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13 Budget Hacks Every Cosmo Girl Needs To Know

We asked real girls like you to share their secrets to splurging wisely. You're welcome.

Hack #1: Religiously, zealously monitor when and where the sales are.

“Because sales don’t always happen when I have moohlah and vice versa, I always check websites like to see what restaurants and retail outlets have ongoing sales. There’s always one happening somewhere.” –Shari, 25

“­I usually shop majorly only thrice a year: January, July, and October, a.k.a. super sale months. This is the perfect time to buy the pricier basics.”—Apple, 32

“If you love shoes like I do, wait for this sale event called the Markdown Madness. Great shoe brands are sold at 70% off.”—Nika, 29

Hack #2: Shop off season.

“It may not make sense to buy shorts and bathing suits in August, or a fleece jacket in March, but buying off season makes really great discounts. I once bought a Zara trench coat for 70% off the price during a summer sale.”—Kate, 28

Hack #3: Shop when you travel.

“Since I discovered just how bagsak presyo sales are in other countries, I’ve cut down on impulse buying. Hong Kong has really great discounts every June and Singapore in July. Combine that with piso fare, and this gastadora feels super mega luxurious during my big blow outs.”—Lara, 30

“When I’m in Tokyo, I stock up on rare brands and secondhand luxury items. I go to GU in Japan, which is a cheaper Uniqlo and H&M rolled into one. I also bought my vintage Givenchy watch with a care card and box at just P1,800.”—Romina, 28

Hack #4: Make the store manager your BFF.

“I’ve actually been very chummy with managers in the stores. I build a relationship with them, so I don’t feel hiya when I ask the manager to store an item for me until sale season. Yep, they can do that for you (on the down low, okay?). At the very least, you can ask them to let you know what’s at the back that’s not on display.”—Kim, 31

Hack #5: Sign up for the newsletter.

“Subscribe to newsletters of your fave brands. I love Kate Spade and they usually have online surprise sales up to 75% off every three months. I scored an P18k worth handbag for only P6k.”—Kabbie, 30

Hack #6: Look for coupon codes.

“I always look for coupon codes or free shipping codes on the net, that way, I don't feel so bad about splurging. Shopbop always has free shipping and they have 20% coupon codes. I add stuff to a wish list and buy everything when the sale is on!”—Pam, 31

Hack #7: Buy from your girlfriends

“My girls and I [buy stuff from] each other's closets! It's dirt cheap because we were going to get rid of them anyway and mentally I feel better because I know my clothes are in good hands.”—Teefanny, 25

Hack #8: Party like it’s your birthday.

“During your birthday month, your discount cards/promo cards/frequent user cards give you access to birthday promos. Avail of them.”—Kristina, 24

Hack #9: Take advantage of the price slash before closing.

“I buy my sosyal bread at night, an hour before closing, because they’re 50% off.” Joy, 25

Hack #10: Get paid for your loyalty.

“As a loyal credit card user, I get gift certificates and plane tickets when I earn points. Your Globe and Smart points can also be converted to gift certificates.”—Sharon, 25

“Sign up for those stores with points. I normally use my SM advantage points to buy toiletries at Watsons!”—Kabbie, 30

Hack #11: Use apps.

“Avail of free membership to Zap, which has 600 partner establishments. Each peso you spend in any store is equivalent to P1 in the same or different ZAP-affiliated store at 5-20% cash back. You spend on these items anyway so might as well get cash back in terms of points which you can accumulate and then use. All you need is to register your number. If you register via an existing Zapper, you get 50 points automatic and your friend gets 50 points. Download the app, and you get 25 points. You haven’t spent on anything but you already have P75 you can use in any ZAP-affiliated store.”—Kaye, 32

Hack #12: Go online.

“Knowing this changed my shopping life forever: You can find clothes online for a much, much cheaper price than the ones in the store. My friend supplies clothes for a couple of big local retail brands, and she told me mall stores sell their products six times higher. When I started my own online shop, I realized just how true it is.”—Aurea, 27

Hack #13: Find a mananahi

“Have a trusty mananahi who can ‘copy’ designs from the racks/magazines. If I can’t afford a specific dress, i just take a photo of it in the fitting room and show the photo to my mananahi to tweak with my specifications!”—Anne, 30

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