Step Away From That Sales Rack: How To Stop Overspending On Clothes

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Do you have clothes in your closet that still have tags on them? Don't let it happen to you with these tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the money you spend on your wardrobe!

1. Decide What To Buy Before You Hit The Shops

It's happened to all of us. One minute you're "just browsing" and the next you spot an adorable top. Before you know it, your hand is suddenly placing it on the checkout counter and your credit card is making that luscious swiping sound. The next thing you know, you spy a discount rack harboring a skirt that's too cute to pass up. Swipe. What's a pair of shoes while you're at it? Swipe. Or maybe even three? Swipe swipe. Don't let it happen to you!

The next time you go out shopping for your wardrobe, know exactly what you're looking for beforehand. A little forethought and planning can go a long way as far as making sure you only come home with something you'll actually wear, not to mention keeping you out of other sections where impulse buys may lurk.

2. Leave The Credit Cards At Home

Another great way to avoid the horror of opening a credit card bill after a shopping spree is to leave the plastic at home. Whereas it may be easy enough to rationalize going over your spending limit with a vague but insistent promise to pay later, when you're armed only with cash, impulse-spender-you is rendered harmless when it's gone. This will not only cut down on hefty spending, it'll also make you choosier when it comes to what to purchase.

3. Don't Buy Anything Unless You Know Exactly What You'll Wear It With

At the end of the day, no matter how hot those shoes are or how adorable that top, they're not worth the money if you have nothing to wear them with. Unless you've set aside the money to complete the entire outfit, beware of purchasing items that you're not sure exactly how you'll work into your wardrobe. Go as far as to mentally select up to three different outfits the new piece would work with before you hand over your hard earned dough for it.

4. Know Your Own Style

Though it may sound simple, spend a little time figuring out what exactly your style is. Why you ask? Cause there's nothing worse than trying to figure it out than among the sale racks. Think about what kind of persona you want to exude, what colors work the best with your skin tone, and which pieces are going to work the best with your existing wardrobe in the long run.

On that note, know your existing wardrobe well. Take a good peek through your closet or even take a photo of it before setting out, in order to avoid getting home only to realize you already own something super similar to your purchase.

5. Delay That Gratification

Though it's not always fun, avoiding buying new clothes as soon as they're deemed closet-worthy can save you a lot of money. This tactic can be executed in various ways. The first is to leave an item you've spied on the rack overnight and return to purchase it the next day if you just can't stop thinking about it.

The second is to set out on a shopping trip with your trusty predetermined spending amount in mind, but not actually purchase anything until you've visited all the stores you want to shop in. This way you'll be able to pick and chose from all your choices (which you can even snap pictures of on your phone) rather than blow your whole budget in one store and then suffer shoppers remorse when you spy items you'd rather have a few stores down.

6. Examine Your Motives

Thinking of going out and spending half your paycheck on designer clothes? Hold it right there, cupcake. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself before spending money on clothes is what your motives are. Are you really going shopping because you need that new outfit or because you're just bored, lonely, or in need of something fun to do? Unless you're actually going out for something you really need, consider opting for a girls night out with your pals or even a well deserved Netflix binge to lift your spirits instead.

7. Go Shopping In An Outfit You Really Love

The premise here is similar to that of never going to the grocery store hungry. While you may think everything looks super cute as you're rolling through the aisles in your sweatpants, shopping in your favorite outfit will give your perspective purchases a much higher standard to live up to. This will increase your odds of ending up with something you really love instead of one more item destined to end up in the back of your closet.

8. Be Super Selective When It Comes To Trends

Okay, so those neon threads or patterned leggings may be the in thing now, but before you lay down a chunk of change to fill your closet with them, consider whether they're still going to appeal to you a year from now. Utilize caution when decking out your wardrobe with the trend of the moment, opting instead for cheaper accessories that reflect the same style.

9. Be In The Know About These Secret Codes

Get a load of this list of codes that major retailers use in their bar codes to help you determine how good a deal you're getting. "Marked down" means the item's on sale, "Final Markdown" is the lowest price the store plans to drop it to, and "Clearance/Discontinued" means the store isn't gong to order any more and that these are the last ones in stock.

10. Distance Yourself From Online Temptation

Rare is the woman who hasn't succumbed to the temptation that is online shopping. In order to help yourself cut down on impulse buys online, bite the bullet and unsubscribe from the email lists from your favorite stores. Though they often boast of huge sales, they're also likely to lure you into buying clothes you don't actually need just because you can get them at a lower price.

11. Pay Your Bills Before You Have a Chance To Binge

There's nothing worse than going over your bills at the last minute, only to realize you're in the red. Make sure you don't fall into this trap by paying your bills as soon as you get paid. That way you don't have to worry about overspending and coming up short.

12. Think Quality Instead Of Quantity- Especially When It Comes To Staples


Though it may seem counter-productive at first, sometimes spending more money on fewer items can save you money in the long run. This is especially true for things like jeans, shoes, and coats that you'll get a ton of wear out of. Though it may mean buying fewer items, you're better off owning at least a handful of staples that won't need replacing for a long time.

13. Consider Your Climate

Before you run out and buy armloads of sweaters at the first hint of a chill, consider how much wear you'll get out of them if you live in a warmer climate like California. In areas where winter tends to be on the milder side, you may be better of investing a few nice jackets or coats to wear over you summer wardrobe rather than buying tons of long sleeves you'll have to push to the back of the closet in a few weeks.

14. Go On a Shopping Fast

What is a shopping fast you ask? It's kinda like a juice cleanse for your closet. Set aside an amount of time, whether it be a few weeks or a few months, during which you resolve not to buy any new clothes at all. Though this may sound like a terrifying suggestion to some of the more shop hungry among us, it'll teach you to pay much closer attention to what you already own and may even inspire you to get creative as far as how to mix and match them.