Being a minimalist doesn’t necessarily mean that we never buy new things and that we hardly ever shop. We still do. Even sometimes for things, we don’t really need but we want. Today we’re going to talk about how to shop less and how to stop wasting money on things you know you can do without.
As we declutter our life and our house and get rid of stuff that we no longer need, we realize that there was that ‘one’ thing we probably still could have used. It’s not uncommon to donate an item only to discover that a few months down the line, we should have kept it.
When this happens, the first thing we want to do is go out and buy it. The shopaholic in us is itching to get out and go spend some money. But we already know that’s a bad idea and if we don’t get a firm handle on it, it can easily spiral out of control bringing us back to a life of materialism.
We don’t want that.
Minimalism isn’t about doing without, it’s about living and shopping intentionally. But sometimes, we just want to shop.
I’m going to share 7 simple tips and things to think about to help you stop shopping and stop spending money when you don’t really have to!
7 Tips to Shop Less and Stop Spending Money
1 Set up a shopping fund account
While this sounds counterintuitive, hear me out. Every time you get the urge to shop or buy something, take a certain amount of money and put it in your shopping fund account.
For example, let’s say you wanted to buy an item that costs $20. Instead of buying it, put that money in your new shopping fund account and set it up so you don’t have easy access to it. At the end of 6 months or even a year, you just may have enough money in there for a nice holiday getaway!
2 Switch your focus
Next time you feel like going to a mall (or Amazon) to shop mindlessly, switch your focus to something else. A lot of what we do and how we react is from what’s going on in our minds and thoughts. We talk ourselves into or out of things.
It might help to go for a walk and get some fresh air. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s also very effective. Fresh air clears our minds of all kinds of clutter and chaos. This will help take your mind off spending money and calming you down as well.
3 What’s the cause of this trigger
What is happening in your life that caused this trigger to go shopping? Is it from stress or sadness? Stress shopping or ‘emotional shopping’ is a real thing and many of us are guilty of doing just that.
Feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety are often rooted in feelings of powerlessness. The authors of the 2013 study suggest that retail therapy offers people a sense of control that counteracts these feelings. Choosing to make a purchase (or not to make a purchase) helps people feel more empowered.
Dig deep and find out what’s going on in your life that’s causing this emotion and try to resolve the situation. Is there something you are sad about or mad about? Get to the bottom of it and deal with it properly and effectively without feeling the need to spend money.
4 Delete online shopping bookmarks
Do you have quick and easy access to all your favorite stores online? It might be time to delete those bookmarks. Remember, as a minimalist, we buy things intentionally, not to fill a desire.
And it’s just way too easy to click buy when you have all your fave sites bookmarked. Do yourself a favor and delete them all to remove the urge to click on and shop your heart out.
5 Make a list
When you are out shopping for things you ‘need’, make a list and stick to it. It’s so easy to see something else at the store that you absolutely love and the next thing you know it’s in your cart.
Before you leave the house, make a list of what you are going out to buy and where you need to go. Stay committed to this list and don’t stray!
6 Bring a friend or an accountability buddy
One quick and easy way to stop spending money and to shop less is to bring a super frugal friend shopping with you. They will surely set you straight!
Sometimes it does help to bring a friend shopping with you because they can help talk you out of making irrational purchases. Make sure you bring the right friend though. Don’t bring a friend who is a shopaholic or this will totally backfire.
7 Doublethink your purchase
Do you really need this item or do you simply just ‘want’ it? Do you already have a similar item in your house?
If you take a minute to think about this purchase before you actually make it, you can end up talking yourself out of buying it and realizing you don’t need it after all. If it’s a kitchen item, double-check in your kitchen pantry or storage closet that you don’t already have this item and you simply forgot about it.
A few more tips to help you stop spending money
Before you splurge and buy that item you got your eye on, think about other things you can do with this money. If it’s a simple $10 thing, maybe you could buy a small take-out meal for a homeless person with that money instead.
You’ll certainly feel better about yourself knowing that your money went to a great cause instead of your closets.
Also, make sure you check your credit card, and your budget before you spend money on something you probably don’t need. Will this purchase put you in the red?
And this thing you may want to buy, do you already have one and it’s broken but could easily be fixed instead of replaced? Ask around and look for a repair person before you waste money on a new one.
It’s easy to shop less with the right mindset
You’ve heard it many times, change your thoughts, change your life. With the right mindset, you can easily stop spending money and shop less!
I hope these 7 tips help you. Do you have other tips on how to stop wasting money and shop less? Share them below with other readers.