Created on Thursday, 17 June 2010 10:45
Written by Daniel Richard
The Great Singapore Sale is finally here! Everyone is pumped up and armed with their MasterCards, Visas and wallets to start spending during this strategic season with almost everything going on a huge discount.
While there are many who are able to spend and still have an abundance of savings, there are others who may end up in a whole different state ¬– an increase in accumulated debt and having little to almost all of their money gone with a whiff.
So, how does one not overspend and yet have eight fabulous weeks of shopping?
Here are 10 simple ways:1. 30-days visualization.
Do you really need this item? Visualize yourself 30 days ahead. If you see yourself using the goods or services within this period, go on and buy it.2. 2-years visualization.
For higher priced products such as a subscription or bigger purchases, imagine two years into the future. If you are able to see yourself continually paying for it in the next 24 months along with your existing monthly financial commitments, feel free to make the purchase.3. 20% savings.
A proven financial tip that has helped individuals worldwide build up a steady monetary foundation to fall back on is the “20% income goes to savings” rule. Any young individual would be better off setting aside that fixed amount (after insurance or investments) before heading out to spend during this shopping season.4. Pay off your credit card bills.
Never go into debt by paying off your credit card bills immediately after making the swipe.5. Buy things that you love.
The fastest way for a person to go into debt is by continual spending on the things that they don't care about. It's okay to show support by buying books from our favorite authors to spending on local indie fashion labels – this is brand loyalty. However, when it comes to things that fall under the “I might need this” category, you may want to ignore them and realign your finances to spending on the things that you love.6. Draw the line.
Give yourself a focus when you're out shopping. If you're looking forward to a $50 dinner, keep it to that. If the plan was to head out to get some new clothes within $80, stick to that.7. Go for quality, not for price.
One of my spending mistakes when I was younger was to buy bags and shoes for the cheap, and often replacing them within the same quarter. A better way to spend is to go for quality, even if its going cost you more. Think long-term: Less replacement, less maintenance and hence less spending will allow you to stretch your initial dollars more.
Account for the items that you've just purchased. Keep the receipts; write them down in a list or a spending calendar. The things that can be accounted for are more likely going to be the stuff that you care about. The ones that can't be accounted for fall under the category of reckless spending – avoid this scenario.
9. Buy things that fuel your personal growth.
Going beyond books, the other things that you might want to consider buying would be clothes – keep it to a few good set of shirts or dresses, t-shirts and a couple of good pair of jeans – and more importantly, the tools that will actually be useful to your personal development. That includes gadgets such as a netbook (or go for something cooler like a Mac) which is perhaps the best investment anyone could ever go for – you can literally run a very small business with this – that is relevant to the field of work that you're going into.10. Create a priority shopping list.
Coming back to the practice of needs versus wants, let's try not to sacrifice our needs over the latter – the feeling of buyers' remorse isn't well worth it. Start by knowing what you need. Creating a priority-shopping list allows you to know where your money will be going to before spending a single dollar. Of course, add in a handful of items that you may want only if it's still within budget (after the 20% savings and necessary monthly financial commitments).
There's definitely more that you may like to add into this list. Feel free to do so by writing in the comments below. Thanks to reader and friend @annestayshia
for sending in point #10 for this article.
Have fun this shopping season!About the Author: Daniel Richard
is a blogger and author of Doing With LESS
: Your journey as a new minimalist, and the art of stress-free living. You can find him on Twitter here