I ran across an article in Real Simple magazine for March on Mindful shopping. It talked about impulse buying and the hit of good mood at the time of purchase. Almost all of us have gone to the store for a few things and ended up with a basket full. Plus once you are already buying, it’s easier to buy something else – that includes online shopping.
So when you are buying for a “hit” instead of for what you need, the author suggests looking deeper. What are you really looking for? Stress relief, approval, status, comfort? Then meet those needs in other ways. Calling a friend. Journaling. Creative activity.
At the store when you are craving a splurge, ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Sit (or stand) with the feeling and you can ride out the temporary urge to buy. Sometimes you find you are just feeling tired or hungry, so you can plan how to fix that after you are out of the store.
Much of the clutter in our homes is because we bought something to feel better, but didn’t really need it. In my declutter class last week we talked about questions to ask yourself before you buy to keep clutter at bay. The first is, “Where am I going to put it?” If you have no place to store an item and can’t think of something to let go so you do have room, put it back.
“Do I need it?”
“Can I afford it?”
“What am I really looking for?”
“Am I buying just because it’s on sale?”
I like to keep questions like these printed out and kept in my wallet so I can see it before I buy.
Shop with intention instead of mindlessly shopping and see how much money you can save.
We talk about spending plans along with other systems in my Simplify Your Money System class starting soon.
Photo by Matthias Ripp