Giving up my shopping habits was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times I sat at the mall nearly rocking back and forth while Tom tried on a few new outfits he wanted my opinion on. Every fiber of my being told me to get up and start filling my arms with new clothes to try on! Shopping had become a crutch, a coping mechanism, and quite literally an addiction. I did that really rare thing where I went cold turkey, but let’s be real, that hardly ever works. So, if you are someone hoping to start small by cutting back and maybe upping the 0’s in your bank account, here are 5 crazy simple, and totally rewarding ways that you can do exactly that!
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Is it cool to reward yourself for not spending?
First off, let’s make it clear that it’s amazing to financially reward yourself for showing financial restraint.
I know when it comes to eating healthy they say not to reward yourself with food, but it’s not like that when it comes to shopping and money, I promise!
When you can show small feats of strength and stop yourself from over-spending, you can absolutely reward yourself by using that money elsewhere (preferably somewhere that is going to have huge payoffs in the long run).
The following tips I want to share with you are from Shopping Rehab and have been proven methods to help people get their shopping addictions under control and start doing amazing things with their lives.
If you have ever had to turn down an awesome experience, like an all-inclusive getaway because you were broke — but always seem to be shopping clearance racks, Amazon, and thrift stores, then I want you to listen up because these cost-saving ideas just might land you smack dab in the middle of a really awesome life that you used to think you couldn’t afford! Use code FUNSIZED to save 10% on Shopping Rehab
No 1. Re-write past spending
One of the best things you can do when you are struggling financially is to actually review your spending so that you have some clue as to where your money is going every month.
Trust me, I know this is like the least fun thing to do!
When you are struggling financially and seem to be scraping to get by the last thing you want to do is go head to head with your terrible spending decisions and broke ass bank account. I get it. I truly do. I can literally close my eyes and flash back to a time when I dreaded opening our bank accounts and adding up the totals.
However, understanding exactly where your money is going is absolutely crucial if you want to be able to make smart financial changes.
Here’s the plan:
- Go through the last 3 months of spending and add up anything that was totally frivolous and unnecessary.
- Categorize everything (ex. Clothing, home decor, fast food, coffee)
- Make a slightly smaller spending goal for each
- Separate this spending if you can
- Save or invest the difference
Here’s what I mean…
Slightly smaller spending goal
If you see that you are spending an average of $50 per month on Starbucks, make a slightly healthier spending goal of $40 per month.
Separate your spending
Open up your Starbucks app and add $40 to your account. Take the remaining $10 and add it to an investment or savings account.
Save or invest the difference
*Side note* If you don’t have a savings or investment account opened up yet, I definitely suggest getting an easy-to-start, user-friendly app like Acorns. It makes investing super easy and it has been tried and tested by yours truly!
You could also make additional money by turning on the Acorns “round up feature” to round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and invest the change. Click here to learn more about Acorns or get $5 free to start investing!
Same amount, better habits!
Following this method helps you stick to the current budget and spending habits that you have without making anything too drastic or overwhelming. It helps you reduce spending on less-than-necessary items while also helping you beef up your bank account for bigger and better things!
No 2. Play $20 Cart Hack
This one just might be one of my favorite hacks because it slows down the process (because, like you might know, shopping can turn into more of a frenzy rather than an intentional trip to the store).
$20 Cart Hack is a game I made up after I read a social media post that said:
“If you can make $28 extra per day, that’s an additional $10,000 per year. Most people accidentally spend that much every day.” — something like that.
Here is a similar post:
Anyway, after reading that post, I thought to myself, “Instead of making an additional $28 per day, why not just focus on those ‘accidental spendings’?”
If you struggle with overspending like me, I’m going to guess that you find yourself behind a physical or digital cart at least twice a week.
What if the next time you had a full cart and you were ready for check out you put $20 Cart Hack into play and made an effort to eliminate $20 from that cart.
Here’s the plan:
- Fill up your shopping cart like normal
- Before you check out, stop and intentionally remove $20 worth of items from that cart
- Transfer yourself $20 (or however much you hack) to savings or investing
This is seriously such an easy method and helps you be a little bit more intentional about your spending when you have to pause and look at your cart before you proceed to checking out.
No 3. Picture this
One of the methods that I share in Shopping Rehab is the method of taking a picture of something you want and seeing if it’s easier to put that item away.
This was a method I adapted after I saw a mom on social media use this trick with her child! Whenever her daughter was screaming or throwing a tantrum over wanting something in the store, the mom would take a picture of the child with the item and then very easily be able to put it back.
I figured if it worked on a toddler maybe it would also work on me! I first gave this method a try when Tom and I took a trip to Nashville and hit up one of those super cute, kitsch stores with lots of little gifties.
If I saw something that I thought my friend might like, instead of buying it, I simply took a picture of it and sent it to the friend via text message. Let me tell you, when you have obsessively held and item and day dreamed about buying it for someone imagining that it would completely transform their life and then you text them a picture and they only send back a smiley face emoji…the enthusiasm to buy anyone else anything kind of leaves your body.
This can also work by screenshotting stuff you feel tempted to buy online!
So, same drill. (Yes, there’s a bit of a theme going.)
Here’s the plan:
- Take a picture of an item you want
- Put the item back
- Designate a reward amount (choose any amount that feels right — maybe $5 per item)
- Deopsit this amount into a savings or investment account!
No. 4 Hell YES only
Have you ever been like me and gone into a fitting room to try on 20 different things. You put on an item that you were particularly psyched about only to find that it looks kind of weird.
In an attempt to make the item look better, you tuck in your shirt, adjust your pose, suck in your gut. It’s like you desperately want to make yourself like this item so you can feel psyched about buying it.
New rule: If it isn’t a HELL YES, it’s a HELL NO!
Now, when I go into the fitting room I try stuff on rapid fire. If my jaw doesn’t instantly drop when I try something on then it’s a no from me.
Remember, this can just as easily apply to stuff that you buy online! If you are a big Amazon shopper, they have made returning stuff crazy easy and totally free! You deserve to love what you own — if you don’t, send it back!
Here’s the plan:
- Do not purchase any items that don’t instantly make you happy
- Deposit half of what you would have spent into savings or investing
- Own what you love. Have more money in the bank
No. 5 Find your dream
Ok, I saved the corniest one for last, but you have absolutely got to hear me out! What exactly was it that allowed me to go cold turkey on shopping? It was the fact that I realized I had bigger dreams for myself than just buying new, cute, on sale stuff.
When we can locate a bigger goal we have for ourself. Here were some of mine:
- Pay off debt
- Travel more
- Have more flexibility to do work that we love
Holding a vision bigger than stuff has continually kept me going, even when the temptation to spend got really strong!
Connecting to a higher purpose, grander plan or bigger dream can almost instantly reduce the desire to spend money on stuff that isn’t going to help you reach that goal. However, it’s still important to have a plan for that money!
Get help with overspending
One of my biggest realizations in life is that the best way to stop spending money on the little things, is to focus on the bigger picture.
- Find out what your dream is
- Set a financial savings goal for the future and for fun stuff you want to do
- Before you buy anything ask yourself if it gets you closer or further away from your big dream
I know, I know this one isn’t exactly a “hack,” but it is definitely the one that gives you the potential to live a full, amazing and fulfilled life! So, maybe it’s worth a try?!
Need additional help kicking that shopping addiction? Remember, you can save 10% on Shopping Rehab with code FUNSIZED