Practical Living: Ways to Stop Shopping…for a While
“Men go shopping to buy what they need, and women go shopping to find out what they want” –Author Unknown
It has been said that shopping to women is like therapy in a sense that they get a satisfied and relieved feeling right after. It even costs roughly the same but the only difference lies in the fact that in shopping, you actually get a dress out of it whereas in therapy you either get prescription medications or are advised to be a lot less stressed. Unfortunately, while a little shopping here and there to reward yourself for something is okay, routinely spending your days after work in ayala malls the 30th just to look for something to buy is an entirely different story. If you find yourself borrowing money solely to indulge your shopping whims, then you have a very serious problem that needs addressing immediately.
Remember, not everything you spend for is a need. Sure, it might seem irresistible to purchase something just to feed your fancy, but you might find yourself selling things you do need just to pay off your debts—if the problem gets really severe. In any case, if you wish to address the problem head on, here are the ways to do so:
Track your spending
If you want a reality check that slaps you in the face then you might need an awakening. To do this, track your spending—every single thing you buy and pay for, write it all down. From the groceries, your afternoon coffee, meals, clothes—everything should be written. In a separate list, list down the things you wish to buy along with their corresponding prices. After thirty days of doing this, compare and then look at how much you have saved simply by writing down what you wished to have instead of spending on it. It might even be a shocking revelation to you—especially if the number is quite steep.
More often than not what causes us to needlessly spend is that we buy everything on a whim without giving anything a long and careful though. Impulsive spending, they say, is ultimately one of the reasons why you would find yourself in debt. In any case, if you find yourself in a similar predicament, give yourself some time to contemplate about your purchase first. Pause and then delay. Instead of outright buying said item, wait a few days and see if you have maintained the same desire to purchase the said item.
Identify the genuine need
Why are you shopping in the first place? Are you bored? Do you wish to address some matters in the heart that can only be done so through retail therapy? Is this a weekend habit you have? Sit down and give yourself some time to think. Mull over the “whys” behind your affinity for mindless spending.
After years and years of unnecessary spending, you might have hoarded a number of items that could only rival a small retail boutique at a mall. Start decluttering and organizing your stuff then categorize them. Apart from giving you a chance to spruce up your place, this would also be an avenue for reassessment over your past purchases. More often than not, we would come across an item that would make us wonder why we bought it in the first place. Once we have sorted that, take some time to ask yourself if you are still willing to make the same mistake of wasting money. Then let that serve as a reminder to avoid mindless spending as much as possible.
If satisfaction and bliss are two things you are seeking for at the mall, perhaps you can translate that pursuit into an endeavor of making others happy instead of being a spendthrift. You might never know it, but the joy in making others happy would ultimately make you happier than you had been in acquiring shopping items. So, sort out the items you do not need and give them to your friends or family members.