Styling on a Budget

 5 ways to control your spending

Let’s admit it. ALL of us have gone overboard when shopping for things at some point in our lives. No matter what the item, we might have lacked the self-control or we simply may not have known how to manage our budgets.

THINK: Is it going to go beyond my budget? Can I live without it? Am I still going to want it a couple of weeks later? 

Number One

ALWAYS know what you need. Not what you want, what you need. It’s often not easy to distinguish between the two at first because there is a fine line differentiating them. But ask yourself a few questions to understand the monumental difference between needs and wants: does it have a significant change on your life? Is it something that you cannot do without? Is it something that would you wouldn’t need after one or two wears?

If the answer to any of these is no, then it is a want. Of course you can occasionally treat yourself to a “want”. But remember to prioritise your needs before your want, even if they do not make you as happy as buying a new pair of stylish shoes or that gorgeous jacket. You will thank yourself at the end of the day.

Number Two

Always withdraw the amount you expect to spend in the beginning of the month so that you cannot use your card and thus stick to the limits that you have imposed upon yourself from the very start. Make this amount reasonable, and sustainable even if you have a sudden expense that comes upon you. Make a list on your phone of your expected expenses at the beginning of every month, so that you can allocate funds accordingly and also save a bit for a rainy day.

Number Three

Don’t go alone if you can help it. Go with someone that knows your goals and who will be the voice of reason amidst your shopping frenzies. A lot of the times these will pass as soon as you have left the venue, but if left to our own devices we just might buy that on the spot. Thus, get someone who will help you do the right thing.

Number Four

Scour a few different shops to find what you want. Don’t be afraid to look in places you never have before because you never know what might come up. Some stores might have clearance sales where they are getting rid of existing stock in order to make space for a new wardrobe and it isn’t necessary that they have to advertise it actively. It pays to take a little bit of time to just look through a few different stores. Sure, it might not be the same brand but some non branded items are more durable and are made better than those designer labels.

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Number Five

Consider the prices of items in terms of time spent to earn that money. For example, if an item costs x amount, think of it as y amount of hours spent to obtain that money. This will drastically change the way you view money and will help you to stay away from spending lavishly, as you now think of it as a portion of your life. If it is not yours, consider that this is not your money and that you cannot spend it extravagantly as that is quite unethical.

Clothes are both a necessity as well as a luxury, depending on what you get, from where you get it, and if you have the same thing with you already. Always think twice before purchasing something, especially if it has a high price. Nobody has ever regretted taking a moment before making a decision on something like this. Therefore, it is in your own best interest to know the value of money, as well as the value the item you want will have in your life.

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