Want to stop shopping so much and turn your back on consumerism? Here are my 12 simple tips to stop shopping.
12 Simple tips to stop shopping
Want to spend less money? Then just stop shopping.
But wowzers it is so much easier said than done.
How many times have you said to yourself that you need to cut back on your spending and then been dumbfounded by how much you’ve still managed to spend at the end of the month?
MARKETEERS BOMBARD US
We live in a post-MadMen age where we are bombarded from all angles with marketing and social media influences to get us to part with our money. Even ten years ago who would have predicted that there would be such a career as being an ‘influencer’?!
Plus, we no longer even need to bother punching in a PIN when we pay, in fact, we don’t even need to have a credit or debit card on us, we can just whip out our cell phone, tap and go. It’s brilliantly, scarily easy to mindlessly spend money.
In short, there are a million and one things influencing us to spend money every single day.
But there is a way to stand tall against yet another shopping haul.
Yes, if you really want to ditch your shopping habit or even just scale back on shopping so you don’t have to worry so much about earning money, it’s time to get intentional about your spending.
use intentional thought to stop
Thinking more intentionally about how and when you spend your money will free you up from impulse purchases, help you step away from the Amazon One-Click button and have you ignoring the temptations intent on luring you at the checkout.
Being more intentional with your spending can help you create a more positive relationship with money that will benefit you in so many ways and not just the obvious ones. Here are just a few benefits you will reap from stopping shopping:
benefits of stopping shopping
- Help you reduce any debt you might have
- Lower your anxiety levels of chasing after ‘must-have’ purchases
- Reduce the need to earn more and more money
- Allow you to save up for bigger more life-enhancing purchases
- Enable you to spend more money on experiences rather than stuff
- Give you back the time that you would have spent shopping or worse still, returning stuff you’ve bought and no longer want or need
- Reduce your stress levels worrying about how to pay off your credit card each month
- Create more headspace to focus on pursuits that are much more nourishing and interesting
- Stop you filling your home up with more stuff that you will eventually need to declutter
HOW TO BE MORE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR SHOPPING
First up, you need to reset your default shopping mindset to ‘spend nothing’. It’s a simple change, but one that will have you be more mindful every time you go to spend money.
I’ve also put together a list of tips to help you curb your shopping habit. Use all of them or dip in and take the ones that resonate most with you.
1.MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR FINANCES
Take a long hard look at your bank and savings accounts. Take a look at what you need to spend each month and what you have as more disposable income. It’s worth doing this every six months or so because things change, utility bills can go up or down, income can go up or down.
If you know what you’ve got and what your financial commitments are it’s much easier to be honest with yourself about what you have available to spend.
Once you know what you have available to spend draw up a budget and then STICK TO IT.
3. TRACK YOUR SPENDING
Track your spending for a week or a month to get to understand your own shopping habits. I did it for a week and it was more than enough of a wake-up call for me to want to change my spending habits.
Keep a journal or use the notes section on your cell phone to track every cent that you spend. Here are some ideas of things you might find yourself spending money on:
- Food and groceries
- Coffees and snacks
- Eating out
- Random stuff for the household
- Stuff for the kids
- Things for your pets
- Random stuff for yourself
- Birthday cards and gifts
- DIY stuff
- Things for the garden
- Leisure activities
At the end tot up how much you’ve spent and on what. Does the amount you’ve spent on seemingly insignificant things, like buying coffee every day, surprise you?
You will find that there are certain things you realise straight away that you can stop spending money on. You will also have a much clearer idea of your shopping habits.
4. INCENTIVISE YOURSELF
You might be wanting to cut back on spending so you can reduce your debt or pay off your mortgage early. It might be that you want to save up for a big trip. But on the other hand, you might want to cut back on spending to live a more minimalist lifestyle and free up your headspace.
Whatever your reasons, set yourself a goal for how much you want to cut back on spending each month and then stick to it.
5. DELAY AND DISMISS
One great way to put a stop making a purchase is to delay it. Give yourself the time to think about whether you actually need to make the purchase. Give yourself a week before you make the purchase and then see if you still have the same desire to buy it.
6. NEED VERSUS WANT
This ties in neatly with the delay tactic above. Use the delay to think about whether you ‘need’ something versus whether you ‘want’ it.
If the truth is that it is something you want rather than need, dig a little deeper and work out why it is that you want it. Is it because you need a quick dopamine fix? Is it because you think it will elevate your status? Will it be the one thing that will give you eternal happiness? Is it because @InfluencerWithEverything has been shouting about it on Instagram?
One of the many benefits of decluttering is enjoying the pleasurable experience of having a clutter-free home. A home that you don’t want to start filling with more clutter. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Yes, declutter your home and you will find it much easier to stop wanting to buy yet more stuff to put in it.
8. DO A NO SPEND CHALLENGE
Challenge yourself to stop spending money on certain things for a certain period of time. The No Spend Challenge is the financial equivalent of doing a detox. You draw up a list of the things you are going to stop spending on and decide on a timeframe. I’ve got a whole post on how to set yourself a No Spend Challenge and why it’s great for becoming more mindful with money.
9. SIDESTEP TEMPTATION
Unsubscribe from online store emails and learn to ignore retargeting ads. In fact, the less you shop online, the less ‘relevant’ retargeting ads you’ll be bombarded with.
Stop reading magazines – not only will you save on the cover price, but you’ll also be less influenced to spend money on things you don’t really need.
Ditch social media or at least unfollow those feeds that lead you to want to buy more stuff.
10. DON’T GO TO THE SHOPS
Yes, I know, what a ridiculous thing to say. But this is truly one of the best ways to avoid spending any money.
Just don’t go to the shops unless you absolutely have to. Then if you do go, write a list and only go into the shops you need to go into.
11. SHOP YOUR WARDROBE
Have a rummage through your wardrobe and clothes you have in storage before you go and buy new clothes. I think one of the biggest shockers for me is how damaging the fashion industry is to the environment.
12. GROCERY SHOP ONLINE
I’ve done online grocery shopping for the last ten years. It is SO MUCH EASIER to spend less when you do your food and grocery shopping online. You see the trolley total as you go and then you can edit it down until you’re within budget.
I really hope these ideas will help you find a way to be more intentional with your spending and cut back on shopping. It’s amazing how much more financial freedom you have when you learn to be more mindful with your money.
Pop over to my Financial Freedom posts for more thoughts on how to be intentional with your money and gain your financial freedom.