We have all used retail therapy as an excuse to spend more money than we should.

It is okay to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner here and there, but when it becomes a habit, then there is a problem. Shopping can be addictive and stopping is easier said than done. Impulsive purchases are almost always things we think we need but never really use. If you have a closet full of clothes with tags on, this article is for you. Here are some tips to help you stop buying things that you don’t really need.

Create a budget

Many people list ‘better money management’ as one of their New Year’s resolutions, and some go a step further in creating a budget.

Making a budget is easy but sticking to it can be quite tricky. One of the reasons why your budget is not working is because it is not realistic.

Forget about everyone else’s spending habits and look at yours and your needs. For instance, if your work requires that you look put together and stylish, then you will spend more on clothes and apparel compared to other people. Creating a budget tailor-made (pun intended) for your needs will encourage you to stick to it. You could also ask for help from a professional if you can’t do it yourself. This article on Money Saving Expert may help.

Use cash

If you have a pattern of overspending every time you go to the shops, start carrying cash and leave your cards at home.

Having a fixed amount of money ensures that you can’t spend outside your budget.

When shopping using a credit card, it is hard to track the amount of money you are paying, and that is why you may find it more difficult to account for money when you get your credit card statements.

Make a weekly food plan

Planning what you need to for the week before you go food shopping ensures that you only buy what you need. When shopping for groceries, most of us buy more than we need and end up wasting a lot of food in the process. Experts also advise against grocery shopping when hungry. Shopping online can also help you spend less when it comes to groceries.

Prioritise your needs and wants

It is completely fine to spend your money on extravagances and things for yourself. However, you need to prioritise your wants.

You do not need to have fifty perfumes, but if trying out new scents brings you joy, find a sensible way of making your purchases. The next time you visit the perfume store, decide on one perfume that you really want to try and just buy that one. Another way to go about it is to buy sample sizes first before investing in a big expensive bottle.

Declutter and organise

If you decluttered your closet today, you would be surprised by how many clothes you own. Decluttering and organising your home gives you better visibility of what you have. It helps to be aware of what you already own and therefore, you will not need to buy the same items over and over again.

Get grounded in numbers

If you shop a lot when you are having a bad or even a good day, try and get grounded in the numbers and not the emotions. A jacket worth £100 will not make you feel any better.

As a matter of fact, you will end up regretting making that purchase once you are in a better mood. The next time you have a horrible day and are tempted to go shopping, remember all the things you regret buying.

Stop buying into trends

In fashion especially, trends come and go. Buying something just because it is trendy will have you collecting junk you will never use.

Before making a purchase, think long and hard about whether or not that item fits into your style. What is the possibility of using it, and how often will you use it? Do not buy things that you are only going to wear once and forget about them.

Shop with a purpose

Sales and discounts might look like an excellent way to save money but that is not always the case.

Buying ten pairs of the same shoe in different colours is not a steal; it is just an extra pair of shoes you don’t need that create clutter and limit your options. You don’t need shoes in every colour, so buy the basics.

To be honest, you will undoubtedly end up making room for them at the back of your closet and never wear them. I recommend that you save and buy quality items that will last a long time, instead of buying many cheap things that wear out quickly.

Bad habits are hard to break, and shopping can become addictive. I hope that the tips and tricks mentioned above help you become a more intentional shopper.

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