Managing money requires more than adding and subtracting correctly. It entails knowing more than the difference between an annuity and a Keogh. Managing money is a day-to-day process involving every aspect of your life from where you shop for groceries to how you invest your money for retirement. The smallest details, such as deciding whether to have premium cable channels, can make an impact on your financial stability now and in the future. If you do not believe me yet, let’s look at the cable decision to see how that would affect your future. By choosing to forgo the premium cable channels, you save $40 per month or $480 per year. That is a decent amount; however, say you invest that $40 per month into a retirement account earning at least 2.5% interest. At the end of 20 years, you would have $12,531. To some people, that amount may not even seem very much; however, you can see how little decisions affect your long-term goals when managing your money.
I guess you could say that I am a stereotypical woman – – I love clothes and shoes. I do not go to extremes when shopping for my wardrobe but I do like to look nice and stay somewhat close to the current fashion when practical. I do not live in a big city or work in a high profile office; therefore, if I am wearing last year’s color palette or a blouse from two years ago no one is likely to notice. And if they do notice my wardrobe faux pas, then hopefully they will recognize I would rather save money than wear it to work. With that said, learning to shop for clothing and shoes out-of-season will save you money if you are willing to wait a year to wear your new clothes. That is the other downfall of shopping out-of-season. I want to wear my new clothes and my new shoes the very next day because I am excited about them but shopping out-of-season puts a damper on that excitement because I will have to wait 6 to 8 months to wear that new outfit. However, saving 70% on my clothing and shoes makes waiting until next season definitely worth the wait.
Tips for buying clothes out-of-season:
1. Winter clothes – Shop for winter clothes in the spring and summer. Look for clearance racks in your favorite stores that have sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, jeans, pants and winter skirts for greatly reduced prices. You may need to search for these racks because they will not be front and center with the clothes that are in-season. Do not forget to buy jackets and coats at this time too – – I purchased a great coat last spring for $22 that was priced at $90 in December.
2. Summer clothes – Reverse your pattern and purchase summer clothing in the fall and winter. Do not forget to look for your bathing suits and accessories in the fall and winter. Sunglasses, beach towels and flip-flops will all be on clearance during the fall and winter.
3. Outlet malls – Outlet stores are already cutting prices on retail; however, they will also discount items even further to move them during off-season. Take advantage of Black Friday sales to shop for spring and summer clearance in addition to doing your Christmas shopping.
4. Online and catalog shopping – My coat that I got at such a great deal was found in a catalog I got in the mail. Online stores also slash prices on out-of-season clothing and shoes. Sign up to receive emails from your favorite online retailers. Often, you can combine coupons with already reduced clearance items to make off-season clothing even a better bargain. Same thing with catalog shopping – – you can get great deals by using their coupons with already clearance prices.
5. Purchase a size larger for children – If you are shopping for your kids, buy one size larger when buying out-of-season clothing and shoes. In six to eight months, the weather will change and your child will have grown into their new clothes.