Boy have I been there. I’m still not completely over impulse shopping, but I’m getting there.
8 Ways to Stop Impulse Shopping
I’m not the tidiest person. My stuff tends to be everywhere at all times (working on it), but especially my makeup since I take my pictures in a different room. That means I can’t find anything when I need them or when I’m in a hurry because my makeup is rarely in its designated space. For example, I won’t be able to find a powder when I’m doing my makeup. So when I go out to the mall and see a powder, I’ll buy it on impulse because I think, “oh I don’t really have one” or “I don’t know where mine is.” You realize just how much stuff you have when your things are organized and tidy. And, you clearly see that you don’t need more stuff. You’ll forget about some of your things when things aren’t tidy. That’s when something new and shiny will find it’s way into your shopping bag, and into your home. That is how the cycle continues.
Rotate your products
Every few weeks I like to set aside certain makeup products and clothing pieces that I want to wear or use more often. Rotating your products allows you to shop your stash. And, you’ll become reacquainted with things you once loved, but have since forgotten about as you made new purchases. This really helped me stop impulse purchasing because it keeps your collection fresh in your mind. Again, it feels like you’re “shopping.” But, you’re shopping through the things you already own that have slipped your mind instead of buying new things.
Make a wish list + organize your wants
Making a wish list is a great way to stop impulse shopping. Write down everything you really want so when you do want to purchase something, you’re organized, and have thought about it in advance. I’ve controlled my impulse shopping ever since I started making wish lists– like my latest beauty wish list. I plan out my purchases now so when I’m at the mall or online shopping– my biggest vice– I usually just pick up things I’ve wanted for a while instead of picking up random things on impulse. Plus, you get to check things off your wish list. The act of ticking things off is just so satisfying, amiright? It’s like, ‘hey, I’ve accomplished something!”
Self shame yourself
This idea came to me when I was literally blowing all of my money on makeup/beauty products on a whim. Your girl likes to treat herself, but spending hundreds upon hundreds (upon hundreds and hundreds) of dollars a month on makeup– especially when you already have so much– is not a good idea when you’re trying to save money LOL. So, I started writing down every single makeup/beauty/fashion purchase I made that month, and totaled it up. This shelf shaming technique really opened up my eyes to how much money I was just blowing away on material items that I would never use up because I already have so much.
Wait a while
Another trick is: before you make your way to the register (or to the checkout page online), tell yourself to wait at least 30 days before you buy it. This is a great way to see if it’s actually something you’ll use, and if it’s something you really want, or if it’s just your impulse shopping need kicking in. I’ve saved loads of money by doing this because many times I end up realizing it was just my need to impulse buy. I recently went through my Loves list on Sephora and saw firsthand how many things I’ve added to that list, but didn’t pick up, and my life isn’t worse off without those products. In fact, I’m glad I didn’t purchase a lot of those things because I know they would’ve just sat in my collection and gathered dust.
Buy it as a reward/ for a special occasion
I 100% believe in rewarding yourself. And, if you have the means then you should reward yourself once in a while. Set goals, and once you meet that goal tell yourself you’ll purchase something you’ve been wanting for ages. I personally don’t go HAM on my birthday and buy all the shiny things I see. Instead, I like to plan out what I truly have been wanting, and that’s when revisiting my wish list comes in extra handy. Instead of buying a ton of random things, I’ll stick to one or two luxe products I’ve had my eye on for a while.
Sales ALWAYS make me impulse shop because I’m like “hey.. I’m saving money!” But, think how much you would’ve saved if you hadn’t purchased anything. I’ve saved so much money ever since I unsubscribed from several company newsletters (and unfollowed their social media accounts) because I no longer hop on to their site and buy everything just because it’s on sale. Are you really going to use it or will it just sit around looking pretty? If you’re subscribed to a brand that you don’t really love, but only keep them around to see if they have a sale so you can save some money on products that just slightly pique your interest– unsubscribe. For me, LA Splash was this company. I love liquid lipsticks so whenever they went on sale it was very tempting to pick up some new shades. But, I don’t even use the few shades I do have from them so it’s not worth it. Instead, stay subscribed to the brands that you truly love and care about so you don’t miss out on the things you’ll actually use and love. For example, buy one or two Marc Jacobs liquid lipsticks instead of 5-10 LA Splash ones. Figure out which brands/retailers you use the most and keep them around. Unsubscribe from the rest.
Give back instead
The best way to stop impulse shopping is to think about others, and to give back. When I was visiting London a few years ago, I was standing at the Tom Ford beauty counter in Harrods and the atmosphere had me feeling SO spendy. I was about ready to cough up the money and pick up two TF lipsticks, but I stopped myself. I told myself I’d think about it, and come back before I left if I still couldn’t get those two lippies out of my head.
A few hours later I was on my way to meet friends for dinner. I came across a man (probably late 20s, so not much older than me) sitting outside the Underground, holding up a sign about how he was traveling, lost his money, and had no way of getting home. It was about 40 degrees outside, freezing cold, raining, and this guy was sitting outside with nothing to keep him warm. I don’t know why, but I instantly broke into tears (I do know why… I’m a softy on the inside) and went searching for a place to buy him a warm blanket or jacket. But, because I had no idea where I was, and because I’m pretty directionally challenged as it is, I wasn’t able to find a place to pick either of those things up. Instead, I settled on buying him a large hot chocolate and some warm food. The look in his eyes when I gave him a meal is honestly enough to bring me to tears (like right now). It really puts things in perspective.
I was about to spend $100 on two lipsticks when this guy didn’t even have enough money to buy himself a jacket or a blanket to face the cold. I know people are quick to judge the homeless and say that a lot of them are scammers or drug addicts. But, regardless of whether this guy was lying or not, it really made me very thankful on so many levels. I mean, I’m sitting here on my Macbook Pro with my iPhone next to me on one side, my iPad on the other side, and a big ass flat screen TV across from me. Talk about thankful. Seriously though, giving back is such a powerful way to stop impulse buying. Instead of spending money on frivolous items, spend it on someone in need. Even if you don’t want to give someone money, buy them a meal, buy them a gift card to somewhere they can buy personal products, put together a care package, anything. I’m in no way saying you can’t have nice things or that you should feel guilty for buying expensive things. Not at all. I’m saying that it’s always nice to give back, especially if you have the means.
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