They said I was a valued customer; now they send me hate mail!
Ahh, shopping. My favorite past time. However, due to the end of summer and the looming necessity of back-to-school shopping, a little reminder (mostly for myself; I'm an indulger in all things lovely) about conserving funds for the things you need (clothes...) and don't need ($7 gourmet ice cream cones. every night.) may come in handy to all you personal stylists.
One of the most useful lessons my mother ever taught me was to divide my earnings. When I get a paycheck I usually give 10% to charity, 25% in my savings, and spend the rest the next day put the rest in my checking account for necessary purchases. My savings account is for college and emergencies (like Taylor Swift concert tickets...) and therefore strictly off limits.
Here are some (easy!) ways I've learned to cut my spending this summer...
Skip the Starbucks. (and as much as I don't want to admit it: the $7 gourmet ice cream ... ) I haven't reached the crazy-coffee-maniac level of addiction yet, but a little caffeine after staying up until two has become a ritual. Your calorie level will thank you, too.
Matinee movies. It cost my sister and I $18 to see Cars 2. And that included the "student discount." At a fraction of the cost, you can see the same movies in the afternoon.
Eat dinner at home. Living in a small southern town, there is not a lot to do with friends besides going out to eat, but you can skip expensive dinners for good 'ole home cookin'!
Indulge in free activities: the library, exercising outdoors, spending time with siblings, playing cards (learn the rules: http://www.usplayingcard.com/), cat naps, wander the farmer's market, just relax...
And now the Golden Rule: AVOID IMPULSE BUYS. We all do it. I'm particularly bad at walking into stores and walking out with an obsessive amount of carrier bags filled with goodies I didn't even know I needed. To cut down on unnecessary purchases, make a list of the clothes you need and a list of the stores you will visit. I like to look online before I set out so I can be prepared for sales or coupons. Also, some stores offer free shipping and online discounts that make Internet shopping efficient--and cheaper--than shopping around town.