If you’ve been following my blog for a little while now, you’ve likely caught on to my little shopping addiction. It’s no secret that I love the thrill of purchasing new items of clothing and splurging on a luxury bag every now and again. But even though I wish it were the case, I certainly don’t have an unlimited bank account to fund these habits. For me personally, I like to save where I can so that the money I do set aside each month for clothing, shoes and handbags goes a lot further.
1 – Wait for Sales
This one requires a bit of patience, but it’s actually pretty easy not to pay full-price for online purchases. Oftentimes, retailers will offer around a 10% discount if you sign up for their e-newsletter, which I always take advantage of. I know that on Bloomingdales, they also offer you another 10% when you sign up for their text messaging service. Always scroll to the bottom of the website and look for an e-mail signup! Saks and Neiman Marcus offer a first-time discount as well. I also take note of the Shopbop sales, Bloomingdales Friends & Family, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and actually create a wishlist and wait til that sale hits.
2 – Ebates!
If you haven’t heard of Ebates before, it’s a magical site that gives you cash back for your online purchases. It doesn’t work with every retailer out there, but they have relationships with tons of sites and you can usually get between 6 to 12% cash back. This post isn’t sponsored by Ebates, I just really love this site. It seems too good to be true, but I’ve been using it for years and there is no catch.
3 – Buy and Sell Pre-Loved
One way to save big on designer bags especially is to buy them used on sites like Bag, Borrow or Steal, Fashionphile, Yoogi’s Closet, or Trendlee. You know when people say that as soon as you drive a brand new car off the lot it immediately depreciates in value? Yep, it’s kind of the same thing for bags. I know that some people love to buy brand new, but this is one way to afford luxury on a budget. I’ve sold a few of my designer bags that I just wasn’t that into before and swapped them for new ones. Tip: when you choose store credit instead of getting a cash payout, they pay you a higher value.
4 – Budget
A year or two ago, a girlfriend introduced me to an app called Mint which basically keeps track of all of your spending based on credit card transaction and groups it all into categories so you can see where your money is going. For example, it will tell you how much goes to gas, groceries, restaurants, clothing, etc. I will not lie to you, it’s a little depressing at first. I was spending way too much on restaurants, lattes and pedicures than I should have been. But once you see how much you spend on certain things, it’ll help you to tighten up and reprioritize. I now cook way more at home, make my own coffee, and do my own nails! I also no longer shop at Whole Foods because HOLY COW is it even possible to spend less than $100 in that place? Trader Joe’s for the win.
5 – Say No to Sales Tax
One of the main reasons I do most of my shopping online is because there are plenty of places where you don’t have to pay sales tax. And in New York, it’s 8.9% which can really add up on more expensive purchases. In most cases, retailers don’t have to collect sales tax from customers in states where they have no physical presence. If you do enough browsing, this is a place where you can easily save!
To recap, I know that I just gave a bunch of money-savings tips just so you can go and spend the money you saved on non-essential items. And that may seem a little backward to some. I always try to stay within my means and if I’m tight on money one month then my choice is very simple — I don’t buy anything non-essential. I always try to save a set amount each month as well and transfer it into my savings account so I don’t touch it. But if fashion is a passion of yours like me then I don’t see why you can’t save a little money while fueling that passion. Life is short, buy the dress!
Heels: Schutz (similar
Photography by Lydia Hudgens