If you have a feeling that you are shopping too much, you aren’t alone. Many people look at their spending habits and decide that more money should be staying put in their bank account. But the question is "how to stop shopping?"
With all the spending temptations out there, it can be challenging to stop shopping. Luckily it can be done. Let’s take a look at the ways that you can stop overspending starting right now.
1. Define your money goals
If you want to discover how to stop shopping, the first thing to do is define your money goals. Financial goals can be any objective or milestone that you want to achieve with your money in the future. A few good examples include paying down debt, saving for retirement, or buying your first home.
Only you can determine what money goals matter to you. Take some time to consider what you want your future to look like and what money moves will make that dream a reality. It is likely that your money habits are not supporting your goals if you are shopping too much.
Once you define your money goals, you may be less tempted to splurge on unnecessary purchases and put those funds towards your money goals instead.
2. Take a closer look at your budget
With your money goals in mind, set up a budget that works for you. As you map out where you want your money to go, you’ll likely find that unnecessary shopping is not high on your list of priorities. Instead, you can tailor your budget to include what is important to you.
Of course, you can and should include a budget for shopping fun. But don’t let this category run wild. Keep your spending desires balanced with your long-term money goals. If you need help crafting a budget that works, then check out our free course!
3. Track your spending to stick to the plan
Creating a budget is a good jumping-off point. But without tracking your spending, you won’t know if you are sticking to your budgeting plan. That’s why you need to track your spending regularly.
You can use a budget tracking app like Mint or stick to a simple spreadsheet or budget binder. Choose the strategy that works best for you. Personally, I prefer tracking my spending in a simple spreadsheet to keep myself on track.
4. Remove shopping temptations
When I struggled with overspending, I realized that many of my purchases were made on impulse. This was especially true for online shopping with a constant deluge of store newsletters hitting my inbox.
When I received too many deliveries one day after binge shopping, I started searching for how to stop online shopping. Eventually, I decided to remove my shopping temptations by unsubscribing from store newsletters that crowded my inbox. With that, I was quickly able to curb my spending tendencies.
Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from the store newsletters you receive. It may be difficult to hit unsubscribe from your favorite stores. But remember, you can always check out their website when you actually need something. Without the constant temptation, you may be able to stop online shopping for unnecessary purchases.
5. Delay your purchases
Many of us struggle to stop shopping due to our impulse needs. For example, I might throw a few extra items in my cart while Amazon shopping or pick up an extra candle or two while I’m out. But I really don’t need these things - but in the moment it feels like I absolutely need another candle.
Luckily, there is a way to curb impulse purchases by delaying your decision. For small purchases, waiting 48 hours is a good timeframe to reconsider. For larger purchases, waiting 30 days is usually a good option.
When you step away from the store and have some time to think, you’ll often realize that you don’t need the item. Or you may forget about it altogether! Either way, you can stop the urge to shop in its tracks.
Take a minute to set up some delayed purchase rules for yourself. For example, you might decide that items under $20 require a 24-hour delay. Find a system that works for you. You will be surprised how often you forget about the item entirely!
6. Only go shopping with a list
A list can be a key way to stop unnecessary spending. Before you head to the store, create a list of everything you need. Once you arrive, make sure only to buy what is on the list. I find that this tip is especially useful for avoiding unnecessary grocery store spending.
If I arrive at the grocery store without a list, I always walk away with snack items that I didn’t need. But with a list, I am able to stick to the plan and gather only what I need.
7. Tuck away your savings in a separate account
If you like to make spending decisions by checking out your bank account balance, keeping all of your savings in one place can easily lead to overspending. After all, you don’t want to use your emergency savings on an impulse buy. But if your account has the money, it can be too difficult to resist.
With that, tucking away your savings into a separate account can be the perfect solution. When your savings are safely stored in a savings account, you can spend more freely from your checking account. You won’t have to worry about accidentally spending your emergency savings.
The best way to ensure that the money you intend to save makes it into your checking account is to set up an automatic transfer with each paycheck.
8. Try a shopping ban
An extreme way to stop shopping is to institute a shopping ban for a particular period of time. Although it might seem too challenging, this can be an effective way to stop shopping sprees. You could stop shopping completely for an entire week, month, or year.
Of course, a shopping ban can be very challenging. But you’ll be able to set the rules and timeframe for your shopping ban. If you are interested in this strategy, I highly recommend reading The Year of Less. The author shared her experience with a shopping ban for an entire year.
9. Focus on gratitude
An attitude of gratitude can truly change your perspective on many things, including shopping. Take some time to consider what you already have. You might find that you have everything you truly need already.
If you are struggling to stop shopping, then you may need to examine your relationship with money further. Unfortunately, negative emotions surrounding money are very common.
But if you cannot recognize these emotions in your life, you might find yourself struggling with financial decisions such as overspending. Focus on creating a positive money mindset, which starts with gratitude for what you already have.
The bottom line
It can be difficult to stop shopping. But it is completely possible. Give the strategies above a try as you look for ways to cut back on shopping. You might be surprised how quickly you can make a change when you get started today.