I'm a firm believer in retail therapy, but like any true adult you've got to get your priorities straight first. Whether you're single or in a relationship, managing your money can be easier to do when you plan things out and watch your spending. If you're at a time in your life when you are trying to buckle down and save some money, let me give you some advice. This article will have My 5 Golden Rules for Savy Shoppers, as well as some tips for clothing, traveling and food saving ideas.
THE 5 GOLDEN RULES FOR SAVY SHOPPERS
Create Your Budget >>> I'm sure we all dread the word budget, but it really is a necessary and useful tool that can help you not overspend. Create something that helps you achieve your savings goals and helps you live within your means (An in-depth post to for Budgets coming soon)
Make A List >>> The best way to shop without any unexpected and expensive distractions is to create a shopping list. It's far to easy to get sucked into the extra do-dads that you think you might need, but in reality you don't need them at all. Keep your focus, buy only what you need and that will help you stay within your budget.
No More Hidden Fees >>> Start paying things on time! There is no way to avoid it, so get used it! If you can set up automatic payment withdrawals, that would be ideal. You'll end up paying a lot of interest/fees with your bank if you just let those payments pass through. Stay on top of it! Mark down on a planner or calendar if you have to, but keep up with the due dates.
Attitude is Everything >>> You may be in the mood to boost your wardrobe a little, but all you feel like you're doing is shuffling through endless racks of random clothes. Your attitude can affect how the day goes. Channel your creativity and get thinking about what you'd like to say with your clothing. Maybe you're a little overwhelmed with an upcoming family party and you've got a lot of food to get. Stay positive, ask questions and make your list!
The 3 P's >>> Before making a purchase, big or small, consider the 3 P's... patience, practicality and priority. It takes patience to find exactly what you're looking for and for the right deal to come along. Is your purchase practical? Is it something that will get plenty of use or has a meaning? Is what you're purchasing a priority? Is it something you need or is it something you want?
SAVE ON CLOTHES
- When trying on new clothes, wear nude colored underwear or the underwear you would wear with that outfit. If you're in search for a strapless dress, wear your strapless bra. That will help you visualize exactly what it will look like and you'll know exactly how it'll feel.
- If you're trying to match an outfit or dress to a shoe, bring the shoes! Have that visual right there with you in the store!
- Try Out-Of-Season shopping. You can find good deals on sweaters during the spring/summer and vice versa. Stores are trying to get rid of as much product as possible when it's the end of the season, and normally you can find really good deals on those kind of clothes.
- Even though sales are a lot of fun and you may feel like you're getting a great deal, the truth is, that cute top is more likely to not last long at all. It's a total judgement call on your part, but sometimes quality is better than quantity. Instead of buying five shirts in different colors that will dull after one wash... maybe buy one shirt that's a bit more in price but has durable fabric and won't lose it's shape after one wash.
- Know your measurements! Don't let sizes fool you. Unfortunately, clothing sizes might not be the same for all stores. If you're online shopping always make sure to check the sizing chart they provide. If you're at the store, grab a couple sizes to take with you to the dressing rooms.
- Make a pinterest wish board! Did you find an outfit or style you really like? Pin it and take it with you when you go shopping! Try and recreate the look for cheaper!
SAVE ON GROCERIES
- Don't shop on an empty stomach! It is far too easy to walk into the grocery store and grab things off the shelf that sound good to eat right then and there. Have a snack before you shop, and that will help prevent impulsive buying!
- Coupons and rebate apps are seriously some of the most helpful things! In my opinions, coupons really only apply if you're going to buy that certain item again. I haven't mastered the art of couponing yet, but this is what I do whenever I get coupons. I keep all of the coupons I get in a bag and before each grocery trip, I'll pull some out and look at the ones I've got. If they match up with some things I need, I take them with me! Rebate apps are so much fun to use! My top 3 are Shopkick, Checkout 51 and Ibotta.
- There's a general theme of distraction around grocery shopping, and for very obvious reasons! Food is delicious and sometimes everything looks good! Try setting a time limit when you're at the store! Stick to your shopping list and don't spend more time there than necessary. Get in, get out and start cooking!
SAVE ON EATING OUT
- Ask about student discounts. Many college towns like to treat their students with a little love and offer a small discount. Don't ever be afraid to ask if a given store or restaurant offers that. There are also some restaurants that give special discounts and codes to their social media followers!
- Day-of-the-week deals are great for saving a dollar or two when you can't help but go get some frozen yogurt. Remember to keep track of your favorite days!
- Punch cards are also a nice benefit. A lot of the time, I like to save up punch cards to use on a week or month that money is tight, that way I can get a little pick me up on a rough day.
- Try eating out only once a week, or better yet once a month. Make eating out something special! Try going out only when there are deals and only on special occasions.
SAVE ON TRAVELING
- Pack light! The less you take the better it'll be on your back and your budget. Consider what you'll really need on your vacation. If you'll be gone for only a week, try packing just a carry-on instead of checking in another bag.
- Travel during the "off peak" times. That's usually February (after the new year and holidays) and September (after school starts.)
- Cheap flight apps and email services. There are a lot of different ways to track down cheap flight deals! (a more in depth article for Finding Cheap Flights is in the works)
- AirBnB vs. Hotels? A lot of the time AirBnB might be cheaper than a hotel room, just make sure to look at all your options and where you want to go during your trip.
- Find free things to do! Ask the locals where some of their favorite places are. Restaurants? Sight seeing? Anything at all! Discover the culture as a local!
- Show your phone bill a little love and save money by only using wifi and messaging apps to contact friends and family members back at home.
What are some ways YOU save money?
Thanks for Reading!
This post will guide you into all of the things I have learned with all my traveling! Everything from road trips to international flights, check it out!