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Somebody help me stop spending...

(47 Posts)
clutterfly Tue 19-Apr-16 23:17:22

It's so easy to buy online now, that I think I've kind of become a little addicted...
I genuinely get excited about the thought of a package arriving / waiting for me at home. And I can justify this charade to myself as, more often than not, things don't look/fit right and i end up sending them back. But then I'm off on my eternal quest again!! Is anyone else the same? Surely this isn't healthy!! Any tips for stopping myself and jumping off this merry-go-round? Or is it harmless fun?

Dyptique Wed 20-Apr-16 07:05:02

I class my shopping behaviours as addiction. Regular parcels arrive here and at my local Collect plus place. I will also have shopping binges if I go to a city. I shop to raise self - esteem and self- medicate because of a stressful 60 hour a week job.

Although I don't have lots of debt, I have some, which is ridiculous considering our household income. Over shopping has been an issue for me for decades. When I think of the fact I could be mortgage free now, and / or have a brilliant nest egg for our kids I feel foolish and ashamed. My husband gets exasperated at my shopping habits, but for various reasons has enabled it over the years.

Another consequence is that it's very difficult to store, keep tidy and generally manage that volume of stuff. It takes a lot of energy and wastes time.

I've just started a complete shopping ban on clothing, shoes, accessories etc for at least a year in order to recalibrate. I reckon I've tried this about 20 times in the past. I am hopeful this time as I am sick of this pattern of behaviour. I have unsubscribed from emails and will put mail shots in the bin without opening. I want to learn languages and have downloaded language apps to use on my phone.

I do have lovely clothes but to me it is not harmless fun. I don't appreciate what I have enough. It is really bad for the soul to always want something else.

Nabootique Wed 20-Apr-16 07:31:10

There's a good thread on here called Ashamed of my Beauty Product Hoard for people who are trying to stop buying and use things up.

dudsville Wed 20-Apr-16 08:39:36

Check out the no spend thread on here. People are really working on their reasons why they shop, might help you to think about your reasons in more depth.

sleepwhenidie Wed 20-Apr-16 08:54:33

Are you bored with life in general OP? Or is there something in your life that needs attention and shopping is providing a good distraction from? Be honest with yourself.

What you are doing is essentially harmless if you aren't getting yourself in debt and I understand the temporary high, but the fact that you are posting about it suggests that you recognise that it's ultimately not a truly fulfilling hobby and now it is more of an unwanted habit in the same way that overeating or gambling can be.

If boredom is the issue then that is much easier to deal with than 'big' issues such as work/relationships etc. Think about hobbies or interests that you have enjoyed in the past or wanted to try - photography, singing, art, a sport. Is there a pt educational course you can do in an area that interests you? Once you engage with something like this the urge to spend should lessen.

RhombusRiley Wed 20-Apr-16 09:34:10

I'm a bit like this OP. I love getting parcels - it's partly that I work from home and rarely get to go out. I'm also going through a separation and I know when I'm stressed, I get solace from buying things.

I've tried going cold turkey but it just doesn't work. I really enjoy browsing the web for bargains and finding something I love, it is definitely a much-needed de-stresser for me and actually, in some ways a good thing as I can rarely find what I want or need in the shops anyway. But over years of feeling bad about spending money, I've learned a few tips:

- put off spending - so if you see something you want, make yourself wait, look at other options first. If you can wait a few days or weeks, you may go off it.

- have tiny treats / orders. I'm into sewing and beading so I will sometimes treat myself to looking at lovely bead or buttons, spend ages poring over them and choosing, and finally buy something... which at an online haberdashery store or on ebay, may cost literally a couple of quid. I've spent basically the price of a coffee and had a lovely time shopping. You could order an item of make-up, a second-hand book, whatever floats your boat – instead of shoes, a dress or a bag.

– send stuff back – I order things to try on, but make myself return them unless they are perfect and will get lots of use. If I like something but it's expensive, I'll return it then look out for it on ebay. I recently got a toast dress on ebay that I have lusted after for years. So a long delay, I spent less and it made me happy to get a bargain.

I think it can be fairly harmless fun if your spending is kept within limits (i.e. you can still afford actual necessities, you don't get into debt and so on) and it's not taking up all your time so that you're neglecting family etc.

RhombusRiley Wed 20-Apr-16 09:37:05

Oh and - order things online that you need anyway. Cat food, a new washing line, replacement shoelaces, art supplies for the kids, and so on. You'd be buying that anyway as a household expense, but you get to browse the web and order something (and often get a bargain).

CremeDeSudo Wed 20-Apr-16 09:59:56

I'm exactly like this. I buy things and they inevitably get sent back. I'm forever annoying my neighbours with parcels or at the Collect+ place. I'm glad it's not just me!

sleepwhenidie Wed 20-Apr-16 13:06:34

Practical tips too...Just getting a load of things in your basket and not checking out can be half the fun (and no hassle /expense). Also, using a Pinterest board to collect all the things you are considering and then waiting a set period (a week) to decide if you really want to bother ordering is good! Have a separate Pinterest board for most of the stuff you actually have and then you can see if the potential purchases will work with what you have (or not).

CoolToned Wed 20-Apr-16 13:25:06

Me. I have gone overboard with foundations in the last few months. I started with zero in January - don't ask me how many I have now.

amarmai Wed 20-Apr-16 13:41:51

i love a bargain , but also make mistakes because it was a bargain. BUT i also love returning and getting my $$ back. Reading this made me realise that the Ralph Lauren shirt dress i got yesterday is not a perfect fit for me and it's going back to the shop this a. m. Thank you ,O.P. !

Ferrerotoffeemint Wed 20-Apr-16 13:56:59

I went through a crazy online spending spree which I've now stopped. It was mainly because I did actually need most of the things I was buying and now I just don't really need anything so I've stopped. But I was getting a bit worried for a while because it seemed so easy.

maggiethemagpie Wed 20-Apr-16 14:43:43

OP you sound just like me! I too have got addicted to buying online, amazon is a bugger for this as so easy to send back - but of course I don't always!

I think it can only work if you are disciplined about sending them back. I have been known to buy irregular choice shoes to wear around the house for a few days then send back for refund. But the last time I did that I fell in love with them and kept them so maybe it's not such a great idea.

I'm afraid I don't have any advice to offer you as I'm exactly the same, I am waiting to see if someone more disciplined than I has any words of wisdom.

clutterfly Wed 20-Apr-16 17:17:11

Thanks for all your thoughts and it's good to know I'm not alone. sleepwhenidle thank you for your more philosophical views, I think I shop as a release at the end of the day after I've got 3 small children to bed! I've always loved shopping, but always within my means.
The Pinterest idea is a great one and also the advice about waiting a while before I buy something, so it's less impulsive. Thank you also for the links to other threads everyone.

MiracletoCome Wed 20-Apr-16 17:43:18

I'm sure it must be quite common, I have always loved shopping also, but when I was younger it was just on Saturday at the shopping centre and there wasn't such opportunity to return stuff so I was much more disciplined, no online then smile. Now I seem to see so many bargains and order in 2 sizes as I never know what will fit, I probably send two thirds back so I just tell myself I am keeping our lovely couriers in a job. I have by the way just done a GAP order of bargainous stuff. DH says I must have enough to last forever and once mentioned when I returned a big load that he suspected it was just the tip of the iceberg. blush

MunchCrunch01 Wed 20-Apr-16 17:49:00

It's too easy when you're dog tired and a bit down to go online and click the purchase button. Unsubscribimg from emails is the best idea, it's so hard to ignore the money off/sales emails for shops you like, but I always struggle with this as when you do 'need' something you then don't have a voucher.

clutterfly Wed 20-Apr-16 17:59:16

And not to mention that when you do browse, it tracks what you've viewed and little pop ups come up online everywhere to remind you and try and tempt you.

I'm going to do some email unsubscribing right now and throw all catalogues I get in the bin without opening them!

CointreauVersial Wed 20-Apr-16 18:28:20

I'm just the same. I can't resist a bargain, so if I hear about a Sale a red mist descends, and I simply can't hold back! But I still spend ages staring into my wardrobe every morning because I have "nothing to wear".

Over the last year I've started using charity shops a lot more - you can root out some real bargains, so it's a cheaper thrill. I don't need a lot of what I buy, though....I just think I do. I do return a lot.

MunchCrunch01 Wed 20-Apr-16 19:21:08

I think the emails and adds lead to more dissatisfaction and impulse buying because you may resist 10x you see the add and get an email but then eventually you get worn down. It's probably like all coping mechanisms about identifying better ways to cope with tiredness than sitting in front of an iPad/laptop/phone (she says, hypcritically) smile

BlueEyedWonder Wed 20-Apr-16 19:53:52

I over shopped for years and, on reflection, it was a problem. I have no debt but I didn't save and would be in a much more secure financial position now had I done so. I feel very guilty.
Around 18 months ago, something just clicked in my mind. I had a huge wardrobe clear out. Sold lots of stuff and just decided I needed less. I'm not on a shopping ban but I set myself a small and strict monthly budget.
I can honestly say I feel so much better. I don't miss the volume of stuff I had. And I realise I much prefer experices to things.

FrustratedFrugal Wed 20-Apr-16 20:14:22

I just watched a segment on TV that said that one in ten adults is overspending. So you are not alone. I realized three years ago that I was overshopping for the same reason many others here - SAHM, boredom, credit cards, lovely parcels felt like gifts, and also deeper issues (family history of hoarding and overshopping, depression, fears, loneliness).

The threads here have helped a lot. What also has helped is Dr April Benson's book To Buy or Not to Buy. It helped me to understand why I was overshopping and how I could change. Also listing my purchases, budgeting, and tracking my spending with an app, and setting up a regular withdrawal to my savings account have helped.

I think the key thing is to understand what you are trying to achieve by shopping (destress? belong? feel happier? spend time? make your life more beautiful?), then start working on alternative ways of getting there.

FuckyNell Wed 20-Apr-16 20:20:16

What's helped me is deleting my PayPal account, turning off 1 click buying on Amazon and removing my card details off qvv blush

FuckyNell Wed 20-Apr-16 20:21:25

I have to now physically get up off the sofa for my purse which has dramatically curbed my spending.

MadisonMontgomery Wed 20-Apr-16 20:21:36

This is so me 😁 I never used to be a big shopper but I love internet shopping SO much. Part of the thrill is seeing something I love on Pinterest, Instagram or a blog and tracking it down - especially if it's only available in another country, it makes it a challenge, and then I love tracking delivery etc, and knowing that when I get home it'll be waiting for me to open like a present. It isn't a financial problem as such - I don't have a credit card or anything and I don't get into debt, but I feel guilty at how much I could have had put away in savings. Plus it's got to the point that family members are making negative comments, and whilst my house isn't at hoarding levels it could definitely do with a de-clutter.

I just don't know how to stop tho - I convince myself that each unnecessary purchase is the last one, but it never is.

poocatcherchampion Wed 20-Apr-16 20:27:39

The be more with less blog is good. I follow it on Facebook and normally click on at least one article a day.

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