Hitting the shops can be a stressful affair for many, as shops are there to tempt us to buy things we want but don’t need, so how do you achieve the perfect balance between spending but not overspending? Some people avoid shops altogether, some shop online and other just accept they can’t help but spend impulsively but read our guide to being a frugal shopper in 2014 and you will gain a renewed sense of hope that you can become an effective, efficient and frugal shopper.
Pride yourself on the ability to have and exercise willpower
Willpower is so important in many aspects of our lives. Many of us exercise willpower without realising it. We count calories, do housework and go to work regularly. These acts of willpower we are accustomed to so they don’t seem like much of a challenge, but once we hit the shops there is a whole new ball-game in play. Many of us find solace in the shops. We go there in our lunch hours to escape the drudgeries of the office and we see pretty things which we think will make our lives better. So, what do we do, we spend our hard earned money impulsively! Curbing impulsive shopping is a discipline in itself, but first you need to identify your impulsivity ‘triggers’. Do you go shopping on an empty stomach?; do you go shopping when you are tired and grumpy or do you go shopping when you simply don’t have time to do a good shop? Do you choose from the first screenful of business loans deals or insurance deal you see online? (Incidentally we recommend you check out Everline for competitive business sized loans – but do your own research and don’t just take our word for it!)
All of these things can lead to a willpower crisis, so it is best to plan the whole process of going shopping and ensure you stick to a pre-planned budget. You can even create a mantra ‘I don’t need to spend money on this to make me happy’ which you can say to yourself silently when you are tempted to buy an impulsive indulgence. A good idea is to use the money you have saved through your new lifestyle choice in an effective way, so perhaps spend it on a treat for yourself or to invest in a new hobby.
Buy own brand
Are you a sucker for buying brands? If so why don’t you try to switch to own brands? Some own brands are actually better quality than branded items. Some large retailers for example have made commitments about avoiding certain harmful additives across their whole range of own branded items such is their desire to encourage people to switch to plain as opposed to branded items.
When you buy a designer brand you need to ask yourself why you are making that particular purchase. If you do this you can identify when you are just paying for the brand and when you genuinely will benefit from the purchase. Don’t assume that less well known brands are lower quality; investigate and do research instead, then make up your own mind.