Tips for shopping on a budget
If you are anything like me, then your eye for the finer things can become expensive. However, I have found that you can look fabulous without overspending with smart shopping habits. It has taken me years to get to this place but I'm happier with how I shop now. A budget may seem difficult but it does not have to be.Start shopping smart with these helpful tips:
1. Set and stick to a certain spending amount.
Before shopping, know your budget. Don’t underestimate it. Stick to a reasonable amount that won’t set you back. The only way you can shop smart is to be realistic. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it real with yourself. It will all work out if you commit to a set amount when shopping.
2. Use cash instead of credit.
Shopping with cash can be beneficial because it places more awareness on what you are actually spending. If it’s $50 in your pocket you know you have no less or more than that to spend. Swiping a card can take the thought and consideration needed when making a purchase. Another great alternative is to have an account just for fun shopping ; it should be completely separate from the money spent on bills, food and other necessities so there are no mishaps.
3. Shop around.
It's an oldie but a goodie because it’s so true! When you are looking for a certain look or item, it is best to shop at many different places (that includes department stores and boutiques) to find quality at an affordable price. The same item you see at a large department store, can be found somewhere else for a steal. Be open to looking everywhere. (Shopping around is also a great way to learn about new places that to buy from.)
4. Coupons are your best friend!
Okay, so let’s say you have looked EVERYWHERE but only one store seems to have what you are looking for and it’s still more than you can afford. Don’t fret! Most stores offer e-mail lists to sign up for. Some will give you a certain percentage off your first purchase, just for signing up. If you love a certain store or brand, then try signing up to earn that initial discount. And you can always unsubscribe from the e-mails at a later time if they become a nuisance. (Note: If you are still on the fence about an item, wait until you feel ready to buy it in order to sign up so that you can get and use the discount when you need it.) In addition, some stores still send out look books or catalogues; these are great because they can include exclusive offers or sales to take advantage of.
5. Sales are everything! Keep your eyes open.
Everyone knows a great sale is like gold. The trick to catching a sale is to always keep a look out. I like to visit the websites of brands I like on a daily or weekly basis when I am looking for something particular. Is it excessive? Maybe. However, if you have your heart set on something and want to get it for a steal, a sale is the best way to get it. To catch a sale, sometimes you have to look constantly because they are not always advertised. Lastly, shopping at the end of the season is an ideal time to pick up items you always wanted that are priced super low to make room for new inventory.
6. Don’t get discouraged.
Do not feed into the temptation go buying and giving up on the bargain. Stay strong. I believe that if something is meant for you, then you will have it. And honestly, the item you just “have to have” may turn out to be a dud anyway. Stay focused. A sale or coupon is just around the corner!
7. Check out outlets.
Outlets can be a secret to finding past items that you loved and missed. Depending on what you are looking for, this may not be an option if it’s a newer item. But maybe the store offers an item similar to it from a past season that could make you equally-happy and richer! Plan a trip to a local outlet store or better yet, you can call a store in another state to locate the item you want at a lower, better price.
8. Be aware of the return policy.
When you finally buy what you want, make sure to know what the return policy is. No one wants to spend their money on something they are stuck with it.
I hope these tips help guide you on your next shopping journey! There is nothing wrong with working within a budget. The idea is to look a million bucks without spending it.