April 02, 2012

April 2nd: A cheapy's guide to an awesome life

Here's the deal: I am cheap.
Give me a bazillion dollars and I would still think spending 20 grand on a purse is disgusting and decadent.

I still, however, like to dress well and buy new clothes and shoes, go out for dinners and go overseas. So how do you do it on a beggars budget?
I developed a strategy that allows me to indulge on a very frequent basis without emptying my savings account.

There you gaawww:

1) Don't go for the shitty sales items

I love me a bargain but I get pretty crazy sometimes when I see a $ 10 - rack. I often walk into a store, knowing exactly what I want just to get distracted by the sale items on my way to the till. Then thoughts like: 'I could get two shirts for the price of the one I want' sneak up on me and I end up buying two things I didn't actually want. It's times like these that I have to hold myself back and ask myself, what I really want and why I chose whatever is piled high on my left arm. Usually it's the price, not the item and more often than not it lands in my closet and doesn't get looked at until I have a clean out. Something that has worked pretty well for me is the following: If I pick up a sale item, I ask myself if I would have also wanted to buy it at full price. The answer is usually no - as expected!!!!
Sale items are cheap for a reason, wether it's quality issues, awkwardly cut or just plain ugly. The price is tricking consumers into buying it anyway.  

2) Know what you want and avoid browsing

This applies for everything shopping-related, wether it's food or fashion - the rule is the same: Make a list! The amount of money I spend on groceries every week is enormous, considering I live in a 2-person household and I have noticed I buy way more, if I don't have the darn list with me.
Take those five minutes and write down what you need. It'll save you money and time and you won't forget the milk again this time, promise!

Retail relies heavily on browsing customers who make spontaneous purchases. The whole 'going-to-the-mall-for-fun'-concept is based on exactly that. So how do you avoid buying stuff you never end up wearing?

Here's what I tend to do.

I first have a look through online shops and blogs to update on trends and see what's out there. I then pick a few items I would like to get for the upcoming season.
My list looks somewhat like this at the moment:

  • pair of blue velvet leggings
  • pair of black velvet leggings for work
  • sleeveless fur coat
  • leather sleeved double breasted coat
  • collar clips
  • taupe coloured flat chelsea boots

That way, if you come across yet another black pleated skirt you think would be essential for your wardrobe you can have a look  at that list and if it's not on there, well, then you don't need it.

Another thing I find very dangerous are shops that sell merely accessories such as 'Colette', 'Lovisa' or 'Diva'. There is such an overkill of stuff and everything is fairly cheap so again you risk of buying stuff you'll never wear (and LOTS of it!). Stick to your list and don't buy 100 variations of the same thing (this is somewhat directed at myself as I am obsessed with statement necklaces ).

3) Shop online

Ebay is the shit. There are no two ways to it.
Usually runway trends take just as long to reach Ebay as they take to reach high street. There are millions of shops that specialise in ripping off blogger and celebrity wardrobes and I am shamelessly loving it!

I always love walking into Dissh and seeing all their accessories for double or triple the price I paid - especially as they seem to be of the exact same quality.

Another good thing about Ebay is that every seller is SO concerned about their feedback that, in case you are unhappy, they are more than willing to compromise - something you don't find a lot in Australian stores - at least not without having a little fight with the shop assistant....

Also don't even waste your time in flight centres etc to book your holidays. After 3 years of constant travelling I find that just going online and booking your flight saves you heaps of money and hassle. And if you love last minute bookings as much as I do, you might end up in a similar awesome hotel Suite we did in Venice for a whopping $ 120 incl. breakfast.

Stay smart and save your coins, cookies!!!