody. But if you want to curb on your spending or if the extreme clutter of your wardrobe overwhelms you then these tips will not only save you money but make your life easier as well!
Have a great weekend!