Personal Shopping Tips

A couple of shopping tips that seem to work for me. I don’t really ascribe to other shopping tips given by people, because that doesn’t work for me.

1. Budget

Everyone says this, so I try to set a general budget in my head. But ladies, let’s be serious, sometimes that just doesn’t work. You say $100 in your head, and your shopaholic inside says: “But does that $100 include tax?” Hah! Some say to bring cash, but I’m a bit paranoid about carrying cash on my person.

2. Item Limit

When I’m in a store, and I see ..oh..10 items I really like, I force myself to choose to buy only 2-3 items. This works really well for me, because my brain kicks in and weeds out the items I’m not 100% positive on, and I only end up buying the items I truly want.

3. Figure out your Shopping Style

I still have to learn the fine balance of this. From buying over the years, I tend to accumulate a lot of classic pieces with my “Collector” shopping style; so much so that I own many of the exact same styles in varying shades. Now, I stop myself and say: “Do I really need another pinstripe suit? Won’t the other one suffice?” But don’t buy trendy items just for the sake of shaking up your wardrobe if those items won’t work for you! I’m talking about things like bubble skirts that don’t work on most figures with hips, or super skinny jeans that are a bit hard to pull off unless you’re super tall, and stick-thin. Or even things like a faux-leopard jacket made out of rabbit fur. *shudders* Stick to the classic basics, with a twist to make them special, and buy quality items when you can if you feel it’s worth it. Spending $50 on a basic white button-down tailored shirt is reasonable – spending $1000 on one because it happens to be a Jil Sander, is not!

4. Have a vision of your wardrobe at home

If I look back at my closet, and think: I need more patterns in my wardrobe, I look for more patterns in tops, dresses and skirts. Same goes with items of clothing too. If I look back and think: I have way too many pairs of pants, and a pitiful collection of dresses, I tend to gravitate towards looking at dresses, patterns and colours other than teal and black!

5. Make tradeoffs

When you start spending money, you begin getting into the mindset that you have all this money to spend freely. You buy a couple of tops, then you think about buying a couple of expensive Chai Lattes at Starbucks while you’re shopping…which spirals into dinners… This is a bad mindset to get into. What I normally do is say: If I don’t get anything at all today, then I’ll get a Chai Latte, but if I buy something, I won’t.

6. Put items on hold

I find that when I’m in the rush of being in a store with shiny, fresh, new things, I tend to want and ‘need’ a lot more than I do. You have to get yourself out of that mindset and say: “Can I put this on hold?” and see if there’s anything else in the mall you’d rather have and/or get out of that environment to break that feeling of desire for an item you may not love. I tend to find that I don’t want the items as much as I thought I did, and it sure saves you on having to return it later once you realize you don’t want it as much as you thought you did. One of my favourite blogs: Budgeting Babe has a great post about this very subject entitled: Shop. Return. Repeat..

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.