I love shopping! So why to buy less? I could tell that shopping for new clothes and fashion in general is my hobby. I love to see what’s in this season and be aware of upcoming and present trends. But on the other hand, I am aware that fashion shopping has become no longer a necessity for us, but a way of spending our free time. I am not even mentioning the environmental, ecological, and ethical controversies around that (this is an idea for a future post).
Let’s be honest! Who needs a 15th pair of high-heels and 24th lipstick?! Shopping can boost your mood and image, and even increase your feeling of self-worth and self-love. In some cases we do not buy and then posses things that we actually need, instead we have less free time and often experience decrease of our self-assessment if we don’t add a new piece to our wardrobe or a beauty suitcase (this also applies to all kind of shopping like electronic, gadgets, kitchen equipment, books, computer games, etc.).
There are couple of myths that are associated with buying new things:
SHOPPING WILL BRING BALANCE TO YOUR LIFE: ‘This new coat will fulfill me and my life’
SHOPPING OFFERS IMPROVEMENT: ‘If I buy this dress, I will feel happier, more beautiful, younger…’ – I sometimes catch myself on thinking that too!
SHOPPING FREES YOU FROM FEELING BAD : It helps you avoid boredom ‘ I don’t have anything else to do, I’ll go shopping or ‘I didn’t have time for you recently, but look what I bought you…’
SHOPPING JUST IN CASE: ‘This is now on sale, I better buy it today as tomorrow might be sold out…’
What I do to buy less
As shopping, especially for clothes, is also one of the things that I really like to do, with the time I put together a list with couple of tips that help me buy less (and spend less ;)) and instead enjoy more time or save money for other things I like to do, like travelling! I am not perfect in following these, but am trying to stick more and more to them. So here we go:
Buy timeless pieces& know that trends come and go – when adding new items to my wardrobe, I try not to blindly follow the trends but rather buy classic pieces or clothes that I really, really like and can wear not just for one or two seasons but for much longer.
You don’t have to buy it now – avoid spontaneous shopping. When in store don’t buy things immediately. Take your time and check if you still want to buy it the next day or next week. This works great with online shopping, add it to your card and wait couple of day to see if this is something you really need and want to buy.
To return is OK!– most of the shops have a customer friendly return policy and I am not afraid to use it. If I come home and don’t think this is something I would wear often or it does not look as good on me at home as it did in store, I simply return it.
Be aware of the shopping environment – nice smell in the shop, energetic music, great lighting in the fitting room – this is all designed to bring the customer in a good mood so that she or he can buy more clothes, books, games…
Scan your closet or cosmetics bag before shopping – this will give you an overview of things you already possess, and make you aware of how much you actually already have! You don’t need another brown eye shadow!
Instead of shopping… – I have couple of alternatives for you to spend your free time on instead of shopping. Activities that work for me: practice yoga or go to the gym, call a friend or even meet a friend in person, take a walk, tidy up your wardrobe 😉
Don’t throw away, repair – Make sure you know when your closest shoemaker and tailor are based and use their services to repair your clothes and shoes. I do the same with bags and belts.
Exchange clothes with your friends – I got so many clothing items from my friends. By wearing them I give them a second life.
Finish your products – make sure to use your products until the last drop before buying new ones. You don’t have to have a giant stock of shampoos, shower gels or washing powders, it’s not like they will close all the shops tomorrow and you won’t get anything anymore!
I want to hear from you what are your tips to buy less – please share in the comments section below. Here is also an article on minimalism that might interest you.