This video is a somewhat satirical approach to the nasty topic of budgeting. When it comes to shopping, Americans habitually spend more than they have…(not meant to be a political statement, but if you want to read it as one, then feel free). When you are overseas the urge to shop is enormous. However, the urge to spend doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing.
Some tips that come from my experiences:
- Let yourself have one major shopping day. Choose this day wisely, because it’s your only one.
- if you must get some new article of clothing, find the local thrift store. They exist everywhere. Even Toulouse has one… if I need, I mean need, any more clothes this is where I’ll go. (Or the 2 euro store, same concept.)
- keep a certain amount of money aside for cultural expenses, i.e. French films (NOT American ones), local museums, local cuisine, etc. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Shopping = equal experiencing the local culture. This is one of the reasons I chose today as my shopping day (That, and placement tests stress me out because basically the result is “This is how much you don’t know.”) From here on out, all I have money for is local things…literally.
- DON’T CARRY CARDS ON YOU!!! I carried mine on my shopping day, only because it was my shopping day. Normally, I carry 20-40 euro in cash that’s it.
- Use a cash budget!!! This is sooooo important. If you only have X amount in your wallet, then you can’t spend Z amount. For me, I have 20 euro a week of just cash. If I know I’m going out to dinner I’ll increase that weekly budget by adding 10 more euro THAT NIGHT. REMOVE ANY CHANGE in the morning. Keep to that 20 euro a week spending budget. If I’m going to be out late, I’ll put in a grand total of 40 euro in my wallet and no less. Why 40? 20 euro for dinner, film or whatever the outing is. 20 euro for cab fare. Cab fare should always be split, but should also always be prepared for. You never know what “the feel” of the night will be. By that I mean, if you feel in danger using public transportation, get a cab. If its really late and there is no public transportation, get a cab. NEVER WALK ALONE. A lot of European women do, but they don’t stick out like sore thumbs…Americans always stick out (unless they’ve lived for over 6 months…I mean we even walk different than Europeans.)
Okay so after all that yelling (yes, yelling. Not in a mean way, but in a firm “If you don’t do this you’ll get in trouble” way…not with me though. With your bank and your parents. 🙂 ) I’m going to post what I what bought, why?
Not to make you all jealous, but to show you what I think is worth having a “shopping day” for. By the way, if your a guy…same rules apply. I don’t by into the whole “Guys don’t shop” stereotype…because if they aren’t shopping for themselves they are shopping for their mothers or sisters…I’m just being honest.
The second reason: I need to remember how much stuff I have bought so that when I’m tempted in the future I can visit my blog and look at all the stuff I’m going to be squeezing into my bag. 🙂 Its good to have this reminder, I encourage you to do the same… maybe not on a blog, but just keep a list or something.