Expensive clothing habit, meet slightly-less-expensive clothing habit

I spend a lot of money on clothes.

A lot more than I should as a person who blogs about personal finance.

I’ve read the articles about how I’m just buying into the corporate machine, the consumerist cycle that tells us we need the iPhone and Dooney & Bourke handbags.  I’ve read that as long as they’re clean and fit correctly, Costco clothes are just as good as Gucci. I know you can possibly find Ralph Lauren at Goodwill if you’re not grossed out by wearing other people’s old clothes. I get it.

Of course, I also get emails from J. Crew and Anthropologie, emails that make me realize that I need bright green elbow-length gloves and sweaters with poufy flowers all over them.

I rationalize my spending by saying that I don’t splurge on food or booze or travel or anything else.  There’s nothing worse than the days when I wake up and nothing fits correctly or the shirt I wanted to wear isn’t clean.  Given how much I save, my clothes spending is a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, this month and last I am trying to not buy anything new, mostly so I can build up some savings and go on a spree for fall clothes.  I haven’t fallen off the wagon yet, either!

So why am I even writing this entry?

I bought Anthropologie gift cards off eBay this week.  They should be sitting in my mailbox as I type.  I had to pay a lot up front, but I got about 20% off the amount of money that’s on them.  I know that technically, I’m not saving anything, since I had to pay for the gift cards, but I love Anthropologie and now I have an excuse to do a lot of shopping there!

Not comfortable with eBay?  There are plenty of sites that offer the same deal! Gift Cards Again does a bunch of different stores and restaurants. I’ve seen a lot of stuff at Plastic Jungle as well. These are pretty well-known websites, so there’s probably less of a risk than with eBay. (I checked, though, no Anthropologie gift cards.)

If you, like me, spend way too much on clothes and want to save money in ways that doesn’t involve buying less, this is probably the easiest way.  Less risky than shoplifting, more fun than waiting until the end of the season (how do I even know if poufy flowers will be in next winter??).

The only bad thing is that I don’t know how to make sure the balances are correct.  For some reason, my mind keeps chanting, “Just buy something and check the receipt!”  I’m pretty sure that’s cheating.

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4 Responses

  1. Wait a sec, you haven’t any way to verify the balances on the GC before you buy? That totally makes me nervous. But since you already have them, you should be able to call the 800 number on the back of the card or check online — some stores have GC balance links on their sites.

    You’re right, you’re not saving yourself the ultimate expense, but if you’re certain to spend money there anyway, you did buy yourself “cheaper” spending money. That’s never bad.

  2. @ Revanche: Yeah, you pretty much have to go by what they say in the ad. The seller actually included receipts showing how much was left on the gift card, so that was nice, but of course it could still be a scam. (I doubt it is, but you never know!)

  3. As a fellow shopaholic I’m curious to know how this goes…I’m feeling very nervous about the balances being where they should be…but if they are, excellent! Fall shopping is my favorite by far! Although….I’ll be trying my best to keep it in check this fall. Maybe september should be my “no spend on clothes” month…since I already botched August.

  4. Oy at least you’re making an effort to save cash.

    I’m a bad PF blogger too. I love to spend 🙂 It’s only with forced discipline that i’ve held back, and raising my standards on clothing but not on prices of clothing LOL!

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