You know I'm back in England when I'm excited about shopping for home stuff and groceries. I went out today to get myself necessary things for dinner tonight and I bought exactly all that I needed. I made detours, obviously, to the usual shops but didn't get anything other than the ones I really needed. Which were photo frames, a birthday card for my grandmother, cutleries, a wok, a frying pan, and garlic and cili padi.
I won't say I'm a shopaholic because I don't think I am. Though Tania and my mum would wholeheartedly disagree, I really think I'm not. I mean, have you seen some of my friends?!?!?! They shop up a storm. If you're a shopaholic and you want to stop (bless you, you're so strong), I have some useful tips. These are all things I've learnt over the years and have been quite helpful to me.
Hahahaha no, seriously, here are some things you should try if you want to save some money. This is, especially, for the students who just arrived in the UK and are starting out their first year (hello hi welcome, congratulations! You made it! And yes, the weather has always been like this, and no, you won't get sick from drinking water from the tap).
#1 Don't buy 'cause they're cheap
Don't always succumb to cheap prices. Yeah, they're cheap and a bargain but are you liking the thing more or the price? Because if you're buying it just 'cause it's cheap, then don't get it. You might think you're saving money for buying it cheap but you're saving even more money from not getting it at all.
I almost bought a throw at Primark for a fiver just cause it was a fiver. There was no apparent reason I needed a throw because the selimut I already have is so warm and to be honest, I don't even understand the purpose of a throw... but anyway, that was £5 saved.
This is what Primark does to you also. Cheap prices, tapi lama lama mahal gak kalau beli banyak benda tak guna.
#2 Run it over the next 24 hours
If you like something, hold it off for atleast another 24 hours. If you're still thinking about it then, then you can get it. If you find yourself completely forgetting about it or atleast having second thoughts after the 24 hours, then you weren't really passionate about it in the first place. The amount of things I've held off from buying from using this 24 hours thing is enough to get me a flight back to KL.
But if you find something you really really love, then save it aside. Most stores allow you to have it put aside for a tleast 24 hours so at least you have some security that the thing you want is stored away from other shoppers. You don't have to buy it just yet, like I said, think about it first before you get it. Always a good idea.
#3 Buy weather-appropriate things
Sounds like a no-brainer but I catch myself buying crop tops in this weather and when I try to wear them, I instantly loom over my life decisions and realise that this wasn't a good one. Especially, in this weather, are you really going to wear that flimsy see-through blouse? I'm now strictly avoiding getting fancy tops ever during the autumn/winter season because from my experience of being here for about 2 years, I hardly ever wear them and it becomes such a hassle to pack it home. Tak payah. Only buy them if you really need it for a function; even then, you'd be cursing at yourself for wearing so thin out. I swear, the only times I wore a blouse out was for my birthday and to other people's birthday dinners. Which is about like? Less than 5 times in the whole year??
(Besides, wait til Spring/Summer collection come flooding through shops, so much better than the ones in store now, and a lot more to choose from)
Also, don't buy flats if you're in the UK now 'cause you won't wear that for atleast another 5 months. Not even Ferragamo ones, guys, as pretty as they are. Poor babies will only stay in the box.
#5 "Don't buy for the sake of buying"
... is what my mum would us every time we go out shopping ever since we were young. I would accompany her to the nearby kedai runcit, and I'd get myself notebooks and colourful pens COMPLETELY unnecessary but I just felt like I needed to buy something just because Mum and her wallet were there.
We grew up listening to her say that all the time that now, for us, it's become a healthy habit.
Saves you heaps. Also, stay away from friends who are evil shopping lurers AKA me. Stay away from me. I encourage the heck out of people to shop when they're out with me. Which is probably why I like to shop alone. The only other person I would go shopping with is Tania. She would just flat out say "No, when the hell are you going to wear that" when I was picking out a pair of shorts. They were cute but when will I ever wear a pair of shorts with my Ustaz Papa supervising our choice of clothes before we leave the house. Man, the amount of "Kenapa seluar koyak? Takde duit ke?" I've had to hear...
So, before buying anything, just ask yourself WHEN are you going to wear or use that and if you can't think of a time in the near future to do so, then put it back where you found it and slowly gather your strength and might to walk out the door. You feel so much better when you come back home knowing you haven't spent money, promise!
#6 Pair it with things you already have
If the cobalt blue trousers you're about to buy requires you to buy something else to pair it with, than that's another purchase you have to contemplate over. Picture the thing you're about to buy and pair it with at least 3 things you already have in your closet. Which is why buying a white shirt is justifiable, you can wear that with basically anything, be it skirt or cobalt blue trousers.
#7 Try it on!
Do it. Try it on. It does seem like a chore to try things on especially when you have layers and layers of clothes on, heck, even without all the layers, I'm still lazy to try things on! But you just have to. They have been so many times I've picked out things I was SO sure that I was going to look good in and I was going to buy it there and then.
That was before I went into the fitting room. You can never tell with the fit and silhouette of clothes. They look really great on hangers but you find all sorts of problems when you put it on. They can look awkward and some materials are not even nice to have on so it's always a good idea to take time out to try it on.
I was ridiculously in love with a button-up denim skirt that actually went below the knee (decent lah tu kan) but when I tried it out, it looked so awkward and I knew I wasn't going to wear it any time soon so that was a double whammy.
Did I just use 'double whammy', that was gross, sorry I take it back.
#8 Don't shop at your first shop
It's so typical, kan? To shop at the first shop you're in. Go around first. Finish the day first and see if you still like it. You're more likely to make the effort to come back to the first shop if there was something you really, really, really loved there. Chances are you might find a better alternative elsewhere if you browse around first! It's the vibe of "Ooh, I'm going out shopping!" that plagues with your whole spending habit, with that mentality, you tend to buy things you don't even like that much.
Also! These tips aren't just when you're shopping with your money, it's also, perhaps more importantly, used when you're out with someone who's paying for your shopping. It doesn't really matter if you come from a family of money or not, it's still money. Don't buy just 'cause your parents are using their credit card. They work hard to get what they get so it's always nice and considerate to be mindful of your spending.
So that's all for this blog post! I hope I don't come off sounding like a know-it-all. I just find my shopping habits to have reduced quite well and wanted to share it to some people out there who are looking for ways to save on shopping.
'Til my next preachy post! Hahahaha