How I stop buying stuff I do not need. I used to buy stuff anyhow, anything I fancied I’d buy it. Even if this means buying credit. One day, I had a wake-up call; I found myself with many pieces of stuff that I was not using. Stuff was everywhere; they were stacked in the wardrobe, under the bed, any available space was occupied by things I wasn’t using. Things take a lot of space in my average bedroom, and I have to say I have several arguments with my partner about the issue. He didn’t have enough room for his own belongings. I knew it wasn’t fair, that I had to do something. Not only I wasn’t using the items, some were still in their original packaging, but also, I largely overused my credit card. I decided to take action, and with consistency, I succeeded. Here is what I did.
GO TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
I sat down and put all the possible reasons why I was behaving this way on paper. I discovered in my case that I wasn’t really aligned with my actual reality. I moved country, and items are more accessible and affordable than in my original country. So, whenever I see something nice, I think it’ll be nice to have this thing, and I think of all the ways I could use the stuff in my original country.
But I was in the new country to stay, years after years, I kept the same mentality. Once I identified the root problem, I decided to first change my way of thinking and fully accept my new reality. And deal with all the things I have accumulated all this while
MAKE AN INVENTORY OF ALL THE PIECES OF STUFF
Make an inventory of all the accumulated and unused items. Put them by category to have a clear picture of the full extent of the issue. In my case, I put handbags, clothing items, shoes, makeup, skincare products, small kitchen accessories and appliances together… I was gobsmacked by the result. There were big piles of everything. I donated some items and sold some.
HAVING A BUDGET
My next step was to put into place a budget. I never took budgeting seriously, but I have decided to do it, not try it but do it. The aim at first was not to save money but to clear my debt. I have decided to keep the process simple by not using any fancy app and deter my motivation. I just put down my primary income and all my mandatory bills, cutting straight away anything that is not absolutely necessary. Once I had a precise idea of my mandatory spending, I set up a direct debit with my credit card company to pay my debt with the remaining cash, to prevent the temptation of using it for something else.
DECLUTTER MY MAILING LIST
In the process, I proceed to unsubscribe to nearly all my favourites’ shops. To stop the temptation altogether. I will not be tempted if I do not see their enticing, attractive offers. This work to some extent. Because I still see shops when I am out, the temptation is still there. So along with giving a makeover to my email list, I cut down my physical visits to town. That helps a lot.
In addition to all that, I have unfollowed many social influencers and other beauty gurus who always bring the latest trend in new products and fashion.
TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION
It hasn’t been all easy, they are times when I couldn’t help but just give in. I was aware that I could quickly go back to my old ways. When temptation was too big, and I couldn’t resist anymore, I made a rule to not purchase on the same day. I do it by putting the item in my basket and then giving myself some additional time of reflection, usually 48 hours. During this time of reflection, I try to determine if the item is a need or a want. If after 48 hours I still hardly desire the thing, I buy it; if not, I remove it from my basket. Most of the time, I removed it.
HAVE ALTERNATIVES WAYS
To help reinforce my decision, my resolution. I cuff off all the triggers causing me to spend and buy. Things like unsubscribing from shops, unfollowing beauty gurus and other influencers, reducing my visits to town…
But by doing so, I found myself with a lot of free time. So, to avoid falling back in my old ways, I looked for some constructive ways to fill this time without spending money shopping. I looked for new hobbies, and I became interested in books, reading, sewing. Those keep me very busy now.
How I stop buying stuff I do not need. Simply by having an ardent desire, and by sticking to my resolution, involving:
- Going to the root of the problem,
- Making an inventory of all the pieces of stuff,
- Having a budget,
- Decluttering my mailing list,
- Taking time for reflection,
- Having alternative ways.
This is how I have proceeded, and it works wonderfully for me. I am confident it’ll work for you, too, if replicated.
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