Before you go shopping:
Know what your body looks like so you know what types of clothes suit it, as well as the colours that flatter your skin tone.
Look through your wardrobe. Is there anything that you need but do not have? For instance, a crisp white shirt, a tailored jacket, a little black dress or a red pair of killer heels? Do you need to update your wardrobe with one of the latest trends? Do you need to buy more that can be worn with that really hot pair of shoes or handbag or tie you bought a few months ago? Could you use new accessories, for example, a handbag, necklace, dress, ring, etc?
Decide on how much you are able and willing to spend and spend within those bounds. Do not get carried away buying things you had not budgeted for just because they look irresistible.
In Zimbabwe a lot of sellers are prepared to offer you flexible payment terms which makes it hard to walk away from their wares. Resist their tempting offer because before you know it, you are knee-deep in debt and each time you receive your salary the bulk of it is going towards your wardrobe.
Now that you know what your wardrobe needs, you can lock in on that and lock out what is not on your shopping list. If you are looking for a pair of jeans, do not go into shoe shops, for instance, because you may get side-tracked and end up leaving without that pair of jeans.
Once you are in the store, do not just buy anything for the heck of buying. Make sure you love it. Do not buy anything you have lukewarm feelings about. You should be excited to wear it and if possible you would wear it on your way out of the shop. If you are not excited about it whilest you are still in the shop, chances are it will not excite you once it is in your wardrobe and the odds of you wearing it are slim to none.
Now that you have added to your wardrobe, see if there is anything you need to subtract from it, like anything that is too small or too big or no longer excites you and place it in a big and give it to less fortunate family or charity.
You could also find something that is still in good condition that your sister or friend would appreciate and hand it down to them.
To remain within your budget, use cash instead of plastic money
Use cash instead of a debit card or buying on credit. It is easier to stick to your budget if you carry cash. When I am in South Africa, I prefer to withdraw and spend cash. That way, I do not exceed my budget although a debit card may be safer than cash in terms of being robbed. Debit cards do not work in our local clothes stores so cash is the way to go. The other day someone wanted to sell me a beautiful accessory. It was tempting to take it on credit but I am learning to become more responsible with my cash, so I told her to hang onto it and once I had the cash for that, I would let her know and if she still has it, fantastic, if not, shame.