The amount of joy I get out of buying something new is almost a little unhealthy, but I know I’m not alone in my affinity for shopping. Coupled with my appreciation for style and desire to have a well-decorated home, things are really poised to get out of control. Over the years I have perfected a strategy to make sure I’m getting what I want and need, and not depleting my bank account at the same time.
- Keep a List I keep a list in my aNote app (which I previously talked about in this post) of general clothing or home items I particularly want or need. These are typically holes I’ve noticed in my wardrobe, which could be classics like a new pair of black trousers, a note that I could use a pair of gray shoes, or just that I would like to buy another flowy dress this summer. When I come across the perfect version of one of these items, it’s an easy decision to buy (kind of like I did with this tee shirt dress).
- Prioritize within that list I try to order the items by level of importance. I may really need those trousers if an old pair got ruined, and I’m constantly struggling to complete outfits, but that summer dress could be more of a “want”.
- Find Inspiration sign up for mailing lists and follow blogs! Although it may mean a lot of emails most days, I’m signed up for email lists for all of my favorite retailers so that I get information about new arrivals and notice of any sales. On top of that, I follow a number of blogs and am constantly finding items I love through other bloggers. Try to find bloggers you most identify with or appreciate their individual style and you’re bound to find inspiration along the way.
- Create Wish Lists I’m a chronic online “window” shopper, so as I peruse my favorite sites, I save every item I really love. I mostly use my Fashion and Home Pinterest boards for this, but also create wish lists directly on my favorite retailers.
- Think Before You Buy when window shopping, it’s easy to be tempted to buy on the spot, particularly if an item isn’t too expensive, or is part of a great sale. Before buying I always look back to my original list to see if the item is part of it, or to make me re-think how important it is. A pair shoes I like might be a great deal, but could still be the cost of two items I’ve already identified are important to buy next.
- Check Back on Favorites from time to time I scroll back through my Pinterest board and wish lists to see what items still catch my eye, if there’s anything I’ve saved that matches up to my “needs” list, or if anything is now on sale. I typically do this when I’m starting to think about shopping for a particular occasion or reason. At the start of each new season or before heading out on a big trip, I give myself a loose budget of sorts to get a few new items, and a collection of things I’ve loved over the last few months is a great place to start.
- Stay on Track the hardest part of all is ensuring you don’t get too carried away and spend more money than you intend. I try to set a limit on how much I’m willing to spend on shopping in any given month, and check back to see where I am before each purchase. Sometimes it seems like I haven’t bought anything in a while, but the numbers tell a different story! Creating lists and prioritizing helps to keep me from blowing too much money on impulse purchases, which in turn would put me over budget once I buy the things I really need.
I truly believe your personal style is another opportunity to demonstrate who you are to the world, so I will always value a great pair of shoes. Do what makes you happy, but everything in moderation! Hopefully this helps explain how I keep my wardrobe and home feeling fresh without breaking the bank, and I urge you to create a strategy (whether the same or different) that works for you.