When was the last time you went through a whole week without buying anything? What about half a week? These days the pressure to purchase is everywhere. Ir’s on billboards, in magazines, on social media, and tucked into the conversations we have with our friends. Everyone is buying something whether it’s coffee, food, clothes, forks, anything. There is so much pressure to have stuff that most of us end up stuffing our homes with things we only half-like just so we can have things. Being home during the pandemic really opened my eyes to how much money I had been spending on a weekly basis. When I wasn’t spending time with people who love to eat out and spending my Saturdays window shopping like it’s a sport, I found that my savings grew and the way I viewed most of my purchases shifted. Instead of turning a blind eye to my money habits I decided to look them dead in the eye and confront them. I have financial goals and I don’t want to put them on hold just because glossy Instagram influencers are trying to convince me to spend money on fast fashion. You can resist the urge to mindlessly spend by:
Getting In Touch With Your Emotions
Consumerism is a dangerous thing. We’re being told to believe that we aren’t fulfilled because we don’t have a certain gadget, tea, video game, etc, and that all our problems would be solved if we’d just order it offline and get it tomorrow with expedited shipping. Take time to ask yourself “why do you feel like you need this?” If you can’t even really explain to yourself why you want something, you don’t need it. If you want it just because everyone else has it, you don’t need it. If you want it just because it’s you can afford it, you don’t need it. It’s nice to surround yourself with things that you’re excited about. If you’re filling your space with products that you’re only okay with, it’s time to reevaluate why you want those products in the first place.
Avoid Going To Stores
I don’t know about you, but the second I step into a store the temptation gets real. No matter where I am, I find something I would buy. Half the time they aren’t even things I need or want, they’re kind of just there so I start imagining myself with it. When I was working at Anthropologie I left almost every shift with a shopping bag in hand. I love everything in that store and it’s so easy to get carried away and purchase things you don’t need and can’t afford when you’re in an environment where people are always shopping. If you find it too difficult to resist shopping temptations, try to limit how often you go to stores. You can’t be tempted if you don’t put yourself in the position to be.
Tip: If you work in retail practice leaving your credit cards tucked safely in your glove compartment. That way you’ll have to go to your car and then go back in the store before you can purchase something. If going to the car feels like too much effort, you probably don’t want it badly enough.
Limit Your Time With Materialistic People
People are the average of the 5 people they spend the most time with. If you’re spending time with people who are constantly swiping their cards you can expect to be swiping your card soon too. It may seem extreme to cut off a friendship just because someone is materialistic, but you could consider only spending time with them at home or at a park and not meeting them at the mall. This will help you to not be tempted by the behaviors of those around you.
Saving money doesn’t mean you have to adopt a scarcity mindset, it just means that you’ll get real with yourself and recognize where insecurity, lack of self control, or peer influence is controlling your behavior and causing you to take on spending practices that aren’t true to you. If you love something, buy it! It’s great to own things that inspire you, just remember that every item you touch in a store doesn’t necessarily deserve a spot in your closet. Comment below your money saving tips.