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How To Avoid A Shopping Hangover


My friends say that I am pretty frustrating to go shopping with. Despite entering a store and gushing over several items, I usually follow it up with “I’ll come back later…” or “I can find it cheaper online”. It may not sound like much fun, but very rarely do I blow my budget or regret a purchase.


A shopping hangover is something every woman has had, even if they don’t realise it. That dreaded anxious feeling when you admit to yourself that you did not really need or want that last purchase, nor afford it. It can hit at any time: when you are handing over the credit card, when you hide the evidence from your partner as you arrive home, or months later when you are spring cleaning and you find the purchase, tagged still attached, hiding in your wardrobe.

Here are some tips on how to avoid that nasty hangover!


Make a list of exactly what you need and only go into the stores that you know stock these items.

If you have a strict budget, stick to it by leaving your credit and eftpos cards at home and only carrying cash.

Take a “guilt” mate. Your friends can be a lot of help when shopping, but they can also be a big spending encouragement. Invite a friend under the strict instructions that they must question every item you like: brutal (and maybe a little annoying) but effective.

Don’t spend big money on fleeting trends. If you want to stay fashionable buy a few statement pieces from each trend but be careful not to overdo it on items you will only get one season’s wear out of.

Go through every store and take photos, or make a list, of everything you like (including prices). Sit down with a coffee and reflect on your list. You can make it like a game show: set a target number of items or a budget and eliminate the items that are too similar, you cannot afford or are not 100% sure about. Once you are down to your final items, go get’em!

Money, money, money. While it is important, money should not be the deciding factor of a purchase. Do not buy something simply because you have the money to spend, or because it is on sale.

We all want to trust the sales clerk when they tell us we look great, but be a little sceptical; it is their job. If you are not confidant with an item take a photo of yourself in it and send it to a trustworthy person (Mums and sisters are great for this). Otherwise, just put it back. If you are not sure now, chances are you will never wear it.

It is also the sales clerk’s job to up-sell or add on items. Do not buy extras or accessories if you can think of something at home that will work just as well (or better).

When you find something you like try to think of several occasions where you can wear/use it. If you cannot think of more than one or two, put it back.

Check with each stores returns/exchange policy and keep every receipt. What was fabulous today might seem silly tomorrow.


What are your best shopping tricks?