8 Ways Shopaholics Can Save Money
We are always drawn to buy things that look favourable to our eyes, it’s part of being human. No matter how much we earn, we shop. And as our income increases, so does our spending. This is known as lifestyle inflation and we often do so to raise our living standards, or simply to surround ourselves with nice things that we enjoy having. Well, who doesn’t?
However, with the ever rising cost of living, we are being alarmed to save wherever and whenever we can and saving is never easy. We often believe that saving is a sacrificial and painful process but it does not have to be that way. We can still save money by making wise and conscious decisions when making purchases.
Here are a few shopping habits to break to enable savings even when you shop for clothes:
1. Ignoring the 50/50 rule
The key to spending less money on clothes is to spend more time on wardrobe maintenance. Whether you shop for clothes every weekend or quarterly, cut the hours you spend on shopping by half. Use the half of the time to tend to the clothes you already have.
Alter the white skirt, have the cobbler change the shoe sole, or simply discard faded and non-fitting clothes. The repairs will cost you money, but it will likely be less than what you will spend if you were shopping at the mall. When you are done, your wardrobe will look cleaner and fresher.
2. Buying various colours of your favourite clothing
That lightweight collared cardigan that you have been looking for a long time now, hangs on the rack in front of you. It is affordable, comfortable and it can be matched with almost anything. Above all, it comes in a variety of colours, so you are tempted to buy one of each colour. Though the cardigan looks appealing right now, you don’t know how long it will last, how much it will shrink in the wash, or whether the fabric will pill, pull or fray. Until you’ve seen how the cardigan wears, you’re better off picking only one colour to test. If it lasts through the wear and tear and multiple washes, you may then consider getting more of that.
3. Ignoring the rule of three
If that dark purple top you are intending to buy goes well with only one other item in your wardrobe, you are not going to get enough wear out of it to make the purchase worth every Ringgit you spent on it. Here is where the “rule of three” plays a role; whenever you are looking to buy an item, be it a top, a pair of earrings or a pair of sandals, see if you can match it with three or more items in your wardrobe. If you can, then buy it.
4. Duplicating items in your wardrobe
One item of each is more than enough. If you already have one leather or denim jacket in your wardrobe, why buy another one? Duplicating should only be done for office clothing, where you need at least five sets of outfits a week. However, avoid duplicating colours here – you do not need three sky blue shirts in your wardrobe.
5. Spending today’s cash for tomorrow’s uncertain need
“A long chilli red dress will be the most perfect outfit for a ballroom dinner”. “A complete set of suits will be the most appropriate for a conference”. When you start convincing yourself by picturing scenarios of where you are going to wear certain clothes, you are shopping for an event that you think you may attend in the future. There is no certainty in it and it is not wise to spend your money on it now. Hang that item back on the rack.
It’s better to spend that money on a need that is of today’s value – such as getting a nice skirt and blouse for Monday’s presentation, and your follow up presenations.
6. Buying clothes that require dry-cleaning only
That baby pink silk blouse or that pair of khaki cotton pants might look appealing especially if it’s on sale. You can’t resist the thought of getting yourself one. However, be reminded that such clothes are made of delicate, shrinkable and possibly colour fading fabrics that require frequent trips to the dry cleaners.
Fabrics such as leather, fur and feathers simply cannot do without dry cleaning. Depending on the item and material type, each time you send to the dry cleaner can cost you between RM14 and RM20, while suits, leather and wool items can cost between RM50 and RM 300. This means at the end of the day, this piece might not be a good bargain at all as there are extra maintenance costs attached to it.
Instead, look-out for materials that have the same luxurious look or feel but can be tossed in the washing machine. The clothing label will point this out for you. If the clothes are made of wool, silk or cotton, you may gently wash it by hand. Use a wet cotton swab to inspect every colour on the clothing to see if they fade.
7. Looking only at the mid-section of the store
As most of us usually walk straight into the main section of the store, items are typically pricier there. When you shop, you may be able to find better bargains if you explore the corners of the store, because that’s where the more significant markdowns usually lie.
8. Having a wardrobe full of simply everything under the sun
Yet another way to keep costs down is to fill your wardrobe with solid, neutral coloured clothes. This can be boring though. You can then spice up your wardrobe with vibrant accessories such as leopard-print flats, red heels, big earrings or a bright yellow handbag. These could make any simple outfit look lively and would cost you less than having every single colour of clothing in your wardrobe. When bright items are paired with your basics, you will have so many combinations that you’ll may not need to shop again. At least for now!