Retail therapy is undoubtedly awesome. Scouring the shops for that perfect dress or treating yourself to lots of little trinkets can really give you a boost and help you to relax if shopping is your thing, but shopping can also be a huge drain on your wallet. Whether you’re shopping online or at the mall, it’s so easy to whip out your plastic and spend, spend, spend, without ever thinking about all the money you’re throwing away. That leads to buyer’s remorse and sometimes even unmanageable debt, which is certainly not in any way therapeutic.
That’s why, if you’re a dedicated shopper, it makes sense to reign in your spending at look at saving money in any way you an. You don’t have to give up your favorite hobby – you just need to think about shopping in a different way. Here are some tips to help you save money on your shopping habit:
Buy Only What You Need
Because everything from clothing to gadgets to food is a lot more affordable now than it used to be, it’s so easy to think that because the thing you’re buying is so cheap, you might as well buy two, three or four of them. Although, this sometimes works out well, when you’re buying food in bulk for a discount, for example, when it comes to buying clothes, gadgets, and other goods, you need to take a step back, think about whether you really need that one dress in five different colors and perhaps just buy the one. Sure, they might be cheap, but if you buy more than you need, you’re going to end up with an empty wallet sometime soon.
Plan Purchases Ahead of Time
Often, we end up spending more money than is really necessary because we have not planned for our purchases. So many times I’ve had to spring for next day shipping that has cost almost as much as the outfit I’m buying simply because I left it to the last minute and I need something to wear for an important event. By keeping a calendar and checking it for upcoming events regularly, I’ve been able to reign in expensive last minute purchases and keep more money in my bank account where it belongs.
If you enjoy the experience of hitting the mall and looking at all the beautiful things available to buy more than you actually enjoy making a purchase, why not just go window shopping instead? There’s no rule to say that every shopping trip must end in a purchase, and you’ll have just as much fun trying things on knowing that you’re not under any obligation to buy!
Check for Coupons First
Before you buy anything online, or even offline for that matter, take the time to see if there’s a coupon first. There are literally tons of coupons for everything you could ever want to buy, so you’d be foolish not to take advantage of them, especially when you can find coupons offering 50 or 60 percent off, or even more in some cases.
Shop Out of Season
Shopping out of season is a great way to make guaranteed savings and still buy everything you need to buy. So, although it’s summer now if you know that your winter coat is looking a bit shabby and will need to be replaced this year, buy one now. Sure, you won’t need it for a few months, but that’s why you’ll be able to pick one up for a fraction of the price! This principle applies to anything that could be considered seasonal, like sunglasses, gardening equipment, and vacation stuff.
Before you go on your next shopping trip, whether you’re going to the grocery store or hitting your favorite fashion store, take the time to take inventory of what you already have. If you’ve got ten cans of beans in the cupboard, you’ll only be wasting your money if you buy more and the same applies to shoes, dresses, and underwear. If you know what you have, you’ll be less likely to splurge on something that you don’t really need, and you can direct all of your cash to things you do need or even better, to your savings account.
Leave the Credit Card at Home
Have you noticed that you tend to spend much more money when you use your credit card> when you pay with plastic, it often doesn’t feel like you’re spending real money and that can cause you to splurge more than you would if you had to hand over actual cash when out shopping. So, do the smart thing and leave the plastic at home. You’ll really notice the difference in the amount of money you have left over at the end of the month.
Unsubscribe from Newsletters
If online shopping is your main vice, and you’re signed up to all manner of newsletters trying to persuade you to buy everything but the kitchen sink, just unsubscribe. Doing so will take away some of the temptation you feel to splurge on the unnecessary, and you can just look for coupons and vouchers for your favorite stores online should you need to make a purchase so that you won’t miss out on anything.
Draw Up a Budget
It doesn’t work for every shopaholic, but sometimes, taking an honest look at your financial situations and drawing up a tight budget that ensures you can meet all your obligations, pay a portion of your salary into savings and have a small amount left over for treats will really focus your mind and ensure that you spend less and look for the best money-saving deals before you do make a purchase.
Make a List
Often, we end up spending more than we intended because we don’t have a clear picture of what we’re actually shopping for. Therefore, making a list of what you need before a shopping trip will help to focus your mind and keep temptation away, well some of the time at least!
Are you a savvy shopper? Would you like to share your tips for saving money on your shopping habit?