I personally find no joy in shopping, but I know so many people who truly love it. And that is fine, we all have things we enjoy doing. However, my main concern is never ending consumption that such hobby can cause.
With flashy headlines constantly reminding us about new collections available or start of the sales, it is difficult to stay away and consume only as little as we actually need.
Why shop less?
(1) Save money. If saving a dollar is not interesting for you, I do not know what is. No matter how much you earn, it does not mean you need to own the most expensive items, nor does it mean you need all the items in the world. If you would be willing to pay more attention to your shopping habits, you would see how much money is being wasted on useless items.
(2) Save time. Even though I could not find a trustworthy source for statistics that tell how much time in a day on average we spend shopping, I truly believe that by doing less of it, we would save a great number of hours in a day. Instead of shopping we could read a book, see a friend or family.
(3) Live clutter free. By now it is scientifically proven that clutter does not only cloud your mind but also negatively affects your physical health. Why would anyone want that?
(4) Be environmental friendly. Shopping less also means that we consume less, which also means we waste less. Every little step taken towards more sustainable lifestyle counts.
How to not go overboard with shopping?
(1) Make a want list. At the back of your notebook make a list of all the things you want to buy. Take note of which of the items are the necessities.
Now take a step back and wait for a couple of weeks. The chances are you really need a new computer as the old one is barely working. On the other hand, getting yet another pair of trainers might not be as necessary.
Judging from my own experience, some of the goods written down turn out to be impulsive desires aroused by social media and product placement. Only the items I truly need and want will stay on the list.
(2) Do not shop when you are sad (or under any other physical or emotional influence). While most people claim shopping helps lift their spirit, I dare to say it is a false belief to hold on to. Instead of buying yet another backpack or pair of headphones, ask your friend out for a coffee and have a comforting heart to heart time. Pick yourself up by creating some pleasant memories with loved ones, rather than purchase another good you will put on the shelf.
(3) Avoid desperate purchases. Looking for a particular item and not being able to find it can get frustrating. We all have been there. However, try preventing yourself from comfort shopping and thinking getting “at least something” will make you feel better. The truth is you are likely to purchase something completely useless. It also happens when you pick an item that you like only partially. Shopping with an attitude “this will do” is not quite right, as you are more likely to keep on looking for something you really like afterward anyway.
(4) Know your goal. If you have hard times fighting the urge to buy something while in the mall, go shopping with a certain goal in mind. Before stepping out of the door, ask yourself why are you going in a first place. Just to look around? Good, just look around then. If you are aiming to buy something, make it clear to yourself what it is you want to buy, but do not forget to keep in mind the point number one (Make a want list) mentioned before.
(5) Limit your shopping outings. Challenge yourself to make less shopping trips. Depending on how much fresh food you need on daily basis, do your groceries once or twice a week. Also, minimize the number of aimless trips to malls or, if can, do not go to the mall for a whole week (it is easier than you think).
Staying away from online stores is a bit more complicated, as it takes only one click to get there. To prevent aimless browsing or perhaps even purchasing, sign out of all accounts at stores you usually shop at. Whenever you hit that “add to card” or “proceed” button that asks you to sign in and finish your purchase, think twice.
Spending less time and money on shopping is a good practice to have for many reasons. Train your consciousness to understand why you want certain goods, dare to ask whether you actually need them and make a chance in your behaviour for your own good.