Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dear Rachel: How Do You Go Shopping Without Spending Too Much Money?

Dear Rachel,

You always seem to be shopping. How do you manage not to run out of money?

Yeah, I am a bit of a shopaholic - I usually head to the shops about three or four times every week! I always try loads of stuff on, I must take about 8 items into the Zara fitting room every single Saturday without fail! I think I've managed to master that elusive art of shopping for fun without spending much money. For starters, I'll try anything I really like on, even if I'm not sure if it will suit me or not, because it's fun anyway, and chances are it won't fit you or will look horrible on. 
The key is, only try something on if you really like it and know you have the money available to spend if you try it on and fall in love with it. If you try something on, love it but can't afford it you'll still be tempted to buy it anyway. Also part of this point, I don't think of my bank balance in terms of how much more I have. I know how much money I like to keep in there are the bare minimum, and how much I need for other things. When I'm shopping I don't think in terms of I have 'X' amount in the bank, I think I have, say, £60 because £60 is what is left when you extract all of the money I don't want to spend out of value 'X'. (Sorry if this sounds very mathematical - I'm surprised at myself, I hated Maths at school!)

Also, shop around, see what other skirts in that cut or colour are available in other stores etc. There may be a cheaper or nicer option out there. It's only in stores like H&M where if you snooze you lose I try something on the first time I see it. 

For all of the above, on my laptop I actually have a treats list. I have everything I want, but don't need listed in price order with how much they cost next to them. For example, at the very top of the list, the cheapest thing I want at the moment is Soap & Glory's Heel Genious which comes in at £5.15, and the most expensive is a bottle of Chloe by Chloe perfume at £40. If I have some money to spare, and something in my life has gone either very well or very badly and I want to treat myself to a frivolity that's not (usually) and item of clothing, I can take my pick from the list to match my budget, rather than just going out and impulse buying things I might not want as much.  Also, if when I go back to the list I see something there I no longer want, I just delete it, meaning that I'll never be spending money on it!

I hope some of these tips help, but I think its really about finding spending and saving habits that work for you! 

If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, be they on blogging, beauty or books, you can drop me a quick email, contact me on Twitter or leave me a comment on Formspring


  1. the list thing is such a good idea!
    i always keep track of what i buy as well so it's not a shock when i look at my balance! :)

  2. That's such a helpful post! Too bad I have no self control. Hahaha!

  3. I love the idea of a treat list, and if I desperately want something I always say it will cancel itself out when the next wage packet comes in so I don't feel too guilty! :P
    Maryam xx

  4. The treat list is a great idea, I think I might try something similar out myself. Thanks for sharing x

  5. Such a helpful post!

  6. Great tips. I used to be such a shopoholic, but have only got 3 things from the sales this year, and they've been great bargains.

  7. Ooh I love your list idea!

  8. I have everything I want in a list too. It's really useful as it allows me to ponder an item for a while before actually buying it. Great post!

  9. I love your idea of having a treats list!


  10. that list is such a good idea! when shopping i like to think about 'cost per wear' too. sure, i really love that dress but how wears would it take to justify the £50 price tag and would i wear it that much anyway?

  11. Great tips, infact i do v,v, similar :).

    Sadie xx

  12. I love your treat list idea Rachel! You should definitely go for the Soap and Glory treat, it's really good stuff and looks nice on your bathroom shelf too! Really enjoying your blog xx