6 Budgeting Tips for Fall Shopping

The leaves may be changing but your budgeting doesn't have to, if you shop smart.

The leaves may be changing but your budgeting doesn't have to, if you shop smart.

Back-to-school shopping season is behind you, but don’t put those budgeting skills in hibernation!

Your child may be outfitted for the new school year, but you probably need some warmer autumn clothing for yourself. Now that the leaves are starting to change colors, winter isn’t far behind. With it comes a slew of wardrobe necessities and accessories to purchase, both for yourself and the rest of your family.

If the dollar signs dancing before your eyes are looking frighteningly large, you can relax. Read on for 6 timely money-saving tips this fall shopping season. And check out our My Financial Partner budgeting tool to help you all 12 months of the year!

Layer up
Don’t pack your summer clothing yet. Save tank tops and summer vests for layering up in colder weather. You can also stick a long-sleeved T-shirt under a dress and add leggings and boots to ‘winterize’ it.

Take inventory
Take stock of your closet before hitting the mall. You may not realize what you have from last year’s winter wardrobe until you look. Take an inventory of what each family member has and what they still need and write it down.

Shop the sales
Take advantage of fall’s many holidays – and their sales! There’s Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and of course, Black Friday. It’s often worth waiting for the next holiday to buy what you need.

Shop online – without paying shipping
Online shopping can be significantly cheaper than retail stores – until you tack on $6.99 for shipping. Beat the system by looking for free shipping on sites like Freeshipping.com or by taking advantage of the free in-store pickup that many retailers offer.

Time it right
There’s a season for every purchase. If you wait until a specific item goes on sale, you’ll save big. For instance, jeans always get marked down in October. Also, winter coats go on sale as soon as Christmas is over. Depending on your climate, you may be able to hold off until after the holidays. Alternatively, if your old coat is in good condition but you’d like a more updated look, consider making do with it for now, and buying a new one when they go on sale.

Shop the overstock
Stores that specialize in deeply discounted merchandise, like DSW and Marshalls, can be a terrific source for name brand clothing at generic prices. These stores are especially beneficial for stocking up on basics. Similarly, check out secondhand stores and sites like Overstock.com for incredible deals on stuff you need.

Don’t break the budget this shopping season. With a bit of planning and strategic shopping, you can outfit your family for warmer weather. If you need help making a fall shopping budget, take advantage of our free online personal financial management tool, My Financial Partner. You’ll be able to track spending and set realistic budgets.