When building your dream wardrobe full of pieces you can wear and love for years, there may come a time when you want to make a purchase that exceeds your usual spending. Now, wanting something outside of your usual budget and actually buying something outside of your usual budget are two entirely different things, so today I want to share my simple process for deciding if something is actually WORTH spending more on, and then how you can save and plan for that purchase so that you don’t go broke in the name of fashion. So let’s get started.
Make sure a large purchase is something you’ll actually wear and use - I do this by planning and researching for months sometimes even years before actually making a purchase or deciding to start saving for it. One of my first steps in this is to always test the item out in a lower price before deciding on a more expensive version. I love to do this by finding the piece second hand and wearing and experimenting with it for a while to decide if it’s something I reach for a lot or just something I’ve seen styled a lot by someone else so I think it will work for me as well.
Is it actually WORTH the price? This can be a tricky one to figure out because to an extent “worth” is relative and can differ from person to person. Generally speaking though, I personally try not to spend a lot on things crafted from most synthetics or things that poorly constructed (uneven stitching, mismatched patterns etc), and I never allow a brand name to dictate or influence what I view as “worth it.” There are too many instances of designer or high end items that aren’t actually worth more than a few dollars, and when it comes down to it you’re only paying for the brand. The elevated price helps cover marketing and branding etc.
See if you can get a deal - before I lock in my budget I always check ebay, etsy and other second hand shops to get a feel for how much I can realistically expect to spend on the item new vs used, and if it’s something I can even buy second hand - some goods are too desirable so they never pop up on these sites. I also come up with a plan for when I’d like to purchase the item taking seasonal sales and other shopping cycles into account. For example, maybe I’ll be able to score the coat of my dreams in an after season sale or during black Friday, or maybe it’s the type of thing that never goes on sale so it doesn’t matter if I purchase it in the spring or the fall.
Set your budget- Once I have that, I set a budget for the average price the item goes for.
Backtrack your income and come up with a savings plan - Now that you have your budget set, you can start figuring out how much you can save every week or month and then come up with how long it will take you to save before you can actually afford the item. Let’s say for example, you want to buy a $500 coat and you can afford to set aside $20 of disposable income every week. That means it will take you roughly 5 months of saving before you can afford the coat.
Figure out ways you can expedite the process by saving in other areas - Now, obviously if you can afford to set aside more than $20 every month for that coat you’ll achieve your goal faster. To do this, I like to see if and how I can cut back in other areas in order to have more disposable income to put towards my purchase. For example, maybe you can cancel your cable service and put that money towards your coat fund. Or, you can eat out less and make more meals at home.
Stay focused by saving images of the item you want - Now all that’s left to do is stay focused until you achieve your goal. I like to do this over on Pinterest and I even have a folder on my phone of my favorite inspirational images that I can refer back to when I’m tempted to make an impulse buy. 99% of the time I’ll refer back to these images and remember that I want the original item so much more than the impulse buy I’m looking at and it’s saved me so much in wasted money and allowed me to achieve some of my dream purchases much faster than I would have been able to otherwise.