March 30, 2018

Shop Smarter, Not Harder

I didn't major in Finance nor am an expert at saving money. I'm bad at couponing but I'm okay in math. I get so excited when I see savings on my receipt, and see cash back on my Ebates. I'm always about finding the best bang for my buck, who doesn't?!
I also want what's best for my buck. If I'm about to spend some money, I want to make sure that these products are top quality without breaking the bank. I love, love, love to shop and as I get older, I surely have become smarter where to bet my money on.
I hope these shopping tips I'm about to share with you, which you may or may not do already, is helpful and informative enough so you can also shop smarter.

Before I make a big purchase either for me or for the house, I (tip #1) take time to do research. I like to compare the prices from different stores before buying anything, because I want the best deal out there! Don't forget to look at the prices online too versus in-store. Did you know different stores (in-store snd online) have different prices for that same set of paper towels?

I like to learn more about the brand and the products too. So when it comes to the more expensive purchases like buying a new TV or vacuum, it takes Mike and I a few days to a few weeks to a few months before making a purchase. We want to make sure what we're getting is the best price and quality.

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Still strap for cash for that hair dryer you've been eyeing? How about making some extra cash then? (tip #2) Resell your unused items either from your closet or your husband's closet, that's one way to get extra money in your pocket! I have bought clothes, shoes, bags and phone cases from my Poshmark credits. My husband have sold his old car stuff on Ebay to get himself new car accessories.
I really feel good afterwards because I got rid of something I don't use and got money out of it!

I used to believe that some designer brands may have the same quality as from the fast fashion stores (ASOS, Forever21, H&M...). But after fitting into a Sweaty Betty top and leggings, I understand now why it comes with a high price tag. I surely still don't want to pay full price for these so I keep an eye out for my favorite brands if they will be holding a (tip #3) Sample Sale, or browse for them at my favorite Thrift Stores. 

Designer brands do Sample Sales (at least once a year) because they need to make room for new products so it's a way for them to get rid of old inventory fast. NYC has tons of all of these sample sales, I have bought an Alexander Wang bag, Rebecca Minkoff bags, a DVF dress, Sweaty Betty tops and leggings from their sample sales. I would never pay full price for these brands because it's way too much but sample sales would have them for 60-70% off!

Thrift stores are one of the best places to find vintage, pre-loved designer items from clothes to shoes to handbags! With some digging through the store you will find some great treasures, like I mentioned on my previous post, my Vintage Chanel bag is from a second hand store.

So keep an eye out for your favorite brands, maybe sign-up for their newsletter or check their social medias for any announcements. Also check their online store too, some of them would do a huge sale on their websites. You may walk out of these stores with an unplanned purchase but don't feel bad about it. You got a great deal! Enjoy your new bag or leather jacket or new dress!

If you prefer to have a plan for your next big shopping trip, then set yourself a (tip #4) Hashtag #Goals which seems to be the hashtag of 2018. It's a good way to not overspend your savings or budget for the year. And I agree, when you set a goal for yourself, you try the best you can, not to lose focus. So why not apply this as well to your shopping wish list? You may not be able to purchase all the items in your wish list but how about picking one or two that you want to get this year. New phone, new leather jacket or new handbag, pick one big expensive purchase or a few less expensive items from your list. Once you're set, you may likely to spend less every time you walk into a Starbucks or Sephora or think twice before ordering that second cocktail. Anything can be affordable and achievable when you save for it.

 Also it helps to have a (tip #5) separate savings account or some virtual piggy bank for your "Purchase Goal". It's 2018, you know there's an app for that! Here are some articles that talks about different apps that can help you save:
Forbes: 15 Powerful Money Apps To Help You Save and Eliminate Debt
7 Apps to Help You Manage Your Money

Like I've mentioned before I'm not a Financier nor have a major in Finance but I'm married to one. Mike has been working in the finance industry for 20 years, and has taught me some of these tips I've told you today. He loves to do research and break down the numbers, and that has helped us a lot to shop smarter.

This obviously cannot be applied with everything we use and buy, we all have our favorite go-to beauty products and underwear brand already, but I do hope this helped you prepare for your next big purchase - may that be a new home appliance or handbag or pair of shoes.

What's your shopping strategy to shop smarter? Share it in the comments below!

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