We all at one point or the other had to give ourselves pep talk about our finances. You know the feeling of wanting to shop everything on the shoe rack at a shoe store, that feeling is called “Buy Me, buy me” (that was coined by me, 😀).
I personally have a go-to store for shoes and whenever I get there, I feel like my eyes always want to fall out of the sockets. Fortunately (or is it unfortunately), more of the gorgeous looking shoes comes in my size.
Then I go ahead and make a mistake of putting it on to see if it would fit, then the sales person begins to persuade, manipulate and do all sort just for me to buy it. And I begin to preach to myself, trying to convince the voice inside me saying I shouldn’t buy it:
Damn it baby!. Don’t you think you deserve a treat? You need to pamper yourself often, you work too hard! I have something like this, but it looks better in this color. I am only going to buy one pair of shoes.
That is when you know that the deed is done and the exchange has taken place. Voila! I have a new shoe to the collection.
If you love it, buy it. If you need a treat, give yourself. But there are rules to that and consequences too. Come along and we talk about the rules to “giving yourself a treat”.
Sticking to a budget or even to a plan can seem very difficult but it is easier than you imagined and in this post I would show you how easy it is.
I would be using Rebecca Bloomwood in the movie “Confession of a Shopaholic” as a case study. This movie was released in 2009 and was directed by P. J. Hogan. The main characters in the movie are Rebecca Bloomwood, played by Isla Fisher, and Luke Brandon, played by Hugh Dancy. In this movie, Rebecca is obsessed with shopping, and does not even know until it is too late that she is in debt. She always shops till she drops which eventually got into a $16,000 debt in her credit card over her shopping problem.
Many shopping and financial lessons has been learnt from the movie. Let’s take a look at some of them and discuss your shopping budget 😎.
1. Draft a To – Buy List
As much as I can remember from the movie, there was never a time Rebecca had a shopping list. She was more of an emotional buyer. If what she sees appeal to her, she buys. Having a healthy shopping list is the beginning of a good budget shopping. Shopping without a plan is as bad as going blind to the market. You begin to buy wrongly if you have no plans on what to buy. In drafting a plan, there are rules which includes
* Stating how much you have to spend – this can be gotten by evaluating how much you earn and exclude other utilities like housing, paying bills.
* Stating what you need to buy (this is the most important on the list)
* Stating what you want to buy (your wants are not as important as your needs but there could be room for your some of your wants after you have gotten your needs.
Make sure you have your list with you when going shopping.
2. Pay Cash
According to a New York Times post, people tend to spend more when using credit cards, putting them over their budget limits. Save the credit card for a real emergency of need. With one swipe of the credit card, you would have spent more than you budgeted. But with cash, you can’t carry so much with you therefore making you buy less. It is a strict way of controlling your spending.
Before going to shopping, you must have a budget of how much you intend to spend. Hence, you should take along with you the exact amount or a little above the amount in case of emergencies.
For Rebecca, it was easier for her to buy with card. Before even thinking twice about what she wants to buy, the card has been swiped already.
3. Avoid impulse buying
Spontaneous buying was the cause of Rebecca Bloomwood’s financial downfall. She never gave a second thought to her choice. Shopping for what you love isn’t an offend but it becomes one when you spend unwisely.
When shopping, learn to think fast and decide fast. Ask yourself the following questions in your mind (don’t ask yourself out loud in front of a salesperson, we don’t want them thinking something is wrong, LOL):
* Do you want need it or I just want it?
* Will this purchase affect me positively or negatively?
* Do I have something like this already?
* What is the purpose of wanting to buy this? For competition? To fit into a standard? For pleasure? For need?
4. Don’t let salesperson seduce you
It is no news that we have some badass smooth takers that have been employed as salesperson or even the cashier. They have learnt to cook up and cock and bull story to persuade you just to buy. Once you slip on the shoe or cloth, trying to see if it fits, you hear words like:
This is the best in the market. It is a giveaway price. Naomi Campbell or Michelle Obama has the exact type of this. It is a limited edition, you can’t afford to miss it. A lady needs some good clothes and shoes. I would give you a discount
Those words are smooth girly, they could be true or not, but we shouldn’t let their words get into our heads. You already have a budget and a tight plan, any other shopping that didn’t fall into your plan while planning it, cannot crash in at the last minute.
So tell the salesperson to ‘back off’ when you have to say it. But while saying it, don’t be rude, we can’t risk being sent out of the store.
5. Beware of Freebies and Discounts
They are good deals. Deals like BOGO – Buy One, Get One free, 15 percent discount and co, but they can make you spend more than you expect.
6. Choose shopping partners wisely
We all have that one friend in the lost of our besties that is a “frugal spender”. She/He constantly keep tabs on what your group of friends buy, how they buy them and co. He/she is like the financial experts in the clique. This people are useful shopping partners as they can help us keep in check our spending activities. They are better called “budget buddy”
7. Patronize thrift shops
Where are the thrift shoppers? Me, myself and I is here ✋ 👐 (not ashamed of it though). There is nothing to be ashamed of if you patronize thrift shopping.
Buying second hand is highly recommended for environmental purpose because many of this unused clothing accessories often end up in land fills or dump yard I’d not donated or sold.
Rebecca and other high class ladies would never do this as they would see it as demeaning but there is a need to cut your coat according to your cloth material. Don’t live above your means.
The benefits of thrift or flea market is that it benefits the community environmentally and also gives you a great opportunity to get some designers items at an unbelievable low prices. You also get to save more and also still be fashionable in your outfits.
8. Shop Online
It is also advisable to shop online if you have an issue of shopping with no limit like Rebecca Bloomwood. It gives room for having more choice to pick from than conventional stores. Online shopping helps you have a strict and patterned way of shopping. You get to pick what you want at a good.
But while doing that, don’t forget to include the shipping fee and other expenses. Look out for discount coupons and free shipping offers to get the most from online shopping.
9. Watch out for emotional investments
Rebecca Bloomwood could only find joy and happiness in shopping, more reasons why she spent a lot of time doing that. She didn’t take please in other things that are more advantageous to her. This was a woman with 12 credit cards, what on earth does she needs 12 for?. She constantly makes statement like :
When I shop, the world gets better. Then it’s not anymore and I need to do it again.
Shopping as the only thing that makes you happy isn’t so advisable as you might not be able to control how it drives you. Find something else that keeps you busy.
Rebecca’s emotional attachment to shopping go to the point where she began to see mannequins talking to her every time she passes by a fashion store. They begin to persuade her with reasons see should buy it.
10. Shop when you have to
It should be a thing of necessity, not because you just want to giggle and smile over a couple of shoes, clothes and bags. Be wise about spending
If you haven’t seen the movie- The Confession of Shopaholic, make sure you find a way to get it.
PHOTO CREDIT : UNSPLASH AND SHUTTERSTOCK