If you've been single and on your own for awhile, you might be used to spending money however you want. Maybe you shop on a regular basis, take frequent trips with your friends and eat out several times a week. But once you decide to settle down and start a family, you'll have to adjust your single lady shopping habits. Here are seven tips to get your money right before having kids.
1. Stop Financing Your Wants
You don't have to stop spending money completely once you decide to have a family, but you will need to watch your pennies and spend wisely. For starters, stop financing your wants. Whether you're buying clothes, electronics or furniture, don't use a credit card and don't get in-store financing. Save up and pay cash so you won't be burdened with debt.
2. Develop a Love for Discount Shopping
As a single girl, maybe you could afford to pay full price for items. Since you'll likely have less disposable income once you start a family, you need to get into a habit of discount shopping. Smart shopping is key to adding to your wardrobe without going broke. Purchase items off-season and browse the selections at consignment shops and thrift stores. Or get creative and host a clothing swap party with your girlfriends.
3. Buy Items That You Can Pair with Other Items
Make sure every item you purchase can be paired with another item in your closet. So, instead of buying shoes, shirts or pants that you can only wear with one other item, make sure you're able to mix and match your clothes. This way, you can make 10 outfits out of four or five garments.
4. Don't Let Emotions Dictate Your Shopping
In the past, maybe you relied on retail therapy to lift your mood. Once you start a family, you won't be able to hit the mall every time you need a pick me up. Stop letting emotions dictate your shopping habits. Find other ways to boost your mood, such as exercise, a creative hobby or speaking with a friend.
5. Don't Fall for Buy-one-get-one Deals
These may seem like an excellent deal, but you can end up spending more money than necessary. Yes, you might get more bang for your buck, but you'll also spend more money in the process. As you prepare to start a family, only buy what you need and nothing more.
6. Don't Browse Online Retailers
If you're bored and need something to do, don't browse online retailers, especially if you have an online shopping problem. Online retailers always have clearances, deals and sales. Window shopping online may stir the desire to spend money. To help you save, unsubscribe to retail email clubs and don't save your credit card information online.
7. Set Limits
Even if you're diligently saving money in preparation for starting a family, you'll eventually have to buy items for yourself. To avoid overspending, set a budget limiting how much you spend. Additionally, you might leave your credit cards at home and only bring cash.
Having a family can be expensive, but you can free up cash in your budget by adjusting your spending habits and making a few sacrifices. What are other ways to adjust your single lady shopping habits when starting a family?