Sam and I have had some serious and extensive talks (therapy sessions?) over the topic of buying clothes. Each of our individual shopping styles have evolved dramatically over the past year, so we are bringing our phone conversations to your computer screen. This post is the first in a 3-part series about Shopping Well, Well within Your Means.
My entire thought process regarding purchasing clothes has done a complete 180 over the past year. Not only have I been surprised about how easy it has been to change my shopping habits, but my emotional and mental states in response to those changes have completely shocked me. COMPLETELY AND FULLY SHOCKED ME TO THE CORE. When I first decided not to allow a monthly envelope category for buying clothes (in addition to my spending money envelope ), I had several concerns: Were people going to see me wear something multiple times with too little space in between? Would people think that I didn’t know what was on trend for that season? How sad will I be when I look at InStyle and know I’m not going to buy anything that month? Will people start thinking that I have bad taste? Are people going to think that I have no money? What will I do to reward or treat myself? How can I shop with my friends?
The Old Me: Previously I averaged about one good shopping trip per month and probably spent somewhere between $100 and $300 each month on some type of clothing purchase(s). It varied—a pair of boots one month, a fabulous dress the next, maybe a couple of belts and shirts the next—but it always happened. I could always count on that money being spent. When I decided to count on that money NOT being spent, my initial—and shallow—concerns were wiped from my brain two months into the process.
The New Me: Clothing is considered one of our three basic needs, and I make sure that my closet and dresser are well stocked with the clothes I need to get me through my daily life—clothes for work, clothes to workout in, and clothes that work for the weekend/social events. My current shopping strategies have helped me spend less money but still allow me to feel good about how I look when I walk out my front door each morning (or night). Today, I shop within my $100 of allocated spending money for that pay period (sometimes this requires saving and rolling over to combine money from multiple pay periods) and “splurge” once or twice a year when I start to notice my shoes/clothes are looking a little too well-loved. My annual/bi-annual splurges total $150-$200 and are usually done to update my professional wardrobe.
I could easily save up to $3,450 in one year utilizing savvy shopping strategies. Don’t stop shopping. Become a better shopper.
Motivation to Curb your Shopping Sprees: Not only has changing my shopping habits, increased my ability to cash flow towards a more important cause (for me that is my student loans), but I have also experienced other positive consequences that are unrelated to money!
Come back for Part 2 tomorrow to see how I utilize The 10 Commandments of Shopping Well, Well within Your Means, to keep my closet updated and my bank account full. These are the methods I have used to help curb my shopaholic tendencies, and I can’t wait to share them with you!