Are store cards a good way to shop?

It seems that a huge number of retailers now offer their own store cards that work similarly to a credit card but can usually only be used with that one retailer or certain retailers within a group. Very often when we approach the checkout we are asked if we would like to save money by opening a store card. These offers vary from retailer to retailer but often include a percentage off your first shop or next shop, interest free periods and discounts throughout the year.

Before opting in for store cards it is important to check that you will be able to afford the monthly payments and ideally to pay off the balance before the interest hits. If you were going to be putting your shopping on a credit card then it may be worth taking out a store card as long as the interest is not too high. If you were going to be paying cash, then unless you were going to be saving a lot on the money off they were offering, then you may be better to stay away.

If you have good credit you may be able to get store cards to get the discounts that you may be offered but then transfer the balances over on to a longer zero percentage credit card to allow you to pay it off in time.

 

 

Pre Christmas sales as said to top January sales

Historically the pre Christmas sales always used to start on January, but with companies realising that people tend to spend a lot more of their money in November and January, many of them are opting to start their sales early. This November saw many of the big retailers offering customer huge discounts on their items and tempting people in to early Christmas shopping. This has definitely helped ease the shopping centres in the run up to Christmas and can be great for people looking to spread their shopping out a bit over a matter of a few months.

The issue with buying present that early is you may forget that you have already bought something, find that the prices come down closer to Christmas and you have paid over the odds, or if buying for children, find out that there is a new toy on the market which has suddenly become top of the Christmas list. On the other hand, if you leave you shopping until the last minute then you may struggle to find stock of the item and end up having to either go without or pay over the odds.

 

 

 

Shopping for an occasion

If you are shopping for an outfit to wear for a specific occasion then you will probably want to do it as early as possible. Looking for the right outfit can be tricky especially if you are in between sizes. Not knowing exactly what size you are or finding that you are often different sizes in different shops can make online shopping a lot harder, which is a shame as often online shopping can be cheaper and certainly less stressful especially if you have children tagging along.

If you do find an outfit you like online and have the money to do so, you could order it in two different sizes and return the one you don’t want. Be sure to check on the returns policy as you may be surprised to find that some stores will only offer an exchange or credit note and some will only give you 14 days if the item is in the sale.

Make sure you pick a colour that you can match accessories too if this is important to you and wait until you have your outfit to buy matching hair pieces etc, as you can take the outfit with you to get the exact colour.

 

 

Wedding shopping on a budget

If you are getting married and have a very tight budget then you need to be savvy when it comes to shopping for those all important items. Wedding favours, table decorations and flowers can all cost a pretty penny not to mention the dress and wedding rings.

Firstly you need to establish what your priorities are. Next when you know what items you are looking for, do not be tempted to book them all via the venue as often they will allow you to source your own items cheaper. Chair sashes for example can cost between £1.50 and £5 from the venue or a third party company, but buying them yourself through sites such as Ebay and Gumtree may allow you to spend as little as 50p per sash. If you total this up from a 100 guests that’s a huge saving to be had. Also shopping for your own items will allow you to personalise your wedding even more.

Always allow plenty of time for your order and if possible, try and order samples before committing to large orders of items, unless you know someone that has ordered from them before and trust their judgement.

 

Are you a shopping addict?

Shopping is one of those things that many people say they are addicted to. Shopping can be addictive for men or for women although there are usually more women than men. It is not actually the shopping that people get addicted to, it is the feeling. If you are out buying clothes or treats for yourself then it may make you feel good. You can feel valued and that you are going to look good in what you have bought. This can give you a happy feeling and feeling of satisfaction that you may rarely get from other activities. It may be that you enjoy shopping for presents for other people. Many people love Christmas shopping for example, allowing them to buy gifts to treat friends and family. This can fulfil a need to please others.

If you feel that your shopping habits are becoming a little out of control or you are spending too much money, then why not try and find other things that give you the same buzz and satisfaction as shopping does. It may be that if you like shopping for others, donating gifts to a local hospice or charity shop may give you the same feeling.