Avoiding Shopping Impulsively

This page is about avoiding shopping impulsively. Making sure you really need and can afford what you buy is important.
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Most people have to stay within a budget. This may be very difficult, especially if the budget is really tight. Sometimes the urge to have something new is really hard to ignore. Here are some tips to make do, when you can't have new.

Many people shop when they are emotional. Sadness, anger, loneliness and boredom can set off a shopping spree. You don't really want the new thing; you just want some aspect of your life to change for the better. Make your life rich in experiences, not things. Here are ideas on how to have a new experience.

  1. Go to the library. In addition to the "new to you" DVD or book, you can also join a book club and see plays and shows. RedBox also has free DVD rentals from time to time.
  2. In the summer, take advantage of the beautiful weather and see concerts in the park. Pack dinner and you will have a new experience that will cost you nothing.
  3. Learn a new skill on YouTube or in a store. Wiliams-Sonoma has cooking classes. LuluLemon has yoga classes. Crafts stores such as Michael's and Jo-Ann have free classes. You may have to pay for materials, so check this out beforehand. If you go to a class, you may meet new people.
  4. Take a free online course at Kahn Academy or Coursera.
  5. If you have the space, plant a flower or vegetable garden. You will have an adventure every day watching your plants grow. Even a windowsill can provide you with gardening pleasure.
  6. Volunteer. You will do a good deed for the less fortunate, and meet like-minded people.
  7. Have a clothing/accessory swap with friends.
  8. Have breakfast for dinner, or make a food served only on holidays.
  9. Rearrange your furniture.
  10. Everyone likes something new, at least once in a while! Take advantage of free offers and put them in a special spot, like in a closet. I get a lot of birthday freebies and free products with coupons. I don't need so many free items at once, so I put them in the closet and check out my stash before I buy something new. Many times I had forgotten what was in the box, and I have a nice surprise.

The above hints will work for children, too. I used to rotate my children's toys. Every couple of weeks they would have newtoys. My library also has a toy lending program.

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May 6, 2005

Questions to ask yourself first:

DO I NEED IT?

If your honest answer is no, think about the things that you "really do" need.

CAN I AFFORD IT?

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Tell yourself, if I have the extra cash yes but, If you have to reach for that credit card then you can't afford it.

DO I HAVE SOMETHING THAT WILL DO JUST AS WELL A HOME?

Re-evaluate what you have at home already and decide if this will fit your needs. If not, pack it up and give it to charity.

FIND A CHEAPER, MORE REASONABLE SUBSTITUTE.

Knock-Offs, need I say more.

HAVE I REALLY FOUND THE BEST DEAL?

It takes time and effort but comparison-shopping does make a difference.

AM I WILLING TO WAIT?

Play a game with yourself and walk to the opposite side of the store, wait 15 minutes, then decide if it is really worth it. Now a sale can really mess with your good sense of judgment. Simply getting away from the situation for a couple of minutes (or days) can do wonders. Have you ever noticed that you require your children to be patient but rarely put the same requirement on yourself?

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WHAT IF I DON'T WAIT?

Think about the consequences, how you'll feel, does it make you "feel" better to buy something? Do you have any underlying issues that you may need to address?

WHAT WILL THE CONSEQUENCES BE FOR MY ACTIONS?

Make a list of what the consequences will be if you buy that $50.00 purse or shoes. If it is paying the rent, the consequence is the bank will be calling you looking for their money. If it is buying groceries for the family, they will go hungry. I think this is easy enough to answer.

If you don't know the answer to these questions, please don't use that old saying "what I don't know won't hurt me", take it from someone whose been there and done that. It eventually will.

By KarensKrafts

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