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Shopping is my weakness. And trying to shop on a budget…the thought used to depress me (maybe I have a problem!). When I first started shopping on a budget, I used to be a serious bargain hunter and restrict how much I would pay. But I soon realized that my closet was filling with a lot of cheap crap that I didn’t like or wear. As I get older, I am beginning to understand the point of investing in nice, quality pieces for my wardrobe that will last. While I still get a thrill for a good deal, I only buy pieces that make me feel great or match for what I am trying to express. So here are my five simple rules to shopping on a budget.
1. Save up for a piece you really want. I knew I needed it from the moment I saw it – a black, quilted, leather Rebecca Minkoff bag. Though I had money for it, it wasn’t money that I had intentionally budgeted for it. So I waited and saved until I truly had money for it. I had to make sacrifices for that purse, and I am glad I did so I can enjoy it guilt free.
2. Shop around and negotiate. Check online prices or different department stores. Don’t be afraid of negotiating! Especially if you found the same piece for cheaper elsewhere. Most stores will be glad to price match.
3. Splurge on classic pieces. Trench coats, boots, quality jeans, jewelry…these are all pieces that you will wear again and again and won’t go out of style. Well worth the investment if you save for one!
4. Spend less on trends. I am so not a trendy girl. In middle school, I sewed a pair of gauchos. They were already out of style before I could even wear them (thankfully, looking back). Truth is, trends come and go each season so try not to go overboard.
5. Calculate per wear cost. When I lived in Iowa, I bought a Northface coat. I actually got it on super sale in EBay, but the lesson is that I wore that huge, puffy marshmallow coat every day in the freezing Iowa winter. It was so cheap per wear! On the other hand, how many times will you wear platform leopard pumps? They might be needed, but a higher cost per wear. This is an easy way to decide how much to pay for something.