Sunday, July 29, 2012

Black Hole in Your Wallet?

It's easy to spend money on things I don't need. A common phrase I've been hearing among friends lately: "I can't believe how fast I go through my money!"
A typical recreational activity among girls is to go mall shopping every weekend. I enjoy the mall, but if I'm spending a lot of time there it's like I'm living my life to shop, instead of shopping to live my life. I don't want to get to the point where I realize that I wasted too much time collecting clothes instead of wearing the beautiful things I already own. It gets scary when I pull out a shirt or dress that I completely forgot about.

Lately I've been focusing on using coupons, clearance racks, and thrift stores as the main strategies to save money on clothes and accessories, but to be honest there is a better way.

Stay out of the stores.

Studies have shown that the more time you spend in stores, the more likely you are to buy more items. And who wants to spend every weekend at the mall? If you're like me, chances are you have what you need already, and even if you need to buy a new clothing item or two, you don't need to go out and buy it right away. Sometimes we tell ourselves we need something when we really just want it. If you haven't been shopping in ages or hate to go shopping, maybe you really do need a few things, but if you keep finding yourself buying clothes then think about the following thought:

Spending more money won't make you happier.

If you are thinking of buying something, ask yourself some questions.

Is this really a good deal? Do I need this? Is it going to be exceptionally flattering on me? Can it be worn different ways? Will it last a long time? Am I being seduced with special packaging, lighting, scented perfume, and tissue paper? Can I imagine buying this used; stripped of the special lights and the cute little gift bag?

If you really want to buy something, wait a week to make sure you really want it. Stay out of the store and just think about it for a while. If you still want it after a week, if you can afford it, and if it passes the test of being practical, flattering, and a good deal, you are probably good to go. Meanwhile:

Make yourself a cup of tea and sit down with a good book.
Get a good friend to go hiking or out to the beach; enjoy the nice clothes you already have out in nature.
Exercise; we buy things when we feel unattractive or stressed.
Learn how to cook a new dish.
Write a list of all the possessions you own that you are thankful for.
Light some candles and have a bubble bath.
Organize a clothing swap party with friends for free clothes and girl time.
Donate your unwanted and unworn clothes, this weirdly results in feelings of contentment. 
Clean your room! This works because you find clothes that you forgot you had. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself and enjoying beautiful clothes, but don't let shopping rule your life: put it in it's appropriate place and you will start to live a more fulfilling life. You will also enjoy the rarer shopping trips more because of it!


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