How do you just STOP buying? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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Think about what you could do with the money you would save if you didn't buy those non essentials. Have you always wanted to take a family vacation? Is there a particular high end purse (like Coach or Louis Vuitton) you would love to have? Every time you do NOT spend $5 here and $7 there, allocate that to your "special fund" for your special purchase. Do you have a lot of credit card debt? If so, you could allocate that money to pay down your debt. Focus on how good it will feel to be rid of that burden. Do you have enough "emergency savings"? If not, you could use that money to add to it. The point is to focus on how good it will feel to do something more productive with the money you're currently spending on non essentials. When you want to pick up that 50th T-shirt, visualize that family vacation or expensive purse or credit card stmt with a zero balance. Feel how good it feels. Embrace that awesome feeling and it may make it easier to "just say no"

Good Luck!
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#32 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
I drive my DH crazy because I will go through before the check-out and really weed out our shopping cart of impulse stuff. It cuts down a lot. I know it's really quite rude to do that but... it helps us not buy stuff.

Also, just having DH with me helps. I refuse to go without him because he really questions me on why we need that, and he gently makes fun of me if I get "stuck" in the candle aisle, for example.

Also, having DS and DD throwing fits out of boredom is a great way to not linger forever in the store!
I notice that if I stay in a store for a long time - like an hour or whatever - that I start putting stuff back. So what would work for me is to just stay in the store longer. After a while, I might not have anything in the cart. (I know this won't work for everyone, but I just start thinking, "We don't need this...").
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#33 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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Do things that interest you (that are not about shopping). I'm not saying do things that are busywork and not meanigful to you. Like, don't decide to wash all the floors with a rag...but maybe plant an organic garden, (or some pots). Get some chickens (lol Ok, this is my drug of choice...) If you need to 'get' something, go to the library. lol It does work!

When you have other interesting, more important thigs to do, going to the mall or Target just seems like a terrible chore. I send my dh to those places when we need pens or something. Of course, if my dh detested shopping as much as I do, we 'dhave problems, because sometimes you do need a hammer...or the new Gourmet mag that has a waiting list at the library. heehee
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#34 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunanthem View Post
I follow alot of what y'all are saying. Stay out of stores! I will go to a bookstore, get a coffee and browse, but not buy. And instead of spending money on things from stores, I found I much more enjoy spending money on shipping for swaps in our swap forum, that is so much fun!
Well...I think I'm saying Take Back Your Life. Do things that fulfill you. Spending money on stuff, no matter where, is not, in the end, contributing to a fulfilled life.

It might start with not using shopping as a way to spend time, which might lead to an interest and /or work that can be done even with small children around. Not that it is all that easy anyway to shop with small children.

Have you considered the library at all. Even if the one closest to you bites, you might find one a bit further away that works. Our library even has a kids' playroom. My hsing/using homies and I meet there lots. Also, check out Inter Library Loan-- you can get good books from better libraries, but pick them up at your close sucky library.
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#35 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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I am glad I am not the only one with a Target habit. Since I am moving soon, I have been avoiding going there to avoid buying more stuff.

At the end of any shopping trip, before I get in line to pay, I go through my basket or stuff and really think if I need it, where I am going to put it at home, if I am going to use it in the next 3 months? If the answer is no, I put it back even if its on sale or clearance. The only exception is if it would make a good xmas or bday gift.

The Target dollar spot has sucked me in way too much. Now, I am much more careful before just plopping things in my cart.
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#36 of 59 Old 08-03-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Well...I think I'm saying Take Back Your Life. Do things that fulfill you. Spending money on stuff, no matter where, is not, in the end, contributing to a fulfilled life.

It might start with not using shopping as a way to spend time, which might lead to an interest and /or work that can be done even with small children around. Not that it is all that easy anyway to shop with small children.

Have you considered the library at all. Even if the one closest to you bites, you might find one a bit further away that works. Our library even has a kids' playroom. My hsing/using homies and I meet there lots. Also, check out Inter Library Loan-- you can get good books from better libraries, but pick them up at your close sucky library.
OH yeah, I do go to the library alot, and we even get movies there, and zi love our summer reading program. But when I feel like going out somewhere, or to town, sometimes I go to the bookstore and treat myself to a fancy coffee. And the swaps I do are mostly handmade stuff, so most of the time I am making lots of crafts at home.

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#37 of 59 Old 08-04-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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OH yeah, I do go to the library alot, and we even get movies there, and zi love our summer reading program. But when I feel like going out somewhere, or to town, sometimes I go to the bookstore and treat myself to a fancy coffee. And the swaps I do are mostly handmade stuff, so most of the time I am making lots of crafts at home.
Here's a confession-- I am not a crafty person-- at all-- but I sometimes like to knit very simple things. I was not very good about finding or swapping for cheap yarn. No...I had to go to the fancy little yarn shop. You know that came to no good. I'm in recovery now. And I knit very slowly, so I shouldn't need anymore yarn.

Personally, I think a once- in- a- while treat of a nice coffee in a little bookstore is good therapy and doesn't need to be given up. Seems a lot of innocent, theraputic pleasure for very little money.
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#38 of 59 Old 08-06-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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Buy what you want and only what you want---even if it's full price.

This has helped me so much. And now I have only beautiful things that I love.

Don't look for bargains and then you're not tempted to buy things you don't need just because they're cheap. Just buy that one thing you want and get out the door.

Feels good because I'm worth it.

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#39 of 59 Old 08-09-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Penuche View Post
While you're working on cutting down on shopping, try to remember to save your receipts. If you get home and have shoppers remorse, you can return things. Target is getting strict about returns, but if you have a receipt, they're easy.
Yep, I've been doing that lately. They seem to be ok with returns if it's on your cc even without receipts. I've been enjoying shopping, then being brutal with myself on returns, and making them quickly. I feel like I can justify this since shopping with the "twiddlers" makes it difficult to think straight anyway.
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#40 of 59 Old 08-09-2008, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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doing the return thing has been helping alot- i can still buy something on impulse, then when i'm thinking clearly about what we have and what we need (and when the kids aren't all with me!), i can re-evaluate my purchases and take them back when i'm at the store again- not making any special trips these days due to gas cost.

i almost went to a local shoe store yesterday for their big markdown sale, but realized that none of us need any shoes and anything i would buy, as good of a deal as it might be, would be extra. that's huge for me. i love shoes and so do my kids

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#41 of 59 Old 08-10-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Well, I don't particularly enjoy shopping to begin with so that helps. (Except for food shopping! I have always loved going to the grocery store. ) And I hate the mall.

But usually, I just don't go. Can't tell you the last time I was at Target, and I don't do WalMart so that's not a problem. I don't know about any other stores - because I don't go shopping much. Although, I will have to get the kids some new fall/winter clothes soon.
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#42 of 59 Old 08-10-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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I have jst been taking in cash, and not much more than I think I will need..
I really like the Do Not Buy list idea!
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#43 of 59 Old 08-10-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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I've been working really hard on not buying non-essentials for the past 6mos or so and decluttering what we already have. Some weeks I do really well, and other times I head to Target and come out with 18 things we didn't need. I know where my weaknesses are, and I get aggravated with myself for buying, but then I'll find shirts for my 5yo for $1.97 at JCPenneys and buy 4 of them when she has too many shirts to begin with, or a spare booster seat at Target for $33 when we already have 2 spares!

Do you have any tips, mantras, strategies, etc. that keep you from adding to the clutter in your homes/lives?
First of all, is the stuff you bought returnable?

I used to do a lot of "bulimic shopping." One day I'd go to the mall to hang out and get exercise (back when I had a baby or 2 in the stroller), and end up buying a lot of stuff I didn't actually need. I'd get home and realize this. Another day I'd go to the mall and hang out and get exercise and return everything I'd bought the last time- BEFORE the credit card statement came in.

Later, I got better at analyzing what I actually needed before going shopping. I learned to tell myself "Buying this shirt I don't need will cost me $3. Not buying this shirt I don't need will only cost me $0." Buying ANYTHING I don't actually need is simply a waste of money, whether it's 25 cents or $200.

I have a bigger problem at thrift stores than dept stores- because at the thrift store it's "buy it now or it won't be there later" plus it's not returnable. I can donate items back to the store but I can't get my money back. So, I always take stock of what we have in the house, and what we actually need, before heading out to the thrift store.

I need to donate some stuff soon, and with gas prices what they are, I'm planning to combine the donation trip with a shopping trip. I know that DD2 needs some short sleeved shirts, and possibly a new dress or two with some "growing room" in it. I don't *need* anything, but I'd like (and would get good use out of) a new dress or dressy outfit. DS doesn't need anything, and I need to go through DD1's stuff before we go. If the kids want anything they don't *need* then it will have to come out of their money, not mine.

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#44 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KayleeZoo View Post
doing the return thing has been helping alot- i can still buy something on impulse, then when i'm thinking clearly about what we have and what we need (and when the kids aren't all with me!), i can re-evaluate my purchases and take them back when i'm at the store again- not making any special trips these days due to gas cost.

i almost went to a local shoe store yesterday for their big markdown sale, but realized that none of us need any shoes and anything i would buy, as good of a deal as it might be, would be extra. that's huge for me. i love shoes and so do my kids
This is a great thread. I cured my "need" for lots of shoes by choosing NOT to buy shoes for a whole year to save up for something that I wanted (a snap press for making diapers) that was expensive. I only buy shoes when I need them now. My biggest weakness is EBay.

Our mall is open at 8 am for walking for exercise in all seasons. If you go at 8 am and leave before 9:30 am, then you benefit from A/C or warm walking temp (summer/winter) and you get out before it's a temptation to actually shop.
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#45 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
I drive my DH crazy because I will go through before the check-out and really weed out our shopping cart of impulse stuff. It cuts down a lot. I know it's really quite rude to do that but... it helps us not buy stuff.
I figure that it keeps the local teenagers employed doing "shop-backs" -- putting that stuff back on the shelf.

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Originally Posted by lightheart View Post
Don't use a cart or basket when you shop, if you have to physically carry the item in your hands around the store you won't get as many things.
nod.

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doing the return thing has been helping alot- i can still buy something on impulse, then when i'm thinking clearly about what we have and what we need (and when the kids aren't all with me!), i can re-evaluate my purchases and take them back when i'm at the store again- not making any special trips these days due to gas cost.

Ok here's my thing -- if I do that then I have to go back and fight the impulse all over again. So I try my darndest to avoid it the first time.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#46 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I have been making a huge effort to control spending and declutter for 5+ years. I have come a long way. My mom is a hoarder and I saw myself going down the same scary and lonely path.

The number one thing that helped me was to never ever go into a box store. Never. They have nothing I need in there that I cannot get elsewhere. Yes, I know, things are cheaper in there. But I assure you I spend far far FAR less by buying my essentials elsewhere and never going into the box. I have also found that my "essential list" has shrunk by more than half as items became difficult to find elsewhere or as I found suitable replacements. Like I no longer buy paper products or cleaning products. It became a challenge to be proud of. We only have one box store in town and I have not set foot in it in the last 5 years. Not once. Along with that, I also never go to the mall and I only go to thrift stores with a list that I stick to no matter what.
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#47 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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Getting rid of things has helped me not buy more. Like this past weekend we had a garage sale. Going through all the things was sobering. So many things I just absolutely had to have 5, 10 years ago that ended up just sitting in the attic collecting dust.

The decluttering I've done the past few years has really slowed down the stuff coming in. Now when I want to impulse buy something I usually end up not, because I stand in the store, holding the item and really thinking about it. Is it going to end up being sold for a quarter, unused, in 10 years?

I'm not saying it's stopped me completely, but this, and the fact that we are actually using a budget now (so no big impulse buys - I have to save up for things I want) have really cut down on what comes into this house.
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#48 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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I lso ask myself several questions before I buy anything non-essential:
  • Do I already have something at home that serves the same function or can be used to serve the same function?
  • Can I get it free/cheaper somewhere else?
  • Where will I put it when I get it home? (if I can't think of a home for it, back to the shelves it goes!)
  • How many hours do I/DH have to work to pay for this?
Oh, those are good!! Especially the "where will I put it when I get it home?" one!

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Getting rid of things has helped me not buy more. Like this past weekend we had a garage sale. Going through all the things was sobering.
I know! Here too! We made $650 and only sold 1/4 of the stuff we had! A charity picked up THIRTY boxes! I took an SUV load to the consignment shop. It is loaded again with stuff for Goodwill donation. There is STILL more in our garage... Unreal. But we are making progress!
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#49 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Take a set amount of cash that covers only what you need.

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#50 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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This is counterintuitive, but I sort of cured myself of impulse buying by going to the mall or Ikea with ds, just with the goal of playing, no shopping. We spend a lot of time at Ikea (lunch and playing), so I see their merchandise all the time, and their checkout lines are always long, so I have no desire to wait around to buy something. The place has sort of lost its magic. Same with the mall. We go there for lunch, and for the play area, and I don't browse in the shops at all. It's very liberating to just walk out of the mall with no shopping bags.

If I actually need something, I generally research it beforehand and buy it online or go to a store with a list. I never really pay attention to sales--it always seemed like I bought more than I needed when stuff was on sale.

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#51 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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I still browse a lot but rarely buy. I can always talk myself out of it. Where would I put it? How soon can I see myself sending it to Goodwill? Have I recently got rid of something similar? Will it hold up or wear out quickly? Do I have something in my house that works just as well? Can I make do without it? If I buy this what other thing will I not be able to get? Also occasionally I allow myself a 10$ fun item, like a new candle or a nice lotion, that you use up so it doesn't create clutter.
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#52 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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I love the idea of a do not buy list! I tend to buy things - like shampoo, soaps, pasta - because the 6 boxes I already own were in the back of the cabinet, out of sight. So I buy a new one, come home and realize I have too many. A do not buy list would be perfect!
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#53 of 59 Old 08-11-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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One trick I do in department or clothing stores is put the stuff on hold. Most places, like TJ Maxx and Lane Bryant (my weakness) will hold stuff for 24 hours. This lets me go home, get off the shopping high and regroup. If I still want it bad enough the next day to drive back over there and pick it up, I do, but more often than not, I get distracted or calm down enough to realize I don't *need* it.

Now Vinnie's ... that's another story.
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#54 of 59 Old 08-12-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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I really like the idea of paying in cash only and not bringing credit/debit cards into stores!
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#55 of 59 Old 08-13-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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I don't if any of this helps, but I've been finding that by getting rid of stuff and working hard not to bring stuff in- I tend to REALLY appreciate what is there.
Me too.

Also, the "buy lots of stuff cheap rather than one of good at full price" is breed into me and it is soooo hard for me to break the cycle.

With DS, I buy nearly all of his clothes on line and I have been successful at buying a base of good quality stuff that I like and is worth the money.

Becaue it pleases me to see him looking good and I love having his drawers and closet neatly organized and clutter-free, it is pretty easy for me to stick with the program. I also buy multiples of the same thing (like polo shirts and jeans) and never, every buy something on sale that doesn't match with at least three other items.

I tackled the house stuff a while back and because I don't really like to shop in stores, it is easy for me to avoid buying non-consumables like candle holders, decorations, etc.

For my own clothes, I struggle to follow the less is more practice. I got all excited about a certain brand of t-shirts on sale the other day. I had to talk myself down as I truly don't need them, I only thought I did at price $x.

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#56 of 59 Old 08-13-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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I used to be bad about buying things I don't need too. I am real bad about going to the grocery store for one or two items and coming back with twenty items. Although, I'm getting better at it.

I also like to buy clothing for the kids if I see it at a great deal, even if it's several sizes too big. I will simply store it away for when they grow in to it. DH hates it when I do this. However, I see nothing wrong with it. I know it will be used when they get bigger and I got it at a great deal.

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#57 of 59 Old 08-14-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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I paid off my last credit card earlier this year and canceled it.
:
Not having a credit card has completely changed my spendy shopping habits. I can only buy what I actually have already earned.
Liberation!
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Grace Comes.

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#58 of 59 Old 08-15-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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that reminds me, I've been contemplating canceling my VS credit card. I really don't shop there anymore, it's rather pricey and I seem to think I heard they use unfair labor practices. But how can I pass up all the coupons for free panties?? I could just donate them, with the tags still on, I suppose. But it feels so good to cancel a credit card.. .

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#59 of 59 Old 08-19-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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here's one, I think a pp mentioned, but it works for me too--never ever ever bargain hunt. At least not for new stuff. I always ended up scouring the sale racks for a $10 shirt, and ended up goodwilling it later because it was bought as a bargain and not as a "gosh I love that" shirt. serious waste of money, that bargain-shopping. "sale" means nothing to me anymore, except in the produce section. Either it's on the list or not, but the list of "lookies" right now that I have includes clothes for dd, but the lookies can only be used items for me at present. I also don't use the debit card, because I feel the pain of handing over cash more. And I stay far away from Target. The place is mesmerizing. And I don't watch TV--there's something about all the "Stuff" people have on TV that is catching. Since I haven't watched the modern TV shows, I've felt less of a draw to get stuff.
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