If you are like me, style is a big part of your life and you enjoy putting together outfits for all occasions. That probably means that you like to study style trends, follow fashion bloggers, and curate style boards on Pinterest. If all of this is true, you probably love to shop and can’t resist a sale.
I love shopping too! Its great and being able to add new pieces to my wardrobe gives me great joy! But this joy comes at a price. My hard-earned income. And personal finance is waaaay more important than any shopping addiction.
So how do we help ourselves but still keep our love for fashion and shopping alive? Glad you asked!
Here are my top 5 tips for keeping your shopping addiction under budget without sacrificing your personal style preferences or your joy.
1. Create a Shopping List
Before you even think about purchasing a new item, go to your closet and take inventory. Which pieces do you love the most? Are they getting old and worn out? Maybe you should add similar items to a shopping list.
Do you have any items that you would love to wear but don’t have anything in your closet to wear with it? Add those missing pieces to your shopping list.
This may seem counterproductive, adding items to your list when you should be spending less. But having this list will help you become more focused when shopping so that you don’t need to buy random things that serve no purpose to your wardrobe.
Now that you have an awesome shopping list, when you go shopping, stick to the list! Don’t buy any other items until you have everything on your list.
2. Set a Budget and Set it Aside
Budgets are very important for personal financial success. I have a blog post all about how to create a starter budget with purpose on Minted and Printed. (insert link here: http://www.mintedandprinted.co
Once you have determined your budget and figured out how much money you plan to spend on shopping each month, set that amount aside. If you shop in stores, withdraw that amount in cash and only use that cash while shopping. If you are an online shopper, try opening up a separate back account just for shopping. Another option is to add that amount to your PayPal account and always check out with PayPal.
3. Know Your Style
It’s important to have a good understanding of your personal style. This includes what colors, silhouettes, and styles look best on you! If you haven’t figured out your personal style, try out my style planner. (Link: http://www.mintedandprinted.co
When you understand your style, you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t buy. No need to waste time and money on items that don’t fit seamlessly into your wardrobe.
4. Be Picky
This should be obvious, but somehow, I fall into this trap all the time. Buying clothes that are just not quite right for me. You know what I mean…the shirt that is cute but fits a little oddly in the arms…or the pants that aren’t quite long enough. But it’s ok, you can cuff them and wear them as cropped pants. We have to stop doing this! If it’s not perfect, don’t buy it!
Also, if you see a piece that you love but you don’t have the items in your closet to wear with it, why bother? You wouldn’t be able to wear it anyway.
What if you see something that you MUST own and you just CANNOT live without it? But it’s not on your shopping list and doesn’t fit into your budget? If you must have it, you must be willing to SACRIFICE for it. That means, if you splurge on a dress and go $50 over budget, you must sacrifice in another category of your budget. Maybe you don’t go out for dinner that month, or only watch movies at home.
If it’s worth breaking your shopping budget, it’s worth the sacrifice!
Pro Tip: (a.k.a a tip from my dad) Before you buy, window shop! Spend 2 weeks to a month reflecting on the purchase you want to make and if you still think you want it, buy it!
I hope that my tips help yo to stay on budget and keep your shopping addiction under control! For more fashion and finance advice, check out http://www.mintedandprinted.co
Go forth. Look great. Be great.
About Toyin Alli
Toyin’s blog, Minted & Printed, is a fashion and finance blog dedicated to helping “newly minted” professionals stylishly navigate the real world. She helps new grads decide what to wear for their next work event as well as how to take the financial steps to afford their next girls’ trip!