Great Ways to Shop More and Spend Less

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

My husband and I went shopping this weekend, to stock up on fall clothes for our son and us. Considering how bad of a recession news sources like to tell us we’re in, we expected to find oodles of blowout sales and bargains.

We didn’t. Even though it was a Saturday, the mall was as deserted as classrooms in July. But the prices . . . let’s just say I haven’t paid retail for clothing for a long time. These days, obviously I’m not the only one keeping tabs on my spending. For those of you dying to shop even with a thinner budget, below are some ideas.

1. Outlets. Spread across the country, these are to bargain hunters what Paris is for gourmets. Vendors ranging from Forever 21 to Gucci and Dior set up shop in outlets these days.

2. Online. Apart from the obvious bargains to be made on eBay (watch out for copies), sites such as Bluefly.com can be true goldmines. Many brand stores let you buy their stuff from their websites as well – a great resource if you are seeking, for instance, a rare size.

3. Sales. Though obviously not as frequent as I thought, sales do happen. When they do, it is not unusual to come across discounts of more than 70%.

4. Vintage. Far from the last resort for poor men that they used to be, vintage stores are turning into fun and hip options for the label lover on a budget.

5. Coupons. No longer only in the Penny Saver, coupons for luxury items can be found on sites such as billiondollarbabes.com. Many times, you can find the coupons you need by visiting the website of the store for which you are headed.

Being financially savvy does not mean losing your style or having a boring time. By using ideas like the ones above, you can stretch your budget and shop more for less.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.