Shopping and spending money is to me like eating chocolate, one piece at a time, I crave more and more. I was able to break my shopping habit, you can too!
Shopping and spending money to me is like eating chocolate. I start with a little nibble: “oh look at that cute thing, I need it in my life.”
Then slowly I acquire a taste for more: “Wow, there are three other items in complementing colors. They are ALL must-have items!”
Before I know it I crave more and more: “MUST.BUY.THEM.ALL!” Until the gluttonous spending comes to a screeching halt.
It’s only fun for a while, and then I have to rein in my spending, for the health of my bank account (and my marriage).
There comes a point in our lives when we have to break our shopping habit, and it CAN be done – in ten easy steps! Does this cycle sound familiar to you, more or less?
It is better for my wallet if I don’t even start with the first “nibble,” if I avoid all temptation. Right now I am on a mission to NOT spend, avoid shopping and just enjoy the things I have.
My wants take a back seat to my needs, and I find I am more at peace and content when I stay in this frame of mind.
[bctt tweet=”Break your spending habit! 10 simple steps closer to #FinancialFreedom! # 3 and # 7 are GENIUS!”]
To reach this zen-filled state where contentment overrules the desire for new and sparkling materialistic things, I have made changes in my life.
They have been VERY effective and I know they will work for you too!
10 Easy Steps to Break Your Shopping Habit:
- Make a wish list! Consider the list your “cooling off period.” If a black pair of yoga pants are calling your name from the store’s window display, ask yourself: “Self, are these awesome pants on my wish list?” This thinking will give you time to reconsider before you take the plunge.
- Don’t save your credit card information on any website. Make it harder on yourself to impulse shop. An added bonus is that you limit your exposure to identity theft.
- Unsubscribe from daily/ weekly emails from companies. I am perfectly happy NOT being reminded of all the wonderful sales going on in my favorite stores. (Bonus: Some companies give you an incentive to sign up for their mailing list, which you may qualify for (again) if you resubscribe.)
- Set up a Gmail or Yahoo account only for emails from companies. Do not add this email address to your smart phone.
- Print a picture of your goal. What is the # 1 item on your wish list? Keep a visual reminder by your computer and in your wallet. Ask yourself: “Is this ____ more important than me reaching my goal.”
- Write down all transactions in an old school check register. Calculate your balance after every purchase and deposit. (Bonus: You avoid expensive overdraft charges by not overspending.)
- Look at your bank account and credit card daily, track spending habits. (Bonus: You catch unauthorized transactions quickly)
- Make a budget and carry cash for the amount allocated to your “incidentals and groceries.” Having cash in your wallet is a great visual reminder of how much money you can spend. No cash = no shopping!
- Avoid the mall or big shopping plazas. “Lead me not into temptation!” really holds true for my shopping habits. I can go for weeks without shopping, but once I set foot in the mall I find lots of items I MUST have.
- Ask yourself “Can I live without this item?”, “Can I borrow this item?”, “Can I buy it used?” Instead of shopping in a retail store, look on eBay, Craig’s List or Facebook to see if you can get it cheaper used.
As you can tell, the method to my madness is to avoid making impulse purchases. Give yourself ample chances to reconsider before handing over the credit card. You need to break the cycle of mindless/ reflex shopping. It takes a few weeks to start a new healthy habit. Start implementing these tips today, and before you know it, shopping will seem like a frivolous activity best reserved for special occasions.
What shopping habit do you need to break?
I need to stop buying clothes for the kids!
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I’ve been pretty good about curbing the shopping. Probably TOO good since I haven’t bought myself anything new in forever lol! One thing that helps me is tracking everything I spend. That way I know exactly how much money I have for the month. And like you said ask yourself if you can do without it. Usually you can!
Mama in the Now says
I know – I have stopped so many crazy purchases by second guessing myself! It saves me every time!
Amber Ludwig says
These are great tips!! I have a huge shopping problem but have done a lot better since becoming a stay at home mom!! It’s hard to budget with only one income 😉 So its helped me be super restrictive!! I don’t spend money that we don’t have!! Simple as that!!
I have the opposite problem. Spending money gives me anxiety.
I think setting an allowance for yourself is great too. When I used to try not to spend I would go on a huge shopping spree, but once I set an allowance for myself to get something once a month or save up for something big my spending habits cut down.
I’ve made an amazon wishlist for myself and as a result I buy stuff from it and see/buy stuff in stores that I’ve put on my wishlist. Most of those items I never would have bought If i hadn’t seen them while browsing amazon. I think my biggest problem though is that i need to get rid of things I no longer use.
Dandi D says
These are some great tips I will have to pass along to some of my friends.
My email inbox is my worst enemy. I need to unsubscribe to so many emails BUT I feel like I’ll miss out on a sale. How terrible is that?
Mama in the Now says
You will feel liberated once you make the purge! TRUST ME!!!
sarah poole says
I do a lot of these things already. Good tips. 🙂
These are great tips, thank you!
Christina Reyes says
I so needed to read this today….
Rachel J says
These are some good tips! I definitely need to practice some of these
Jessica Funderburk says
I live by all of these daily. Even when I just want to spend, spend, spend!
Jessica S. says
Great tips, thanks for posting!
Richard Hicks says
Great tips for everyone wanting to rein in their shopping
Lynn B says
I need to stop buying cheap impulse items. Those $1 toys add up in money and clutter!
jilliann m says
I definitely need to work on sticking to my list. I always end up with extra purchases at the grocery store when it looks good.
Mama in the Now says
I do that too – especially if I am stressed or hungry!
These are all great tips. I used to be a real overspender and I generated a lot of debt that way. By using tips like these, I’ve gotten soooo much better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still slip up once in a while. I started an Amazon Prime membership last month and I’ve noticed that it makes it a LOT easier to hop on and buy things. I think they engineer things that way, so I keep that in mind. I’d rather have the money in my pocket than in theirs.