BY ROEYNA MAY FAMISARAN

DO you love to go shopping? Most women do. We think we always do not have enough clothes. And for us, shopping is a therapy. We reward ourselves after a month of hell days at work – which includes dealing with bad bosses and gossip-mongering co-workers. But after all the shopping sprees and store-hopping, we hear our wallets cry. We hate the bills; they give us literal heart attacks. Even so, we still continue to buy and buy.

But there comes a point when things are getting out of hand. Credit card bills can make us sink – and probably never survive – in debt. Don’t be broke ever again with these shopping tips:

List what you need. Ever experienced going to the grocery store without your list? You ended up overspending, right? Listing the clothes you need is the recipe to have a debt-free shopping. Go through your closet. What are the clothes that you really need? Do you need that denim jacket when you have five of those hanging in your cabinet? Shopping can be overwhelming so having a list of what you only need helps you to spend less.

Stick to your budget. If you allotted P5,000 for your shopping this month, stick to it – no matter what it takes. Also take note that your budget should be within your monthly income. One of the reasons why people get buried in debt is because they spend beyond their means.

Know when to splurge and when to scrimp. Saving money on clothes doesn’t meaning scrimping every single time. Fashion experts always recommend that you should splurge on classic, timeless clothes including denim jeans, white button-down shirt, black blazer, little black dress, and the like. But scrimp on the trends. They just come and go.  Do you really think that fringe skirt will still be “in” next year?

Show some TLC to your clothes. Just like shoes and bags, your clothes need a lot of tender loving care for it to last. Doing the laundry is one delicate activity; you need to be able to know how to properly wash the clothes depending on their color and fabric. If you take care of your clothes, you will be less likely to buy more.

Out of season shopping. Wise shoppers know this trick. Buy the clothes when they are not in season. They are cheaper.

Learn DIY. We are not saying you have to learn dressmaking. But learn some do-it-yourself tricks to accessorize your clothes and give it a new life. There are too many DIY videos on the Internet . Try some of them to perk up that plain blouse and old jeans. Additionally, it is important to learn basic sewing skills. This way, you will not spend money to have the dressmaker replace your blouse’s buttons.

Hunt at thrift stores. There are too many gorgeous items at thrift stores if you are just willing to hunt for them. They may be hard to find but they are worth it. Bonus: they are too cheap. If you are only looking for pieces that you will wear once or twice, go and experience thrift-shopping.

Don’t buy just because it is on sale. Most items that are on sale are part of the old stocks. Either they are already damaged or they are in bigger sizes. Sales are tempting. Avoid them.

It takes discipline to be a wise shopper. The most important tip probably is to live within your means. Learn how to spend wisely. Learn how to save./PN

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