SALES, Holiday specials…FACK. In a sea of sales and influencer recommendations flooding the interwebs, it can be difficult to remember what you really want or need. It’s the day after Christmas: if you’re anything like our family, you likely have some newly gifted funds to spend on gifts for yourself… or do whatever with. You should always put some away, and for the rest: be smart about it while getting stuff you love! The few things I bought last year are still staples. Where to go this year? These are the sales that will set you up for success in 2020.
The Money: It’s All Connected
I want to share something very personal with you on the topic of money. While you may not have been able to tell through my social media lens over the years, I’ve actually been on both sides: financially independent and also painfully poor. Transitioning out of being a military officer often means taking a significant demotion once you hit the professional world, unfortunately. Most of us end up being forced to take almost a 50% cut in pay starting out, and a role we are overqualified for. It was a challenging journey to get recruiters to see my worth in the industry that I wanted to be in, and the role I was really qualified for. However, between the two life levels: well off/poor, the latter taught me much more important lessons on what really matters in building the life you’ve always dreamed of, and what things hold you back. One of those lessons was shopping.
Sales Can Actually Set You Up for Success
If you’re sitting there thinking, what the F, Mandy…if you’re poor, how does shopping help? I hear ya. You’ll understand in a few. By having less on-hand funds, it forced me to really think before purchasing, and get really f$*king scrappy on finding deals to match my tastes. Back in my early twenties in the military, I wouldn’t even bat a lash on random impulse purchases on new release leggings or a pair of Loubs. When my salary supported it, what was the big deal? Truth: it ended up with me living in a sea of clutter, throwing my mind into an anxiety sh*tstorm. Bad for your wallet, and bad for yourself. There is a happy medium, though. It’s what makes the world go round. Instead, get more calculated with what is worth the squeeze. It takes some soul searching, so DO THE WORK. Only you know yourself. That’s also what it takes to know how to help yourself. I believe in you! Now do it for you.
Sales That Will Set You Up For Success in 2020
Once you know where you’re going, it makes it easier to spot the stuff you’ll need along the way. For me this year, that’s broadening my knowledge on things I love to do/talents: cooking at home, singing, learning new sports, you name it. My top gift from the family was MasterClass: just nerded the F out to Timbaland and Aaron Franklin last night, already loving it. I can only imagine how wildly informative Marc Jacobs will be. The inner artist and scientist in me are on full throttle. See that? That’s passion from the direction. Take each category below as a starting line to your goals in 2020, and the applicable sales that will set you up for success in 2020:
Just Outta College
I spent the early years as a military officer building the groundwork for my home and wanted to focus on buying quality items I’d love in the future as an adult. I went through so many cheap and unnecessary items in school and knew it was time to make a change. I’m referring to the filler products, as furniture can always be slowly upgraded as your salary increases. For example, I’ve had the same brand and style of sheets from Bloomingdales for over a decade because they last. I do prefer to get a new set every couple of years, but if you need to stretch it, these will do the trick. My other top lifestyle-related brands/retailers are below. You can also click through to shop the rest of their sales, through today:
The Budding Young Professional
Building a wardrobe for life and work can be tricky as a young twenty-something. Consider it the teenage years of your relationship with money. Zara pieces and designer ones alike have their place, but when it’s become a recurring seasonal haul, it’s hard to bounce back from. Before the disruptor days of Everlane and Rent The Runway, it was difficult to build a quality wardrobe at the speed you desire. Especially on a low-level paycheck. Believe me, I know what it feels like. After having to dial back hard in my late twenties mid-career change, I found my net spend was higher on my fast fashion purchases from my 20’s than it was for other retailers. I splurged on a few key pieces and left the rest to fall under a calculated mid-range shopping strategy, and the rest for my RTR Unlimited subscription to fill in the gaps. My favorite brands/recs for young professionals include:
(For additional RTR savings, use code RTRMANDYG at checkout for $100 off your first two months of Unlimited.)
Once you’re making a healthy paycheck, it’s important to dial back a bit further. Instead, focus on what’s truly important to you. Sure, the means will help build what you couldn’t before, but use the same mindfulness and insight in every purchase you make going forward. Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s also good for your soul/wallet. There’s nothing more freeing than loving what you own without the bulk of what doesn’t get reached for.
Ever since my current blog started monetizing back in 2014, I’ve rerouted its paycheck completely to my retirement Roth IRA, since I didn’t have an employer match. I still do the same today, but not quite as much since I’m in a better position to contribute a bit with my full-time paycheck. It’s not a lot either, like a few hundred a paycheck. It’s a balancing act: it is truly possible regardless of how poor or well off you are. When you’re poor it takes some grit: planning out expenses, and knowing where to shop for the necessities. For example, Trader Joe’s has the best priced fresh goods and healthier frozen options for tight budget peeps. Head to my Instagram stories/food highlight for day to day tips like these to refer back to! Jotting down needs on a shopping list throughout the week (as I remembered them) helped me stay on track in places like Target. The standout purchases and/or retailers that helped me cut other costs to get me to this level now? See below:
Got more questions on how to optimize your purchases? Ask me in the comments below!
Photos by Mari Uchida