Many of us need a few simple reminders to shop smart. As many of you know, I became a master of shopping type (“I shopped until I fell”) until it became a problem for me (my shopping became obsessive). I knew I needed to develop a healthier relationship with shopping and over the course of a year I did.
I don’t buy much these days, but I know what makes a shopping trip a success. I share my top ten shopping tips with you. Hope they help you shop smart. Don’t just get in your car and point it in the direction of your favorite shopping destination! Take a moment to explore this list of smart buying strategies.
Buy the list
This is my number one tip for a reason. Many people spend too much or buy things they don’t want, don’t need and never will use because they aren’t properly prepared. This is hard earned money and precious time you put in – it’s worth preparing for a few minutes, right? Of course it is (and remember, it’s worth it!). So prepare yourself well before you go shopping. Take a look at what you already have in your closet, closet, home or garage, then make a list of your “holes” and the needs this article addresses. Make sure they’re real needs, not wishful thinking (there’s a big difference between the two). And finally, don’t forget to use this list when shopping! This list is not properly crumpled at the bottom of the bag or pocket. Use it and buy only the things listed!
Establish a budget
Yes, oh yes – the “b” word. Balance. This is important. Many people spend too much on things they don’t want, don’t need or use because they had no parameters for their spending: they simply went on a “learning hunt”. Not a smart way to shop. You need to determine a margin figure (or more specifically if you have closely researched what you are buying to back it up) of what you will spend on this trip, what you are comfortable with and what makes sense to spend on this shopping trip. You want to feel good about that shopping trip long after the receipt ink has faded, right? And one way to do this is to make sure you don’t buy more than you can afford. Set your budget – and like the list – stick to it! Whatever your budget, $ 50, $ 500, or $ 5,000, stop shopping when you hit your limit.
The research is clear: We pay 20-50% more when we shop with magic plastic, whether it’s a credit or debit card. There’s something about that magical plastic that can make us feel like we’re using monopoly money, fake money. As if it weren’t real. Unfortunately, these credit card charges are very real! So once your list is complete and you have a realistic budget to stick to, withdraw your money and use that money just for this shopping spree. Paying in cash feels more “real” and that’s what we want: it connects you to this shopping experience so that you only buy the things you really need and will use. You’ll save a fortune and those impulse purchases will seem a lot less tempting!
Establish a time frame
Don’t let yourself wander aimlessly around the mall. Many people shop lollab style and spend the afternoon at their favorite mall. Not a strategy that I would promote or support. If you want to shop smart, this is not the way to go – no frantic shopping! Set a certain time to finish your errands, and when it’s over, it’s time to go home. Either way, your time is too precious to spend on it recklessly: once you’ve bought everything you need (and nothing you don’t need), stop shopping and focus on another day.
Choose the time that is most convenient for you
Shopping can be exhausting and stressful if you don’t shop at the time that’s right for you. Shopping when malls and stores are at their busiest (such as late night shopping and Saturday mornings) can tire shoppers, leaving you cranky and grumpy, not the state smart shopping usually takes place. Remember that we are influenced by our physical environment and crowded and intrusive environments such as busy shopping malls rarely bring out the best in someone. So pick a time to shop when you expect to be more alert and positive. And be sure to take frequent breaks or shop for shorter periods to avoid fatigue.
Buy by yourself
Many people think that business partners are more than accomplices! They can encourage us to shop that we don’t want or need, and they can have their own (sometimes subconscious) reasons driving us to shop. Maybe they feel some kind of competition or they want to live indirectly through us and our purchases. Whatever happens to the other person, they don’t have to live with the consequences of their purchases – you just have to live with it. If you want to shop as a social activity, that’s fine, but make it a purely social activity without shopping. Shop windows or eat together, but don’t shop until you can shop alone.
Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re tired, hungry, lonely, bored, or upset
This is not an exhaustive list of emotional states that lead some people to buy and buy too much things they don’t want or need. But they are some of the more common emotional triggers that cause people to shop unconsciously and therefore not intelligently. If you experience any of these emotions – tired, hungry, lonely, bored and upset – don’t go shopping. Do something else until you feel more balanced.
You ask “where should I put it?” Too many of us buy impulsively without thinking about what we do with the things we buy
Hard earned money and even more precious time are wasted on things that have no place in our closets, homes or lives. One way to short the impulse buying cycle is to imagine that you already own the product you are thinking of buying. Fast forward through the “thrill of killing” and imagine this thing you now hold in your hand is yours: you bought it and now it’s yours. Imagine it in your closet / home, really look at it there. Now think: are you still interested? Or has the shine a little (or a lot) disappeared? Many of us don’t stop for a moment to think about whether we really need this product, so we take things home that we never use. What a waste.
Remember, the seller is there to sell you! No matter how friendly or kind the seller is, here’s one fact you can’t ignore: he sells
Yes, they care that you only go out with items that fit you well and that you use. But they want you to go with someone. That’s what they’re there for: to sell you something or to maintain a relationship that will keep you coming back. It’s their business. Salespeople, charming and helpful as they are, are not meant to be our friends. They may be friendly, but their goal is unique: to sell us something. Today. Keep this in mind so that you only buy the supplies you need and will use, not because an efficient salesperson has tricked (or persuaded) you.
Don’t buy just because it’s on sale
“Sales” is really a four letter word! Along with the word “shoe”, it could be responsible for more impulse purchases than almost any other word! Remember, a shop isn’t a bargain if it’s not you, it doesn’t suit you, you don’t like it, or it doesn’t fill a legitimate void that exists and is therefore a real need. Spending money on a $ 20 t-shirt or shoes or makeup or a DVD or scented candles or a Batman watch or anything else you never wear or wear (or only once) is a $ 20 waste. We justify that by saying “oh it’s on sale, it’s only $ 20 “, but that $ 20 adds up. You wouldn’t throw $ 20 out the window, so don’t throw your hard-earned cash out the window for products that look “bargain” due to their discounted retail price. Buy items on sale only if they are on your list and within your budget.