7 steps to spend wisely + save money during sales season
With the Sephora VIB sale in full swing + a billion other sales going on, it’s hard to not throw money at these retailers, and you know, buy everything (I have the long-ass wishlists to prove it). But rather than share the millions of products I want to buy, I figured it’d be good for everyone’s wallet if I shared my steps on how to spend wisely during the holiday sales season.
…because the struggle is real.
1. Don’t buy anything on sale that you wouldn’t want at full price.
I’ve lost count of how much stuff I bought simply because it was on sale, but I would’ve never even given a second glance at full price. My point? To hell with FOMO, just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it. On the other hand if there’s something you really want, and you’re simply waiting for it to go on sale, then by all means, buy it during the sales.
2. Is it perishable? Don’t buy it if you already have more than 3.
Perishable as in it expires, aka. the skincare and makeup goodies. I know us bloggers probably aren’t setting very realistic examples here, but no one needs 5 serums at the same time. We have them because we’re constantly testing and reviewing products (bless my skin for putting up with me), but in all honesty, my skin is happier when I can commit to just a few products total. Also, think about how much use you’ll actually get out of it before it expires, because the more you have, the less use you’ll get out of each one. Do the math.
Looking for some general money saving tips? You’ll enjoy this post: 11 money saving tips when shopping online
3. Put it in your cart, then sleep on it.
Go ahead and add the items to your cart, but before you click checkout, sleep on it. There’s a good chance the next morning you won’t be as enthusiastic about the purchase, or even better (or is it worse?), you’ll have completely forgotten about it. Basically this avoids impulse purchases, which let’s be honest, are usually as regrettable as every stupid drunken shenanigan you may or may not have committed.
4. If you have to convince yourself to buy it, don’t buy it.
Do you want to buy XYZ, but then the thought is lowkey stressing you out, so you desperately find reasons to justify the purchase? This phenomenon is called cognitive dissonance, and basically it’s a fancy psych term for how we rationalize our shitty decisions, keyword being shitty. If buying XYZ made sense, we wouldn’t struggle with it so much, would we? No one is having an internal conflict when restocking their favorite shampoo, but convincing ourselves that we need that super-gorgeous-limited-edition lipstick that looks like 20 other lipsticks we already own? Painful.
Looking for some Sephora-specific shopping tips? Check out The Sephora VIB Sale Roundup: what to buy and how to shop smartly
5. How will buying the product make you feel?
Are you going to feel stressed because you’ve spent so much money on something that you already have 15 of, or are you going to feel utter bliss because you’ve been waiting + saving for your unicorn [insert product type here] and now you finally own it? I like to take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book and invest in things that will bring me joy. So if the thought of buying or owning XYZ is going to bring me stress, guilt, and/or regret, pass! On the other hand, if you have 50 lipsticks, but you love them and want another one, and having that 51st lipstick is going to make you really happy, then you do you.
6. Keep track of how much you saved from NOT buying.
Seriously, for every item you didn’t buy, record the price, and add them up. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save in a year if you spend more wisely. That’s money that can go towards a dream vacation, a new home, a wedding, or a rainy day fund for emergencies.
7. Be careful of “value” sets.
A value set makes sense when you actually want most of the products in the set. But too often we buy them because we want just 1 or 2 of the products in there, and then we end up ignoring or hating the rest. There’s a Chinese saying that goes something like “don’t buy an entire chicken just because of a single scallion”. Likewise, don’t buy a “value” set because of a single product. Trust me, 90% of the time the value ain’t there.
By following these steps, I’ve curbed my beauty spending these past 3 months to just $57. Granted that’s going to change as soon as I place my Sephora order, but trust me when I say I’ve slept on that. For a looong time. In case you’re curious, here are the goodies I plan to haul, no regrets:
Hope you found this post helpful, and happy shopping (or should I say saving?) everyone!
PS. It’s been a hectic week for me at work, but I’ll try to respond to your comments soon! As always, I appreciate every single one of them, thank you all!!