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This Is How I Save Money On Clothes And Make Clothes Last Longer

This Is How I Save Money On Clothes And Make Clothes Last Longer

In order to be fashionable, we spend a lot of money on clothes. While some styles go out almost as soon as they come in, others are timeless. So, we often buy clothing that is made in these timeless styles, hoping to wear the items for many years to come. Unfortunately, after a few months, these clothes don’t look new any longer, and they just don’t look as good as they originally did. Luckily, there are many things you can do in order to extend the life of your wardrobe, so you can wear those classic pieces for a number of years without them becoming faded or wearing out. Here are some tips to keep your clothing looking fresh and new, even when it is months, or even years old:

1. I Shop Online in International Stores

Buying quality items will ensure that they last longer. You can get great deals on quality clothing online, through many international outlets. Check out the great deals at Jumia and Aliexpress. Don’t forget to visit coupon sites (like Slickdeals, MerchantCircle and RetailMeNot) as well, where you can get some great discounts on quality clothing.

2. I Do Laundry by Color

Wash darks with darks, and lights with lights. Dark clothes may have dye runs, which will stain lighter items.

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3. I Wash Jeans Inside Out

Turning jeans inside out keeps them from fading too much.

4. I Always Close Zippers

Zippers can damage other clothing in the washer and dryer, so always keep them zipped up.

5. I Lay Clothes Flat to Dry

Use the dryer as little as possible to avoid pilling on fabrics. Hanging or laying laundry flat will also keep it from stretching.

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6. I Use Less Detergent

You can use half the amount of detergent you are using and still get your laundry clean. Too much soap can actually build up, and keep items from getting clean in future washes.

7. I Do Repairs and Reinforcements

Sew or patch tears as soon as they happen. If the hole gets too big, clothing becomes cleaning rags.

8. I Use Vinegar

Add a cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle, and colors will immediately brighten. It also helps to keep colors from fading.

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9. I Wear Underwear

Bodily fluids can be difficult to clean from clothing. Always wear underwear, and wash these items each time they are worn.

10. I Wash in Cold Water

Clothes won’t get cleaner if you use hot water. You are simply wasting hot water, and actually damaging the fibers in your clothing, especially items made with lycra or elastic. Always wash clothing with cold water, which will save the fabric and keep colors looking vibrant.

11. I Remove Stains Quickly

If you spill something on your clothes, clean it immediately. The sooner you clean it, the less likely it is to stain. Use non-commercial stain removers, such as vinegar or baking soda. Soak items in cold water, and use a brush and vinegar and baking soda paste on the stain.

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12. I Fold and Hang

Fold items that should be folded, and hang items that should be hung so they keep their shape and fit right.

A Few Final Tips

Before buying new clothing, take a look at the washing instructions. If there is too much work involved, or you need to spend money on a dry cleaner, it may be best to choose something else. Look at the color of the clothing you buy as well. If you tend to spill a lot of food or other things, darker colors are probably your best option. Always buy high quality clothing. You may have to spend more initially, but you won’t have to replace it as often as you do with low quality merchandise.

Featured photo credit: Jin Chu via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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