Creating a wardrobe that you love is no easy task, especially when you always end up spending over your budget. In a perfect world, shopping would be a fun adventure, but the truth is, finding clothes that fit you well, are complementary to your complexion, and can withstand everyday wear and tear can be a challenging task when money is tight. Fortunately, here are a few money-smart ways to shop for clothes.
While it’s tempting to purchase every designer collection in sight, to prevent overspending, it is essential to define a budget before you go on a shopping spree. Depending on your personal finances, it could be $50, $200, or even $1000. Once you decide on a budget, make sure to stick to it!
Shopping enthusiasts often have trouble tracking how much they are actually spending. Consider setting aside your budgeted money in an envelope, use cash instead of debit/credit card in malls, or invest in an app that will send you an alert when you go over your monthly budget.
Coupons are lifesavers for shopaholics! James Crawford, e-commerce expert from DealDrop.com, shares his top idea for money-smart shopping and the secret is to use coupons. Get a binder full of clear page protectors and fill it up with all the coupons you receive via mail or in-store. Carry it whenever you are going on a shopping spree.
Also, don’t forget to check your smartphone for good deals. Skim through the official pages of retailers to grab any coupons. There are even websites dedicated to helping you grab the best coupon.
It may be surprising, but clothing stores employ a great deal of psychology when placing their pricier items. The phenomenon is known as Charm Psychology and takes advantage of human nature to always head for the center. Often, stores will place their more expensive items or the ones with higher margins in center zones.
The good news is, if there are charming zones, there are also dead zones. Focus your attention on the rear of the store and the left wall that leads outside. Quite often, the clothes on sale and the ones with promo codes are placed in these sections.
Picture this: you see a piece of clothing online or in-store, and it’s the perfect match. Before adding it to the cart or swiping your card at the terminal, consider asking yourself if this impulse purchase will work with at least three other outfits in your existing wardrobe. If not, then it’s likely not worth it.
Additionally, make use of the meat and potatoes rule. 70% of the clothes in your wardrobe should be everyday essentials. If your closet is straying too far from the rule, consider putting that item back on the hanger.
Participating in a loyalty program is an excellent way to grab good deals on clothing items. It’s an incentive-based service where you sign up for a particular company. In return for the membership, they will send you invitations to private sales, coupons, and more! The results of joining a loyalty program bring benefits to both the consumer and the business.
Make sure to understand all the points listed on the pamphlet before signing up for the program. Often, brands hide deals within the information that can come in handy to save money when shopping for clothes.
If you are a shopaholic, your clothes are basically your best friends. Like your friends, you need to check your wardrobe regularly. No one likes spending a couple of hundred dollars on a sweater, placing it in storage, and then finding out months later that moths have attacked it.
Protect your clothes by investing in canvas storage or vacuum storage bags and cedar blocks or mothballs. Make sure to read the label on your clothes to check if they’re dry-cleaned only or can simply be thrown in a washer. Learn how to fold them neatly. By doing so, you will not only extend the life of your favorite clothes by a few years but also save a ton of money.
Whether it is saving on a pair of jeans or spending less for a fantastic pair of heels, you should never, ever, pay full price! There is always a better deal out there, and it could be either loading up on coupons or making sure to snatch the same pair of shoes during the sale season. You can only call yourself a money-smart shopper if you follow all the tips above!