Shopping is enjoyable, at least until you realise how much money you’ve spent. However, there is no reason you can’t save money and have a good time while doing it. Here are the top strategies to try if you want to enjoy shopping, but ensure it doesn’t ruin your bank account.
Keep a detailed shopping list
Sometimes we end up buying things we don’t really need, just because we feel like it. We are quite good at explaining to ourselves how we need something. Furthermore, in the heat of the moment, we might just want to get out of the store.
Making lists can actually be fun. You can use beautiful paper with colourful pencils and create the ultimate shopping list. The list shouldn’t be an ordinary list – you want it to feature things you need and the things you want. In fact, you could create three sections to your list and start listing items accordingly. Your shopping sections would be: items I need, items that are semi-useful, items I purely want. You can even cut-and-paste photos of those items or note where they can be bought. You can then budget your shopping based on these items. The items you need are a high priority and would be bought first with your monthly shopping budget. Items you purely want are those luxuries you can get only when you have the money.
Choose your shopping companions wisely
Shopping is most fun when you’re doing it with friends or family. It’s a social activity. The journey to the mall joking with friends is in itself a thing we enjoy doing. You, therefore, want to make sure you have the right company with you to make the shopping a bit more fun.
However, you need to be careful when picking your shopping companions. You probably know what I’m talking about – we all have the aunt who keeps talking and suggesting stupid outfits, forcing us to part money with something we probably didn’t even want. No, you shouldn’t pick a person who will force you to spend more, especially on things you don’t want.
On the other hand, you also don’t want someone who keeps saying ‘OK’ to everything you suggest. This will only lead to a lighter wallet. The perfect companion is someone who will question our shopping decisions – not too critically, of course – and who is smart about spending. If you know a super savvy shopper or someone who’s always looking for a bargain, pick them up when you are afraid you might shop the whole store empty.
Start browsing thrift stores
You don’t need to find every single item from a shiny high-street shop. Old and used items can be just as good and have the advantage of being alive – they have their stories to tell and thus, they add something special to your home or wardrobe. The feeling you get from shopping in thrift and second-hand stores is amazing! You never know what treasures you might find.
Thrift stores can be found almost everywhere in the world. Communities and churches also often organise yard sales where you can find great bargains and support the local community simultaneously.
You can also find second-hand items online, but you need to be much more careful with this. Always ensure you shop on a trusted site and that there are ways to dispute the sale and get your money back in case you don’t get what you bought. If you find people selling online that you can meet in person, the deal is probably true – just remember to show up with a friend!
Become an online deal hunter
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular and it can be a lot of fun as well. It offers plenty of options since you can sit down in your pyjamas and sip your tea while browsing all sorts of different shops. It sounds much nicer than running around at a mall with thousands of other people.
You can also save a lot of money when shopping online. You definitely want to turn your online shopping into a game of ‘Find the Best Deal’. This means checking out sites for saving codes and vouchers, as well as comparing what different retailers are asking for the same product. You can start your hunt with http://www.hotuksavings.co.uk/ and become a great deal hunter.
Take your time to make a decision
Above all, have fun by taking your time with the shopping decision. If you’re shopping in the city, take a small break and have coffee or a slice of cake while you ponder whether you really want to spend money on the items you found. When you’re shopping online, put the laptop down and do a few stretches. Think what the items will do for you – imagine your life with them and think carefully what it would feel like wearing them, looking at them, enjoying them and so on. Often a small pause will make you realise you don’t even need it.
So, there you have it! Some clever strategies to ensure your shopping experience is fun and exciting, but also helps you save money.
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