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Savvy shopping for Canadians in New York City

Mogo blogger Jill Duke is about to outline some great shopping tips for The Big Apple. See how she spends and shops (and maybe saves?) her way through New York City as a Canadian on the move.

Ahhh. Yes, Mogoers, ahhh. That’s the sound of your intrepid blogger on vacation. For the last few weeks, I’ve been hanging with friends, sipping wines, seeing Broadway shows, and spending money—somewhat wisely—in the best city on earth, New York.

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying some much needed time off, but as I’ve been gallivanting around the city I’ve come to realize something. If I’m not careful, I could end up spending every penny to my name shopping. I’m not even a super shopper, nor am I buying expensive stuff. It’s just that the city has so much to offer that I find myself shopping more than I normally would on a daily basis.

So, in an effort not to break my piggy bank in half, I’ve come up with a “shopping system” to get the best value for my money while hanging out in this city I love so much. On careful consideration, I think it might work just as well for any city, even Vancouver (which is no slouch in the shopping department). Here’s the system I’ve been using:

  1. Stay in one area

The ease of the subway system has meant that it’s not difficult to spend time in four or five different neighbourhoods on a given day. And with each new neighbourhood comes new excitement for what that area has to offer (and conversely more money spent). On the first day I covered a ton of ground, which was awesome but also meant I spent way more money than I intended to. On subsequent days, I chose one area and made that my home base, which meant I paced myself better and spent less.

  1. Do some research

I love Brooklyn, so I knew I wanted to spend some time hanging out there. Before I arrived in New York, I read up on some areas of the borough (which is massive and full of distinct and cool hoods in its own right). I therefore knew the area that had the most and best stores for my tastes, not to mention restaurants and cafes. I then saved a ton of time on the ground when I arrived, which meant I was more energized to make the most of my shopping. This helped me to make wiser purchases, because I knew where I was and what I was after.

  1. Alternate shopping days with relaxation days

It’s easy, especially on a longer trip, to blow your dough early on, and spend the last part of the trip eating Big Macs and crying into your fancy new handkerchief. But the money lasts longer (and so does your good attitude) if you alternate days spent shopping with days relaxing. Not only does this give your trip some structure, it allows you to spend some down time evaluating your finances and taking a breath before going out on the town again. I find this hard, because I’m not great at relaxing. But I’m working on it, so I can stay here a little longer with the money I’ve got!

What’s your vacation spending style? Tell us in the comments.

Image via CJ Isherwood

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