Author Topic: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?  (Read 16130 times)

One Day At A Time

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How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« on: October 30, 2012, 09:14:35 PM »
If retail therapy was your therapy in the past - how do you fight that urge now? I find I have great months and then suddenly find myself spending easily justified $ at Amazon/REI/Etc. Never going into debt of course but that's less $ for much needed savings.

keith

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 09:47:25 PM »
When it comes to buying "stuff" - or non-essentials... I have one plan that has worked well for me over the last year. I think I got this from the ERE book but can't remember for sure.

Any time I have the urge to buy a non-essential, I write down the item on a list along with the date that I felt I "needed" that item. Don't buy the item yet, be patient.

Revisit the list everytime you get the urge to buy another item. As weeks and months go by, revisit the list occasionally and cross off items you feel you no longer need or have found a "workaround" for.

This year I added dozens of items to my list. As of now, only 4 of them remain that have been there for 6+ months or longer. The rest I simply lost interest or decided I could go without them because I found substitutes.

I can feel comfortable saving up and purchasing these items and not feeling like they were impulse buys. They have been on my want list for 6+ months, and so in December I will be treating myself and grabbing them. No guilt will be had from it, as I am confident they are no longer impulse buys, but things I would actually want.

You don't have to wait 6 months... but maybe think about a significant amount of time that makes the purchase no longer an impulse buy. Then of course buy smart - used, craigslist, etc, or watch for deals on new items because you learn to be patient.


kkbmustang

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:57:05 PM »
I pin things to a board on pinterest I call "Stuff I'd Like." Every so often, I'll cull through the stuff on there and delete what I no longer want. The items that remain I plan on putting on my Christmas wish list for parents and family members who want to buy STUFF.

bogart

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 07:08:24 AM »
I do something similar to kkbmustang except I just have 2 Amazon wishlists, one that I keep private (because I don't really want anyone to get me what's on it -- yet) and one that is public.  The private one I do use to record things like "books I want to remember to check out of the library," also, but if anything sits on there a long time, I might move it to the other list.

Debbie M

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 08:36:18 AM »
When I'm thinking of going to the store, it's usually because I'm bored.  I try to remind myself my real values and figure out something else to do that will keep me interested or get me out of the house or otherwise help me deal with whatever my problem is.  You'll want to think ahead of time of what some good substitute activities might be.

A friend of mine used to shop way too much at Target.  Now she still goes there, and she still goes through the whole store putting lots of things in her cart.  Then she goes through the whole store again, taking all but one item back out of her cart and puts it back and buys only that one item.  It's fun telling herself she can have any (one) thing she wants, and fantasizing about each of the things, and choosing her one favorite.  She says she gets all the fun she used to get, and it's a lot cheaper.

Another friend has set up his computer to require himself to do multiplication problems on the computer in certain situations.  I don't know exactly what it is, but I think he can't get on to Amazon after 10 pm without doing three multiplication problems (properly) within a specified time--and this is a reminder to him to double-think what he's doing.  Also, if he's really drunk, he won't be able to do the math in time.

frugalcalan

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 09:12:29 AM »
I was never into "retail therapy" so my advice may be useless.  But hopefully this advice will help keep you from feeling "the urge."

These days I find myself buying less simply because I'm more removed from marketing.  We all think we are "too smart" to be tricked by advertisements.  We aren't.  There's been studies that show people get exposed to however many thousands of ads a day... this doesn't really apply to me right now.

1. I generally don't watch TV.  When I do, it's often Netflix (commercial free)
2. I listen to the radio often, but it's almost always NPR (... and now I'm giving them $15 a month.  See?  Advertising is effective!)
3. I only read magazines when I'm in a waiting room, and that's very infrequent
4. I generally don't look at paper advertisements that come in the mail
5. I generally don't read marketing emails
6. I generally don't go out to "browse" or "window shop"

So most of the adverts I see are from my bike, and they are on billboards, and bus shelters.  And half the time they are for booze (I rarely drink) and television/movies.  Just like being on a diet is easier when your pantry isn't full of cookies, avoiding over spending is easier when you aren't exposed to pro-retail messages, and opportunities to be parted from your well-earned money.

Also, when you do go shopping, and you know you don't need anything prohibitively bulky, take your bike!  Estimate the volume of what you need, and make sure you have enough room for that (so, if you need toothpaste and shampoo, don't bring a front basket, rear basket, and two panniers) but not too much more.  You can't buy unnecessary things if you can't get them home.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 10:36:47 AM by frugalcalan »

savingtofreedom

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 10:06:15 AM »
I am a recovering shopaholic.  I never ever went into debt or near debt as I have also bought things at a high discount but I have accumulated too much stuff.  I still love clothing and shopping but know I really try not to buy anything.  Putting my finances into mint.com is great as it is a sobering reality to see what you have spent on things you don't need.  Also by creating a budget and limiting the money that you could spend at a store for a want forces you to reconsider every purchase.

I still read fashion blogs as I appreciate fashion but I am lucky enough to have a large enough wardrobe that I have almost every trend already in my wallet. 

If you have a significant other, you can get them on board to help you as well.

While I am not saying I will never shop again I have really tried to cut it down.  It also helps if you replace that behavior with something else more productive.  I am relearning SQL and taking coursera courses to keep me busy.  Understanding why you shop is helpful - are you bored, sad, stressed - figuring out other ways to deal with those emotions can help you in the future and any slip-ups you may encounter.

Good luck - I know this is difficult.


One Day At A Time

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 10:26:43 AM »
It IS hard - I've used shopping as my stress reliever for years (eek decades) now. A trip up to Union Square after a bad day at work always made me feel better. Now I'm a SAHM with a toddler and that's even MORE stressful than working for an investment bank. I no longer shop for clothes and shoes at Neiman Marcus but I do find myself browsing Amazon, REI or online stores like Nordstroms when I feel the need to 'escape' or the day has been particularly difficult.
I *really* like the idea of writing down a list. My Amazon wish list didn't work because I'd get frustrated and just buy what was on the list :/. And I can always justify a book or a toy for my kiddo. I will try all your suggestions - thanks!
I also like the avoiding marketing idea - I don't really watch anything except for sports and old (no commercials) movies but I read some fashion blogs that always make me feel like I need something...time to delete those blogs.
Thank you for all the suggestions!

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 11:10:45 AM »
There are great suggestions here and I wanted to say good luck - it does get easier though :)
The list idea didn't work for me because I instinctively wanted to tick everything off it! That damned list kept nagging me from the back of my mind and drove me crazy.
I used to browse the mall as a way to relax and treat myself but I just never had time this year. Lo and behold! The less I went, the less I wanted to go. Some people say it helps to find a new habit of what to do instead of shopping. "Exercise!" is the traditional suggestion but come on, really now? That's not exactly a super-fun thing.

One trick I do is, if I "need" look at some summer dresses or winter boots or the new silhouette in pants and I find myself compelled to drive to the mall, I will say "Ok self, let's just quickly pop by the grocery store because you're running low on milk and eggs." Then at the grocery store I'll take my time browsing the milk and eggs, price-comparing cheese, tut-tutting at the expensive apples, admiring the tomatoes and peas. By the time I come out of the grocery store I will probably have bought apples and cheese in addition to milk and eggs BUT I'm all shopped out, most likely on a buzz, and I find myself thinking that the clothing stores can wait.

One Day At A Time

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 11:14:44 AM »
I don't like the malls any more (something about a 2.5 year old with me at the mall makes them very unappealing) but the online stores get me. Free Shipping! Free Returns! Sale! Buy Now (or it won't still be available)! It's very hard for me to just walk away when I need to destress.

And in reality, my kiddo does not need any more toys and I don't need any more clothes...

And exercise definitely doesn't decrease the urge :p and I can't read a book or do something else since I've got a peanut who wants attention which is partially what leads to the stress.

These are all great suggestions - I will try them to see what works.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 11:40:04 AM »
Fight the urger to shop: stay out of stores. Seriously, "going to the mall" for fun is a terrible idea if you are trying to save.

Fight the urge to spend: generally we want to buy stuff because we think it will (1) give us a certain feeling or (2) will solve a problem in our lives. The vast majority of purchases are made for one of these two reasons and advertisers know this and exploit our brains to take advantage of it.

One way to avoid the trap of buying stuff you may not actually need is to really, really get to the heart of why you want it. I wrote a whole post about this as part of No Spend October, including a chart people can use to identify why they actually want that thing they desire.

You can read my full thoughts on this topic here and get the chart, if you are interested: http://www.nwedible.com/2012/10/mini-money-challenge-occupy-your-brainwhat-you-want-isnt-really-what-you-want.html

travelbug

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 05:23:30 PM »
Some great ideas here.
For me, it was an actual shift in my thought process. Being closer to FI will create almost a secret society in your mind where you almost float above the marketing.
I appreciate handbags and shoes. Alot. But now I can actually afford to shop at Hermes (we are FI now and retiring in 2013 to travel full-time) I choose not to.
I go in, have a look occasionally, and then leave knowing that I could buy anything in the store if I so chose.
It's like a freedom where it is more thrilling to choose not to succumb rather than by purchasing something and having a short rush from it, but then there will always be the search for the next rush and then the one after that too.



galaxie

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 07:01:48 PM »
I have a budget for personal non-mandatory spending (clothes and haircuts, mostly).  And I, like a couple of others on this thread, have a list of things I want.  The list didn't help me until I linked the list and the budget together and planned out WHEN I would buy things that I want.  That really makes you prioritize.  For instance, I'm getting the clipless bike pedals (next month) before I start looking for a navy blazer (January, maybe).

This way, I don't blow my budget by getting things that were on the list that I decided I wanted.  And having to plan out a schedule of when to get these things really helps drive home which are important/useful things and which are frivolous.

Sparky

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 04:39:18 PM »
A former online shopping addict here.

I've found searching around for the best price is the best method for me to resist buying anything.... I search around the internet like crazy looking for the cheapest price possible, and it gives me a pile of time to think if the item is really worth my money. Generally, I don't end up with the item.

WageSlave

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 01:17:11 PM »
I've adopted three strategies that have me buying a lot less non-essential stuff.  First is basically what Keith described in the first reply: a waiting list.  My original plan was to write down any item I wanted and force myself to wait at least 30 days before buying it.  Now, just the thought having to open the spreadsheet and write it down is often enough to make me snap out of the consumerist mindset.  And when I do get out the spreadsheet, I see things I added months ago and forgot about completely.

My second tactic involves re-discovering something I already own.  For me, it's about "toys": computer and stereo components.  Now when I read a review about some piece of gear and think "I must have this", I then go back and read a review on something I already own.  And it gets me excited all over again for something I already have.  Or I'm reminded of some new feature I never played with.  Or, on at least one occasion, I researched DIY means to get what I wanted.

A final tactic is the "one in one out" method.  In order to buy a new toy, I force myself to sell (at least) one old toy to cover the cost.  This tactic gets exhausted fairly quickly if you are buying new things, since there's a premium to be paid for buying things brand new (that you lose when you sell).  If you're dealing strictly in used goods, it might be viable, especially if you can do it using Craigslist (i.e. avoiding commissions and shipping).

The funny thing is, after doing all of the above for the better part of a year, I find myself simply wanting less stuff overall.  Now I read a review on some new gadget, and enjoy the read, but very rarely feel like I should buy it.  I think not buying things is just as habit forming as buying things.  The above tactics are really just psychological tricks to slow you down when you want to pull out the credit card.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 01:43:11 PM »
I simply picture the amount of food I could purchase with whatever I am considering buying.

Melissa

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 02:53:23 PM »
I usually think about how much closer my husband could be to 'retiring' if I don't buy and item.  And now that he is on board too, it's much easier.  Our old desktop is running slowly and instead of buying a new one my husband and son ar researching what they need to do to bring it up to speed.

My weekness has been scrapbooking supplies.  I no longer let myself buy anything unless I have run out.  I have discovered that I have pretty of supplies to keep me busy for ages and the only thing I need to purchase is more adhesive.

happy

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 03:39:13 PM »
Lucky for me I've always hated the process of shopping, but had a tendency to intermittently go on a binge shop, where once I was there I would resign myself to the process and buy a heap of stuff I "needed" wanted.  Fortunately I was slow to catch onto online shopping since  I found  not having to trawl around shops appealing and this could have been my undoing.

My biggest down fall is that as an INT/FJ I am a lover of fine things and fine experiences: I have expensive taste! Every now and then I would flip into a mode of  spontaneously going for it, throw caution to the winds, and surround myself with fine things/experiences. For those with an interest in MyerBriggs, this is" Se" the INT/FJ inferior function within this personality type. Sometimes it can help lighten up a pretty serious personality type, but it can also cause trouble. 

Sometimes after a phase of abandoning myself to the moment I've come to my senses and thought "what was I thinking?". An Se phase  of spending on a fine house and fine things to put in it, has led me to be once again burdened with a mortgage , even though I had already slogged through years of a previous mortgage to be debt free and by and large already had substantial frugal skills. The "fine house phase" puzzled me: it was fun and deeply satisfying, and I lost my usual caution/logic when it came to spending. Coincidentally some study I was doing brought MBTI  back to my attention again and this assisted me to try to figure out what was going on.

I've been aware of this "tension" within myself for years but only recently come to understand it. Its led me to stay in a high paying job that doesn't really suit me for years.  So my answer to OPs question is that I try to stay aware of my Se and manage it carefully. I now may choose to indulge it from time to time, but I don't let it take over subconsciously with out being aware of what I'm doing.

I realise this might be a far too esoteric and introspective response to your post... I only mention it since there are a lot of INTJs here and maybe someone will find this useful..

smalllife

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2012, 03:52:28 PM »
I realise this might be a far too esoteric and introspective response to your post... I only mention it since there are a lot of INTJs here and maybe someone will find this useful..

I found it useful, although your "Se" sounds a lot like the psychological principle whereupon a human being can only resist so much temptation/ads/desires before giving in.  The more deprivation, the more spending that will occur during a binge.  It is a useful thing to keep in mind when trying to tame or change spending habits.  It is the same principle behind why you should not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.


kisserofsinners

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »
For my online "retail therapy" i create the shopping cart with all the stuff i want. It's especially easy with amazon, as i make wishlists for various topics ( like prepper gear, sound gear, camping equipment, or candy-just straight up garbage i know i don't really want.). It just feels good to look at it. If i'm concerned about my self control, i make sure i do it far from my wallet. ;o)

happy

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 05:22:25 PM »
@smalllife. I think it could be partly explained by the famine/binge construct, but I think it is subtly different. I guess thats the trouble with all these psychological constructs/views, there's often overlap or different ways of looking at the same thing. It might also be partly akin to ones "inner child", another popular idea.

Lots of people are S (sensate) dominant ie concerned with short term spontaneous concrete satisfaction of the senses.....that's why they don't get MMM. But its their dominant preference and they are good at it and practice it a lot. For IN-Js its the least preferred way of operating, often deeply hidden in the psyche and if used, IN-J's don't have much skill with it and can go overboard.

You made me think Smallife..is it always associated with deprivation?... initially I said no, since I could think of times where I've flipped into it without any apparent "deprivation".  eg the weekend I decided spontaneously we would jump into animal rescue and rescue some guinea pigs . There was no deprivation involved....the opportunity came up and on the spot  I decided it would be fun, a novel experience completely different to our usual weekend, and the activity felt slightly risky and dangerous, since we had to perform the rescue. If i'm honest it was not about the noble act of rescuing, but about a fun novel spur of the moment experience.

So no prior "deprivation" except that the INTJ personality tends to over think, plan, and generally be cautious and maybe the spontaneous, for the moment experience represents the binge or "break out".   In this instance I don't regret doing the rescue, but I look back on it with slight amusement, recognising its not my thing, and wondering "what was I thinking?"..


Ozstache

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 03:46:38 AM »
You just have to grow a hate for consumerism and then refuse to participate. Think of all the crap you've bought for yourself over the years that you haven't remotely needed. Think of those marketers trying to entice you to buy even more crap you don't need. Finally, think of all the better things you could be doing than trawling through shops fighting off dormant urges. Seriously, just don't go shopping without a specific purpose and even then make sure you stick to that specific purpose.

smalllife

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 05:41:50 AM »
Oooh, on that vein, watch "The Story of Stuff" if you have any environmental inclinations.  And then do your best to turn every wanted item into the sum of its parts, imagining the destruction caused by its manufacturing.

capital

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 11:19:12 AM »
Go to the thrift store if you want shopping for entertainment. You usually don't find very much that's something you want and often leave empty-handed, but when you do find something, it's all the sweeter on account of the thrill of the hunt, and your bill is usually under $20. You can find weird, unique, and vintage items, which is fun too.

catalana

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2012, 03:26:51 PM »
Start buying and selling items second hand.  It will give you an insight to the true value of things, and make regular retail prices look insane.  It is also more difficult to get what you want/need and thus slows the whole process down.


Russ

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2012, 05:08:22 PM »
This is a little different from retail therapy I suppose, but when I'm hungry at work I'm pretty easily tricked by the vending machine into thinking that spending a dollar on a package of peanut butter cheese cracker sandwiches is a good idea. Solution: I no longer bring cash or cards to work, just my driver's license and employee ID. It's a lot easier to make the decision not to buy anything in the morning by not bringing my wallet than it is to make the decision at work by fighting cravings all day. If one really likes walking around at the mall, or finds inspiration by going to the fabric store, or likes playing with shiny new computers at Micro Center, leaving the dollars at home could make it a lot easier to do those things without the temptation of spending money on unnecessary stuff.

mm1970

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2012, 10:41:28 AM »
I was never into "retail therapy" so my advice may be useless.  But hopefully this advice will help keep you from feeling "the urge."

These days I find myself buying less simply because I'm more removed from marketing.  We all think we are "too smart" to be tricked by advertisements.  We aren't.  There's been studies that show people get exposed to however many thousands of ads a day... this doesn't really apply to me right now.

1. I generally don't watch TV.  When I do, it's often Netflix (commercial free)
2. I listen to the radio often, but it's almost always NPR (... and now I'm giving them $15 a month.  See?  Advertising is effective!)
3. I only read magazines when I'm in a waiting room, and that's very infrequent
4. I generally don't look at paper advertisements that come in the mail
5. I generally don't read marketing emails
6. I generally don't go out to "browse" or "window shop"

So most of the adverts I see are from my bike, and they are on billboards, and bus shelters.  And half the time they are for booze (I rarely drink) and television/movies.  Just like being on a diet is easier when your pantry isn't full of cookies, avoiding over spending is easier when you aren't exposed to pro-retail messages, and opportunities to be parted from your well-earned money.

Also, when you do go shopping, and you know you don't need anything prohibitively bulky, take your bike!  Estimate the volume of what you need, and make sure you have enough room for that (so, if you need toothpaste and shampoo, don't bring a front basket, rear basket, and two panniers) but not too much more.  You can't buy unnecessary things if you can't get them home.
This is a great list.  And I have two kids, so that makes it easier.  I hate shopping with them.  So I just spend most of my time with them - easy!

Except for Amazon.  That's a tough one.  I try to stick to things I really need.

I also really hate shopping.  We're getting to the point where I will probably have to shop for baby clothing (he's growing out of the hand me downs) and a skirt for my company holiday party.  I just need to squeeze out an hour of a weekend to hit the thrift store.  (I don't want to spend a lot of money on a skirt that I will wear once, as I hope to be back to pre-pregnancy size by next year).  Dang it, last year I donated my black skirt that I'd gotten after my first pregnancy.  It would have been perfect for this year.  Hmm...maybe it's still at the thrift store I donated it to.

PJ

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2012, 11:27:56 AM »
This is a little different from retail therapy I suppose, but when I'm hungry at work I'm pretty easily tricked by the vending machine into thinking that spending a dollar on a package of peanut butter cheese cracker sandwiches is a good idea. Solution: I no longer bring cash or cards to work, just my driver's license and employee ID. It's a lot easier to make the decision not to buy anything in the morning by not bringing my wallet than it is to make the decision at work by fighting cravings all day. If one really likes walking around at the mall, or finds inspiration by going to the fabric store, or likes playing with shiny new computers at Micro Center, leaving the dollars at home could make it a lot easier to do those things without the temptation of spending money on unnecessary stuff.

Another idea (in addition) is to try to keep foods at work (or bring them for lunch) that are similar to the things you tend to crave while there.  I do best nutrition-wise when I plan my snacks to complement my meals.  Figure out what it is that you're craving: the salty, or the crunchy, or the carbs, or the protein.  Take a small container of nuts/trail mix, or toasted pita with hummous, or cheese and crackers - even peanut butter with crackers!  Craving satisfied, money kept in pocket, health benefits - triple win!

annabel

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2012, 07:12:04 PM »
I used to self-soothe by shopping, big-time. I totally empathize. A few things happened that made me just get sick of it (list below). Now when I want something I park it on a list in my home office; I quit visiting the mall and I unsubscribed from email sales advertisements. Catalogs go straight to recycling. Thanks to Netflix I now watch very little live TV which is great for avoiding ads and election spots :)

1. Clutter... I developed a taste for a minimalist, 'modern' aesthetic in my home. Higher-quality, lesser amount. I have a nice pile of items that I am working on eBay listings for. I no longer collect anything.

2. Too much in my closet... I tend to wear the same outfits (the ones that make me look good, lol) I have enough nice-looking outfits to rotate at work, I don't need to add to the pile. Instead I focus on caring for the stuff I have so it doesn't wear out too quickly.

3. Kids... the more I spoiled them the more they expected it and the less they appreciated it. Not good :( I want to relate to them on a non-material level.

4. Investments... I developed a taste for investment-shopping instead of stuff-shopping. Self-education on ETF's, Mutual Funds, individual stocks, market trends... not in a 'trying-to-beat-the-market' way though. Choosing and buying into an investment is a rush :)

5. The Shame Factor... I am currently working with a financial counselor and for the next 6 months we are tracking every little expense and how it influences my net worth. It makes me think twice about how it would look if I bought a bunch of stupid crap while I am trying to get my finances in order.

My 2 cents ;)

annabel








Invictus

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 07:52:56 PM »
Since a large part of the "shopping urge" is due to advertising, one should avoid as much as it as possible. However, if you can;t avoid it, you can try to use it to your advantage.

One method I've found valuable is "closet shopping." Want a new (insert thingy)? Just look at the (insert thingy(s)) you already own. Then google them.

 Look at the advertisements for (insert Thingy). Look how much all those shiny happy people love their (insert thingy)! Look at how cool that (insert thingy) looks in that picture, with the mountains and sunset in the background! This reviewer here is pretty adamant about that fact that, should anyone go without an (insert thingy), they will succumb to a fate worse than death! Here's the (insert thingy) in another commercial with that famous (minstrel/stage-ham/cartoon) I like! GIMME GIMME GIMME!


 Likely, you've just twisted your "shiny-happy-gimme" response back on itself, and you are once again happy with whatever you already have. Now, smirk triumphantly and blow a raspberry at the brain-wash machine.


If you did all this, and you still truly want the new thingy, for whatever reason, go for it. Just take your time and look for a good deal.


 (Note: This is a big reason why I will spring for quality gear whenever I NEED/WANT to fill a niche. Good gear should last a lifetime, and you can always use it to reason yourself back away from the gimmes. Buying cheap junk will just convince you to buy more cheap junk to replace it, then more to "upgrade", ad nauseum.)

Anyway, that's what works for me.
 

InternalExternality

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Re: How do you fight the urge to spend/shop?
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2012, 09:30:41 AM »
I don't fight the urge to shop. What I do is remove the supply. Once I get my pay, I immediately pay my rent, and put what I need to pay my other bills (food, internet, electric and so forth) into a dedicated account, and throw the rest into my index fund.

I used to spend all of my income (like most people). At the end of the month, I'd have nothing in the bank. But I never got a credit card, so I never went into debt. And when I started thinking about early retirement, I looked at my records, and realised that I was spending money simply because it was available.

It's not the urge to shop that kills you. It's both the urge to shop and the easily available money.