CaseyLand: How I Get the Most for my Money

Monday, April 25, 2016

How I Get the Most for my Money

dress: Old Navy shoes: Roolee Boutique
Ok, those of you who know me know that it's no secret I love clothes. My love of clothes goes wayyyyy back to my junior high days when I was watching What Not to Wear and realized that what you wear can say a lot about you! (Back then what my clothes said about me was that I was desperate to fit in...Remember when you had to be wearing exactly what everyone else was wearing? Like, exactly???)

I'm a quality over quantity girl. The only issue with that is that quality pieces are usually quite expensive! Back when I was in high school and college, I had no issue dropping the big bucks on statement pieces from Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Nordstrom, but since I've got married my mindset has changed. Now that the money I have isn't just for myself, I've become a lot more conscious about where it's going and how much I'm spending. Alex and I recently drew up a budget for ourselves, and according to the budget I am only going to have $25 to spend on myself each month! I'll do a post about the budget later, and I'd love to start a series on what I get for $25 every month, so watch for that! Today, I just want to talk about tips and tricks I have for getting the most for my money.

1. Know the difference between a "want" and a "need". When money is tight, nothing makes me feel more guilty than when I indulge in something that can only be classified as a "want", unless I get a great deal on it! If there is something that I really need to buy, I take care of that before I acknowledge any wants. That way I have what I need, and I can assess if I have enough money to splurge on a want as well. I like to have my priorities straight ;)

2. Straight up ignore full price items. This one is kind of funny, but you guys I'm not kidding when I say when I walk into a store I go straight back to the sale rack! Stores change out their clothes so often, the sale rack is usually full of items that aren't quite out of season yet for a better price. Even better, most stores will have an extra off sale price - Gap and J. Crew do this incredibly often. I can usually get 40%-50% off the sale price at those stores. I left J. Crew with a $250 rain coat once that I got for only $60! And I mentioned in this post that I got jeans from Gap for $4.

3. Wait for Sales! Often times it's hard to overlook the brand new clothes at the front of the store. If temptation strikes, and you just have to try it on, don't be afraid to wait for a sale. More often than not, there will be some sort of storewide sale a few days after you find your dream shirt which will make all full price items 40% off! This happens extremely often at stores like LOFT and The Limited. It bugs me so much when I buy an item and go back three days later to see it marked wayyyy down. If you're worried about your size selling out when the sale comes, watch it online as well!

4. Picture going home without it. My mom used to always tell us this when we were hesitant to spend our money. Picture yourself going home without it. Are you still going to be thinking about it and wishing it was in your closet so you could wear it the next day? If not, don't buy it. Another tip along the same lines is to picture things you already have that you could wear this new item with. If you can't think of a few outfits to work it into, it's probably not worth it.

5. Set a budget for your shopping. If you go shopping without a set limit and it turns out to be a great day where everything you try on looks amazing on you, it's going to be hard to not spend a ton. Before you even hit the shops, tell yourself "I am only going to spend (x) amount today!" and then stick to it. This really helps me decide if it's something I really desire to purchase or not. If I'm not willing to spend part of my budget on it, it's not coming home with me.

Bonus: Store credit cards. I do not have any store credit cards. I bring this point up for those of you who are open to it. My mom has a Gap card, and for her, it comes in handy a lot. She's really good at paying off the card right after making a purchase, so she never pays interest but she still earns points. There have been many times we've gone to Gap and she's earned so much Gap cash, we get our purchase for free. I do not recommend getting a store card unless you are extremely responsible and will pay it off right away. If you can do that, and you shop at that store a lot, I actually think this method is really worth it!

Anyway, those are my tips for getting great deals. I can happily say that it has been YEARS since I bought anything full price, and I have zero regrets.

Do you have any shopping tips I left out? Let me know!

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