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March 2018

Ways to Shop and Remain Rich

Shopping is like love it can be a pleasure and a pain. A shopping bout blows boredom, worries, and stress away. And, quickly puts a smile on the face. Sadly shopping a temporary high can lead to severe problems like un-payable debt or addiction.

Shinny malls filled with shops provide an escape from the realities and drudgeries of life. It is but a temporary relief from depression, anxiety, and loneliness. It will never grant love, inner peace, or happiness. What happens is that you spend money and buy something that will go into the deep recesses of a shelf never to be used.

There are ways in which you can shop without going broke:

1. Make a financial plan for expenditure. Create boxes or envelops for each item like milk, school, utilities, groceries and so on. Never remove money from one and think I will put it back later. Discipline yourself and you will be surprised how smoothly your life goes.

2. Lock up all credit, debit, and ATM cards that have large limits. Set small limits on all credit cards, freezing the amount of money available will help you limit your spending.

3. Never go shopping alone. Go with a friend or family member who is ready take on the responsibility of bringing you down to ground zero should you get carried away. They must be able to say “no” in such a way that all your enthusiasm gets deflated.

4. Avoid sales, shopping channels, and mail order catalogues. Temptations must be kept far away.

5. Consider walking in the malls as a part of your weight loss regimen. Walk by the shops, enjoy the window display and atmosphere but don’t walk into a shop.

6. Try going to shopping districts before they open or shut down at night. This way you will be able to enjoy shopper’s fairyland without despair or heartache.

7. Always pay for purchases in cash. Forget all about credit. Stop the vicious cycle of buy now pay later.

There is something else one can do, offer to go shopping with family and friends but never take your wallet or purse along. It is just like sniffing the aroma of exotic foods but not eating it.

Think about becoming a writer who reviews products that way you will earn while finding out what is new in the market and do away with guilt trips. Turn your nightmare into something useful. If you are not holding a job then you can volunteer at a hospital gift shop or one of the malls where they have help desks to answer questions newcomers to the mall have.

Satisfy your needs without creating unsolvable problems for yourself and others.

Shopping During The Sales

During the time I have spent as an image consultant I have seen the contents of many men’s and women’s wardrobes. Very often the items that stand out are the items bought in the sales. Why is that the case? Well usually because something happens to us in the sales when we are faced with the bargain of the century. We imagine ourselves a different person, leading a different life and purchase the item that we think we will be wearing in it. Only to discover some months later that our lives haven’t changed, we’re still the same person – and we’ve not worn that sales purchase.

I can remember doing this myself in pre-image consultant days when I decided that a summer weight aqua two piece skirt and top was what was missing from my wardrobe – and my life. It fit beautifully, more to the point it was a wonderful bargain, so despite there being a loud floral print shawl adorned with purple and yellow pansies attached to the top which wasn’t removable, I bought it. Any of my friends at the time could have told you that I wasn’t a pansy woman but that didn’t stop me, after all it was a bargain. Every now and again I used to take it out the wardrobe, try it on, marvel at the great fit and promptly put it back again. As a women who can count the number of floral prints she has ever worn over her lifetime on one finger what was I doing purchasing an outfit with a huge print attached? Let alone purple and yellow pansies! Utter madness!

Since then I have realised that I was not the only one and other people make strange purchases particularly during the sales that they never wear and which clog up their wardrobe and they spend a long time regretting the impulse which caused them to spend their hard-earned cash on the wrong thing in the first place. My advice to anyone who can think of these items in their wardrobe now is to bite the bullet and throw them out – yes, gents that includes the Hawaiian shirts, the cardigans you will never wear because they make you feel like your dad! And that roll neck sweater you bought thinking it’d look cool under your suit which you can’t quite bring yourself to put on.

And ladies that coat in orange when you never wear orange and have nothing to go with it! The skirt you fell for and bought because you thought you were going to change from a lifetime of wearing trousers etc. The party outfit of chiffon and sequins when you don’t go to parties.

My advice for buying in the sales is know your colours and your style, what your body’s shaped like and how you like to be seen. Buy second items of sweaters and trousers which you’ve bought before and hammered or buy those items in a different colour-way. Avoid high fashion colours or styles as these won’t last more than a month. Go for your neutral colours – if there’s a bargain pair of black shoes or trousers which fit well then go ahead and buy them if you know you wear black a lot and they are a classic style so will be usable next year.

In fact good advice with any sales purchase is to look at the item if it’s near the end of the season for that particular purchase and think whether you will want to wear it in ten months time because the likelihood is that you will get 2-4 weeks wear out of it and then have to put it away as the weather changes and makes it inappropriate. Do this and you won’t go far wrong.

Happy sales shopping!

Beautiful Savings – Guide to Surviving Sample Sales

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this feeling: you’ve been eyeing the most gorgeous pair of Tory Burch heels, with its gorgeous silhouette and sleek style. But alas, your heart skips a beat when you look at the price, as you replace them on the shelf and silently affirm “One day… I’ll save enough to have it.” Well, thanks to the numerous sample sales in New York City’s fashion district, “One day” may be much sooner than you think! The one thing that shopaholics (such as myself!) like better than shopping are bargains! And bargains are always beautiful! Here are some tips on scoring heart-stopping deals with prices that won’t give you a heart attack.

Research, Research, Research!

The wealth of information available on the internet is amazing! Websites such as Topbutton and DailyCandy post information on sample sales in various cities.

Got some extra time during the day? Prominent shopping areas, such as New York City’s garment district may have people advertising sample sales for specific showrooms. Take a stroll in these areas and be on the lookout for someone handing out fliers to such sales. Once you’re at the sale, place yourself on their contact list so you can be notified of future sales. Some showrooms may not be so public about their sales. Well-known designers, such as Prada, have sales twice a year, so if you know someone who’s in the loop and has info to a certain showroom, try calling calling in favors and ask when the next sample sale will occur.

Go with a Plan!

Plan on arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour before the sale, particularly for sought-after brands. Anticipate long lines for entry, try-ons, and purchases. Be patient! Usually the first day of a sample sale has the best selection due to the highest number of inventory. If day one is a no-go on your schedule, call ahead of time and ask if additional items will be put out or prices cut later in the week.

Always have cash on hand- some sales may not accept credit cards or personal checks. On the plus side, some sales will may fore-go tax if you pay in cash.

Wear leggings and a tank top or sports bra under your clothes. This allows you to easily try clothes on, especially if private dressing rooms are unavailable.

Never wear a brand to its own sale. It could get lost amongst the other merchandise.

Shopping buddies are great to have- they give their honest opinions on what does and doesn’t look flattering.

Survey the land.

If the atmosphere is relaxed, you can take your time and peruse the aisles and racks so you can decide what to buy. But in the event that chaos is present, it’s always effective to grab and go! Select items in your size range that look appealing to try on, avoiding anything that’s stained, torn, or needs a lot of tailoring. Having a friend sample sale shop also helps, especially when it comes to the long try-on and check-out lines.

Mind your manners.

Sample sales can get overcrowded, and the more bodies under one roof, the more colorful the personalities. While there are those that can get aggressive, and sometime downright rude, I personally feel no item is worth fighting over. If someone is blocking a rack or dominating a mirror, politely ask her to move for just a second. Remember, when it comes down to it, it’s just stuff; there’s more to life than having everything.

Shop Smart

Look for unique pieces that you can’t normally get from the local department stores. The best deals at sample sales are bags, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Prices on these items are usually below wholesale price. Always try to ask for a better price, especially if you are buying a lot of items. If you are buying $400 worth of merchandise, see if you can get it for $350. The people at the register know that people are here for a deal, and they want to get out as much inventory as they can.

There are more than just sample sales.

Shopping, samples, and cocktails- need I say more? Companies such as Shecky’s Media and Style Fixx hold events at popular venues that are more like happy hour with girlfriends than shopping. These events have local designers and beauty companies that showcase their newest products, all at 30-75% off retail. They also offer “goodie bags” filled with product samples for you to try. Sign up for the next Shecky’s event here.

The internet’s popularity has also allowed for online sample sales that offer discount for designer items. Sites such as RueLala and Ideeli require membership to shop online.