Purchasing items that you don’t really need can be a difficult habit to break. Not only does it waste money, it contributes to clutter and chaos in your home.
If you find yourself constantly buying things that you don’t really need, here are eight ways to break the cycle and stop this habit.
1. Create a Budget and Stick to It
Creating a budget is one of the best ways to stop buying things you don’t need. Determine the amount of money you have available to spend monthly and allocate it to necessary expenses like rent, bills, and groceries.
A budget helps you see exactly where your money is going and gives you a better idea of what you can afford to spend on non-essentials. Check out our article on the golden rule of budgeting to make sure you are staying financially healthy.
2. Make a List Before Shopping
Before you head to the store or start shopping online, make a list of essential items you need to purchase. Stick to the list and avoid impulse purchases.
If you see something at the store you want to buy, add it to the list. Wait a few days and decide if it’s something you really need before making the purchase.
Having a plan is the first thing you need to do before shopping, Americans spend over $300 a month on impulse buys!
3. Shop with Cash
Studies have shown that people are more likely to make impulsive purchases when using credit or debit cards. To avoid this, try shopping with cash. You’ll be more mindful of your spending and less likely to overspending on unnecessary purchases.
Hot Tip: Overspending on things you don’t need can cost you thousands of dollars per year. Be sure use guidelines to only buy what you really need.
4. Consider the Cost Per Use
Before making a purchase, consider how often you’ll use the item and what the cost per use will be. For example, if you’re considering buying a $100 dress that you’ll wear once a month, the cost per use would be $100/12 = $8.33 per use. If you’re not willing to spend that much money each time you wear the dress, it’s probably not worth the purchase.
5. Use the “30-Day Rule”
If you see something that you think you might want to buy, don’t make a decision right away. Instead, use the “30-day rule” and wait 30 days before making a purchase. This will give you time to think about the item and determine if you really need it.
You’ll likely find that you don’t need the item if you go 30 days without it, and this is a good tip to practice regularly.
6. Declutter Regularly
Take time to declutter your home on a regular basis. Go through your possessions and get rid of anything you no longer use or need. Not only does this help you to get rid of clutter, but you’ll also be less likely to make unnecessary purchases in the future.
7. Practice Gratitude
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try practicing gratitude for all the things you do have. This helps you shift your focus from material possessions, making it less likely you’ll feel the need to constantly buy new things.
8. Find Alternative Ways to Satisfy your Desires
If you find yourself constantly wanting to make purchases, try finding alternative ways to satisfy those impulses. For example, if you’re drawn to buying clothes, try creating a new outfit by mixing and matching items that you already own. If you’re drawn to gadgets, try borrowing or renting them instead of purchasing them outright.
By following these eight tips, you can break the habit of buying things that you don’t need and start making more mindful, cost-effective purchasing decisions. Not only will this help you to save money, but it will also help you to live a simpler, more clutter-free life.