Who doesn’t love a bargain? While we all appreciate a good deal, many of us use shopping as a way to self-sooth when we’re stressed. It might help us feel better in the moment, but the impact goes beyond what too much shopping does to our budgets. Self-soothing shopping can become a coping mechanism masking deeper emotional issues, such as low self-esteem or depression.
The wrong shopping motivators can lead to packed closets, and space-eating storage in garages and attics – and it can necessitate contracts for PAID storage when a shopping shift could change everything!
So how do we avoid impulse buying and buying more than we need whenever we see a bargain?
The first step is understanding that most of us aren’t motivated by what we need. We shop for what we want or how it makes us feel.
I recommend a shopping moratorium until you’ve taken the opportunity to see what you already have available. (I just found 9 tubes of toothpaste when I reorganized a bathroom cabinet.)
Shop with a list AND a budget. We’ve all experienced one too many bottles of Worcestershire Sauce or trying to fit more toilet paper into our already full toilet-paper-cupboard. Lists made at home allow you to look into spaces to see what you’ve already got and allow you to decide if some essentials can wait until a later trip.
Wait at least 24 hours before you buy anything non-essential -- like clothes, furniture, small appliances, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve added items to my Amazon list and then deleted them the next day.
If you pre-purchase gift items, make sure you store them together so you can shop from your stash.
If you need to reward yourself for a job well done, try treating yourself to services and experiences instead of goods.
Shop for your favorite charity from your own stuff. Whether it’s clothes, backpacks, linens, food, gift items, etc., you can always find a great cause to support with the stuff you have on hand!
I hope this list helps if you’re ready to curb your shopping footprint!