Feel like you're always broke & overspending when it comes to shopping? The key is learning how to be a high maintenance shopper! Here's how!

How to Become a High Maintenance Shopper

When I was living in the midst of my shopping addiction, I was not picky or choosey about what items I brought home with me. In fact, rarely ever did I head into a mall or browse online with a particular item in mind. No, I usually spent my time letting the sales tags talk to me louder than my own inner guide. Since kicking my shopping addiction, I have started to understand that the real way to save money, shop smarter and still have a closet filled with items I love is to be a more high maintenance shopper. A lot of us have been lead to believe that being high maintenance is a bad thing — that we’re too picky or unpleasable. In reality, more people need to practice the art of being high maintenance and refusing to settle for less than they deserve in every area of life. For now, let’s just tackle the topic of being a little more high maintenance when it comes to shopping!

What is a high maintenance shopper?

Just like in life, a high maintenance shopper is someone who knows their worth and won’t settle for anything less than what they want. This is so hard to do, especially if you’ve been struggling with a shopping addiction for some time.

Often times those of us who struggle with impulse spending are also living with a major scarcity mindset, and this idea of lack. AKA we are too afraid to be high maintenance and picky about what we want because we fear it will never come. Therefore, we settle for less than we deserve so we don’t “miss out” on anything.

In a desperate attempt to avoid missing out, we tend to over-stuff our closets and homes with items we bought on a whim — most of which never get used, yet we can’t let go of them because that fear mindset just won’t let us shake free. Why Is It So Freaking Hard to Declutter?

If you are readier than ever to kick a nasty spending habit in the butt, grab my Shopping Rehab guide that’s designed to help you up your mindset while creating balance with spending.

Know what you like

First and foremost, before any of us can be high maintenance about anything, one of the biggest requirements we face is first knowing exactly what we want.

If you are in the habit of buying stuff that is trendy or on sale, there is a good chance you might not actually know what you as an individual really want. Most of us are grown up being given little subliminal messages about who to be, how to dress, and what it means to be a successful human. Our brains take these messages and just run with them without us ever really pausing to ask us if we agree to these little made up rules.

When it comes to most areas of life, there is going to be a lot of trial and error. After dating 3 people you might have a better idea of what qualities you do and definitely do not want in a mate. The same can hold true for our wardrobe. I know I learned a lot more about my own personal style after I stopped buying clothes for 3 years and lived on hand me downs from friends.

If you are curious how you might begin to learn more about your own unique style, listen in on my podcast episode with Jen from Everyday Style where she breaks down some of her best advice on how to create a closet you love walking into.

Shop with purpose

Instead of aimlessly wandering the store, letting well-paid marketers sway you towards the things they want you to buy, start heading to the store with a clear goal and purpose.

Watch the video below to come shopping with me for my first dress in years to get a sneak peek of what high maintenance shopping looks like.

I promise, the better you get at shopping with a high maintenance purpose, the more you will find your closet gradually filling up with clothing you always want to wear — rather than feeling like there’s never anything good in your closet.


When you get something you LOVE and its the cheapest one! 🙌🏽 @express for the win again #expressoutlet #minimalistshopping #shopaholicgirl #fittingroomtryon #dresshaul2022 #dressshopping

♬ La Vie En Rose – Emily Watts

Don’t settle

When it comes to shopping, especially for clothes, there are a few major things that can tip up out of high maintenance and into impulse spending. Here are some of the top things:

  • Other people’s opinions
  • Something we like in the wrong size/color
  • Looks good but feels weird

Other people’s opinions

How many times have you stepped out of a fitting room kind of shrugging your shoulders and not feeling too thrilled about a sweater only to have your girlfriend gasp and say, “That looks so good on you!” “Really?” You ask…and then you reluctantly tuck it under your arm, bring it to the check out and take it home only to never wear it again.

Wrong size or color

This same thing holds true when we find an item we love — in the wrong size. That scarcity mindset kicks in and we start to believe that we will never find this item again, never in our size. This is our one and only chance at happiness so we smoosh ourselves into a too-small clothing size, or something we’re drowning in, just so we can throw this not quite-right item in the cart.

Looks good, feels weird

Same goes for the looks good feels weird concept. You might look in the mirror and enjoy the view, but your body is screaming, “GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!” Trust that intuition, always. Visually it might be appealing but feeling uncomfortable in your own skin is never a good thing.

Preference before price tag

If I could share with you one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned after kicking a shopping addiction, it would be to never let a price tag determine what comes home with you.

Passing up a $40 sweater you adore so you can bring home 4 sweaters from the clearance rack that are itchy and not your style is never a “deal,” it’s a waste.

Start working to see the value in spending a little more (when necessary) on something you truly love and can see yourself wearing over and over again rather than the the more I buy the more I get mindset.

Build a spending buffer

When I started minimalism, one of the silliest beliefs I had was that I was no longer allowed to like stuff. In reality, buying items is something all of us are going to be doing at some point in our lives, no matter how much we’ve minimized our lives. This is exactly why it’s a good idea to create a spending buffer that allows you a little more freedom when it comes to spending your money how you want.

Believe it or not, having a budget set aside solely for spending can actually help slow your impulses because you know there is a limited amount of money in your budget. When there is a limited amount you instantly become a little more high maintenance about how you spend it!

In Shopping Rehab I teach people to do this using Cash App. Read: How We Use Cash App to Stay on Budget.

Recognize low vibe shopping

Another way to ensure you are staying in a high maintenance state of mind is to do a vibe check before you head out shopping. Did you have a terrible day, break up with your signifiant other, and get a flat tire before you panic-rushed to Target searching for a pick me up?

This is low vibe shopping. It means you are approaching shopping from a low vibrational place of sadness, anger, or frustration.

Work to get your vibes back in check — think jamming out to music in your car or venting to a friend, before you start swiping that credit card and you will find yourself a lot less likely to have shopping regrets!

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Feel like you're always broke & overspending when it comes to shopping? The key is learning how to be a high maintenance shopper! Here's how!

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