So you have a problem: you love things. You wouldn’t exactly pen yourself as a materialist but sometimes you catch yourself dreaming of shoes. Everyone’s got their vices, and if they’re human, it’s more than their virtues. I’m not here to talk RRSP’s or the stock market because those words are barely included in my vocabulary. But, a word I use too often is shop, and boy do I know how to do it. Through much trial and error I’ve figured out how to shop without dropping (the number in your bank account).
- Get a j-o-b: Do I even have to say it? You can’t save money without making money. You can’t spend any either. A solid income, no matter how big or small, is an income nonetheless, and the foundation of any financial plan.
- If you ain’t got the time, don’t do the crime: Arguably more important than having a job. If you don’t have it, don’t buy it. Download your bank’s app. Check it. Okay, now put the shoes down. Ask yourself, are these Choo’s really worth working the weekend? If yes, by all means go ahead. But if you can’t immediately afford extra time in the office than you can’t afford the shoes. Be patient. If you still want what ever it is by the time you have the money, than what are you waiting for? Go get em.
- Save up double what the item costs: in reference to the previous point, the best thing to do is to save up enough money to buy two of what you want. It will cancel out the impending dent in your wallet. Difficult, but worth it.
- Make a list: Because lists help you prioritize. You probably don’t need anything that requires shining your pennies for. We all know food, water and shelter is exempt from this. But, if your flipping sofa cushions for a Louis Vuitton duffle bag than you seriously need to prioritize your life. Essentially, jotting down a “wish list” requires you to record things in order of importance; what do you “need” more and what can wait. Things to keep in mind when prioritizing are: time (how long will it take to reach that goal), importance (how badly are you itching for it), and value (how much will it improve your life/happiness in the short and long term). For example, a trip to Europe may take longer to save up for than an Alexander Wang purse, but the experience can bring you greater happiness for much longer.
- Invest: This is a nod to the most clichéd alliteration: quality over quantity. A good pair of jeans will not only last, but will be much more appreciated. I know those $10 Forever 21 jeans are always tempting, but they don’t fit well, the stitching unravels and the buttons break. Invest in things that deserve to be taken care of, just like you. And before you bite the bullet, do your research as if you’re writing a dissertation. Look up reviews online, search on ShopStyle for the best price, go to the stores to try them on or compare. If you’re going to invest, make sure it’s the best.
- Mood board it out: Visuals work. If you’ve read any self help book than you heard it: Visualize it. Basically try to integrate your dream goal, in this case the new pink iPhone, and contemplate how badly you need (often misconstrued with want) it. Creating a mood boad, or Pinterest board or Polyvore board allows you to see all the things at once. It’s basically a graphic version of rule 3. Once you’ve streamlined your wish list, make your mood board.
Tip: If you ain’t got the cash, it’s time to take out the trash. A quick way to make cash is to sell stuff online. Kijiji, ebay, Tradesy. Depop etc. Just upload, sell, repeat. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.