One of the huge regrets I always have after the holiday season is over is how much stuff is involved. There always seems to be too much stuff cluttering the house after Christmas is over.
And, often, the shopping isn’t even done yet. In an effort to reduce how much more stuff we get moving forward, I’ve talked to my husband about shopping diet for the first quarter of the year. This should help us save more money, and get back on track with recognizing our spending priorities.
What is a Shopping Diet?
As you might imagine, a shopping diet requires that you quit shopping for things you don’t need. Clearly, there are some items that you need to get, including groceries, and possibly gas for the car. However, your kids probably don’t need more toys during the first couple of months of the year, and you probably don’t need more stuff, either.
Instead of shopping, you avoid buying things that you don’t need. This means that you have to be very careful about how you proceed when you are at the store. Our shopping diet is made a little easier due to the fact that we have groceries delivered to our house. We rarely have to go to the store for these items, so it cuts back on the chances of impulse buys.
Consider a shopping diet for at least the first quarter of the new year, refusing to purchase anything you don’t need, and you might be surprised at how well you do.
Tips for Sticking to Your Shopping Diet
As with all diets, it can be difficult to stick to your shopping diet. You will probably need some encouragement along the way. Here are some things you can do help you stick to your shopping diet:
- Before you put anything in your cart, stop and think about whether you actually need it. If you don’t need it, put it back on the shelf.
- Keep a written record of what you spend. But write it down at the store. If you have to pull out a little notebook and record what you are buying, you will be more likely to spend conscientiously.
- Take it a little at a time. Measure your success in weeks. At the end of the week, provide yourself a little treat for doing what you should. This doesn’t mean you have to buy something, though! Sleep in a little extra, or read a book you enjoy.
- Shop with a list. One of the best things you can do to stay on your spending diet is to shop with a list. Make list of only the things you need, and then stick with it. If it isn’t on the list, you don’t get it.
At the end of the first three months of the year, you might be surprised at how much better feel about your life, and how much less you care about materialistic things. A shopping diet can be a good way to re-connect with your spending values and preferences, and help you improve your efforts at minimalism.