I have always prided myself on getting a bargain. I love the thrill of finding things on sale.
I used to go straight for the clearance rack. It made me so happy to see the reduced stickers on the tags and see how much I would save. I loved seeing my money go further. I felt like a responsible shopper.
The problem was, even though they were cheap, I was often attracted to items that I otherwise wouldn’t have bought. I didn’t exactly need them. I didn’t come to the shops looking for that item but they somehow found there way into my hands.
I would arrive home excitedly, showing hubby the great deals that I got. I was proud of my savvy shopping.
I guess on the surface, they looked like great deals. They were half-price or less than their original price. I couldn’t believe how much I’d saved.
The trouble was, I didn’t need most of these items. Just because they were cheap, didn’t mean I needed to buy them.
I may have saved $40 but I still spent $30.
Over the last few years, I have realised that I need to tone back my shopping. That I need to reign it in a little. I need to shop smarter and go to the store with a plan.
Often the items that are cheap are:
don’t fit well
don’t look good on
This isn’t always the case. Some bargains have been amazing and I’ve had them for years. However, in my experience, spending money on quality items always pays off.
In contrast to the cheap and nasty, these items are mostly:
looks good on
lasts for years
I have changed the way that I spend money.
Now I am far more conscious about how I spend my money.
I am slower to spend. I am cautious. I do my research. I save up. I write down wish lists in my phone. I think on it.
I choose to spend less often, but when I do eventually spend, I spend a lot. I buy the clothing and shoes that make me feel amazing.
I used to buy cheap exercise pants. Now I buy Lorna Jane tights. I feel good, I think I look good, they are comfy and last for ages. One of my friends has had hers for 7 years and still looks great.
Last year I won $500 generously from FlyBuys. I finally went to the RM Williams clearance store and got my first pair of boots. They are gorgeous, comfortable and they will last. I know my friend Captain Fi has had his for over 8 years, and still going strong.
I used to have a cheap mixer. It used to smoke and wouldn’t mix ingredients properly. We finally bought a Thermomix and it has been a game-changer. I write about tips to afford one, how it can help with food allergies and 35 things I no longer buy.
People like Canna Campbell and Invest with Queenie have inspired me to buy less, but buy good quality. After many years of adulting, I’m finally giving myself permission to spend money on the good stuff, after thinking on it for a while.
What have I changed about my shopping habits?
- I shop less often and with more intention
- I keep a list of what we need to buy
- I have a wish list of things I would like to get for presents or save up to buy myself
- We have our own spending account so don’t have to ask permission before buying what we want
Here is a short poem about what I’ve been learning
It’s ok to spend money
on things that you love,
things you look good in
or wear a lot of.
It might be on sale,
it might be real cheap,
but it’s not a bargain
if it lays in a heap.
The money is wasted,
it’s sent to landfill,
and gone is the thrill.
Spend money less often,
save up to buy.
Purchase the things that
really capture your eye.
For if you really love it,
you’ll wear it all the time,
will be comfy and stylish
and you’ll feel sublime.
So stop with the frivolous
remember the importance
of the cost per wear.