Finances – Back to Basics for the Shopaholic

It feels like every time it is my turn to blog about ‘finances’, I’m in the middle of my own little financial crisis.

My husband and I are excitedly preparing for the arrival of a baby, and we all know having children is not cheap. Yet, frivolous as it sounds, I’ve spied with my little eye, a lovely item at the mall, calling out my name. Maybe something beginning with the letter S- shoes. Every husband’s nightmare.

This time, they are boots. My husband’s specific nightmare. Though they aren’t super expensive (I rationalise, yes, but I have friends to back me up *ahem* and I have been thinking about them since April… surely those are all valid points, anyone?) but they also aren’t totally necessary (I know, I know).

Of course, this is after I survive last week’s financial hurdle of avoiding a highly tempting sale- SALE (I think my favourite letter is ‘s’ for ‘shop’, ‘sale’, and ‘sweet’). The sale info came in one of those evil email-outs letting you know there was a one-day sale of lovely homeware and furniture items from a local distributor a few of my friends and I really like… I mean prices started at $5! How could you resist?

Well, I’m pround to announce that I refrained (after forwarding the email to other hopefully-not-as-weak-willed ladies) and decided not to go anywhere near smelling distance of that place. That night I told my husband of my achievement and it was nice getting a proud smile and high-five from my beloved, but c’mon, how about about a bit of cash as a reward, honey?

This made me think… what would I write about this week? Truth is I love saving, but really all my saving is in light of spending! I’m filled with a bit of guilt that often my ‘finance’ blog posts are about saving money while spending… useful yes but still involves spending!

In conclusion, today’s point is a simple reminder:

First and foremost, SAY NO. Some days you just gotta say no. Self-control. Will-power. Simple as that. NO. NO NO NO.

(And I need this advice as much as you do. I will admit I am struggling to say NO to those boots. I’m still dreaming up ways I can get them… )

So  maybe for weak ones like me, strategy number two is WAIT. Wait and keep putting it off until what you want is out of stock, out of season, simply no longer available. Then you just can’t have it. Sure, doesn’t quite deal with the core issue but least you didn’t spend the money?

Ok not the most profound financial advice. Hope at least that made you laugh.

Shopaholic Sarah signing off for today.

 

Finance: Sarah’s Shopping Tips – Going Online for Sport/Fitness Gear!

Sport and fitness apparel and items like shoes can be SO expensive! Now with so much information available online, I thought to come up with some resources or ideas to help get a good bargain. (Based in Auckland, New Zealand.)

Some of these points may seem more tedious than others, and even I don’t necessarily do ALL of these in one go, so you can just pick and choose what might suit your purpose and time-frame!

 

List – Have a list of what you are looking for. You can base it on what is worn out from the previous year, or what you might need for the new season, i.e.winter. This is helpful so you can filter products when searching online, as it can be overwhelming with not knowing where to start.

 

Sign-Up– If you have your eye on something or have a preferred store, sign upto their ‘newsletter’ or mail-outs. Many stores now have an email sign-up optionwhere you will be sent information on upcoming sales or member specials.

 

Catalogues– Many stores now put their catalogues online, so if you have time you can go online and check them out before you go into the store, so you know if your item is on sale or not.

 

Sale Patterns– Many stores like Rebel Sport  (http://www.rebelsport.co.nz/) and Kathmandu (www.kathmandu.co.nz ) regularly have sales at certain times.

For example:

  • At the end of the season. There will often be a sale or clearance section when the store gets their new shipment in!
  • On or around public holidays, like Easter, etc. (And go on the first day because then you are more likely to get things in your size/colour!)

 

One Day Sales– Currently, ‘one-day sale’ or ‘daily-deal’ websites are very popular. (Sites like www.onedaydeals.co.nz have a list of many of thesewebsites.) You sign up to them and they email you a daily list of deals on items you order online. These tend to be specific or random items, depending on the website, so if you want you can look for sale websites that are only focused on sport or outdoor gear.

 

Online Shopping– You’ll be surprised how competitive prices can be even if the company is based overseas. Just look out for shipping costs! For example:

  • Ebay (www.ebay.com ) can contain good bargains if shipping fees are not too costly.
  • Fashion website ASOS (www.asos.com ) is based in the U.K. but has free shipping worldwide and has sporting brands like Puma, Adidas and Nike. They also have good end-of-season sales, which can work well for us in NZ because the end of their cool weather means the start of ours!
  • If you have friends/relatives living overseas and someone visiting them like in the US, UK or Canada, etc. you can use websites like Amazon (www.amazon.com), or the respective Amazon UK or Amazon Canada versions as they are different, and choose local shipping to their postal address, then have the ‘someone’ bring the item back to you.

 

Shoes– They can cost so much! Running shoes can cost about $250 a pair and don’t always last that long if you are running a lot. To avoid paying full price, it is firstly helpful to know what shoes work for you. You can be fit with proper shoes at many specialty shoe stores like The Athelete’s Foot, etc. Then when sales come along, you know what brand and make of shoe you are looking for immediately.

  • Smith Sports Shoes (http://www.sportshoes.co.nz/ ) often lists what specificmodels are on sale in the newspaper and online, so you can look out for yours to go on sale! They often are discounted at a decent price.
  • Another alternative is buying sport shoes overseas. If someone who loves you is going to the U.S. or Hong Kong or Singapore , maybe they’ll shop for you. These places can often carry the same big brands for half the price, though the shoes may just be from ‘last season’.
  • If you know what you’re after you can request them be bought for you. Shoes keep fine so you can even buy multiple pairs if you are an avid walker/runner.)

 

TradeMe– TradeMe (www.trademe.co.nz ) is probably one of the most common ways to buy things in NZ these days! It is always a good place to try too, as theylist both second-hand and brand new stuff. It may not be the best for sports clothing and shoes, but you never know. It is definitely useful if you are looking for a wetsuit, a used set of golf clubs, hand-weights or things like that!

Hope this was helpful!

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff