How to Stop Shopping So Much
Just Say No to Shopping
I don't know about you, but I just don't have as much money as I once did. Furthermore, I just don't have the credit cards and the awesome credit limits anymore. Let's face it, it is cool to be a frugal shopper now. This can be tough on someone like myself. I love to shop.
Shopping for me was more than just a simple task. I did not shop simply because I needed some items. When I was down, I would go shopping to lift my spirits. When I was bored, I would call friends and we would go shopping together; we would bond over the experience. When I received a bonus or a promotion, I would celebrate by shopping. Shopping was a major activity and a source of great joy for me. Now that the economy has tanked, I really can't enjoy something I once loved. I suspect there are many recovering shopping addicts out there, and I would like to help you with some tips to stop shopping so much.
As we all know, shopping is a necessary evil. We all have to go shopping sometimes. Everyone needs food, paper products, bathroom supplies, etc. Shopping is inevitable, so it can be difficult to know when to shop. I am no expert, but I have managed to no longer shop as much. I hope these tips can help someone else.
Books on Shopping Less:
Stay Away from Your Weaknesses
We all have certain stores that we know we should avoid. In some cases, you can't avoid these stores. Personally, you could put $300 in my hand, tell me to spend the whole amount, and shove me into Target or Walmart, and I could gladly spend the entire amount in about an hour or less. I love those stores just that much.
I daresay those are two stores that are unavoidable when trying to save money. Where else can you buy a potted plant, lunch meat, shampoo, socks, medicine, and toilet paper in one spot for such a low price? You've got to go in these stores rather than paying too much somewhere else. What you can do is walk past the clothing and shoes departments if you know those are your weaknesses. Both stores strategic place items you do not need in spots that you have to walk through to get to the items you do need. Don't give into temptation! Keep walking!
What you can avoid entirely are certain stores if you know you will lose all control if you enter. For example, my weakness stores are Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle, and any shoe stores. What do I do? I just do not go into those stores at all. If I run out of shower gels and I have a coupon, I am allowed to go into Bath & Body Works. If I need some generic gifts, run completely out of candles, and have a coupon, I am allowed to go into Yankee Candle. The sad truth is, I can't just not shop at all at the mall.
If shopping is something I love and I never get to do it, I am going to snap at some point. It is cruel for anyone to expect that you are not going to sometimes go into stores that you love. You just have to do it less and use some techniques so you do not shop too much.
Some Questions to Ask While Shopping
While shopping, you may want to ask yourself some questions to help curb your desire to shop so much. These questions will especially help you stop impulse shopping. Ask yourself:
- Do I really need this item?
- Do I already have a similar item?
- Is there something I would rather have instead of this?
- Can I find it cheaper somewhere else?
If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, do not buy the item just yet. Give it some thought and, if you still want it, buy it a week later. Nine times out of ten, you will forget about the item the second you leave the store. Impulse shopping is usually the very type of shopping that causes the most guilt. If you give yourself some time, you will feel better about your purchase if you do buy it. You will also give yourself the opportunity to find the same item at a lower price elsewhere.
Try It On
Sometimes you see an outfit you absolutely love at the mall in a window display or on a mannequin. You might look at the item all the time and you wonder if you should save your money for it. You may even start to feel sorry for yourself because you can't afford to buy it. You know what you should do? Try it on!
I say this because there is no reason to walk around thinking about an outfit everyday without knowing how it will look on you. Often, once you are wearing the outfit it does not look the way you imagined it would look. Maybe the material is itchy or the zipper doesn't work well. Perhaps it makes you look 10 pounds heavier. Why fantasize about something you would never really want anyway? You will feel much better about not getting the item.
Of course, every now and then, the outfit is perfect for you. That is when you do need to determine if you would ever have any reason to wear it. Also, can you really afford it? If you absolutely love it and you can imagine wearing it at a number of occasions, I am going to say something financial advisors would never say: save up the money and buy it! Sell some of your old clothes to consignment shops or have a yard sale. Buy only cheap food for a few weeks. If you love it that much, you deserve to have a treat every now and then. If you have decreased all your spending habits, why don't you get to have something you really want for once?
Nothing is Better than Free
The best way to stop shopping too much is to find some new activities you can enjoy. Do you like to read? If so, I have found going to the library helps me a lot. After all, you can check out all the books for free. So I go in, look around, pick out a few books, and check them out. It is actually really similar to the shopping experience. The best part about it - all the books are free! I get to feel like I am still shopping, yet I pay nothing. Give it a try.
The bottom line is, I am no financial expert and I am not perfect. I feel like many financial advisors look down upon shopping addicts and believe it is easy to stop spending. I know it is not. However, there are ways to cut back and you can still enjoy shopping. It is just going to be a scaled down version compared to how you once shopped. You can still have fun though. I hope these tips help you stop shopping too much. They've helped me a lot. Good luck to you!
Other Hubs You May Enjoy:
- What Your Target Purchases Say About You
If you shop at Target all the time, do you wonder what Target knows about you? If not, you will start thinking about what your Target purchases say about you after reading this hub.
- Party On! Birthday Bargains!
Is your birthday coming up? Would you like some free stuff? You can easily sign up foy loyalty programs at stores and get free stuff. Free = awesome!
- Mall Stores with Great Deals
Not every mall store is too expensive. Please read Mall Stores with Great Deals for a list of stores with great prices and sales.