I am now a recovering shopaholic and spendaholic.
I used buying stuff as a way of cheering myself up and relieving boredom. Both were destructive behaviours with financial consequences. I could have had £40 left in my personal bank account which needed to last me another 2 weeks and I’d still pop online and treat myself to something. Not having any money to spend made me feel rubbish so I’d spend what I didn’t have to cheer myself up. A vicious cycle. I made no connection to my state of mind when doing this and thought it was the only way to feel better; and worse still that it was okay dong it.
Minimalism completely changed my way of thinking. I was on what could only be described as a de-cluttering purging extravaganza. I switched my way of thinking to ‘I need to get rid of more stuff’ rather than what can I add that will bring me more happiness. I didn’t want to add more stuff and fail at living a minimalist lifestyle.
I have written before about the effect of Minimalism on my spending habits. View the first article here:
And also how I budget every month:
With that said I’m not perfect and I still feel little urges to spend money for no good reason. It’s usually when I view something online that takes my fancy or I think is aesthetically pleasing.
I’ve put some things in place to help with this and I thought I’d share them with you in case anyone else is still struggling to control their spending habits. I hope they can help you like they did me.
- I set a monthly budget every month and transfer 51% of my earnings into savings in a not so easy to access account. If I have the urge to buy something I don’t need it gives me a cooling off period whilst the money transfers and by the time I get it I always transfer it back. Granted this has only happened twice but I know this has really helped.
- I stopped following bloggers and Instagram accounts of people who regularly post those haul articles and videos. I have also come across bloggers who claim to be living a minimalist lifestyle but post regular haul videos and they confuse the hell out of me.
- I also don’t follow fashion bloggers anymore as clothes were always my biggest weakness.
- I stopped browsing online stores so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend.
- I unsubscribed to all emails from my favourite retailers and amazon.
- I cut up my credit card and deleted all online saved card details so it would be more difficult to make a purchase. Retailers make it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard-earned cash. Don’t get me started on Amazon’s ‘one-click’ purchasing grrrr. Don’t think just spend!
- I’ve found healthier things to do to cheer myself up or relieve boredom – write a blog post, take my camera out, read an interesting article, go for a walk, make myself a cup of tea and do some deep breathing exercises.
- If you can’t stay off online shopping websites create wish lists and give yourself 2 weeks to cool off before hitting buy…this really worked its magic for me in the beginning. 2 weeks later I’d realise I don’t even like what I saved in the first place saving me tonnes of money! It will help you work on that instant gratification.
So those are the things that helped me. I’d love to know if you have any other tips.
I remember feeling so out of control and awful about myself but reading that others go through the same and how they tackled it was the first step to changing my unhealthy habits.