So, Earth Week. The planet is going to be ruined if we don’t do anything. Shopping (or lack thereof) is a great way to start. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend way more than you should every time you go shopping. It doesn’t even have to be at the mall; it could be at the grocery store or even at the drugstore. You find something that catches your eye and tell yourself: “Hey, why not? Just $5 won’t hurt!”, but then the $5 catch up to you when you’ve done the same thing 20 times and now you’ve spent $100 on things you didn’t need in the first place. Yes, we’ve all been there. This is why I’ve made a list of things to help you save money, and eventually learn to spend it wisely!
- Clean out your closet.
This will help you see what you have but forgot you even had, and get rid of things that you no longer use. Keep a straight mind when it comes to this. DO NOT hold on to clothes that you think you might need one day when in reality you haven’t worn them in 5 years. Looking at everything you own every once in a while is great because it helps you remember those items and potentially create new and different outfits. There are many methods to use, but I highly recommend you use the KonMari method. It was created with Marie Kondo and it’s a decluttering method which prioritizes category instead of the location. For example, instead of cleaning by room, you clean by category: all your clothes, all your books, all your papers, etc. To learn more, you can read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the Goop Illustrated Guide to the KonMari Method or you can binge-watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.
- Create a budget when you go shopping.
After decluttering, write down the things you need, and stick to that. When you go shopping for that, think about the maximum amount of money you want to spend, and don’t go past that limit. Try to use cash instead of a credit card, as this will control your spending, and it tricks your mind because you are actually seeing your money go away. It’s also good to think about other things you need to pay, like rent, your phone, and your car. Keeping those responsibilities in mind will help you understand why you shouldn’t spend that much money.
- Think about what you have at home.
“I want it, but do I need it?” is a question you should constantly ask yourself while shopping. When you see some nice black shoes, think about the ones you have at home. Maybe you should use those more often instead of buying new ones. Essentially, don’t buy what you don’t really need.
- Analyze your problem.
Take the time to think about your situation. Why do you spend so much? Is it because you have a lot of free time, or because you go shopping to take your mind off of other things? Once you realize what the root of your problem is, you can start doing things in order to fix it.
- Create a personalized plan.
Once you’ve analyzed your problem, you can create your own plan in order to stop doing it. If you go shopping a lot because you’re bored, you can find other hobbies that maybe won’t hurt your wallet as much. If you do it because you don’t want to think about other problems, try fixing those before you get yourself into a new problem. Analyze your situation and create a solution accordingly.
Shopping isn’t bad. What’s worse is when you shop so much that it starts getting in the way of your finances and the planet! When this happens, it means that shopping has gone from being a hobby to becoming a problem. Good news is that with the right steps and the right mindset, this issue can be fixed in no time!