You might be an avid shopper, but is your money going into the right things? Shopping therapy can cost you — big time! Here are 8 shopping mistakes you should quit now:
1. Shopping with friends
Having a nice day out with friends is great. Taking their shopping advice, however, may not be the best idea – especially when it comes to clothing. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone shopping with friends, and came back with items of clothing that didn’t look or feel like us. Somehow between the highs of talking and laughing, we ended up purchasing things that just didn’t suit or personal taste. Some friends will give it to you straight up: “Those jeans looks awful on you.” But, most friends won’t be that honest, and will say things like, “I think they look good” because they don’t want to seem rude or hurt your feelings. When buying clothes, trust yourself. After all, most of us are our own worst critic, and when we see something that we think looks good on us – it usually looks AMAZING on us. And, when something doesn’t seem to fit you right it’s because it doesn’t. Friends can only talk you into buying things that you otherwise would not purchase. When shopping, be your own guide, find pieces that represent you, and that make you feel good when you’re wearing them. Save friend-time for game night, dinner parties, or a night out on the town. They aren’t your personal shoppers, and their advice really isn’t all that helpful if you think about it.
2. Buying uncomfortable shoes
You know what shoes we’re talking about. The pair that is so cool or so pretty that you just have to have them. Those evil freaking shoes that take pieces of your sole away with every step (pun intended). Yes, those beautiful, demonic freaking shoes that leave you hunched over your friends for support, or sitting next to the dance floor all night. We call them purse shoes because that’s exactly where they end up before the night is over. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that these shoes belong in a museum – and not on your feet. Leave those high-priced shoes on the shelf for someone else’s misery because you’re an adult and know that the best way to live your life is in comfort. Shoes should keep you going – not exasperated and cursing at the sky. Save money, your feet, and those special moments that these devilish shoes are usually brought out for by purchasing comfortable shoes. You’ll never wear them if they aren’t comfortable, and you’ll regret it when you do. Just don’t. Instead find comfortable, fashionable shoes that look good and feel great.
3. Wasting money on trendy items
Those shirts with shoulder pads = Fad. Bellbottoms = Fad. Animal earmuffs = how did this ever become a fad? Your hard earned money = not a fad – so don’t waste it on items that you won’t be able to use or wear in six months. Unless, you just don’t care and have money to throw away like that. But, if you’re like the 99% of the sensible people reading this article, save your cash for more wholesome, long-lasting items and styles that you can wear and use today, as well as two years from now. Stick to classics, utility, and items that you truly love, or you’ll find that you have a donation bag full of clothes and items that don’t represent you and that have finally gone out of style (thank god!).
4. Shopping for occasions
How many times have you found yourself scrambling for an outfit or shoes to wear days before a wedding or a big event? You feel so rushed going from store to store for something to wear – and, of course, none of the places you shop seem to have what you’re looking for, and you think, “Why is it when I’m looking for something to wear I can’t find anything? But, when I’m not looking I find EVERYTHING?” Finally exasperated after a gruesome day of shopping, you end up settling for something that you aren’t really happy with but “that works,” and you don’t have time to tailor the jacket, shirt, or dress, and it looks like it came straight off the rack. Let’s put it this way: shopping for occasions (especially last minute, or even weeks before) never ends well. Instead, shop well in advanced, even without an occasion in mind. When you come across that drool-worthy dress, or 007 suit, buy it and have it tailored to you. Every closet should have a classic Italian suit for gentlemen and at least one elegant dress for gentlewomen. Have it tailored to your body, and leave a little wiggle room in case you drop or gain a little weight. This way, when the occasion comes you’re ready to go, don’t have to worry about what you’re going to wear, and you’ll know that you’re going to look A-MAZ-ING. More importantly, you’re not going to waste time and money on something you’re not really happy with, and pictures of you at the event will be photo album worthy.
5. Ignoring fabrics
Every time you go to purchase an article of clothing, a couch, a chair, a sheet set, or anything that is upholstered – consider the tags your warning label. Knowing the fabric will give you a good idea about how often it needs to be washed, if it’s going to be a pain in the butt to clean, if it’s good quality and will last, if it’s going to be itchy, if it’s easily stretched out, or prone to wrinkling – among many, many other things. Read tags with caution. It can save you a lot of time and money in the long run on just dry cleaning bills alone. Buy quality fabrics every time.
6. Waiting for everything to go on sale
We can’t even begin to count how many times we saw something we absolutely loved and walked away from it, hoping that it would go on sale. The dream was that it would go on sale and we’d get a better deal on it, but often the result was that the item sold out. We’ve done this with televisions, couches, dining chairs, handbags, shirts, pants, shoes, and jackets – to name a few. Now those items we waited to go on sale are long gone and we can only dream about having them now. When you find something you really love and can’t live without, buy it. If it goes on sale, a lot of stores will allow you to claim the new offer within 30-days of your purchase. If it never doesn’t go on sale, you still have that piece that you love and odds are you’re not going to regret the purchase.
7. Shop final sale items
Bargain hunting is great – especially on (insert shameless plug:) AdYoYo. However, shopping only finals sales at stores are rarely good ideas. Often, those clothes on final sales racks are there for a reason: they’re ugly, they’ve been in the store for years and are likely outdated or a fad that has gone out of style – or they have a defect of some sort. If you insist on shopping final sales items, stick to basics. You can’t go wrong with a plain black shirt. But, don’t stake your entire home, electronics, or wardrobe on final sales items. The selections are often too small for you to choose items that actually reflect you and that you’ll truly love.
8. Spending too much money
It’s essential to have that tailored power suit or formal dress, and that you come home to a plush couch, comfortable bed, well-equipped kitchen, and a generally well-designed space. You should spend money on statement and conversation pieces. Having said that, you should not spend a lot of money on things like basic wear, televisions, kids toys and outdoor furniture, which can cost you a fortune over time. These are things that don’t have long-term use, so why invest a lot of money in them? Instead, refocus your budget toward items that you will have longer term, like a couch, a dining table that makes a statement, unique chairs, beautiful coats, coffee tables, top-of-the-line computers, and a reliable car — and forget spending a lot of money on short-term stuff. Not spending a lot of money on short-lived items will open up your budget so you can spend more on the things that add value to your quality of life.