While I would like to call myself a bargain hunter, I freely admit that I am really bad at it. When big department stores have sales where there are a bunch of sale racks pushed together with many different types of clothing, often arranged by size rather than by style, I can’t cope. I try to pull out things to try on, and always end up getting frustrated and giving up.
Thanks to What Not to Wear (a guilty pleasure), I realize that I am not unique in this. I very much prefer stores that don’t have quite as much to offer. If I have fewer things to look at, and items are grouped together in terms of style rather than size, I function so much better. I think part of this is because I’m picky and part is because I’m hard to fit. I have clothing in at least three different sizes in my closet. And no, those aren’t “fat clothes” and “skinny clothes.” All those clothes fit me. So when I find something I like, I often take two different sizes to the dressing room to try them on. Group things by size and I have to hit multiple racks to try to find things. Yes, I realize that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I just find it overwhelming.
I think this is part of the reason that I find shopping for clothes so difficult. I very quickly get frustrated and give up. And then I end up going elsewhere and paying full price for something when I could have very easily picked up something on sale.
In terms of my budget, it’s a good thing that I sort of hate the mall. Oh, I like going and looking at things, but actually going and trying to buy clothing? Torture. But in terms of my work wardrobe, this is a problem.
My goal over the next few months is to learn how to shop – not only how to bargain hunt but how to buy good quality pieces that fit me well, even if that means taking them to a tailor. I’m tired of opening my closet before work and realizing that I have very limited options of what to wear if I want to be professional and not wear the same thing I wore three days ago.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
Us guys are so much easier to shop for : )
If you’re willing to invest in quality pieces, don’t forget that a lot of the nicer stores (Banana Republic, for example) offers free basic tailoring for full priced merchandise. It’s one of those perks that not too many people are aware of so the sales associates might not even know to offer it. If you’re interested in getting a pant hemmed or a sleeve shortened, I would talk to management and find out if they will do it for free.