How to Stop Buying All The Things

So today’s post is something that has been heavy on my heart for several weeks now, but I’ve been avoiding writing it because in doing so I have to call myself out.

WE ARE A GENERATION OF OVER SPENDERS. 

When is the last time that you bought something for absolutely no reason other than the fact that you wanted it?

The cute yard sign at Hobby Lobby. The throw pillow at Target. (Okay, okay… the anything at Target). The shirt at the mall. The Rae Dunn mug at Marshall’s (guilty. as. charged). The  “oh my god, those would BE SO CUTE FOR FALL” serving platters, even though the only thing you’re serving up goes on a high chair tray.

We do it all the time. We buy things that we absolutely DO NOT NEED just because we WANT them. Or just because they’re on sale. Do you need the same sweater in ten different colors? No, no you don’t. Do you need another coffee mug? Not unless you’re planning on serving 63 people coffee in your home at the same time!

Now, this post is not about money. I’m not going to offer tips on how to reduce your debt, or improve your credit score. There are plenty of blogs out there that have a ton of great information on that topic, if that’s what you’re looking for. My point is not about the money, it’s about the constant desire to acquire THINGS.

What drives you to buy the things you do? What makes you browse the clothing section at Target even though you’re there for dish soap? What makes you drive to the mall when you’re bored on a Saturday and have nothing else to do? What makes you buy something “because it’s 25% off!” even though you had NO INTENTION OF BUYING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts.

You are encouraged to make purchases everywhere you go. You are encouraged to take advantages of sales (let’s be honest: overpriced goods that are then “discounted”). The marketing behind it is pretty smart, don’t get me wrong. Why WOULDN’T you take advantage of ‘buy one, get one free!’ sale or ‘75% off, today only!’

Because…

You. Don’t. Need. It.

Even knowing that I was going to write this topic, I still stumbled into Marshall’s yesterday and purchased a travel coffee mug, Halloween PJ’s for my son and napkins. Not like regular napkins. Decorative (still disposable) napkins. WHY? Because the world is designed to make you want to buy things everywhere you go. We are told that we need to buy specific kinds of clothing, have perfectly decorated homes, look a certain way, drive a certain kind of car, the list goes on. In order to keep up, or fill a void, we buy and buy and buy.

The only outcome to buying a bunch of stuff is having a bunch of stuff. Unless you change your mindset, you will continue to buy all the things.

Ask yourself these questions before making any purchases:

  1. Do I NEED this? 9 times out of 10, the answer is going to be no.
  2. Can I afford it? This one (I hope!) is obvious. If you’re about to swipe that credit card, or spend money that should be going towards your bills… girl, put. it. back.
  3. Do I already have something like this? I try to use this one all the time and it’s super helpful in preventing impulse purchases. If I already have an olive green cardigan, I don’t need to buy a different style of olive green cardigan. Simple as that!
  4. Can I wait to buy this item? Do you need whatever you’re thinking about buying right away? Probably not. If you still need it/want it in a week, then by all means, go back! More often than not, you’re going to completely forget about whatever it is because it was just going to be an impulse buy.

CHALLENGE: Make yourself take a “no-spend” time period. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming commitment- try even a week! For fun, keep a tally of the things you pick up and consider buying. How much money would you have spent if you were just spending like you normally do? How more stuff would you have acquired? How much of it would actually even be used?

Let us know it goes! We will be keeping track of our progress on our Instagram so be sure to check in with us!

 

-A. Sq.

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