How to be a Recessionista

Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Recession is the current reality for many of us. With the rising cost of food, basic utilities, fuel and mortgage as well as uncertainties in the employment market, no one is unaffected. As I stared at the photos of the incredible creations at the Fashion in week in wonder, I can't kept but think how many of us could actually afford to spend our hard earned money on these clothes.

I'm very fortunate to never truly struggle nor deal with poverty and hunger that the previous generations had. My aunts often talked about how difficult life was during and after the second World War.  I think the current economic climate is a lesson for us to be more frugal, save and invest in our future. Here are my thoughts on being a Recessionista but please feel free to chime in and give your suggestions.

Reduce consumption

Do we really need 6 pairs of black shoes, 50 dresses, 50 tops? How many do you actually wear? Do you ever wonder what hidden treasures are lodged inside your drawers? Ooooh....The Chloe tunic..thought a seagull snitched it from the lines 4 years ago. What about standing in front of your burgeoning wardrobe and realize you have nothing, I mean absolutely nothing to wear?


Buy quality over quantity

I'm not the best shopper. I dislike replacing things. A well made pair of shoes will last for years and years. They just need to be resoled and a good polish once a year. Ditto for clothes and accessories. Buy things that last.


Quality doesn't mean expensive

I love bargain hunting. I think most of us do. That's why I've been getting plenty of comments and emails regarding where to get the best bargains. Check out consignment and thrift shops in the more exclusive suburbs. Put your name down for special sales events. Ask, no beg to be called if a certain holy grail you're after comes in. eBay is also another source for bargain hunters. I've picked up brand new Tod's moccasins for £35 (brand new £180), Repetto flats for £40 (brand new £175), near new Chanel jacket for £110 (brand new approximately £2K), Hermes Massai bag in good condition for £135 (brand new approx £2K) are a few of my scores. One woman's junk is another woman's treasure.


Sales are great as long as you stick to your game plan

I very rarely pay retail but I will make an exception for items that I know that I'll get tons of wear out of them and chances are they will not hang around on the racks for long. The trouble with sales is that clever marketing and hefty discounts entice us to buy things we don't need.

However, sales are fab if you managed to nab something that you've wanted for ages and stalked it for the entire season. Oh, and make a list of what you truly need and stick to it.



Recycle

I live with two hoarders. In fact, I grew up with hoarders (mom and dad, if you're reading this, chuck that awful portrait of a 19th century English dude. We don't have a single drop of English blood in our family). Sorry for going off on a tangent. If you haven't used something in 6 months, chances are you will never use it. If it's fairly valuable, sell it yourself or drop it off at a local consignment store. Why dip into your savings or salary? Let your old clothes (or bags and accessories) pay for your new ones.






35 comments:

  1. Ooh yes, I enjoyed reading this post, reminds me to be more savvy. I actually scored something amazing on EBay recently, just need to get it checked by the designer brand before I mention it on my blog! EBay is fast becoming my go to place for a bargain. I always try and buy things on sale where possible and only fork out on things I know that never come up on EBay or Shop sales.

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    1. Ooooh, can't wait till you share it. I love a good bargain. I know what you mean. I've learned my lesson well that most things can be purchased at the sales. Unless of course, you can't live without it now.

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  2. Replies
    1. O hail queen of bargains, you've scored plenty of amazing deals yourself!

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  3. Excellent tips. Keep them coming!

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  4. Excellent tips. Keep them coming!

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  5. Great advice Marlene. I laughed so hard reading your request for your mum and dad to toss the English portrait out. It's one of the funniest stories I've ever heard!

    xx Mandi
    www.findmeamuse.com

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    1. You wouldn't by any chance have any English ancestry in your blood? Or your wall needs an old painting?

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    2. Ha ha... yes I have 'some' English ancestry and thanks for the offer for the random English portrait but I think I'll politely pass. I couldn't possibly love the portrait as much as your mum and dad (bless). Good try :)

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    3. You're missing out on an amazing painting. You never know. It could be your great x8 grandfather. The portrait also goes well with your designer shoes inside the closet.

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  6. I do shop by similar rules that you listed here... however your scores are MUCH better than mine! The next time I'm in UK, I'll need a tour guide like you. ^^

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    1. For sure! I'm happy to be your tour guide as long as the shopping trips are punctuated with plenty of food and coffee ;)

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    2. That's my kind of trip! ♥

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    3. You're on! Give me a buzz before coming :)

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  7. wow wow, I am Bavarian nature and live like this since years. It is a good way, I can recommend. Best wishes, AB

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    1. There's no better time to start being frugal like now :)

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  8. I love your posts they are so sensible but not in a boring way, I can't believe how much stuff people buy, there is no way they can wear it all. Alas, I am hopeless at finding a bargain.

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  9. yes, loved the portrait quip!

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    1. I feel the nagging guilt that I should track down the descendents of the guy in the portrait and return the painting to them.

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  10. I used to buy only retail and never during sale as I reckoned that I really needed (that's subjective, huh) that particular item...until they go on sale and I've not gotten round to wearing them!

    Now I see something I like but try to find the cheapest alternative possible.

    Recently, scored a chiffon stripe top that nobody believed that it cost only 100baht! Let's hope my luck continues...

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    1. Hear! Hear! That was what I used to think too. I've got to see your chiffon striped top. Anything stripey strikes my fancy.

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    2. ok, here goes.

      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y68/jthm446/IMAG0535.jpg

      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y68/jthm446/IMAG0534.jpg

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  11. Wise words but now you you've got me all jealous (but in a good way!) Your consignment stores are SO much less expensive than mine. Chanel jackets are all over 1K and the days of finding Hermes and Chanel in thrift stores are ovah around here. :(
    Sigh.... the good ole' days.

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    1. Don't get me wrong, Chanel jackets are crazy expensive here. I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I still regret giving some of them up. *smack myself*

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  12. Fantastic advice! I think we all need to be aware of the financial times we live in these days. I've always been a big believer in quality over quantity even though I'm sometimes tempted by bargains lol.
    rolala loves

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    1. I know what you mean. I've physically had to walk away from some deals. I know I'll never wear them or the shoes are slightly too big or small.

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  13. A wise post....and not to mention having to sort through a lot of stuff is a big PITA when you are needing something to wear!

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    1. Ah yes. I cringe when I think back to the days of my closet in NZ. I have no idea where things were.

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  14. This is all very true, a great post. If there is a story to it, I`d love to know how you go about your deal hunting. Does it just happen, do you look for specific items, where do you find them?

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    1. Anna, since there has been such an interest in bargain hunting, I'll try to write a post soon about it.

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  15. Love your blog. I feel like printing and sticking this to my credit card. I love how you hunt for bargains and your patience pays off with all great finds. I am still a virgin to ebay, just not good at buying second hard stuff...give me time ;)

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    1. LOLOL! It's a mantra that I chant whenever I'm tempted by things that I don't need. I've actually bought a lot of brand new items on eBay. It's a great marketplace as long as you've done your research.

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  16. I'm so glad I have minimalist tendencies. My grandmother (although a VERY neat woman) loved to keep a lot of stuff. When I was little, I promised myself not to have all of that stuff. HAHAHA I clean out my closet this weekend. hee hee
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  17. Oh dear, if I had the space I would have 1000 pairs of shoes and many clothes, but I don't. I struggle with my shoes hoarding lol, but my lack of space dictates to not over consume clothes. It is one in one out for me. and every season I go through everything and weed out what was not worn al all and I donate it to charity or give it to a friend. That keeps things fresh, and a little minimal. Great advice on your post.

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