So, I have kind of a problem with impulse control. If I see a cute (insert item of clothing here), and it’s not that expensive, I’ll usually buy it without much thought to whether it fits into my budget (lol, what’s a budget), or whether it fits into my wardrobe (but it’s cute! Who cares if I never wear it?) It’s something that I’m trying to work on.
This past month I tried to go shopping-free, as in, I tried not to buy anything, except for food and toiletries (not even makeup!). My selective memory tells me I was pretty successful (my bank statement may say otherwise), but even if I slipped up a few times, I still learned some things.
If you’re like me and you have a problem with not buying things, don’t worry. There are solutions out there. By making a few easy changes (seriously, they’re not hard), you can have a little more money in your wallet and a little more room in your closet. That rhyme was unintentional but will definitely be making an appearance in my new mixtape, out this June.
1. Identify your problem areas
This is your first step. You’ve got to know where your weaknesses are. For me, it’s clothing and concerts. Right now, I’m especially into hats. Because I can wear them to concerts. Knowing that these are my spots where my self-control is low will help me pay extra special attention next time a beanie or live show pops up on my radar.
2. Clean out your closet
Cleaning out your closet (or makeup drawer, or shoe organizer, whatever) is the only way to come face-to-face with the fact that you’re living in excess. “Heyyy, I remember this neon leotard I just had to have for festival season last year!” you’ll say. “Too bad I only went to one festival.” You can’t deny what’s right in front of you.
3. Unsubscribe from emails.
I know it’s hard–nay, impossible–to resist opening that email whose subject line reads, “SALE! SALE! EVERYTHING IS AT LEAST 50% OFF! ONE-TIME ONLY!!!!!!!!!”, and then you end up going on the site and buying a bunch of shit you don’t need because “It was 50% off, I couldn’t NOT buy it,” right? So unsubscribe to all those emails to eliminate the temptation altogether. Not to mention, when was the last time you actually bought something from Hot Topic? Do you really want those emails cluttering up your inbox?
4. Don’t try to test your will power.
So for instance, I kind of have a thing with makeup. Specifically, lipstick. And I’m trashy, so most of the time I’ll just buy Revlon or L’Oreal or some other drug store brand. Now, here’s where the whole “not testing my will power” thing comes in. If I go to, say, refill a prescription, I’ll browse the makeup aisle. “Just to kill time while I wait,” I tell myself, “Not to actually buy anything.” You know what happens? I end up getting an $8 lipstick that I end up not even liking but I can’t even return it because that would be gross. Bottom line: don’t try to test your self-control, because if you’re reading this, you probably don’t have any.
5. Give yourself a cooling off period.
Eventually, when you’re trying not to buy stuff, you’ll come across something that you really, truly, honestly, think you need to have. And you might use those new glasses, but before you buy, give yourself a 24-hour period. Go do other stuff, and try not to think about the desired item(s). If you still want it–excuse me, I mean, need it–just as badly the next day, go ahead and #treatyoself.
When you’re pacing back and forth from the checkout counter, or hovering your mouse over the “BUY” button, stop. Take a deep breath. Now try to picture yourself using whatever you’re contemplating purchasing. How specific is this scenario? How likely is it to actually happen? How many months or years from now do you think you’ll still use it? These are all factors to consider. Don’t buy a fancy dress if you never go to any fancy gatherings, no matter how good it looks on you (sorry!). Yeah, that crew neck with WORST emblazoned across the front looks admittedly pretty dope, but in a year from now when no one is listening to “Worst Behavior” anymore, are you still going to wear it?