Let me tell you about my walk to work. I leave my apartment, and then walk past a few hotels. After a couple blocks, I begin to pass by almost every expensive store in the entire city. My neighbors are famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo, Prada, and jewelry store David Yurman… It is so tempting to work on a street with such beautiful, ridiculously priced merchandise. Something that I’ve really been struggling with this summer is trying to keep my shopping budget at a minimum. I’m really into fashion, and many people I grew up with weren’t as much, so I didn’t shop very often as I usually couldn’t find things I liked. Now that I’m living in a huge city with hundreds of stores, it can be a challenge to spend wisely.
I often use shopping as a reward, or a way to make myself feel better after a tough day/week/month. This idea often becomes problematic, especially since I associate feeling better with buying something new. After I began working in an expensive boutique, my taste in clothing has been getting more and more expensive. I now have become ok with the idea of a $100 top or sweatshirt and find that to be relatively unexpensive. Unfortunately, this idea reflects a growing trend in fashion: higher prices for better quality. As great as I think it is to get a cute dress for around $20 or more, I would rather buy a dress for a lot more, which often gets me into trouble.
Some tips and tricks I use (or need to use more often) to stop my shopping habits is to ask myself a couple of questions before I buy something. First, is this a practical item? Buying an expensive swim suit right before fall isn’t the smartest decision, and I try not to buy anything that I won’t get a lot of use out of (or will dislike a couple days after buying it). Second, is this item worth the price I’m paying for it? If you’re considering buying a dress in a style that you know you could find for cheaper, then think twice. However, also take into account the quality of a piece of clothing or an accessory.
For my birthday, I decided that I would buy myself a really nice purse that I could fit my notebooks for school. It was a lot of money, but an every day leather bag to me is a good investment. I would much rather spend money on one piece that I’ll use constantly, than on a ton of clothes that I may not wear as often. Finally, ask yourself if you really like what you’re buying. A trick I like to use is to put an item on hold, sleep on the decision, and if you decide you really, really need that item the next day, then go buy it.
I really hope I don’t end up like the lady in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic, a film about a woman who shops so much that she ends up broke and has to sell all of her clothing. In the future, I want to be able to allocate my money to the most important areas of my life like my education, my health, and my family.