Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is shopping addictive?

It hit me like a 'bam!' couple hours ago - is shopping addictive? Do we shop (especially for clothing items) because of our needs - needing the missing item to complete the ensemble? Or to fulfill our satisfaction of purchasing something - the power of owning something? Or some of us shop to release stress, which is also known as retail therapy?

In my case (still living on a shoestring budget ), there is always a struggle of answering the following questions:-

Do I really need it?
Do I have a budget for it?
Do I have something in my wardrobe to wear with it?
How many times can I wear it? / Where can I wear this to?

Other than the above questions, sometimes I take the design of the item into consideration - is the design one of a kind whereby I would be having problem to find something similar in other stores later?

Since it is not very, very easy to not shop at all. I have cut count down visits to boutiques and the amount of my purchase. For instance, I am allowed to purchase item which is RM20 and below in a month. If I did not purchase anything in a month, the money would be brought forward to next month's budget. What happens when I have over shopped? Well, I can not shop for the next few months (depending on the amount). There is no hard and fast rule here.

I believe to lessen habitual clothing shopping trips is to cut down of number visits to boutiques and malls and the allowed amount to spend. By doing so instead of the drastic step of not shopping at all, it would be effective (if one really sticks to it). I know it is easy to say than doing it as there temptations are many out there. However, if there is a will, there is a way.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to strut through the recession in style

Temptations, temptations, and more temptations. Sale is almost everywhere. Being jobless and living on a shoestring budget trying to survive each day as it passes, how could I resist such good bargains - 50% and 70% discount?

It feels like a test - how do I manage my finances in this bad economy climate without a permanent job and yet I can strut through the recession in style? Would this be possible?

1. Prepare an inventory - know what I have in my wardrobe is important. Based on this, I know how to mix and match my clothes and at the same know what to add into my collection (when the things are going ok again).

2. Clothes swapping with sister or friends - one of the cheapest way to update wardrobe (in a way) is by exchanging clothes or borrowing accessories etc. Do remember to set some policies or rules to ensure both parties interests are taken care of.

3. DIY fashion related projects - this requires creativity. Give a fresh new look of an old tank top by adding some beads, sequins or appliques. Alter a long skirt to become a short skirt. Check out DIY projects in magazines or on the Internet.

4. Spend wisely - at the moment, I need to plan and budget for retail therapy sessions. I would not hesitate to invest in small purchases such as necklaces and belts (and perhaps shoes at great deal) which are uniquely designed or special piece. Accessories make a difference. It dresses up clothes.

5. Alternative shopping e.g. flea market - since I have no problem purchasing pre-loved items, flea market or bazaar is a good place to find good bargain.

I wonder whether I will pass this test or not. Can I stand firm on my ground and not to give in to temptations? This will be a challenge for a budget fashionista like myself.