Tips for Shopping on a Budget

tips for shopping on a budget

I know it’s a stereotype that girls love to shop, but I’d say it’s a pretty accurate stereotype. I know not EVERY girl likes shopping but the majority do and we typically call those girls, “Shopaholics.” I thought I’d give some of my tips for shopping on a budget because haven’t you ever gone out with your friends and said you’re only going to spend “x” amount of money and then you end up spending “xyz”? Yep, that’s happened to me, especially when I’m using my credit card because you don’t actually see the money physically diminishing from your wallet.

I decided to test out some of these tips and went shopping on Labor Day weekend because there were so many sales; however, I told myself even though there are sales doesn’t mean you can spend more than you normally would. In order to prevent myself from overspending, I followed a few tips/rules.

  1. Leave your credit card at home – I like to have mine with me in case of emergencies but you have to be sure that you won’t be tempted to use it if it’s with you.
  2. Take the exact amount of cash you’d like to spend for the day – that way you can’t go over your budget. I find that actually having the cash gives it more value because as you spend it you SEE it disappearing from your wallet.
  3. Put things on hold and come back later – this is if you have plenty of time in the day and if you suck at making decisions (like me). I find that if you ask the cashier to hold the items for you and you have to come back later, you realize how bad you want it and if it’s worth spending your money. If you make the effort to come back for it then it’s probably worth the money but if you just blow it off then you didn’t really need to spend $15 on a crop top anyway.
  4. If you don’t have time for #3, be sure you know the return policy of the store in case you decide later you’d like to bring something back.
  5. Put on your blinders and walk directly to the sale section FIRST. Many stores put this section way in the back so that you’ll be drawn towards the full price items first. Try to avoid them and check out the sales first. You never know what kind of hidden gems are back there.
  6. Once you’ve spent the amount you want to spend (you don’t have to spend it all – it’s good to save too) just go home. Don’t keep lingering and window-shopping because you might see something else and be tempted to grab your credit card if you didn’t follow rule #1.

By follow the tips above I ended up getting:

Total Spent: ~$80.00
Total Budget: $150
Total Saved: $70 (which I later spent at Target)

I hope you can implement some or all of these tips the next time you go shopping! I love to help people save money where they can. Comment below if there are any tips you have for shopping on a budget!



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  1. The best idea for me was don’t take card take cash! If you really find something you love/need most stores will hold for you!

    1. Well, I wouldn’t ask them to hold it so you can come back with more money haha that defeats the purpose! If you want it/need it bad enough then you’ll use your cash budget you brought with you 🙂

  2. Maybe at the beginning of the month I should consider taking out cash. Not just for clothes but other expenses too, good tip! Also,if I want something then I write it down in my iPhone notes. I go back periodically and delete the things I’m not obsessed with anymore and if I still really want something, I surf the internet for the cheapest version possible haha. Also if I know my favorite type of jeans are 89$ at LOFT, I wrote down the size and find a used pair on eBay.

    1. Ohhh that’s such a good idea! I should start doing that. I always see things that I HAVE to have and then a month later I’m like, “uhh why did I need this again?” lol

  3. I’m a total shopaholic. It’s so bad. Two tips that I’ve learned recently is to create a “What I’m Allowed to Buy” list on my phone, and to not buy it unless I’ve been thinking about it for at least a week. They helps me save money all the time! Another good one is to check out Unigo! It’s a website that offers discounts to college students on clothing stores!

    Caitlyn |

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