There are certain habits we have that often serve as a coping mechanism for us, making life a little bit more bearable. Shopping has to be one of those habits for some people.
But sadly, visiting your favorite retailer just because you are bored or want to have fun comes at a price – you would have to keep spending a ton of money. Apparently, this is not safe for your finances, and you won’t be able to keep up for a long time.
Knowing how to stop shopping at the right time is crucial if you want to build a sustainable financial life. Remember, your money is invaluable, but that value can be easily lost when you misuse money. Hence, instead of spending your cash aimlessly, discover clever ways to stop shopping and curb your impulse buying habit.
How Do I Stop The Urge Of Shopping?
You can stop the urge of shopping by entirely focusing on something else that is more interesting. For example, going for a hike or visiting the cinema to see the latest action movie is a brilliant method for taking your mind off shopping for a while.
What Can I Do Instead Of Shopping?
A good alternative for shopping must be something exciting, yet not require you to spend money unnecessarily. Duck hunting, playing ping pong, or taking your pet for a walk are some of the exciting things you could do instead of shopping. The goal is to break the urge to shop by doing something else that will excite you.
How To Stop Shopping Addiction
If you are addicted to shopping, becoming self-aware is the first step to breaking this bad habit. It will help if you acknowledge the fact that you are harming your finances by spending recklessly.
You need to discern the opportunities you could be missing due to your impulse purchases. Once you allow self-awareness to find its place in your mind, the next step is to strategize on how to stop shopping impulsively.
Budgeting your money and kick-starting a good savings habit are unique ways to eliminate your shopping addiction. When your income is budgeted for the right expenses, you will learn to be disciplined and caution your spending habit. Plus, if you have a decent savings objective and a realistic financial goal, you could prioritize them over the urge to go shopping.
Benefits Of Shopping Less
Reducing the number of times you go shopping has its benefits. Here are the main reasons you might want to start shopping infrequently:
- Reduced Cost
Although many people are oblivious to this, you can save money by shopping less. However, the catch here is to buy items in bulk whenever you go shopping so that you don’t have to return to the retailer almost immediately.
For example, you can have a food bank where you store and preserve food materials. You don’t have to always visit the grocery store whenever you want to prepare a meal. If there’s a price increase, you won’t have to face that inflation since you have enough in your storage.
- You’d Learn How To Eat What You Grow
Millions of Americans are enjoying the beauty of growing their own food. Some of the grocery items you buy can be grown in your yard. You just have to get started, practice, and watch yourself progress.
You can hire a professional to help you construct a greenhouse, where you can plant and nurture what you eat. You won’t have to constantly spend money on food items since you now grow them. Imagine how much money you could save annually by doing this.
- Improved Time Management And Mental Health
The time spent shopping frequently could be utilized for something else. If you work from home or own a business, you can invest more time in it when you don’t shop frequently. You can be more productive and care for your mental health with the extra time you have.
- Little Or No Credit Card Debt
Most Americans use their credit cards for shopping. This means that the more items one purchases, the more credit card debt one incurs. But if you aren’t addicted to shopping, you won’t have to use your credit card frequently, thereby avoiding unnecessary debt.
On the other hand, if you have piled up credit card debt in the past, it will be easier to pay it off when you know how to stop shopping often.
9 Ways To Curb Your Shopping Habit
Although curbing your shopping habit is not an easy feat, here are some clever methods to help you pull through:
1. Ignore The Newsletters
Have you ever thought about hitting the “unsubscribe” button on the regular newsletters you get from different brands and retailers? Truth be told, you can be easily compelled to make impulse purchases due to the emails you frequently receive from retail stores.
Remember, these emails are professionally written by copywriters and internet marketers, and these experts know the best ways to influence your buying behavior with words.
If you must learn how to stop shopping impulsively, you should ignore these emails. But sadly, simply ignoring them might not be enough. You must unsubscribe from the newsletters to stop receiving them for good. If no one is pitching sales to you, you won’t be compelled to purchase things you haven’t budgeted for.
2. Ditch The Credit Cards
Credit cards are actually doing more harm than good. When you use a credit card, restricting your spending becomes quite difficult. You can effortlessly purchase almost anything both online and offline. As a result, you will struggle to limit your purchases.
In fact, this is one of the everyday things that lead to impulse buying. When you stop using credit cards, preventing overspending or impulse purchases is much easier. This is because you would have to use a debit card or cash to make purchases.
On the other hand, credit cards make you a debtor, and you would have to constantly worry about clearing your credit card balances in time. Even when you make extra cash from a side hustle or business, you will find it difficult to save money since you always have to pay off your credit card debt.
3. Budget Your Money
One of the best ways to stop shopping unnecessarily is by budgeting your money every month. Building a realistic budget for your monthly income gives you a clear direction of how your money should be spent. You would be able to spend on your basic expenses without easily getting distracted by other trivial expenses.
If you haven’t budgeted before, there’s no need to panic. Budgeting is a simple process you can complete within a few hours.
But more importantly, you must understand that there are different strategies for budgeting money. Depending on your cash flow or income level, you need to use a budgeting strategy that suits your financial state. You might want to try a budgeting method that was developed by Dave Ramsey, a well-known competent financial advisor in the United States.
Millions of people use this method to budget their income, which might work perfectly well for you. If you want to learn more about this, here is a detailed post showing how to budget your money using the Dave Ramsey budget.
4. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the basic steps for how to stop shopping frequently. The logic here is quite simple. When you buy items in bulk, especially groceries, you won’t have to visit the retail store all the time.
Ideally, you should purchase groceries once or twice a month. This will prevent you from visiting the grocery store regularly, thereby helping you break the habit of impulse buying.
You might be tempted to purchase things you haven’t budgeted for when you always go to the grocery store. This is exactly what leads to impulse buying. You can avoid it by buying in bulk which reduces the number of times you patronize the grocery store.
5. Only Buy What You Need
When you obviously do not need something, purchasing it doesn’t make sense. The idea of buying things excessively, hoping you might need them in the future is unwise. Although it’s important to plan for the future, you should know when and how to make future plans.
For example, if you have a wedding to attend in two months time, you don’t have to purchase a new outfit immediately. It would help if you take some time to plan for the purchase by including it in your budget. Even if you have to buy new clothing, you don’t need to purchase a complete outfit. You could buy only what you need to complement an outfit you previously own.
This is one of the key tips on how to stop shopping unnecessarily, especially when it comes to clothing.
6. Be Honest About What Compels You To Shop
Have you ever thought about why you are being compelled to shop frequently? Is it because you are bored or interested in doing something exciting? It’s important for you to assess what makes you shop and be honest about it.
For example, if you realize that your shopping urge is caused by stress or boredom, you must try something else to put you in the right mood. Get engaged in fun-filled activities that won’t require spending so much money. This will help you learn how to quit shopping frequently.
7. Use Only Cash
This is a major step to learning how to stop shopping uncontrollably. Contrary to popular belief, using cash to purchase things isn’t old-fashioned. Of course, we aren’t in the 60s anymore; however, there are some simple practices you need to maintain if you want to improve your finances.
More importantly, you need to be practical about it. Set aside a specific amount of cash you intend to spend within a day. Whenever you want to purchase anything from the retail store, make sure you have only cash with you. Don’t even use your debit card if you have one.
Using only cash will also help you understand the value of money. When you know how valuable your hard-earned money is, you won’t squander it.
8. Track Your Shopping
When your shopping habit begins to get out of control, the first step to reposition yourself is by tracking your shopping or assessing your expenses.
Many people don’t know how to stop shopping so much because they have failed to identify the things their money is being spent on. When you track your shopping, you can discern where your money goes every month.
You can track your expenses using a spreadsheet or a notebook to document your purchases. By keeping up with this for at least 30 days, you will have a long list of the things you’ve bought. This way, keeping track of your shopping will be much easier.
9. Check Your Bank Account Balance
Checking your account balance might seem insignificant, yet it’s one of the useful tips to stop shopping recklessly. It’s a brilliant way to remind yourself of the importance of cautioning your spending habit. When you regularly check how much you have left in your bank account, you will clearly see whether you are overspending or not.
Once you realize you are beginning to spend too much, you will instinctively limit your purchases. You wouldn’t want to empty your bank account by spending beyond your financial capacity. Doing this frequently will help you hit your goal faster when it comes to learning how to stop shopping impulsively.
Final Thoughts On Curbing Your Shopping Habits
The tips above on how to stop shopping excessively will help you cut down on your expenses. However, if you are unmotivated, you should join a local support group.
There are numerous support groups scattered across the United States mainly for people struggling with shopping addiction. Belonging to a support group will encourage and motivate you a lot. You will be inspired by the other group members who are equally chasing the same goal as you – curbing shopping habits.
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