After coming back from a part holiday, part business trip of four months in duration, I was shocked to see how much I had purchased along the way. And although some of it was due to the fact the price of goodswas so much cheaper overseas (thank you Winners and Marshalls), the reality was that I probably didn’t need all that stuff.
So it got me thinking and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I do show signs of the addiction (although thankfully I’ve never been in debt as a result of it). So in order to overcome my addiction I have developed the below techniques that I am hoping may help you also.
1. Throw out all your unwanted/barely used clothing and items:
Separate the piles based on items you have worn to death and items that you bought but never (or hardly) wore. You will be shocked to see how many items you bought that fit into this category. Now think about why you bought it, was it because it was on special, you were having a bad day or thought you would like to change your style or were hoping to lose weight? Whatever the reason try to do this for each item, you will be surprised by the commonality behind each buying decision. Now remember that feeling and try to add up the price of each item. Surely now, that bargain or mood fixer doesn’t sound as good as it once did!
Immediately place these items in a garbage bag and deliver them to good will, at least some one will benefit from your bad buying decision.
Now that you have properly audited yourself, it’s time to start a new shopping routine:
2. Avoid the shops as much as possible:
If you must go, leave your credit card in your car or at home and take a certain amount of CASH ONLY, once you have spent your budgeted amount, you will not be able to purchase additional items as your credit card is inconveniently located at another location. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending money on plastic, but because you don’t actually see the money in front of your eyes disappear, it gives you a sense of false hope that you aren’t spending as much as you are.
3. If you do decide to spend some money. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I really need the item?
Okay, the item is on special or for whatever reason you decide you want it. But do you actually need it or are you buckling down to pressure. Take a photo of it or put it on hold and leave the store immediately to think about whether you really need it. By putting it on hold at least you can go back to get it if you decided you do need it.
Ask yourself why do you need it?
If you have decided you need it, why do you want it? Is it going to make you happy in the long run or are you just fulfilling some short term desire. You should only buy things that have long term benefits to them such as buying a nice suit for job interviews as this will assist you in gaining employment or buying a LBD dress for functions. Do you really need that red top you found when you have three others that are still reasonably new?
If you are worried about wearing a similar outfit to last time you caught up with friends or family, go to a handicraft store such as Spotlight or Lincraft and look at cheap things you can purchase to spruce up an old outfit, maybe new buttons would suffice to make that jacket look amazing again. You will be surprised how accessorising outfits can be an economical way to make an old outfit look new again.
4. Confide in someone you trust:
Lastly, if you are still worried about your addiction or want support, tell a loved one or friend. They will want the best for you and will help you in any way they can. Remember although shopping may be fun, it can be an addiction so watch out!
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.