Famous American Entrepreneur Mark Cuban once said, “Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich.” The advice sounds legit as it comes from a person listed on the Forbes 400 list. Most of us are not good at controlling our impulse when it comes to shopping. Every month, we regret spending on many things that we do not need or are not worth their cost.
Remember that tasteless dinner in a fancy restaurant? Or designer shoes that do not give even an ounce of comfort? Or that highly outstretched grocery bill that lists all the useless junk food that we bought?
Our spending habits lead us into further troubles like financial strains by losing our hard-earned money. It also ends up with us having several low-quality products that we bought without a second thought from some random sale.
A 2015 survey conducted by FINRA revealed that 18% of the participants kept spending more than what they earn. Those who live paycheck to paycheck were 38%, and only 40% spent less than their earning.
All of this calls for a wise approach towards shopping so that saving money can be possible. Below is the ultimate list of tips that will help you become that intelligent, informed buyer:
1. Avoid making large purchases when you are feeling high on emotions.
When your emotions meter is running high, it’s not the best time to splurge on shopping. Much of your thoughts are diverted, so there is little left to focus on important things like saving and not buying something “just because that will make my miseries go away.”
It goes specifically for boredom. When you feel bored, you tend to spend more resources, be it your time or your money.
2. Plan what you need to buy before hitting the store
In other words, do not just go shopping for the sake of shopping. Unless you need something, purchasing will most probably be mindless, dumping in the cart.
If you make a list and stick to buying just what’s in the list, it will help you avoid unnecessary purchases to an extent. Most stores nowadays act as a strong magnet, which attracts shoppers through various sales tactics. Having a plan will leave the control in your hand.
3. Ditch that credit card
A piece of advice that comes from personal experience. Stay away from the credit card.
According to statistics published on Psychologist Anywhere Anytime, the U.S. credit card debt is higher than six hundred billion dollars.
Think of it in this way. You are buying something (that you probably don’t need) from the money that you do not even own. We tend to act as foolish spendthrifts while paying from credit cards.
On the other hand, if the money is going directly from our wallet, it triggers a ‘no!’ from the inside, which may stop us from buying impulsively.
Even if you are compelled to buy something online, always use the option of paying via cash on delivery.
4. Never go shopping on payday
Save yourself from spending a significant chunk of earning as soon as it arrives.
When its payday, we get into this mindset of finally being able to buy whatever we want. This feeling strongly impacts our buying behavior.
I suggest you pre-plan your budget days before the paycheck arrives. Set aside the amount you can spend on shopping.
A study revealed that buyers with less money tend to use more will power and resistance than wealthy buyers. They will also resist having food and drinks while shopping.
So, when you get your paycheck, set aside the money for expenses like bills and rent first. After you do that, then plan your trip to the mall.
5. Buy the best quality
One thing that you will cherish for a very long time in your life is buying high-quality products.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, the bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of less price is forgotten.
Legendary fashion icons keep suggesting us to buy less but versatile, good quality staples. The reason behind this is the mileage that good quality gives, without compromising on style.
Let me tell you about the time I decided to prefer quality over cost. Six years back, I gifted my husband a premium quality gray leather jacket; men mostly love both the color gray and leather, and so did my husband.
I decided that I will buy only the best quality jacket even if it means stretching my budget a bit. The good thing is that he still wears it and it looks as good as new.
Spending money on it is something I never regret.
6. Check the stitching quality of garments
Buying a clothing item or footwear should be like an inspection. Don’t just get fascinated by the color or design. Turn the garment inside out and check whether the stitching is of good quality or not.
Also, check how fine the overlocking is as it guarantees less tearing. Learn to differentiate between durable and less durable material so that anything you are buying lasts at least a few years in your wardrobe.
7. Avoid buying from exhibitions
Brands usually wish to make as many sales as possible from exhibiting. Not saying that it happens all the time, but most average-quality products are sold there, benefitting from the limited time factor.
Also, we get lured by lesser-known brands in an exhibition, which brings us to the next point.
8. Do your research about a brand before buying from them
Technology is the biggest supporter of us in this regard. Just a few basic terms in the search bar, like brand name + disappointed, or brand name + low quality, will direct us to forums where previous customers have posted a review about any brand.
Research how reputable the brand is, look carefully for recurring negative reviews and then decide whether buying from them is the right decision.
9. Don’t let sales easily bait you every time
Have you bought something that you didn’t need just because it was on sale? We all have been guilty of doing this.
There is some major attraction in these words: sales, discounts, or x% off.
To get into the category of a smart buyer, you will have to lessen the impact these words do to you and your buying habits. Sales are only good for you if they are announced on something that you need.
10. Buy something you can pull off confidently
Now here is a piece of advice that seems unrelated to money-saving, but I will connect the dots for you.
Imagine you buy a piece of clothing that doesn’t suit your body type. You just bought it because it was on sale, or maybe because you were feeling like experimenting.
Perhaps you will wear them once. But the lack of confidence and discomfort will be enough to make you feel weird, and you will never want to wear it again.
See the catch here? The money you spent on it and the fact that it did not even serve the purpose of making you look good? It is a clear case of money going down the drain.
To avoid this, always keep in mind the next piece of advice.
11. Try before you buy
There are many things about clothing, shoes, and accessories that you can only tell if you try it once. Is the material comfortable? Does it fit, right? Or is it making you feel confident or not? All these questions can be answered by trying before you decide to purchase it.
12. When you find something perfect, buy multiple colors in it
Now here is something that may seem contrary to my advice about spending less till now. But, it is one of the best shopping advice anyone can give you.
Once you find that perfect material, size, and shape in a shirt, or jeans, you should ideally buy it in some more colors. It is challenging to find the perfect clothing, so why waste money on the one not worth it?
13. Buy out of season
This tip is not just for clothing but also for electronics. Buy the air conditioner in winter and look for sweaters during summers. There is a difference in the price of non-seasonal items, as store owners need to sell these items to make space for seasonal stuff.
Note here that the price difference may be minimal, but even a few bucks that you save are not a bad deal.
14. Follow your favorite brands on social media
Make sure you are getting sales updates from the brands that you love. Brands put up exclusive day sales, clearance sales, and seasonal discounts all year round. They now use their social platforms to announce these sales.
Once in a while, they offer freebies and exclusive discounts, so watch out for those as well to save money on your favorite products.
Keep tabs on what you are buying and why you are shopping. By shopping smartly, you will be able to buy the best deals and simultaneously saving a lot of money.
Featured Photo by Lukas from Pexels
Author Bio: About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.