There is usually one thing that we can never get enough; one thing that we need to buy whenever we see at the store even if we have so many back at home. It may be shoes, it may be clothes in general. It may be home decor or even groceries simply because it’s on sale. For me, it’s journals. Although I have many blank journals waiting for me in my drawer, I always visit the journal aisle at Target. Many journals go unused and I continue to stack this never ending supply of journals. Do you have a similar issue? Do you have tons of clothes that go unworn in your closet? Are you spending your money when you don’t need to? Then I have a guide for you to spend only when you need, and thus, to save money.
Create a Shopping List:
When you have a shopping list, you are letting yourself know what exactly you need to buy. Your trip to the store will be much more productive and allow you to go in and out of the store without buying unnecessary purchases. This only works if you follow your shopping list.
Avoid Trigger Aisles:
If you take a trip to the store and don’t have a shopping list and you’re simply browsing, avoid the aisles that you know you’ll spend money there when you don’t need anymore of that item. For instance, I love thrift shopping but I tell myself mentally that I know that I do not need anymore summer dresses, so I avoid looking in the dress aisle, because I know I’ll feel the urge to purchase a cute dress when I see one.
Ask Yourself a Series of Questions:
If you find yourself wanting to purchase an item when you necessarily don’t need it, you can ask yourself these questions to make sure it is still a worthy purchase. I’ve compiled a list of questions that can be used for any kind of shopping, but these are catered more towards shopping for clothing.
- Do I love it? If you don’t love it, it’s not worth spending money on.
- Do I have something similar back at home? If you have similar items back at home, don’t buy another one, unless you need replicas. For instance, if you work out everyday, you’re going to need more than one sport’s bra so you don’t have to wash daily.
- Will I wear it often/ Can I pair it with at least 3 outfits? (Do I use it often) Don’t buy something you can’t pair anything with. If you love a cute statement top, but have nothing to wear it with then it’s not worth your money. The only exception is if you need to purchase for a formal event, but make your money’s worth and don’t purchase a pricey item you are only going to wear once.
- Does it fit well? Do I look good in it? I often make the mistake of buying something that I love and think that I will wear it often, but never really wear it because it does not look good on me. I like the idea of it, but with my body shape, it’s unflattering. Or, sometimes a garment looks fantastic on me, except for one area. It may be that the crotch is a little up high, or the boob area isn’t filled, or the waist is a little tight, and because of that one area, I never pick that garment to wear when I’m looking for an outfit. So, if it doesn’t fit you well when you try on an item, and if you don’t feel like you look amazing, even if your friends disagree, don’t buy it!
Download printable: shopping guide
Delay the Purchase
This may not work for thrifting, but if you found an item online or at the store and you really want to purchase it, you can delay the purchase to see if it is something you really want to spend your money on. You can delay the purchase by keeping the garment saved in your bookmarks, or if you have a Pinterest, in your wishlist. If you have a bullet journal, you can even write the garment name, the website or store, and the price to save the garment. Come back to the pin, bookmark, or your bullet journal after a month and see if it’s something you still want to buy. If it doesn’t hold any interest after a month, it wasn’t something that you would have used for long. So, you don’t need to buy it.
Try On the Garment
I often see many people do this: they purchase a garment without trying it on. When they get home, they find out it doesn’t look great on them or they find it wasn’t something they really wanted. They then go back to the store to return it. Here you are spending your money on gas for a second trip, and you are more likely to purchase items again because you are at the store. So, do yourself a favor and try on the garment before purchasing it. It will allow you to make the best decision if it something you really want, and it’ll save you money.