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If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself going to the store with one thing in mind and end up walking out with more than you initially planned on purchasing. My dad has always been a shopaholic, and I got it from him! We both become easily distracted by the shiny objects that catch our interest and make the instant decision that we just cannot live without them. However, I have recently forced myself to change my spending ways and conquer the life of minimalism instead. Although I am still on the path of healing my buying tendencies, I have gathered some useful tips and tricks on starting your journey.

1. Go to the store with a list and leave as fast as possible.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Not only is this a fantastic time management tip, but it repeatedly stopped me from buying unnecessary items! For me, it’s honestly turned into a game. Instead of aimlessly walking around the store to figure out what I need, I have become a master of finding everything on my list. Having a checklist makes the whole experience feel like a scavenger hunt, and the reward is more money in your bank account. Once you’ve checked all your boxes, you feel fulfilled and can make your way to checkout! 

2. Ask yourself if you will use the item(s) in question. 

After donating some of my belongings, I realized many of them I either used sparingly or not at all. Have you ever pulled out a shirt only to realize that the tags are still on it a year after purchasing it? It’s the worst: all you see is wasted money. That’s why I use this tip to stop myself from buying something I won’t use or wear. With fast fashion on the rise, I think it is essential to consider if we would get any real use out of such pieces, and if so, for how long. Next time you are out buying something you saw on TikTok, ask yourself, “Do I genuinely like this, or do I just want to be trendy?”

3. Before buying the item, think about it for 24 hours.

analog clock on wall
Photo by Moritz Kindler from Unsplash

This is probably the best advice I have gotten when trying to stop impulse buying. If I come across an item that I didn’t plan to buy, I will put it back and tell myself that if I want it, I can always come back and get it tomorrow. This has been greatly effective because when tomorrow comes, I usually don’t remember. Although you can get sidetracked by cute trinkets and feel an overwhelming need to purchase them, I promise you it is just as easy to distract yourself from buying them as well. 

4. Make rules for yourself. 

I love reading magazines, and one of my fatal flaws is always picking one up at checkout. I get home, look over it once, and then either throw it out or add it to the pile I have already read. Now, I’m not only out of $5, but I’ve also added more to the clutter! So, I’ve recently decided that I can no longer buy magazines unless I am at the airport. Doing so has allowed me to create a successful boundary and something to look forward to when I am traveling. If you find yourself often buying single-use items, make a habit of purchasing them as a rare tradition. 

5. Remember that it is okay to treat yourself.

No one is perfect, and there is no need to feel guilty when you impulse-buy once in a while. I still do it, but I am now more aware of this behavior and cautious of when I decide to do so. As long as you try, you and your bank account will be overjoyed with the results! 

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Olivia Moreland is currently studying Psychology and Anthropology at Florida State University. In her spare time, you can find her painting, hiking, and riding horses. She also enjoys photography and cooking delicious vegetarian meals.
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