Spent your monthly budget already ? Yeah, so did I. After accounting for phone bills, weekly outings and travel expenses, one’s barely left with any money for shopping. College students are perennially broke. And school students get scraps for pocket money. So how to shop without getting poor ? Here’s a few hacks :
1. Go Online:
In the age of e-commerce, you’ll almost always find exactly what you were looking for. But clear your cookies before you surf these sites, it saves you the inflated prices. Shopping online, you’ll end up buying just the stuff you need. No distractions. Tip: Add the desired item to your cart and wait for a few days. You’ll be pinged discounts and offers for it. Or get yourself registered in the mailing list so that you’re informed if the prices are slashed.
2. Use Coupons:
There’s no shame in it. If you’ve received discount coupons, avail them before billing. You can also establish an understanding with your friends and parents to get you gift cards for birthday and other such occasions.
3. Thrift Shop:
Find cheap markets like Sarojini and Lajpat Nagar. They’re heaven. Most branded clothes that have negligible manufacturing defects are brought in by the tonne and sold at Sarojini Nagar. Pull out your bargaining gun here. As a rule of thumb, always quote one-third of the asking price. 100 bucks in Sarojini are equivalent to 1000 in a regular store. Find your city’s thrift market, you’d be surprised by the stuff you’d find there.
4. Wait for Sales:
For all you brand addicts, if you absolutely can’t do without your brand tags, try to shop smart by getting your fill during the sale period. Prices drop to their actual cost price, with major brands giving out 80% discounts towards the end days. Be aware of when these sales come around. Season ends and Christmas/New Year/Lohri sale. Don’t go crazy shopping, those retailers are earning a profit, even at a 80% off.
5. Invest in Basics:
The basic Bs-Blazer, Bag and Boots. These are the items that you’re allowed to splurge on because the cheapervariants of these are just plain tacky and. Go for classics and give quality the utmost importance because you’ll be using these for quite a few years. Stick to blacks and browns. Remember, re-usability is the key here.
6. Don’t Hoard up On a Particular Style:
Make an inventory if you need to, but do not fill your wardrobe with just one type of clothes. College, meet-ups, interviews, family functions, there is no dearth of occasions that demand you to dress accordingly. At least 80-85% of your wardrobe should be able to do double duty. If you can only think of one place you’d wear an item, leave it in the dressing room.
7. Pay cash. Don’t Dip into Your Savings:
Credit cards are not your friends. If you don’t earn yet, and are just letting daddy dearest bear the bills, you’d be in big trouble when reality takes over hon. Stick to spending only the amount you’re carrying in your wallet. Don’t spend your emergency stash ! And at all times be alert of the amount of money left in your wallet. It’s a good way to keep you from overspending.
8. Don’t Shop When You are Tired, Hungry, Lonely, Bored or Upset:
These emotional states lead some people to over-shop and are some of the most common emotional triggers that prompt people to shop unconsciously and therefore not smartly. It’s a scientific fact. If you are feeling any of those emotions – you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored, and upset – don’t go shopping. Do something else until you feel on more of an emotional even keel.
9. Befriend a Salesman at Your Favourite Store:
This is my Brahmastra. It never fails. Always be nice to the salespersons, they have the authority to give you the extra staff discount. They’ll also inform you of pop-up sales in advance, and hold that sweater you’ve eyed for so long, in your size, during the sale period. Don’t forget, they have access to the back store and know what all goods would have their prices reduced further. They’ll be your Santa, Christmas or no Christmas.
Hope these tips help you sail through. If you know of better jugaads, don’t forget to keep us in the loop. Happy Shopping !
By- Navni Bhatia