Shopping can be like medicine, "retail therapy" some people call it, but is it really good for you? Yes and no. There is nothing like the high you get from a day out at the shops, getting a latte with some girlfriends and giving your credit card some exercise. Then there's the lows, next day regrets of spending too much and asking yourself, "did I really need that shirt in three different colors?".
Like it or not, many of us are addicted to shopping, spending money and consuming. These are not bad things in moderation but it can be difficult to reverse this habit, especially if you have been shopping this way for many years. This makes it a challenge but by no means impossible, here are 7 EASY ways that you can curb your shopping:
1. Target Impulse Buys: Don't start out too restrictive such as putting a complete ban on shopping. Instead focus on cutting out those unplanned, "because it was on sale" purchases. In doing so you are training yourself to start shopping smarter. Less money spent on things you don't need or really want means more money for items that matter, that you treasure and that you will want to keep for decades.
2. Have a Reason to Stop: It could be that you have a ton of debt, that your closet is already overflowing, that you are concerned about the impact that the clothing industry has on the environment or perhaps you want to save for a trip. Whatever the reason may be, having a purpose for shopping less will help get you through when a craving strikes, and they will strike.
3. Find a New Hangout: Shopping can be a very social activity, particularly for women; we gather, we gossip and we shop. So find a new get-together spot; at the yoga studio, at the park for a run, or you can even host a spa night. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it gets you out of the habit of shopping in a herd.
4. Unsubscribe: It's really hard to shop less when your inbox is constantly bombarded with emails telling you about all the latest products or upcoming sales. Believe it or not, if you see enough of these types of ads you will eventually be enticed into an unplanned purchase. Try unsubscribing to as many as possible, only keeping your absolute favorites. Or better yet, unsubscribe to them all and see if you miss them, you may realize you don't.
5. Avoid Online: Shopping online is easy, this also makes it a trap for those of us with, shall we say, less self-control. As lovely as it can be to sit on your couch on a Friday night with a glass of wine and fill up a virtual shopping cart, these types of shopping sprees are mostly impulse. Since you are not physically in the store, you are not able to use your senses to ensure items are right for you before purchasing and this will usually result in less satisfaction once the items are received.
6. Rediscover your Wardrobe: You may feel bored by every item in your closet, this is likely a result of too many impulse buys. Items that you thought you liked, thought you would wear, or bought because they were a "good deal". Try coming up with new outfit combinations using your existing wardrobe and accessories, this will allow you to get more wear out of the items you already own and hopefully help you to define your style so that you can avoid impulse buys in the future. Narrowing your wardrobe to a smaller "capsule" wardrobe can help you to decide which items pair well and can make it easier to hone into your own unique look.
7. Be Confident: When you are confident it doesn't matter what you are wearing, the clothes you wear do not define who you are as a person. There are so many different styles out there, following trends can be fun from time to time but having a distinct personal style that works with your dimensions will look natural and make you feel comfortable. When you feel comfortable, you will feel confident and that is what others will notice.
I hope this guide is useful to those of you who, like myself, have been trying to cut down on my shopping but have a hard time finding the motivation. These are the things that I have discovered which help to give me more control over my urges to spend and slowly but surely it is getting easier to be happy without shopping. Please don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter (right sidebar) for updates on my new series coming for #SustainableSpring17!