How to Stop Buying Things Just to Have More Stuff

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Shopping can be an addiction. “Shopping therapy” can give us a bit of a rush when we’re feeling down, and when we don’t know what else to do, it can be tempting to buy something new and fun. On top of that, our society places a premium on having stuff. The more stuff you have, the “cooler” you are.

As a result of all of these pressures, it can be easy to get caught up in a cycle of “needing” to buy a lot of stuff. In some cases, the things you buy might not even be tings that you truly need — or even want. Once you start buying stuff just to have it, things can get expensive for you.

If you want to stop buying stuff just for the sake of buying it, here are some things you can do to help you break the habit:

Consider the Reason You are Spending

First, think about the “why” behind your spending habits. Notice how you feel when you are shopping. Also pay attention to the reasons you give yourself when you buy something. If it feels like you’re rationalizing your purchases all the time, or if you realize that you shop the most when you feel lonely and down, it might be a good idea to take a step back.

Once you know the “why” behind your purchases, you can address the issue. If you are having trouble with your emotions or relationships, it’s a good idea to work on those problems, rather than try to assuage your feelings with a shopping spree.

And, unless impressing other people is the main priority in your life, buying more stuff to try to get people to like you probably isn’t the way to go. Once you understand that you are engaging in these habits while in a certain frame of mind, you can begin making solid changes.

Institute Spending Rules

Another way you can ease off the buying habit is to institute spending rules. You decide that purchase amounts that exceed a certain value have to be discussed with your life partner, or with someone else you trust. Make sure that your “gatekeeper” asks you questions about why you want to make the spending decision.

You can also try some of these other spending deterrents:

  • Waiting period: Require a two-day waiting period on “important” and “urgent” purchases. For other purchases, which are more like wants, institute a 30-day waiting period. If you still have to have the item, then you can buy it.
  • Cash allowance: Give yourself an allowance for discretionary purposes. You can use cash, and when the cash is gone, you have to stop. It’s an easy way to really see when you are spending money.
  • Get rid of something else: You can make a rule that if you buy something new, you have to get rid of something you already have. This keeps the clutter down, and it also forces you to prioritize.

It’s not easy to break a shopping habit. However, it’s important that you do what you can to prevent yourself from buying things that you really aren’t that interested in.

How do you limit your shopping impulses?

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