Can mindful spending really curb retail therapy?
It happens to the best of us. We’re at the outlet mall with our mom, sister, or best friend, and the deals are amazing! Next thing we know, our cars are packed with bags and our wallets are nearly empty.
For those of us who enjoy the sport of shopping, it can be a challenge to keep our spending under control. The good news is that when we employ “money mindfulness” techniques, we can still have an enjoyable shopping trip without busting our budgets. (Don’t have a budget? I can help you with that!)
Mindfulness is just a fancy word for “paying attention.” Many times when we’re in the middle of a spending spree, we are buzzing and zipping between sales racks like hummingbirds on a sugar high. It’s time to stop and take a deep breath. Here are some ways to center yourself using mindful spending techniques, so you don’t have buyer’s remorse later.
Mindful Spending Tactics:
Before you even head to the store, decide what it is you need or want to buy, and how much you intend to spend. I’m a big fan of using cash for spending categories that have a tendency to get out of control. For me, it’s clothes, shoes, books, dining out, and entertainment. If you’re nervous about carrying around cash, you might consider having a separate checking account with a debit card for your spending money.
Pause and take a deep breath before you head to the register. Ask yourself these questions: Do I need this? Do I really want this? Will this truly bring me enjoyment—and for how long? Do I have the cash to pay for it? How am I feeling right now? By pausing and questioning your spending motives, you may uncover that you’re shopping to relieve stress or because you’re lonely, not because you really need or want the thing you’re about to buy.
If you are shopping online, let your items sit in your virtual shopping card and walk away from your laptop or tablet. If this is a purchase you don’t need immediately, wait 24 hours and see if you really still want it tomorrow. You’d be surprised how many times you decide to keep your money in the bank.