5 Ways to Stop Spending Money | I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Refuse what you do not need” a thousand times or so especially if you are no stranger to sustainable blogs. There’s a reason for that.
Curbing unnecessary spending might be the most important step of zero waste and sustainable living. Over-consumption has gotten us to where we are. Consuming with no regard to the impact it’s creating has created unfixable, environmental damage.
But why do we consume so much?
Capitalism. Businesses make money by constantly driving sales. If businesses only tried convincing us to purchase items we needed when we needed them, then well, we’d have a lot more companies declaring bankruptcy.
Sadly, there are reports that indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago.
Marketing is quite complex and companies invest A LOT of money into playing with our emotions to consistently buy their stuff.
Store ambiance, freebies, smaller packaging, sales tactics are everywhere. Trust me, I worked in sales at an electronics retailer for many years so I’m fully aware of the things sales people pull to get you to buy more.
During my sales pitches, I’d work really hard at convincing you how each and everyone of these products would make your life easier and more exciting. Even when it came down to an HDMI cable.
“Why buy the 6 ft when you could spend a little more, get the 25 footer and have that extra length for those times you might want to connect your laptop to the TV?” You see, even you are seeing the logic in that, right?
Thing is, it’s hard to get past the bullshit. But we can be aware that we are being played at every angle.
5 Ways to Stop Spending Money
Consumption creates a lot of waste, continually depletes resources and has caused mass destruction of essential habitats. Let’s also not forget about the pollution consumerism causes.
We buy, use briefly, and throw away – over and over and over. Most things we are coerced to buy have little to no value which makes it so much easier for us to simply toss. You know because why bother fixing that $5 toaster you got from the dollar store that lasted 2 months.
But how do you avoid the temptation?
Will power and consistency.
Continually ask yourself, “Do I need this?” or “Do I have something that will do the job already?”. 9 times out of 10 you will easily convince yourself that item is non-essential.
Stop Following Social Media Accounts that Tempt you to Buy
Especially style accounts – yep like anyone who use a LikeToKnowIt account. You know who I’m talking about.
Those “influencers” profit off of you buying shit you do not need. Like you didn’t already know. It’s ok to follow these people to get inspiration for what you already own but do not fall victim to buying what they are wearing thinking that “If I just had that shirt and pants, I’ll look just like her and have her perfect life.”
Sorry it just doesn’t work that way.
Unsubscribe from Marketing Mail
Whether it’s email or snail mail, get rid of that! You do not need the constant reminder of endless sales stores have to make you feel like you are getting a deal.
Related: How to Get Rid of Junk Mail For Good
Oh but if I go into Bath and Body I can get a free lotion!!!! Yea, and spend $100 while you’re at it because their new spring collection is out and Oh! – that candle smells SO good, and sweet baby jeebus they have their full sized body washes on sale!
Do Something Else
Write down 10 activities that bring you joy. Keep that list on the fridge so when that urge to shop kicks in, you can quickly pick something else to do. Seriously, just go for a walk. Nature always centers me and takes that stress away that pushes me to shop.
Shopping creates dopamine which is a “feel good” drug our bodies make. Because it makes us feel good instantly, we tend to gravitate to buying things when we are unhappy, stressed, overwhelmed, or just plain bored to alleviate those feelings. Shopping makes you feel like you’re in control – but are you though?
Sad thing is, that good feeling won’t last long. Shopping to cope is unsustainable on multiple levels.
Stop Trying to Impress People
Jealousy is a dangerous thing and if we let it rule our lives, well, it’s going to cause a lot more unhappiness. It isn’t normal and is a very big red flag that something is wrong on a psychological level. I’m not pointing fingers, I suffer from this, too.
Get down to the root of why you feel this way and look for ways to heal. Work on building self esteem and confidence. Learn a new skill, a new language, travel, give back to your community. There are many ways to do this.
Buy For Life
When you do end up needing to buy something, buy it for life. Invest in items that you don’t plan on replacing, ever. Look for locally made, companies who stand behind their products, products that are easily reparable, and items that come with lifetime warranties.
Remember, when you find Ways to Stop Spending Money, you ARE in control.