Apparently, I shouldn’t spend more than 5% of my disposable income on clothing each month. Say, if I am earning $2,000 a month, the most I can put on the table for shopping is a hundred bucks. For someone like me who is living on a budget and loves fashion at the same time, there is not a lot I can do with that hundred unless I learn to be wise and think creatively to stretch a dollar.
Changing Shopping Habits
I know that with a limited budget and to avoid racking up huge balances on my credit card, I should change my shopping habits. I thought I’d start by checking out online shops that are having sales. I found out like many of you probably did that the last pieces of a style are usually deeply discounted. I would find odd sizes that are as much as 70% off. Towards the end of a season, collections are also on sale so basically, if you don’t mind being behind a season, you’ll snag great deals on clothing.
That does not mean though that you have you to look like somebody who just stepped out of the past. It all comes down to style and mixing & matching. Buying classic pieces at discounted prices can do a lot of wonders for your sense of fashion and wallet. Think of getting the basic staples that go with everything such as a smart top, your little black dress, nude or black pumps and a good coat. Accessories can also go a long way in creating a fantastic look so hold on to your grandma’s pearls or that vintage brooch your Mom gave you.
Hunting for the Best Shops
It’s not only shopping habits that I learned to change in my quest to live within my means. I also changed where I shop. I used to be so in love with outlet malls really believing that they offered the best deals. After all, who wouldn’t want a Kate Spade bag at half its original price? Alas, after I noticed that those Ralph Lauren sheets I bought suddenly had a tear after a few washes, I began to wonder about the quality of the branded stuff sold at outlet malls.
True enough, according to a CBC Market Investigation, outlet malls are cheaper because of lower quality compared to products sold in retail shops. Hence, you’re not really getting a bargain when shopping at outlet malls as that’s their regular price. So now, I don’t go to outlet malls anymore. What I do nowadays is to keep track of major sales at big department stores where I know I can grab a real deal. And if I do online shopping, I use a coupon app that trawls the web for sales or discounts on anything that I am looking for. I also avoid flash sales like the plague as I was burned by them plenty of times. I ended up buying tons of clothes and shoes just because I thought they were fantastic deals. Never again!
Perhaps, the best thing that I have learned is to strictly enforce the ‘one out one in’ policy on me. I try to clean out my closet at least every two months. It gives me a chance to reacquaint with what I have, purge those that I don’t need and leave room for a purchase in the future. I put out three or more every time I edit my closet. But hey, who’s counting? I just hope I can sustain this habit, keep only the clothes I need and trim my clothing expenses further down.
YOUR TURN: How do you save money on clothing expenses? Please let me know in the comments!
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