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I know. You hate me even saying the words. The three dreaded words every person of any age despises. Back-to-school. Phew, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on to the positive side of returning. Seeing your friends, showing off your new rad looks, forcing your parents or older sibling to take you shopping (and stealing the credit card in the meantime...) Going shopping without a game plan can be the worst way to return so keep a few things in mind while shopping, and you're on your way to a not so bad year.
Going shopping and not looking at the prices puts you in a really difficult position. But, you don't want to spend every dollar you saved this summer on a pair of Superga sneakers. Compare items online before hitting the stores to find which places have the best sales or money for your buck. Also, if you're a huge fan of stores like Express or Gap, many give coupons around the end of a season, so google "coupons to ..." and get ready to be surprised at what comes up! Saving money is easier than you think. Never pick up an item without looking at the price, because once you find that the price tag is much higher than expected, all you will feel is disappointment and anger that you're not bringing it home with you.
The quality of an item is more important than the quantity. Most of us have heard someone say "if you haven't worn it in a year, throw it out" and that is completely true. A closet full of accessories and items that are never worn but have been sitting, ready to mold, in a closet full of new clothes is pointless, and someone with a greater need could use the clothes. When shopping, always keep in mind what items you already have and what you actually need vs. WANT and prioritize those to the top of the list. Bag up all the old stuff you don't see yourself wearing this season, and donate the pieces to your local thrift store or get some money back by consigning. Places like Plato's Closet and Buffalo Vintage are always looking for gently used and worn clothing to re-sell, while you're making more money to go and buy new duds!
3. Save when possible
I know the feeling when you're in your favorite store, surfing through racks, smelling the smell of new clothes and watching salespeople run around bringing you the latest and greatest outfits and accessories. It can be hard to pass up that adorable pair of cutoffs or tank top when someone is pushing the item in your face. But, mommmmm, I only have one purple top at home, I could do with another. No, you don't need another. For me, it comes to chunky knit sweaters. I have 500 in my closet (only slightly exaggerating) and every time
I'm at Nordstrom, Forever 21 etc and see ANOTHER classic beige sweater, my mouth starts to drool and my eyes get really big. Shopping addiction 101. Imagining the amount of money I could save if I didn't spend my monthly budget on one expensive knit sweater when there are 10 perfectly good ones in my closet is shocking. Pick what you really need, and leave the rest. There will always be something better.
4. Splurging is okay (in moderation)
One thing people fear is splurging. Whether it be a pair of beloved flats, a jacket, pair of expensive designer jeans...usually out of budget and stuck in your mind for days on end until the piece is hanging in your closet. Shopping is like dieting: don't deprive yourself, but don't give in every time. If you just ate the cupcake or just bought a pair of expensive shoes, going shopping one week later and feeling like you have to do the same thing all over again is going to leave you broke and depressed (not to mention heavier than the last shopping trip if you splurged on the cupcake.) Once you have an item in mind you want to purchase, go to the store, try whatever it is on, leave, and wake up the next morning and see if you still feel the same way as you did the day before about it. If that is the case, go ahead and splurge. If not, move on, because there will always be something trendier, and hopefully this time won't break the bank.