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