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Shopping Tips

Hey y’all, any shoppers out there? I’m one, I like to shop, and I especially like to shop when I feel a bit stressed out. I mean, they don’t call it retail therapy for no reason 🙂 But too much shopping can definitely be not good for the budgeting, and as someone who is trying to pay off her student loans early, not to mention start saving for retirement, budgeting is super important. So for this week’s tip, let’s go into some shopping tips.

Do I need or do I want? This is a big question I ask myself before purchasing anything in a store or online. Certain things have to be purchased, and I am also not saying not to buy anything that you want, and only to buy stuff you need, because that’s no fun. But ask yourself this question, along with when will I wear/use this? I found a beautiful dress this past weekend when I was out at a store, and I truly wanted it, but I for the life of me, could not think of an instance when I would wear it. I have nothing coming up that would require this dress, and while it was really pretty, I ultimately decided that I would rather have the money than have a dress hanging in my closet for who knows how long without an occasion for it. However, I also found something else for my room that I could easily picture where it was and what it would be used for, and while it wasn’t necessarily a need, it was something I could immediately find use for, so I purchased it. Again, not completely going wants versus needs, but also making sure that there’s a purpose for my shopping.

How often do we go through our houses and look through our things, some that we’ve never used, and wonder, why do we even have this, why did we spend the money on it? You can try to resell and get some of your money back, but let’s face it, you’re still taking a loss. That’s why it’s so important, especially if you don’t just have endless money to spend, to really think about purchases to ensure you don’t get buyer’s regret or end up months later just giving it away to charity after never using/wearing it. So take a couple of beats, and really consider if you want this. Another trick is to walk away without it and if you are still thinking about it the next day or in a couple of days, then it’s not likely just an impulse buy. But if you’ve completely forgotten about it, then you didn’t really want it that badly after all.

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Get Your Dorm Room Supplies

If you or your child are heading back to college, get your dorm room supplies now. You’ll likely still have last-minute things you’ll need to buy once you get to the school, but starting early will help ensure you forget less. You can also pack it up now, rather than later.

Get a Credit Card with Rewards

If you want to really make the most of your spending, get a credit card with rewards. Some may be airline points, others might be points towards hotels or trips, whatever it is, do you research to find the best fit for your needs and lifestyle.

Buy Off Brand

In many cases, when I’m shopping, there are only a few things I have to buy that are a certain brand. Everything else is the exact same product, for less, so buy off brand, and watch your savings stack up.

Check for Apps

Many grocery stores now have apps, which offer free rewards programs, as well as have online coupons, and even money off offers. Check your local store for an app that may help you to save some money this next trip to the grocery store.

Always Ask Yourself- Need or Want?

I sometimes use retail therapy as a stress relief for myself, and while it’s always fun, the stress I get from looking at my bank account after isn’t. So, next time you’re needing some retail therapy, ask yourself, need or want? Another great way to look at it is, do I love this or just like it? If you can’t imagine leaving without it, it’s fine, but if it just caught your eye and then you can walk away and forget about it, you’re probably better not spending your money.

Save Where You Can

So many places have different options for you to save, so find a way to save where you can. If you’re shopping at a grocery store, check for coupons or even an app that offers rewards. If you love coffee, get a Starbucks card and account and start earning free drinks. Most stores offer rewards too, so sign up for the programs, they’re all usually free!

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