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Friday, July 5, 2013

How To Be Financially Savvy When Shopping

Lately I've noticed that I've been going from paycheck to paycheck and not being able to save money like I used to. When you're a college student like me who has a part-time job, one of your goals is to be able to save money for the future. On top of it, I'm a business major and even though I may not have a good understanding of the stock market, I am aware that every financial decision you make can have an impact on your future. Being a fashionista and saving money? You typically don't hear that in the same sentence but I was inspired to write a post about how it's actually POSSIBLE to save money while still looking stylish and keeping those shopping urges at bay.

Tip #1.) Can You Afford It?

Ask yourself this question every time you are debating on buying something. I usually ask this question to myself when I make a big purchase such as the Coach handbag I bought last month. I saved up for it for a long time and made sure that it wouldn't make a big dent in my bank account, so yes I can afford it because I've made sure that I've taken care of my other priorities first :) But if you're making big purchases without thinking twice about other bills you have to pay or the fact that half of your bank account is going to be empty after the purchase then there's a problem! Yes I have enough money to get a pedicure every month but can I afford it? Absolutely not.

Tip #2.) Cost Per Wear

This is probably the most useful piece of advice I can give anyone...How many times are you going to use/wear it? Now you can actually go on and calculate the specific number of times you're going to wear it but I'd rather not and rather think about it in general terms. Here's an example: I'm at Zara and spot a gorgeous coat that just came in for the winter and I can actually afford it. I got rid of my last coat so I'm in need of a new one, it's black and has a simple enough design to be able to wear every day and goes with all my outfits so cost per wear increases. Did I mention Zara and it's high quality? Cost per wear increases again because it'll last a long time :) Easy right? People don't think about these things when they're buying aimlessly left and right! 

Tip #3.) Keep All Your Receipts

If you really want to give yourself a scare then at the beginning of each month, start keeping all your recipients in a box and at the end of the month, look through all your recipients and calculate how much you're exactly spending on clothes, makeup, etc. It scared the heck out of me once I realized that I was spending close to $70 per month eating out when I could've kept that money in my wallet. 

Tip #4.) Does Buying Cheap Always Equal Money Saved?

People always think that spending less money on things equals more money being saved. That's true up to a certain point *sighs*. Let's use my eating out example: I have a friend who's EXTREMELY CHEAP and thinks that she's saving money even though she goes out to eat as much as I do. Whenever we go out, she orders the most cheapest items on the menu and thinks she's saving money. The interesting part is that it all adds up over time! Getting that $4 meal a few times a week adds up and before you know it, you've spent just as much money as you were avoiding to spend.
Tip #5.) Do You Need It?

This is probably the second question you should be asking yourself after "Can you afford it?". With me, I always seem to buy more makeup when in reality I don't really need it and there's no reason to add it to my makeup collection. I bought the Naked 2 palette last year and it was a great investment since I use it every day, but buying another Naked palette? Do I really need it when the colors are similar to my other one? Nope. You gotta learn when to draw the line and to stop buying meaningless stuff that's not even going to be used.

Tip #6.) The Perks of High Quality

It's no secret that I love good quality clothes and brands and it's not because I want to brag or show off my money, it's because I'm getting more out of my money from those brands than from cheaper stuff that you would find at Forever 21. Not that there's anything wrong with Forever 21! It's just I've noticed over the years that buying cheap clothes always makes me go out and buy more clothes  because they get worn out so easily. Plus I like saving my money and buying something expensive that I know is actually worth it and will last a long time. After having a few staple pieces in your wardrobe that are expensive, you can mix and match and you won't have to go out and buy new clothes as much.

Tip #7.) "...But I Deserve It!"

That is the most overused excuse in the book when trying to convince yourself to buy something. Sure, getting a raise at work or passing all your finals with flying colors are reasons to treat yourself because, yeah you do deserve it after working so hard! But if you keep saying that to yourself all the time or "emotionally shopping" in order to not feel so sad or get rid of feelings of boredom then sooner or later you'll regret it and end up with a huge dent in your wallet. It's just not worth it, trust me! There are a million other ways to make yourself happy other than shopping and understand that once in a while, you deserve to treat yourself and buy something nice. Just don't go overboard and do it all the time!

I hope you enjoyed reading my little guide to being more financially savvy and forgive me if it was a bit too long! It's a lovely thing being a fashionista but it's not so enjoyable when you're 23 and in debt, I've seen it happen before sadly! Have any more tips to share? Feel free to leave some comments :)

Until next time lovelies,


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