I've been wanting to go shopping for some time, but always felt guilty about doing so. I know I should be saving more. But that does not mean that my need to shop simply goes away. I believe it is possible to be smart and save your money and spend a little bit on yourself without going crazy. So, in order to stop the guilt, while still getting some shopping for myself done, I came up with a few steps to be smarter with my money while shopping.
Give Yourself an Allowance (And keep it in its own account)
The easiest way to have money to shop is to give yourself an allowance for it. Now while I've tried doing this before, it is so difficult to stay on budget when you have everything in one bank account. This is why I think it makes sense to let your “me” allowance be transferred automatically into a separate bank account upon you receiving your paycheck. So, I got smart and created a new bank account using Green Dot. I like Green Dot because they do not do overdraft fees or bounced check fees ever.
They also do cash back that lets you receive up to $100 a year in cash back. You can earn 5% on every eligible purchase. Visit www.greendot.com/our-products/visa-rewards-card. I mean who doesn't like free money? The best choice for making sure you pay yourself first is by setting up your direct deposit so that a portion goes to your Green Dot account for your savings and fun stuff! And when you do direct deposit with Green Dot you get even more benefits. They have something called ASAP Direct Deposit which means you get paid up to 2 days earlier!*
Interested? Getting a Green Dot card is so easy and convenient. You just go online to Greendot.com or go to over 80,000 retailers nationwide. Fees and limits apply. Some features require activation of the personalized card. See card package or visit GreenDot.com for details. Bank Smart. Get Rewarded. Get a Green Dot card today!
Shop at a place where your dollar goes further
This part is important if your goal is to get more for less. You have to shop at a place where you get more bang for your buck. I personally enjoy thrift store shopping not only because it is so affordable, but also because it is a great way to get unique ensembles! ThredUp is one of my FAVORITE places to shop online since it's an online thrift store! Obviously, you have the choice to go to boutiques or retail stores as well! But make sure you go with a coupon in hand or on a day where they are having a pretty good sale.
You can let your allowance build up over a few months and shop at a place that is more expensive. But I find that I can get designer clothing from thrift stores as long as I go to the right shops. It takes a little bit longer to find items in my size that I actually like. But to me, this makes the find even more special. If you've yet to have a thrift store experience, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Keep your eyes peeled for the best thrift stores to go to when you go on your shopping spree.
Reward yourself for cutting back in other areas
I mentioned giving yourself an allowance for your shopping which I think is a good idea. But if you want to save more to shop, I like to start looking into my Latte factors. The Latte factor is the amounts of money we spend on seemingly minuscule things over a long period of time. For example, if you spend $5 a day on coffee. Over the course of a year that turns into $1,825. We all have latte factors. For some, it's a gym membership they never step foot into. For others it is cigarettes. And for others still, it is fast-food and eating out. Whatever your latte factor, figure out what they are and if you are willing to sacrifice one or all of them for the sake of a shopping spree. If so, take those extra funds and put it into your shopping Green Dot Bank Account.