When shopping on a budget, its hard to know when to strike. When you should pick up those shoes, that dress and hold on to it for dear life as you flee to the check outline, not thinking twice. Normally, I’m a striker, which is to say that I am not much for the “walk around the store and think” method of shopping and this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. Lately with my reduced shopping budget I’ve had to consider the time to “strike” more and more. I have yet to develop a system or even a set of guidelines really, but I’ll present you with two examples, one when I should have struck right away and another when waiting was key.
The Nude Shoes
I fell in love with these Nude Merona wedges the moment I saw them a few months ago at Target. They were $29.99 and it was around Christmas so I had passed on them choosing instead to get a pair of $5 super-on-sale black heels. After that day I was in agony, I wanted the shoes so badly. Every time I assembled an outfit I imagined how perfectly they would have look with it. Every time I saw someone else sporting nude pumps I cursed myself for waiting. I searched every Target in the area and they were no where to be found. Resigned to my fate, I started shopping for other nude shoes and decided I should get these Ellen Tracy pumps in Tan patent (to be fair I still think getting these is a great idea.) My mind was made up but I still couldn’t “pull the trigger” even when the Vanna peep-toes were on sale for 30% off, so I put “Nude Heels” on my “To Buy” list and moved on with my life. That is when my luck changed! While visiting my in-laws in Charlottesville, I happened to visit their local Target and magically they had the Merona wedges in my size. I threw them in my basket and skipped to the check outline to buy them. I’m so happy that I found them and so in love with them now, I can’t imagine not owning them. I probably should have struck right away and purchased them when I first saw the shoes but, would I have felt the same if I hadn’t gone through the anxiety of thinking I would never have them?
The Denim Knit Tunic
This Lane Bryant Denim Knit Tunic looks fantastic on me. I tried in on in January when I was suit shopping and I fell in love. It is so soft and drapes so nicely and since I am only 5’4″ it is dress length on me instead of a tunic. My mom, who was with me when I was shopping, was speechless and agreed that I NEEDED to have it. But my mission was an interview suit and that was already costing me a pretty penny so the dress was returned to its rack and I walked out with my suit sans dress. Still, the dress stayed in the back of my mind. I didn’t obsess over it like the wedges, but I checked LB’s website weekly to see if it had gone on sale and low and behold two weeks ago it dropped from $69.99 to $49.99 and I knew it was my time to strike. Due to work and life craziness though, I hadn’t managed to get to my local Lane Bryant to buy it. Luckily for me, this week my lucky stars seemed to shine extra bright on me and I received a $25 Lane Bryant coupon in the mail. I knew it was definitely time to strike and I scored this beautiful dress for $25 plus tax! (You’ll see me in this dress soon in an outfit post.)
So the decision to strike, to purchase is a difficult one to make. It’s hard to know if the lack of purchase will haunt you and leave you scouring your local stores or if your triumph will be so much sweeter at a lower price point. What I have been working on to ease this anxiety is my “To Buy” list. I update it when I see a garment, shoe or trend that I really want to try. That way, when I am tempted to impulse buy, I have a whole list of items to weight my frivolous purchase against. Do I really want this t-shirt more than I want a pair of nice oxford shoes or a pair to trouser jeans? The answer is usually no.