For the weekend I am going to my friend's and we're going shopping! I'm really excited. My friend and I were talking and we were mentioning how it seems like a lot of times when we shop together we just roam the shops freely and half the stuff we buy we end up not liking, or it breaks or something. We would make documents and put images and prices on it and then on the actual day of shopping buy maybe one thing off that document. It wasn't much of a guideline at all. It's not bad to shop freely, but it's nice to have some sort of plan.
I was tired of always getting home and feeling like I didn't do a good job spending my money - and then I'd have to save up all over again. This time, I'm doing something different. I'm making a plan and I'm sticking to it! Here is some tips for shopping successfully on a budget. At the end of our shopping weekend, I'll do a recap and see if it benefited me!
Tip #1: Know How Much You Have
Count up your money and know how much you have plus HOW you have that much. Example: let's just say I have $110. I saved $60, received $40 from birthday presents, and then found another $10. Write down what makes up that $110. Why should you do this? It's optional, but I like to do it so I'm not questioning my total. I like to know how I got my total so I don't ask myself things like, wait, where did I get so much to make that? Am I sure I have that much? I do it for a peace of mind type thing, and it also helps when grouping it.
Which, I totally recommend grouping your money in your wallet to make it easier when shopping. It's kind of funny because at the beginning of the day my wallet will be as neat as can be and by the end of the day it explodes with $1 bills, receipts, and change. Do it anyway. Put the $20's in one spot, and the $5's in another. Also, if you're using some of it for home stuff and the other for something else, group that too so you don't go overboard on one spot. Also, about the change you take at the beginning. Don't take much - believe me. Through your trip, you will get a whole bunch back and at the beginning you'll have more bills to spend which can take the place of change.
Tip #2: Make a Guideline of Stuff You Need (or the stuff you are focused on getting)
Let's say I want a new pair of heels. Research them and make sure they are in a store at the mall you are going to. Just make sure what you want is not online only. It also helps if it's fairly new or you've seen it at the mall before. Then, round up the price to the nearest tenth I would say and subtract that from your total. Make sure your remaining amount after purchasing all the things you'll need is satiable. Also, it won't be accurate. There's taxes and you can't even guarantee that product you want will be in the store, so always prepare for the worst. Let's just say you did find everything you needed, make sure the remaining outcome is enough for you to shop freely.
Tip #3: Go to the Stores You Need Stuff from First
That way you won't go overboard shopping freely. Get the important stuff first, then have fun with the rest.
Tip #4: Put a List on Your Phone
The document and the prices will not be accurate every time - I promise. Just make a list of the things you need on your phone so you don't forget and really, just see how it works out. You may have more, you may have less money. Wouldn't you rather come home with stuff you needed (or really, really wanted) rather than stuff that may have been a good idea at first but now aren't so much?
Tip #5: Have Fun
It's okay to go off the list, as long as you don't go too far off. Really, it's your day, so do whatever you want, but these are just some tips with helping you get the things that probably won't get old as fast as those random items you saw. Also, it's okay to try new things and get some of those random items - just as long as you actually get some of your big wants! No shopping trip will be perfect - but hopefully now you can make this one a little better than the last! Do what works best for you. Part of shopping is living and learning.