Summer is finally here, meaning tall palm trees, long nap sessions, bonfire nights with friends, and cool (literally) swimming days are back. But, the warm weather also calls for shopping sessions that may empty your pocket more than you’d want it to, so to help you guys out, here are drum roll 10 hacks to save money while shopping! Enjoy!!
1. Give yourself a reasonable budget.
Before all else, look at your net income and your living costs. Before you buy that striped sweater from A&C, think about your ‘need’ items, including water, electricity, and monthly bills, things you need to physically survive. Be sure to accurately calculate how much you’re making, how much of the profits you need to spend on the necessary items, how much money you want to deposit/save up, and how much of the money left you’re willing to spend on those ‘want’ items. You can also keep track by using a journal like below.
2. Only bring how much you want to spend.
If you bring $50 to the mall and you see a sweater for $33 that you just LOVE and cannot get your eyes off of, chances are you’re going to buy it. If you, however, you decide to bring only your set budget, you won’t be able to spend any more than you want to. If you brought your $30 budget instead, you wouldn’t be able to buy the sweater anyway and save money inevitably.
3. Consider how many of ‘those’ you already have.
To a customer, any piece of new clothing that is reasonably priced is appealing to the human eye. When this happens, you need to consider the necessity of the item that you’re considering whether to buy. The gray zip-up hoodie may be on sale for 50% off, but think about how many other ‘gray zip-up’ hoodies you might have lying around at home.
4. Look in the clearance area first.
Retail stores typically have full priced new arrival items in the front to attract customers; you’ll want to avoid this as much as possible. If you really want to see what’s in, it’s good to skim, but not to dig through the racks. Instead, save that for the clearance area typically located in the back. Sometimes, you might even prefer the clearance items over the new arrivals!
5. Ghost clothing.
If you find a dress you like at the mall and aren’t so sure about whether you should buy it, visit a few other stores first and see if that dress pops up in your head after your shopping sesh is over. If it’s ‘haunting’ you, it means that you genuinely wanted to buy it. This helps prevent you from becoming an impulsive shopper and regretting what you buy later on.
6. Consider what clothes from home you can match with the item.
Do you have that one pair of pants that is so adorable but can’t be worn because it matches with nothing else in your wardrobe? This tip will help. Before you buy an item, think of outfits that you can make out of it with your clothes at home. A good number to stick with is would be 3 outfit ideas.
7. Look at the price before trying it on.
We’ve all had that moment when we found the perfect summer romper that fits perfectly once tried on, but then we realize the horrors of *dun dun dun* the price tag. Yep, it may very well be a full-priced item, and now you’re emotionally attached to it because you’ve tried it on and it feels like the clothing was personalized just for you. To prevent this, just simply look at the price before you try it on and consider its worth before you commit to pondering any further. It’ll save you heartbreaks!
8. Food adds up.
Shopping malls are intended to attract a diverse group of customers, so chances are you’ll find something to eat. Every time you shop with your friends, you might religiously buy a frap from Starbucks for $5. Even when you’re not at the mall, you may still like to grab a cup of coffee before work. So in total, let’s say you buy coffee 3-4 times a week. Not much, right? Wrong. Going 3-4 times totals to $15-20 a week, which means you can potentially spend $45-60 in a month JUST ON COFFEE. You don’t have to cut coffee completely, but you could replace one of the 3-4 times with water each week and even track your water consumption as part of a health diet.
9. Count your coins.
Unless you’re super lucky, you’ll almost always get change. Save the coins, store them (you can use jars or piggy banks), and trade them for dollars the next time you go to the bank. You’ll be surprised at how much it adds up!
10. Enjoy the experience!
Shopping should be enjoyable experience, and if something you want is worth a little more, you can always adjust next month’s budget and be flexible. The most important thing is that you are happy!