5 Steps to Prevent Impulsive Shopping
It is never wise to grocery shop when you are hungry because your cravings can get the best of your budget. Your family may love all the junk food you bring home but, after the sugar high drops, they’ll be disappointed when you cannot put together a complete meal for them.
A desperate trip to the mall can produce the same disastrous results.
You have a soon-coming wedding or special event and need a great outfit. Your closet is full of items that are tattered and worn so you find a moment to stop and shop, but money is as tight at time is, so you head straight to the clearance rack. From the wide variety of last season’s leftovers you may find a great deal but the real question is: When the sale high drops, can you complete an outfit?
Whether we are shopping for groceries, gifts or clothing, the best way to avoid blowing the budget on irrational and emotional choices is to have a plan.
First, consider the schedule. Before you make up a meal plan you look over the weeks activities, right? It would be foolish to buy perishables for seven dinners during the week of your kids’ play-offs when you will be eating on the road. In the same way, knowing what events are coming up should determine whether we are shopping casual or dressy.
Second, consider what you already have. I hate when I purchase great sale items only to bring them home to a pantry full of the same products I already had! I may have saved money, but I won’t get a return on one penny I spent because we won’t eat it before it expires. Clothing may not have an expiration date, but having too many look-alike pieces won’t get worn enough to make them worth the purchase and they will only create a cluttered closet.
Third, make a list. A general rule of thumb is to have 3 tops for every casual bottom (a dressy outfit, on the other hand, may only be able to be worn one way). Depending on your lifestyle, career and upcoming schedule, you may need more dressy outfits than casual ones or visa versa. But how many complete (including shoes, sox and accessories) outfits do you need and how many ( that are suitable for your Img.ID) do you have? For example, say you have a great pair of casual slacks and no appropriate top to wear with them. Put 3 tops on your shopping list and take a picture of the slacks so you can compare the photo to what you see in the store to make sure they compliment each other.
When I do a wardrobe weeding with a client we take pictures of the her in the incomplete outfit and the camera roll becomes our shopping list. This trick works great if you hope to complete your wardrobe all at once. If you are accumulating a list for a future shopping spree, be sure to create an album so that you don’t get frustrated trying to find your pictures.
Also, keep a running tab on what you need. What do you do when you run out of ketchup? Put it on your grocery list, right? Do the same thing when you rip, stain, pull or wear-out a staple item.
Fourth, consider your timing. Finding a time to shop when you are emotionally strong–instead of when you are hungry, tiered, naked or needy–can make a world of difference in your spending. Shopping without children (or without girlfriends!) can also change your habits. The biggest culprit to blowing the budget is emotional spending.
Fifth, dress for the occasion. It’s one thing to window shop on your lunch hour. It’s a whole different shopping experience when you have a purpose and a plan. This serious business calls for empowering attire. Don’t go shopping for a new dress in jeans and sneakers. Instead put on something comfortable but dressy and most importantly, be sure it slips on and off easily because if the changing room is too much work you may go home with another incomplete outfit that will only clutter your closet.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose passion is empowering women and girls to BE and LET BE. Her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach, as well as her personal experiences with abandonment and grief make her message relatable to anyone dealing with rejection, betrayal or loss.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, will soon be available as an audiobook. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com