Let’s talk about how to stop buying things you don’t need! If you can stop buying things you don’t need you WILL save money.
The first thing I like to do is ask myself why I am buying these things I don’t really need. There are so many different reasons we grab things we weren’t planning on buying. Stop and analyze why you go shopping.
I tend to go shopping when I am bored and there is nothing else to do. Once you find the reason you are shopping it is much easier to stop the unnecessary purchases.
A question from a subscriber asking, how I avoid impulse purchases and how to “not” shop, got me thinking. It seems like an easy answer, but it can be hard to stop shopping. Scroll down to see how I stopped shopping for things I didn’t need.
How To Stop Buying Things you Don’t Need:
No Spend Day, Week, or Month
As an experiment, I literally stopped shopping altogether. The only time I went to a store was to buy food. Even when shopping for food I made sure I had a list to stick to.
I quit going to Target to “window shop”. This is the problem with window shopping, we inevitably see something cute or new, and then we have to talk ourselves out of the purchase. If you can avoid the store altogether you won’t have to waste your energy.
This experiment proved I could save time and money by completely avoiding stores altogether. I call this a no spend period of time. It is surprising how much we can save by doing this.
Every time I have tried a no spend month we have cut our credit card bill in half! Proving all those “little” things really add up.
Imagine you are out shopping for the day. Not only are you going to spend money on the purchase, but odds are you will get hungry and thirsty. Money will be spend on those things. If you stayed home you would still eat and drink, but it would be a lot cheaper.
Avoid Impulse Buys
By staying home you will avoid all those impulse purchases. If you are reading this, I bet you have been decluttering and finding ways to simplify your life. Think of all the items that have been decluttered from your home.
At one point those items were new and a must have. Now they are being donated, so if you can keep this in mind as you shop it can be much easier to avoid buying something you don’t need.
How Many Hours Does it Cost
Calculate how many hours you will have to work to pay for the item. When I got my first job out of college I was standing behind a front desk for 8 hours. The unfortunate thing is, I was only making $7 an hour. After weeks of working I started to see every purchase in hours worked.
If I wanted a new shirt that was $20. that equaled close to 3 hours of work. Three hours of standing for a cheap shirt! This was the quickest way for me to stop buying things I didn’t need.
What if your partner works and you don’t. Think about how much time your partner has to work to equal the purchase. Could that money be better spent on a family vacation or a large meaningful purchase rather than an impulse buy?
Unsubscribe From Coupons and Ads
Make sure you unsubscribe from tempting email lists. I use to belong to a lot of free rewards programs to get a discount. Every other day I would get an email with a discount or a new offer.
Even though I didn’t use these offers, I found them annoying. I was trying to stay out of the stores and I was still being tempted in my email.
It is very easy to unsubscribe from promotional email. The less temptation the better!
When I do go shopping and someone asks for my email I just say, “no thank you”. If I am shopping online I always remember to check the box that says I DON’T want to receive promotional content.
Delete any apps that lead to store discounts. These “discount” apps make you think you are getting a good deal, when in reality they are pushing products you never even needed.
The target cart wheel app was the first to go. First off, it was very distracting using this app in the store. Secondly, I found myself wasting so much time trying to find deals that the savings wasn’t worth it. Coincidentally once I deleted all the discount apps on my phone I found myself shopping less often.
Garage Sales & Thrift Stores Can be Deceiving
My old hobby was going to garage sales and thrift stores. I love a good deal and I love vintage items. This all started when we first moved into our condo years ago. We needed affordable furniture so thrifting was the best option.
I started to realize I had made thrifting (aka shopping) a hobby. This is when I realized I would have to come up with a different hobby or I would spend the rest of my life decluttering. My suggestion would be to come up with a new hobby or something that can take the place of shopping.
I personally focused my energy on getting more creative; doing more art, starting this blog, and starting my youtube channel. In other words make yourself too busy with life to shop.
Change Your Shopping Habits
If you are in the habit of shopping you will have a hard time changing. Try to break the habit. When that feeling hits to get out and shop replace it with going to the library or going for a walk. Really anything will work.
By changing the cycle and replacing the shopping with something else you will have more success.
The other plus is you will have less clutter entering your home.
Stop Buying Things! Shopping Causes Clutter!
The last thing that really stops me from shopping is clutter. I have spent the last year in a half decluttering my home and getting it organized. Decluttering is a LOT of work!
The last thing I want to do is refill my home with a bunch of items that I am going to have to declutter again. If you can keep in mind the amount of work it takes to declutter when shopping, you will be less likely to buy unnecessary items.
It is kinda like getting in shape, when you work really hard at the gym you think twice before eating something unhealthy.
Stop Shopping and SAVE Money
If you are doing less shopping than you were you will start to see savings. I did a few no spend months and I was shocked! We were able to save an extra $500 or more with each no spend month.
Of course what you can save will depend on how much you make, but I promise you will see a difference in just one month.
There are a lot of great articles about how to stop shopping, check this one out for more inspiration.
Here are more simple ways to save money!
- Bring your lunch
- No snack food
- Stop buying coffee
- Make more money (side hustle)
- No cable
Read the whole list on How we save money here.
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