A poll done by swap.com revealed that the average amount spent in a year on retail therapy was a shocking $1,652 (USD). This means that the average person will buy, in a month, twelve retail items from a store, and six online. While shopping for retail is impossible to eliminate, participants admitted that 22% of their shopping was for pleasure. So, how can you shop and not blow the budget on retail therapy? Here’s five tips to consider:

  1. Identify what you need. Go through your closet (if you break it up by season, go through all seasonal pieces) and identify what pieces you need or pieces that you need to replace. Write it down.
  2. Set a budget. After identifying what you’ll be shopping for, set an amount you’ll spend on these pieces. For an example, once a year, use a budget-planning app like Koind and set how much you’re allowed to spend each month on retail. Include possible tailoring fees.
  3. Buy out of season. When looking for that winter coat or swimsuit, buy them when those seasons are at their end, or during the opposing season. Doing so will allow you to find them at significantly reduced prices. 
  4. Don’t compromise. If a piece doesn’t fit quite right or the fabric isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, DON’T settle. Settling when you’re not 100% sold on it will likely lead to you never wearing it or more likely, lead you to shop for it again.
  5. Shop for the basics. Identify what pieces will be staples in your wardrobe, like black dress pants, a white blouse, or any piece that you’ll wear frequently. This will also increase the number of outfit combinations, reducing the frustration of not knowing what will match the clothes you want to wear that day. Once you have the basics, then work in your colors and statement pieces.

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