Sometimes, a sale rack while shopping is just too good to be true. With so many items slashed to nearly nothing, it can end up being ruthless on your credit card and wallet. That said, who doesn’t love a good bargain? The thrill of finding a deeply discounted item that you never would’ve looked twice at when it was full price is sometimes downright euphoric.
Unfortunately, too many of us are falling into the “good deal” trap and fritter away money on useless stuff we don’t need — or, worse, already have too much of! This doesn’t mean shopping sales (or any shopping in general) needs to stop. It does mean smarter shopping habits need to be adopted, and we’ve got all the rules to follow to make more meaningful purchases and save you money. Check out our tips on how to survive sale shopping without breaking the bank!
Take Inventory Of What You Already Have
Before anything, find out what you have in your closet and drawers at home. Deep cleans of your living space can be tedious, tiring and overwhelming, but it’s also very telling as to what you have and don’t have. Dive into those closets, drawers and even under your bed to avoid getting something you have, but just don’t know where it’s been buried. See what’s in there, what you forgot you owned, what you’ve outgrown and then put away the things you still want and need. The rest of the pile can be tossed into a pile to donate or sell.
Create Your Lists
Now that your space is clear, it’s time to sit down and make two lists: one of things that you can’t/don’t need to buy, and a list of things you can/need to buy when shopping a sale rack. If you have six pairs of black leggings, chances are you don’t need a seventh pair. If all your shoes are worn out, beyond cleaning or hurting your feet, keep that on your need list until you’ve outfitted them properly.
Don’t Have Selective Amnesia
Yes, a sales rack is exciting while shopping, and, when unexpectedly faced with super slashed prices, it’s easy to buy something you don’t need for five bucks because it used to be $30. In these moments, pull out your “OK to buy” list and only shop for those specific items that fit into your personal budget. It’s an amazing feeling to find something on sale that matches up with something on your list, and then to also know that your money’s being spent wisely. It’s these moments that will always trump the t-shirt you have in hand that looks like ten other shirts in your closet at home. Put down the tee and slowly back away.
Have Other Activities Besides Shopping To Turn To
Of course, shopping is an easy go-to activity that fills time and can temporarily gratify your need to spend. It’s something most friends will agree to do because it’s fun, social and exciting. However, having non-shopping, recreational activities to choose from is a good way to curb your spending and connect with yourself and others on a more meaningful level. Hiking, picnics, the beach, friend’s houses, day trips and museums are great ways to get out. So, have fun and feel gratified by an experience, not just by spending on replaceable items.
Be Held Accountable For Your Spending
Even the strongest willed people have their weaknesses, so it’s important to have a support system who will stop you from buying unnecessary items. Tell your family and friends about your new spending plan and don’t go shopping without them! Run your purchases past them to get the OK before you head to the register, ’cause the last thing you need is more credit card debt. Once you’ve acclimated to your new shopping rules, you’ll have no problem saying no to those “too good to be true” deals on things you really don’t need.
Lead image via Getty