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Monday, July 14, 2014

A Shopping Spree With My Hubby

A shopping spree with my hubby showed us just how well our financial plan is working.
Going clothes shopping on a budget can be hard, but if you do it right you can replace the "hard" with pure "fun!"

Before we were married, both Jake and I had very different approaches to clothes shopping.

Jake would shop for clothes whenever he needed, buying many things he didn't need, whether he really had the money or not, and almost always he would be totally unaware of just how much money he was spending.

And I, ever the saver, would save and save and horde and horde my money until I could go on a huge shopping spree and splurge all I wanted. But at least I always knew to the dollar how much I had spent, she says proudly :-P

There are pros and cons to both methods, but, in the long run, neither are very responsible because neither one is really in control of the money. Back then, the money that we were spending wasn't allocated for clothes, wasn't accounted for on a budget, and wasn't part of a larger plan. Money that isn't part of a plan is money that just goes away.

Well, not anymore!

Last week Jake and I got to experience clothes shopping the way it should be. We had been saving money in our clothing budget for a while now in anticipation of needing to get a few new things. Our shopping trip required some planning because in our area you've got to drive at least an hour to get to any real good shopping places.

We began by going out to eat with some gift certificates that we had been saving, which not only covered the cost of our meal but also the tip. A free meal for two? You betchya!

Now onto the more interesting stuff. Shopping!

My strategy was to look for those clothing items that we really needed first, and then, if there was any money left over, we could purchase things we wanted.

When I enter a store I usually head to the back of the store first, or to wherever I know that they hide their best deals. I know marketing experts think they're being clever by pushing new merchandise "sales" near the entrance, but they don't fool me. I start at the back and work my way forward.

Few ladies have the luxury of being married to a man who likes shopping, or at least tolerates it well, but my hubby rather seems to enjoy it—so long as he gets to buy something. He's even learned some of my shopping strategies and is getting better and better at hunting down good deals—between two different stores he found three pairs of jeans all for about the price of one. He also hunted down a good deal on workout clothes.

I scored some great deals on some sun dresses and workout clothes—and splurged on a new pair of hot pink and black flip-slops.

When we returned home and I tallied everything up I was surprised to find that we had only spent about two-thirds of what we had budgeted. That was a great feeling for two reasons:

  1. It's always fun to have a successful shopping trip where you found some great deals and saved a lot of money

  2. But more importantly, Jake and I are finally learning to do this whole shopping thing the right way. Our money is working for us instead of slipping through our fingers. Every month there's a little bit more in savings, and the money in our budget for things like clothing grows a little bit more, which means there's more available when we need it.

It's times like these that make me realize how well our financial plan is working. Except it's not our plan. I shouldn't even call it Dave Ramsey's plan. It's simply a biblical way of handling money. It's how God has been telling people to manage their money since mankind had money. And when you think about it you realize that it's the best, most common sense way of handling money. It's less stressful. It's not challenging. It just takes time, discipline, and a little bit of practice.

Ok, a LOT of practice. In fact, Jake and I are still practicing, but more and more we're seeing the plan work! And I'm so thankful that we have a God who has it all laid out for us! We need only follow the plan.

So how do you score great deals on clothing? Do you go often to look at deals or plan a big trip? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Keep pinchin' ;-)


  1. So true - "Money that isn't part of a plan is money that just goes away."

    I'm excited that you scored some deals and still had money leftover in your budget. What a wonderful feeling!

    1. Having a plan makes spending money enjoyable for me now, before I used to get upset seeing it all go away but now that it's for a purpose I can just enjoy it! ~Dani