I pretty much love shopping. Who doesn't? Buying stuff is awesome. What I don't like though is having no money. Even worse, having no money and a wardrobe full of clothes I don't wear.
Since I'm on a mega-tight budget and saving like buggery, I thought I'd post up my tough love tips on how to stop impulse buying (and have an awesome wardrobe full of things you actually wear).
#1 Most important ever tip: Don't go near the shops.
At all. Ever. Harsh but fair. If you have BIG plans and BIG savings goals, then why put temptation in your own way. If you don't know about it, you don't want it. Shopping isn't hobby - well I guess it is but, if you want to travel or pay off your mortgage super early or build a mini-golf course in your backyard, then get a cheaper hobby.
Nobody ever just window shops. Companies spend zillions of dollars a year to ensure we don't ever just window shop. They know how your mind works and you are powerless to resist it.
This includes online shopping.
This also includes reading catalogues.
So, okay, you've slipped. You've got an hour to kill in the city and can't help yourself or maybe you've stayed away from the shops for so long your clothes are in rags to the point where you can't work and therefore this whole money saving scheme is becoming counter-productive.
Here's how to have control and save yourself:
1. If you can't decide if you want something or not, you don't want it. Put the dress down, walk away.
2. If you really want it, leave it and come back tomorrow. If it's still there, you were meant to have it. If you sit up all night obsessing that someone else might buy it before you get back to the shop, you were meant to have it.
3. If you really want it, and it's the last one in the shop in your size, put it on layby. If you don't obsess about paying that layby off stat, go back and cancel it. You obviously don't care that much. Sure you might lose a few bucks in processing fees but you should get your deposit back - and save the money you might have spent.
4. If you can't find what you need for a special occasion, don't settle for "this will do". You'll hate that outfit forever and never wear it again. Take another look through your wardrobe and if you still have nothing appropriate, beg or borrow from friends -- or friends of friends.
5. Don't buy anything on sale that you wouldn't pay full price for. Otherwise it's not a bargain, it's just an expensive duster.
6. Nothing you buy will change your personality -- or make you more popular or more loved. At best, it will help you feel confident and happy. For a brief while.