Shopping, especially while you’re in your late teens and early twenties, is fun, but can be incredibly frustrating. Money is usually tight and therefore purchases have to be strategic. Most people go into a store with a credit card and let the clever store advertisers catch their eyes with color and not so smart sales. But that will NOT be you! Here, I’ll teach you the ways of an OCD shopping jedi.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the difference between binge shopping and impulse buying. The latter refers to falling into the trap of store designer. It’s that perfectly dressed mannequin at the store front, or the newest items placed at the back of the store so that you have to walk through the entire store to see the new collection. It’s branding and marketing at its finest. The former sounds equally as irresponsible. After all, binge shopping is akin to binge eating and binge gambling, right? WRONG. Maybe binge shopping should be called something more edgy, but ultimately binge shopping is the smartest way to shop.
The Secrets of the Binge Method
Saving Money=More Shopping
The binge in binge shopping simply means that you bought a lot of items at one time. The method piece requires smart planning with small budgets. So, let’s break it down:
Pinterest is your best friend. If you are unfamiliar with the website, Pinterest is a social media platform on which users upload ‘pins’ (oftentimes fashion) that you can save to your own pin boards. It’s a digital scrapbook of ideas. In terms of the binge shopping method, the site acts as a mental shopping list. Personally, the Women’s Fashion category is my favorite. It helps me keep track of trends that I like or investment pieces that I need to build my wardrobe. For more on crafting a timeless wardrobe. Pre-shopping on Pinterest allows you to look at all of your options in one place, rather than deciding between the clothes in only one store. For example, if I’m in Store A, I might be tempted to buy that adorable, but expensive, romper that’s on sale (sale is such a dangerous word), but because I did some Pinterest research, I know that there is a romper that I like better at Store B for a fraction of the price. Congratulations, you just saved yourself enough money for a new accessory!
Separate Shopping Email
Business and pleasure don’t always have to be separate, unless we’re talking about inboxes. At the minimum, you should have one address for business (think college applications, school, work) and another for those pushy sales women who always want your email address. In fact, I have a third for social media. I HATE inbox clutter. I don’t care when someone liked my photo on Instagram or repinned my pins on Pinterest. I want to know what I need to do. That’s just me! Seriously, though, a shopping email account can keep all of your coupons in one place. And we all know that coupons=more money.
Good, Old-fashioned List
“Boo, Laura! We don’t want to make lists.” Trust me, you do. I have a friend who lists everything she wants to buy in an excel spreadsheet and every time she sees a different price for that item, she lists it. That, to me, is too much work. No one, but her, is ever going to be that anal about shopping. However, I do believe in keeping a running list of things you would like to purchase.
Maybe yours looks like mine (this is a very condensed version):
Top Priority: Wardrobe Pieces
- Professional leather handbag (Note: I called it a handbag, which makes it sounds fancy)
- Kick ass push-up bra
Middle Priority: Seasonal Garb
- Nude, strappy wedges
Lowest Priority: Trendy Items
- Knuckle Rings
Good! You’ve got your weapons. Now let’s SHOP.
The Actual Shopping
Operation: Pieces that you really want AND WILL WEAR.
Here’s the thing, shopping is exciting and it’s easy to get swept up in the splurging mood.
Before you leave:
- Grab the list
- Check Pinterest one last time
- Refresh your shopping email and screenshot any barcodes you may need
- Decide how much money you have to spend (if you can get it in cash, DO IT! Once it’s gone, it’s gone. No regrets.)
In the car:
- If you’re going to an outlet mall, which I recommend, decide which stores you want to hit the most
- Tell whoever you went shopping with what is on your list
- Grab an unsweet tea from McDonald’s. You’ll need the hydration.
When you get there:
- Go to your favorite store first, but don’t buy anything! But the chance of impulse buying is the highest at this store, so resist the urge. Walk through, quickly (no digging through the racks) and then leave! You can come back, but you want to reduce the risk of blowing money as much as you can.
- Try things on! There is nothing worse than getting a piece home and it doesn’t fit. The chances of you actually returning it are slim and it takes up residence in the back of your closet. You’ve wasted money that you could have spent on something really cool.
- Make good decisions!
Of course, if you have any questions leave a comment or shoot me an email.