We've all been there. Decided to go on a spending ban in the morning, only to receive a sneaky e-mail with a life-changing (ok so maybe not life-changing) discount or can't-miss gift with purchase by lunch and end up with a new notebook by tea. Actually, this has literally just happened to me. There I was declaring I'm going to stop spending in the run up to Christmas (it's November, it's now acceptable to say the C word), happily spending my day writing up an university assignment, when BAM! Space N.K. e-mailed me with the mother of all gift-with-purchases. How would I justify it? It was in the form of a beauty advent calendar and I hadn't got one yet. Oops. Anyway, while I sit here and not-so patiently wait for my present to-me-from-me to arrive, I thought I'd share some practical advice on how you can avoid that horrible guilt you get when you spend money on bags instead of bills. After all, tis the season to get spendy.
- Don't stop shopping, just do it wisely. Before heading out to your destination of choice, take a moment to weigh up what you have. If you only have flimsy ballet pumps and happen to live in the UK, your missing A/W footwear. Running out of a foundation? As long as you don't have a hidden stash lurking in your cosmetics cave, then go for it! Focusing on things that you actually need, or at least haven't got, will stop you doubling up on things and at least give your spending some meaning.
- Apps are your new best friend And when I say app's I mean my new favourite thing, shoptagr. This little piece of magic is an add-on for your browser which lets you select items on any website that you quite fancy getting but can't justify it, and set an alert for when it goes on sale. You can create wish lists, update the alerts and it's just pretty magical if I'm honest. You can thank me in the comments ;)
- Compare and Contrast How many times does you end up buying something that doesn't tick all the right boxes, live with it a couple of days and then decide something else would be better without returning any option? I do it a lot. I end up spending double, if I'm lucky, on things I should only have to buy once. You know diaries? Really think about what you use them for? Do you need a day-to-page or a month? Does it need hourly slots or just a blank space? Big or small and portable? You wouldn't buy a new phone without checking out whats out there on the market, so it makes sense to do that with smaller purchases too. Otherwise you might just end up spending an iPhone sized amount on diaries for a new year that hasn't even started yet. Yeah.
- Keep to your budget Sometimes the simple ones are the best. Give yourself an allowance, weekly, monthly or even daily if that's how your roll, and do not go over it. Do not pass go. Do not transfer an extra £100 from your savings account to your bank account so you can snap up those glittery boots. Just don't. Now that I'm trying to save up for New York next year, I keep all my money in a savings account and transfer my "monthly allowance" into my current account each month. I know what I have going on each month, I know roughly how much a taxi from A to B will be or that I'm most likely going to end up having a gossip over a Starbucks after that event. Plan it out.
- Money doesn't make you happy Said the billionaire to to homeless man. But shopping for clothes, beauty or homeware when I'm sad or stressed is pretty much the same thing as going on your big weekly food shop when your hungry. In the words of Eminem, you loose yourself in the moment, and endorphins lie to you and convince you that new things will take away your problems. They don't. Unless your buying a dog, in which case you win. But my point is your problems will still be there once you've clicked confirm and have a squishy bag of newness land on your doorstep. So you might be better dressed/ have a flawless base / live in a copper-decorated palace, but getting a sticker after you've had a tooth pulled didn't take away the pain, and neither will those shoes. Find your problem. Find a solution. Put that solution into practice. Then buy the shoes. If you want.
So those are some of my tips for keeping post-purchasing pouts at bay. Have you got any tried and tested techniques? Let me know in the comments below!