- Two jobs in one: Buying something that serves more purposes than just one.
- Read product labels and packaging: A garment with a “dry clean only” label will add up eventually in the form of a great maintenance bill.
- Lastly – spread some shopping love! Shop with a close friend or your mother, maybe, so both of you can benefit from deals like “Two for one” or “50% extra for free”
This got me thinking on how to expand it further that just saving the money and getting a deal every time we shop. Because, I have to admit it, it’s really exhausting to look for the best deal and unless you are saving 77% off a shopping bill (that I managed once, but you will not be able to savour the whole experience. Sometimes. it’s just about letting it go and splurge like crazy.
But how do you make sure that it does not negatively impact any particular financial goal you had in mind.
I remind myself of my current financial goals when ever I feel like blowing the bank, this way I keep my urges to splurge to a moderately low level. Here are a few methods that work for me and might work for you too.
To stop myself from over spending, the best way I maintain a expenses-splurging-saving balance is by automating all the accounts. The income is diverted in to a couple of savings and investments accounts and the rest remains for paying the bills and is sometimes diverted to additional accounts for additional expenses or saving for a vacation or something.
Because I love to shop, I don’t buy clothes from online stores. I like to sample and try and then pick it up. For online purchases I prefer stuff that I have used before. Secondly, I love to window shop and keep a track of the price and style trends and wait for the regular sale and deals period (it took me around 2 years to figure out the exact sale timings for all my favourite stores in the current city I reside in. The first year was for noting down the sales and comparing them with the sales online and finding a pattern and second year was to ascertain if they really stick to that schedule. As it turns out, over the past few years, I have barely bought clothes at their MRP except for a few cases.
INCREASE YOUR PERHOUR RATE AND THEN SHOP:
The income from your regular job is pretty much fixed and you can only go as far as allocating sum x and sum y for so and so purchases. Here’s where the concept of a secondary source of income comes in. If you have a side business like freelance writing or blogging where the rates are in a constant flux, with a bit of hard work, patience and dedication, you can scale up your per hour rate. Combining this income and waiting for the perfect deals online or offline, you can work up a pretty cool relationship with your money and also buy what you like without having to wait for that sum to accumulate by way of your regular income.
- DEVELOP A SKILL OR WORK A JOB THAT ALLOWS YOU TO TRY AND SAMPLE STUFF FOR FREE
One of my current, recurring clients runs a beauty and fashion blog. I regularly get sent products from both new and established brands to review. Sometimes, the cost of a product is 18 -25 times the per hour rate of my first job right out of college which was a decent paying one in itself.
Capitalising on a skill or a passion and proving your worth can quickly transform into a profitable situation where the stuff that you want to try out or own can pretty much be yours to keep.
Rather than purchasing everything expensive, you can combine expensive and non expensive pieces. For eg, If you are in a warmer climate, you can put more of your money towards good shoes, jeans and a wrist watch and go lower (expense per piece wise) on cotton tees or funky jewellery (the jewellery will quickly lose its colour and get corroded in the humidity/ sweat).
- THE MONTHLIES:
Rather than having to deal with a disorganised wardrobe or stores, and having to buy a product unnecessarily because you cannot find the ones you have already purchased, organising your wardrobe and stores can go a long way in helping you save money .
At the end of each month, you can actually organise and photograph stuff that you will use over the next month and keep everything else away. So this way you don’t have a constant urge to shop or the feeling that something is amiss in your wardrobe/stores.
- THE DIDEROT EFFECT:
This deals with the fact that a situation may arise where you upgrade everything without having the means to maintain it or pay for it. So when you are still a student or are starting out, it makes sense to not upgrade everything all at once but to go slow and steady in this regard.
These hacks can make sure that you can splurge on that wardrobe when you want without really having to blow your balance or keep yourself starved or deprived;)