For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a shopper and always found so much joy and fun in shopping and buying new things. As I entered the world of adulting after graduating college and moving out into our own apartment with Josh, I’ve learned just how important it is to save money and really work on my personal shopping habits and impulse buys. So today I wanted to share some of the things that have helped my shopping addiction and learning how to better save my money and not spending all of it on new clothes or makeup, etc. and some tips that may help you too if you’re like me and want to learn how to get a bit better about your personal finances. Let’s get started!
I have to say, having a goal of not spending as much money on new clothing or makeup is a bit challenging as it is a big part of my job as a blogger and for someone who has expensive taste, but it’s 100% the right thing to do and implementing some new strategies this year has already helped a ton in working on staying within my budget each month.
I was fully prepared to get better about this at the start of last year when I moved out, but then 2020 happened and retail therapy was my go-to and having an online order on the way always made me happy with all the madness that was happening in the world. By the end of 2020, I hadn’t saved as much money as I had hoped to and really wanted that to change in 2021. As soon as the new year started, I was ready to fully commit to this new years resolution.
What Has Helped My Shopping Habits Tip #1: The 72 Hour Rule
I wanted to start this off by sharing the one tip that has probably helped me out the most with my spending, the 72 hour rule. If I didn’t follow this rule, I’d be buying just about everything I see and like while online shopping, which can obviously add up very quickly.
Now when online shopping, if I see something I like and want to buy, I wait 72 hours before buying. If I can’t stop thinking about it after 72 hours and is within budget, it’s an add to cart for me! And just through implementing this strategy, I’ve already found that after 72 hours, sometimes I’m not even interested anymore in what I was looking at! Also is probably the key to working on impulse buys. I highly recommend trying out this strategy the next time you’re on an online shopping spree.
What Has Helped My Shopping Habits Tip #2: Keeping Track of My Spending Habits & Expenses + Setting a Monthly Spending Limit on Shopping/Fun Things
Taking into consideration my salary + side income from my full-time job and blogging, I have set a realistic monthly budget for shopping and fun things outside of bills, rent, and other expenses and this has helped so much in how much money I spend per month on my own personal things. Before moving out, I did not budget myself and ended up spending so much money on shopping and eating out.
Some apps and programs that I use to help with keeping track of my purchases and making sure I’m staying within budget each month are the Mint app on my iPhone, and also managing two excel sheets on my computer. One excel sheet for my monthly budget and inputting each purchase I make (which don’t get me wrong, can be very tedious, but is very necessary), and another excel sheet for blogging related expenses/earnings.
What Has Helped My Shopping Habits Tip #3: Keeping Up With the Trends – Do I Really Need That?
When I first started blogging in 2016/2017, I bought into trends so easily since blogging was so new to me and I later discovered how much of a waste of money it was for me. It felt so useless to me to buy clothing I was only going to wear once for my blog and then never wear again. I was donating and listing my clothes on my Poshmark so often it was just such a waste. Not to mention, also felt pretty inauthentic for me.
Now of course, I still like to stay pretty in-trend, however, I am so much better at not buying things I know I’ll only wear once and never touch again. My focus is timeless, wardrobe pieces and staples that I know I’ll wear time and time again, while also staying in-trend.
As I’ve shifted my focus, there are so many accounts on social media that I’ve ended up unfollowing because keeping up with every single trend out there is just not for me and not totally my style. I always ask myself when shopping, “Do I really need that?” and most of the time, it’s a no. I feel like I’m one of the few people who can go into Target and not come out with a cart full of things I wasn’t looking for, I’m very intentional about sticking to my list and only buying things I need (again, 72 hour rule).
What Has Helped My Shopping Habits Tip #4: Unsubscribe from Retailer Email Marketing Lists
I must say, retailers are too good at their email marketing techniques, and that’s definitely how they get you. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been really intentional about unsubscribing from these mailing lists as they come to my inbox and this has also helped so much in not getting sucked in to spending my money on things I don’t need.
It can be super overwhelming to dig back through your email inbox to find retailer emails to unsubscribe from, so I’ll typically just unsubscribe when I get a new email from a retailer so I’m sure to not get anymore unwanted emails. I of course still keep a few that I buy from regularly!
What Has Helped My Shopping Habits Tip #5: Skip Eating Out and Cook More Meals at Home
When quarantine lockdown officially started last year, Josh and I immediately got so much better about saving our money from not eating out as much. While it’s definitely important to help out restaurants and other small shops that need our help right now, it has also taught us that we can cook more of our own meals at home and don’t need to be spending too much money on eating out.
My financial goal for this year, and moving forward in my adult years is to focus and invest on what’s important. Taking into consideration that I am 24 years old, almost 25, and my current five-year plan, none of it can happen if I don’t get more serious about saving my money.
This year in particular, my goal is to actually buy a new car with my own money, something I’ve never done, and I am determined to make it happen by the end of the year. While this has already prevented me from posting as much content as I used to about my purchases as I’ve already been cutting back, it is what it is and a huge wake up call into the world of adulting.
Thanks for reading and I hope this post is helpful for you if you’re a shopper and looking to get a bit better about your finances and spending habits!