Are you someone that finds it difficult to avoid buying things you don’t need? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to talk about how I took the initiative to stop my impulsive buying habit and managed to save money for the things I need.
If you are someone that is struggling with paying off debt, having trouble with paying your bills, or just someone who wants to save up for emergencies, then you’re not alone!
What is a shopping addiction?
According to Verywell, shopping addiction is a behavioral habit that involves compulsive buying as a way to feel good and avoid negative emotions and feelings.
Take a moment to figure out WHY you feel like you need to shop.
If your shopping addiction is causing money problems and you want to be more focused on your financial goals, then we need to determine your “why”.
Define your WHY goal.
Yes, we need to do the work of defining the reasons WHY we want to stop our shopping addiction first. Defining your personal goals will give you the motivation and will to stop compulsive spending.
For me personally, I would like to move our family to our dream home, which we need to save a decent down payment for.
What do your financial goals look like?
- saving money to pay for tuition
- having money for an emergency fund
- buying a new car
- having money to stay home on one income
- saving for a dream vacation
- wedding fund
Now that you know your WHY, let’s get into advice for shopaholics. There are set techniques that you can use to prevent yourself from making any shopping decisions that you will regret later. Below I’m going to break down some of the methods for you.
- The 30 Day Rule
The 30-day rule involves a waiting period of 30 days before you actually decide to hit the purchase option. Every time you see something you like and would want to purchase, you write it down in your notes along with the date. If 30 days pass by with you continually thinking about getting that product or continuously feeling the need to purchase the product, then you can make the purchase.
What happens with this strategy is that you get time to think and also evaluate whether or not the product in question will be able to give you some value. Once you have that set out for you, making the decision will be more thought through.
- Set A Monthly Limit
We can’t completely eliminate shopping from our lives because there is a high chance that we might need one thing or the other. A limit allows you to have a number in your head and also lets you shop only to a certain amount; the remainder goes into savings or for any other essential expense.
However, it does not do well to put in an unrealistic limit. A too-small limit will be utilized almost immediately and it can cause you to stop following the limit altogether. The best way to decrease your shopping expense is to reduce it gradually over time.
- Make A Realisitic Budget
The more effort and calculations you put in, the higher is the likelihood of you adhering to that plan. Excel can be your best friend in this scenario where it can identify areas where you are spending more than you should without knowing. Start by writing down your projected earnings or income and then making a list of your expenses so you can see what money you have left over. If making a budget sounds daunting, be sure to check out this post about all the benefits of budgeting.
While thinking about making an extra purchase, you will also end up thinking about all the time you’ve spent planning and this might be enough to deter you from swiping your card impulsively.
- Cut Your Credit Card Into Two
Credit cards and the pay later attitude has given rise to an overspending culture where you focus more on getting the product and less on having to pay for it. This thought process can be disastrous for your bank account, and therefore, it is better for you to bring your credit spending down to as close to zero as possible.
You can make your credit card so hard to reach out for or keep it locked up in a place that you would be required to think about whether you even need the product that badly before reaching out for your card.
- Turn Off Ad Notifications
Shopping online has become so easy to do because of the constant ads we get. Brands will continuously try to market their product to you implicitly and explicitly. To avoid falling into the temptation of buying something you don’t need, all you need to do is turn off notifications and unsubscribe to any newsletters that you may be getting.
Sales will come and go every few months, and there is no reason for you to make a hasty purchase because you might lose out on the deal.
- Delete Shopping Apps
If you’re feeling bold and super determined to stop extra spending, delete your shopping apps if you tend to scroll on them when you’re bored. Yes, this means you might not be able to access Amazon prime easily. But I know that everything I purchase there isn’t exactly a necessity. Removing the temptation entirely might be drastic, but could be necessary.
- Try Minimalist Fashion Challenges
Many people can achieve fitness and academic goals because they have people on the same journey. You can also extend that experience to your savings journey and hop on saving trends like the minimalist fashion trend that can help you to connect with numerous individuals from all around the globe and that can also help you achieve your goals much quicker.
The journey often becomes more comfortable when we sense that we have someone to share the route with and this can also be true for your shopping problems.
Look for social media support groups or forums if you need to join a group of like minded people.
- Spend Time With Family
Retail therapy can never replace the sense of calmness and fulfillment you can achieve from spending quality time with your loved ones. Go out with your friends, call your family members to utilize your free time effectively and in a way that you can create memories.
You don’t need the best clothes or the best makeup to go out and have a laugh with your spouse, kids, or family. You also don’t need to go on an expensive outing either. Sometimes a simple hangout at your home or someone else’s place can help you connect and have fun with the people you care about and it can also serve as a useful distraction for your shopping urges.
- Give Away What You Don’t Need
Hear me out, this step can be painful, but it is a very effective way to get you to stop overspending. Once you start giving away the things you don’t need and seeing the money going to waste, you are highly likely to reconsider your impulse buying habits.
It can be a pinch, but it can also serve as a lesson for you to not give in to greed and only keep what you need.
The process won’t magically happen overnight. Getting off the shopping habit will take time and effort on your end, which is why you need to stay consistent and occasionally reward yourself for sticking to a plan. The road is tough but you will get there one day! So stay motivated and keep sight of your long term goals.
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