Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's not have a shopping hangover!

Working in retail for the many years that I did, I have seen everything. I have had women ask me to throw away the boxes from a pair of shoes so their husband wouldn't see. I have heard the old excuse, "Oh no Honey, I have had this for years!" Don't think you are innocent, fellas! How many times did you get in trouble for buying that video game or new "toy"?! It doesn't have to leave you feeling guilty if you are a smart shopper. It is all about spending within your budget.

Some thing I live by is signing up for emails and rewards cards at my favorite stores. I know it is annoying sometimes when you get a million emails that you don't want, but it is so worth it! Everyone is cutting costs now with the economy the way that it is, and stores realize this. You can even "like" a company's page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and get great deals. These practices along with the good old coupon section of your Sunday news paper and you can save A LOT of money!

For example, I have used a coupon for Covergirl from the Sunday newspaper, combined it with the CVS rewards coupon I had, and hit CVS up during a BOGO event and saved a bundle on my makeup!
For you gamer fellows out there--- Gamestop has one of the best rewards cards out there! It doubles as a gift card. Your wifey can walk into a store, give them your phone number, and instantly add $20 to your card! How sweet is that? Also, if you trade in games they will add the credit to the card and give you discounts on games you are buying.

Another great idea is something I teach all of my customers and do myself. Give yourself a spending allowance. If you budget for everything (bills, gas, food, etc) you can figure out how much "play" money you are allowed each week and the rest goes in savings. It is a great way to limit your spending without making you feel like you are giving up on life. You will also see your savings account go up. A great tip I got from Good Morning America was to try and have 2 to 3 months of your salary (take home) in savings just in case. That can seem daunting at first, but after a few months you will see it add up pretty quickly.

Alright, so you have your spending money and big plans for Friday night. You don't want to spend all of your allowance on a new outfit but you don't want to wear the same old thing either. This is easy! You are armed with your coupons, and you saw on Twitter that your favorite store is having a sale. Before you head off to the mall, you need to figure what you DON'T need to buy! Okay, so you have a great pair of jeans-- check that off your list. You have a favorite pair of earrings and necklace. Awesome. You have a couple of tank tops that could work, but they aren't that exciting and you have no shoes! (Sure you don't!) So this will help your search! You need something to layer over the tank and a great pair of shoes (that are on sale!) Now determine how much you want to spend on each. You have $50 to spend? Well, set aside $20 for a shirt/ jacket and $30 for the shoes. THIS IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE! Most stores carry everything you need for a great outfit-- and don't forget, you have those coupons!

The final tip I will leave you with is to not forget your fashionable friends! It could be as simple as having them go through your closet (or theirs) and see if you could come up with something different and cute without spending any money. Or, at your next girls' night in, everyone bring donations and have a fashion swap meet right there in the middle of the living room!

Good luck shoppers! I want pictures and success stories! Please post them or TWEET me @genadetour! I would love to know that my advice is helping. :) Also, post any questions you might want me to cover in the future. Happy shopping!