5 tips to help you be a better shopper

I don’t have shopping memories until my 12 or 13. I remember going to Zara with my mom and shopping my whole winter or summer closet – normally two pairs of pants, two or three cozy sweaters, one pair of boots and sneakers and, for summer, breezy dresses, skirts and shorts and a couple of t-shirts. It would be fairly cheap, practical and I wouldn’t bother until the next season. True, I was a child and later on adolescence come fashion worries: what should I wear for my birthday party? What should I wear for the cinema? What should I wear to hang out with friends? Clothes, accessories, shoes and bags become an obsession and, sometimes, a bad habit. I know I’ve committed some fashion crimes and overall bought unnecessary items, too often. With the excess amount of stores, brands and items that we have acess nowadays, it’s not hard to fall victim of the exaggerate unnecessary expenses. Here are my five tips to help you ease your spending and just buy what you really need.

When going shopping, you should always have a list in your mind. If you go browsing you will always find things you want instead of things you actually need. Write it down, memorize it, make a note on your phone with an alarm. It’s easier to have a goal in mind when you step in the store.

If you are buying online, give it a 24 hour rest. Select the items you want and leave them in the cart. The next day, if you feel like you were thinking about it the whole time, buy them. If you forgot, don’t buy it.

When you are about the make a purchase or just browsing, remember everything you have in your closet and make sure you don’t have similar items already stored. It’s important to know what you have so you don’t keep buying the same variation of clothes. Think, if you really need another pair of boots and yes, even if they are in a different color.

Make sure to put other – essential – expenses ahead like rent, food, transportation, medication, insurance. In Dubai, I was solely, and for the first time in my life, depending on mine and M’s earnings. I kept a pretty detailed list of our expenses and I will start doing the same here as soon as I have the courage to start. It’s very important to keep a track of your expenses to know when and where you can spend extra money you have.

Lastly, don’t splurge on trendy items that won’t be useful next season. Sure, it may seem like having it now will make a huge difference but when you’ll look at it hanging in your closet or stored in a shoe box, you will think to yourself “how did I buy that?”. Trust me. Been there.