Oh how I love to shop. I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a shopaholic. When I hand over my debit card I get a buzz like no other. It sounds ridiculous but buying new things has become part and parcel of my life. Whether it’s a new top for a birthday party at the weekend, new jeans that I NEEDED or a cute niknak for my flat; when it comes to mindless shopping I am the Queen Bee.
To be clear, I never shop out of my means. I’m pretty good at budgeting each month and know how much disposable income I have left once I’ve paid my rent and bills and put a chunk into my savings. The problem is that just because the money’s there waiting to be spent, do I really need to spend it? I’ve set myself a saving goal for 2019 as we work towards buying our own home and with that has come the realisation that I could definitely be spending my money better. There’s nothing like a new year to make you analyse every aspect of your life is there?!
For me, buying things and in particular clothes (although lately I have been partial to all the homeware, maybe I’m finally growing up) is all linked to emotions. If I’ve had a crap day or something has annoyed me, I’ll pop into town on the way home and end up buying something I definitely don’t need to try and cheer myself up. It might give me a buzz for a few minutes but it definitely never works in the long run. Similarly if something great happens or I’ve got something to look forward to I’ll ‘treat myself’ because after all, I deserve it right??
Not only do my shopping habits cost me a fair bit of money each month but nobody needs that much stuff. Especially not when you live in a small city centre studio flat. When I moved recently I was also downsizing which meant I could only keep what I really needed. The process made me realise one thing about myself. I have a lot of stuff. Way too much stuff for one 23 year old person. In fact how much stuff I’d managed to accumulate was sickening and just completely unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong there are items that I love, things that remind me of special memories or are just my style down to a tee. But a lot of the stuff I got rid of were the things that I’d bought on a whim without really thinking about what I was purchasing.
It’s always the things that I buy on a whim that end up sat at the back of my wardrobe, unloved and unworn. Which is why in 2019 I’m adopting the 10 day think time to all non-essential buying. If I need toilet roll for instance, I’m not gunna make myself go home and debate between Andrex and Tesco’s own for 10 days. But when it comes to the non-essentials: clothes and accessories, beauty items, homeware, then the system is being implemented every single time.
If I see something that catches my eye, a new coat in Zara or a top in Topshop that I’ve seen all over Instagram then 10 days later, if I’m still lusting after it and it’s still in stock I’ll buy it. But if I haven’t thought about it once or if it’s sold out in my size then that’s that. It obviously just wasn't meant to be. 2019 is the year that there will be no more shopping on a whim and instead I’m adopting a more mindful approach to my shopping. I’ll assess if I really need it, if I have plenty of things in my wardrobe to wear it with or if there’s actually a place for it in my home.
By not buying things as soon as I see them and instead taking the time to think about it, I’m hoping that the things I do buy I’ll really love. Hopefully they’ll end up being pieces that will stay with me for years to come and not only that, but my bank account might look a little happier too. Which not only will allow me to save even more but I can spend on the things that matter, experiences with the people I love. Because a jumper might look great now, but I’m not going to look back at it with fond memories in 10 years time am I?!