I have always loved shopping. I think back my middle school and high school years when my mom would drop my friends and I off at Woodfield Mall or Deer Park Commons to go shopping.
Back then shopping meant buying the latest top from Abercromie & Fitch, winding your way through the dark mazes at Hollister, grabbing a Starbucks frappuccino and talking about crushes. My friends and I were the definition of “basic” before being basic was even a thing. While some of my favorite memories happened at the mall, I also learned a few lessons along the way about shopping and my personal style. I’ve listed below things that should be avoided when out binge shopping.
Going Over Budget
This first lesson should come as no surprise from me, a professional in the personal finance industry. A binge by definition is a period of excessive indulgence. I am here to tell you that it is okay to treat yourself every once in awhile to a new purse, designer shoes, clothes…I could go on. What is important is to establish a budget before embarking on the next shopping binge. For example, if you’ve calculated your monthly clothing budget at $200 per month, then you should prepare yourself to tap-out of the shopping trip once you’ve spent the $200. This will prevent you from derailing a whole month of budgeting with one trip to the mall.
Growing up, I loved going to the mall with my girlfriends. We would ransack the racks and retire to the dressing rooms to try on our finds. With each outfit we would parade around the dressing room asking for friendly feedback on what looked good and what didn’t.
Reflecting on some of the purchases I made under the influence of my friends gives me hives. Thankfully, I do not have photographic evidence of these pieces but I can tell you that what I purchased was not a reflection of my personal style but rather a reflection of the latest trends and dressing like someone I am not.
Today I prefer shopping alone. It’s not because I am anti-social but because I am comfortable in my own skin and know my personal style. I no longer need the stamp of approval from my girlfriends before I make a purchase. While I prefer shopping alone, I love tagging along with my mom or friends when they go shopping to act as a “personal stylist”.
I could go on and on about this topic but want to end with this lesson to avoid purchasing similar pieces of clothing. I remember it like it was yesterday, I got home from a shopping spree at the mall, ran up to my room and began putting my new clothes away. I dumped the contents of my shopping bag onto my bed to find four different but similar blue striped t-shirts.
I wish I was exaggerating and I also wish I was talking about those cute nautical stripped shirts that go with everything, but sadly I am not. I had purchased four different stripped blue t-shirts that were mixtures of royal blue, turquoise and navy. The shirts themselves weren’t horrible, it was the fact that I now had four of the same type of shirt. In the weeks and months following that shopping spree I felt like I had nothing to wear because all my clothes looked the same!
Wishing you the best as you embark on your next shopping binge and hoping you avoid the mistakes I’ve made over the years. Would love to hear about the mistakes you’ve made during shopping trips over the years.