At least four times a year I find myself in the same depressing predicament. I stop in at my local shops as per usual, to find them redecorated by clothes for the new season. Sales every where for the season just gone and new, unfamiliar pieces waiting to grace my wardrobe. The depressing part of this so-not-depressing time, is that my bank accounts are always unprepared! Although, I have gained one skill from this and that is learning to shop for the new season on a budget.
Step 1: Clean out your wardrobe.
And I don’t mean throw everything away from last season to prepare for this season – I mean get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is stained or ruined, or things that you haven’t worn in a long time. Pay close attention to items from last years seasons so that you’ll be able to identify things you need to replace now.
Step 2: Make a list of what you need.
What you need! Not what you want! Things you want can come later when the shopping begins, but it’s important to replace that pair of jeans you just can’t quite squeeze into anymore, or your favourite knit that has a few too many holes in it to leave the house anymore. It’s also important to include anything you might be missing that you know you’ll need this year. Such as a pair of comfortable but stylish boots to wear to work, or a warm leather jacket that will last you years to come.
Step 3: Identify a budget.
Now that you have your list decide on how much you are willing to spend to fulfill as much of it as possible. You may have to remove some things from the list to fit within your price point, but they can always come later in the season. A good way to create this budget is to estimate how much you would spend on each item on the list and then add it all up to one sum.
Step 4: Bargain hunt!
Before I even go to the shops or start looking online for things, I always head to op-shops first. Op-shops can be a great place to find simple things like new socks, great jeans and even jackets for very low prices. I often find I can cross most things off my list before hitting the department stores.
Step 5: Window shop.
An easy way to avoid impulse buys is to window shop before you shop. Head into town and have a walk around, taking pictures on your phone of pieces that you really think you’d love to come back and get (and their price tags too!). Once you’re satisfied that you’ve built a mental wardrobe for yourself, go back through the photos and delete ones that you aren’t feeling anymore. Continue to look through these photos for a few days before going back to the shops and you might find you’ll lose interest in a lot of the things you photographed.
Step 6: Time to brave the department stores.
Now that you’ve got an edited shopping list and an edited visual wardrobe it’s time to make some purchases. Another way to decrease impulsive spending or going over budget is to only go to the stores that you have planned to buy a garment from, and only buy that garment! It is not a good idea to browse with money in your pocket! Stick to your list and I can guarantee you, by the time you get home you’ll have some pieces you love and you might even have some money left over.
Written by Liv Hunt.