In some of my previous blog posts I talked about being smarter with money and making better purchases. I know that nowadays, especially with this ongoing crisis, a lot of us are looking for ways to save more money, spend less, while still managing to look good and from time to time treat ourselves.
As someone who’s been thinking about this, I wanted to share a list of my recommendations on how to get a better control of your finances when it comes to fashion purchases.
Now, since this website is dedicated to fashion, I will be focusing on that, but some of the tips can be transferred to other areas of your life.
Keep in mind that I am not a financial expert, but I just wanted to talk about the things that work for me.
With time I have found that being financially literate is of great importance. This is not something we’re usually taught at school, but it’s worth investing time & effort into becoming better with money; this will help you budget smarter and overall have a happier life!
A quick example of a book that helped me rethink the way I see money was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. If you’re interested in the topic, I definitely recommend having a look.
So without further ado, let’s get to my tips:
- Make sure your essential expenses are covered first. I always ensure that my most important bills (rent, electricity, health insurance, etc.) are paid before I go on shopping sprees. In this way you make sure that you are not left without money at the end of the month.
- Don’t spend money you don’t have. Yes, this seems like common sense, but I think it’s a very neglected principle. To explain further: I don’t use my credit card if I won’t be able to pay it out. Also if I know that I’ll have a financially tougher period coming ahead, I won’t go shopping for non-essential items.
- Buying luxury via credit card? Thanks, but no thanks. I know a lot of people do that, but I always say that if I want to splurge on something more expensive, I need to make sure I can afford it. Otherwise, using your credit card for luxury purchases is a very easy way to get into debt as you can easily get carried away.
- Read the fine print: Payments on instalments. Okay, this is an extension of the previous tips, but I personally avoid platforms/services that offer you to buy fashion items on instalments (an example here is Klarna). This is because it’s easier to lose focus when things seem more attainable, and using such payment methods will eventually end up costing you more. If I can’t afford to buy it immediately, then I will not purchase it.
- Pay attention to sales. The bottom line here is: if I wouldn’t spend money on the item when it has its full price, I wouldn’t buy it on sale either. Although there may be some exceptions to this rule, I will always check that the discounted item still has good quality (sometimes pieces on sale have defects or are torn apart because a lot of people pull them/touch them).
- Potential is just not enough. I don’t buy items that “have potential”. Examples here include, having to completely reconstruct the piece (unless it’s a rare vintage find!), having to lose/gain weight in order to fit in it, you get the gist.
- Savings come first. Whenever I want to buy something pricier, I make sure that I have three times the cost of the piece in question, before I comfortably buy it. In that way, I make sure that I won’t get in financial trouble, because I wanted something fashion-related.
- Had a very bad day… or a very good one? Whenever I am sad/angry, or even very enthusiastic, I avoid buying expensive items. Otherwise I get into the “I deserve it, I have to treat myself” state, and we all know how dangerous that is. If I need a little pick me up after a difficult day, I prefer to buy a lipstick or a skincare product. In this way I know I won’t regret my purchase because I associate it with an unpleasant memory.
- Hmm… not sure about it? If I am not sure about an item, I don’t buy it. There are some cases when I want to think about it, so then I sleep over it. If I am not enthusiastic the day after, I just move on. If the item gets sold out while I am thinking, then it wasn’t meant to be.
- Quality over quantity. This is not the first time you hear this from me. But I prefer to wait and save my money to buy something that I will really appreciate and care for, rather than buying 5 items for 20 Euros each and them see them fall apart after one washing.
- What are you willing to invest in? Not all fashion items are made equal. There are some things such as shoes, bags, jewellery or winter coats that I will happily splurge on. But I also have a list for things that are just not worth spending a lot of money on, regardless of the brand. Examples here are flip-flops, socks or simple white shirts.
- Materials matter. I always check what an item is made of. If it’s something made of cashmere or beautiful silk then I would absolutely consider. But fashion stuff made of polyester are usually just not worth it.
- Do you really like that trend? I am always very cautious when it comes to trends. In fact, I have a love/hate relationship with them, as what is fashionable today, can be irrelevant tomorrow. If I am really crazy about the latest fashion hype, I can try it out with an item from a highstreet store, instead of splurging on the real deal right away. In that way I will know for sure if I really like that product, or if I just want to be part of the conversation.
Bottom line, I think nowadays we are heavily influenced by what we see on social media; it seems that everyone has every latest designer item. But always keep in mind that blindly following a trend is not what will make you stylish, quite the contrary actually, as you stuck chasing trends every season.
- Matchy matchy. Investing in your wardrobe becomes much easier when you have a colour palette to stick to. Then you know that whatever you buy will fit with the rest of your clothes.
- Come on… it’s a special occasion. We’ve all been there. You have an occasion coming up and you just can’t show up with something old that you’ve pulled out from the back of the wardrobe. You obviously need a new dress.. and new shoes… and, and, and… Been there, done that. Truth is not every occasion deserves a brand new outfit, I always try to think if I can reinvent the way I wear a dress, or a blouse, in order to avoid spending extra money on something that will be worn once and then forgotten.
Et voilá, these are my tips for better money & fashion decisions. I am curious to see if you have any advice of your own!