How To Stop Shopping: 9 Tips For Success

How to stop shopping?

You’d think the answer would be easy wouldn’t you? Just don’t get your purse or wallet out.

And on some basic level it is easy but the reality is many of us struggle to reduce our impulse buying and shopping trips.

It’s something we have grown so used to, so the idea of not shopping or spending anything for a few days can be quite an alien concept.

But stop shopping you should, especially if any of the following apply:

  • You are in debt
  • Worrying about money is something you do regularly
  • You want to save money
  • You have financial goals you need to start aiming for and achieving
  • Spending too much money is driving you crazy
  • You’re living with the clutter of your overspending and it has to stop

Impulsive spending, when you don’t have enough money is a one way ticket to debt, debt and more debt.

Often it’s not the big things that tip you into debt, it’s the mindless shopping on a daily basis, multiple times a day.

Coffee, lunch, a snack, something for tea, an accessory you had to snap up, a bargain for one of the kids you saw walking past a shop.

Spend like that daily and your mindless shopping is into the hundreds of dollars every week.

So how do you do it? How to stop shopping when bored or just not paying attention?

You could go cold turkey; that works for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

And when failure is not an option you are willing to consider, you need to have a few more tricks and tips up your sleeve to help you be successful.

woman window shopping at shoe shop - how to stop shopping

What can I do instead of shopping?

There are so many things you can do instead of shopping. you don’t even need to spend money. A list of things to do would be helpful, I know. I have a huge list of things to do with no money here. They should keep you out of the shops and your money in your pocket.

How to stop mindless shopping?

Why can’t I stop shopping? Most of us get the urge to buy stuff when we’re bored, sad or mad! Don’t get bored and don’t go shopping when your emotions are running high.

Seriously though, being busy doing something else really does help. As does knowing exactly what you want to do with the money you don’t fritter away buying stuff you don’t need.

2 people on a blue scooter with bags to signify stop shopping

How To Stop Shopping so much

What’s motivating you to stop shopping?

When you set out to learn how to quit shopping, often it’s not about the act of shopping it’s more about the plan you have for your money.

If you spend your money mindlessly shopping chances are you don’t have a detailed financial plan.

In your quest to break your shopping habit you need to firstly focus on your financial plan. What exactly do you have planned for your money?

Know that and you are less likely to spend too much.

1. Create Financial Goals

Having goals tells you where you are going and what you are planning.

Your financial goals are about what you want to achieve with the money you have now and in the future.

Creating money goals will help you focus on what you truly want. And once you have these goals, keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Remember them when you reach for your credit card. Is your spending in line with your financial goals?

If not, don’t spend.

Related posts:

9 Short Term Financial Goals To Set For Success

6 Medium Term Financial Goals You Should Have

11 Long Term Financial Goals You Should Have

2. Know What You Already Own

It sounds simple doesn’t it, but do you actually know everything you already own? And do you use it or wear it?

Many of us suffer from closet chaos. We don’t know what cltohes we have so it’s easy to convince ourselves we need another outfit.

Go through both your clothes closets AND all your cupboards and look through the stuff you have already bought.

Are you using it all? Are there things you had forgotten you bought?

When I first started to try and reduce my shopping trips I went through my wardrobe and found no less than 8 tops I had never worn.

They still had their tags on!

Organizing and tidying your drawers and cupboards will help you unearth forgotten items. Bring these things out and start using them. It will be like you’ve just bought them new.

3. Understand Your Shopping addiction Triggers

What triggers your need or want to go shopping can be buried quite deeply. There are often emotions and feelings tied up in our shopping habits.

For me, when I am having a down day I can be tempted to shop to make myself feel better. It doesn’t, but it can be a distraction from the things going on in my mind.

For others, shopping can become a habit as a way of rewarding yourself for hard work done. But if your shopping habits lead to debt, it’s hardly a reward is it?

Try to reward yourself in a less expensive way.

If you spend money multiple times a day you may want to instigate a plan of having a few no spend days to help you change your spending patterns.

If your spending habits are less often but tend to be bigger spends then a no spend challenge might help you adjust and change.

couple with shopping bags

How To Stop spending money on shopping impulsively

How many times have you found something you just have to have, and then you give in to impulse buying and feel guilty later?

Impulsive purchases can be a budget killer.

You think you have your money all planned out, ready to be spent according to your budget.

And then you see something you really like, that isn’t budgeted for, and out of the window your budget goes.

These 3 tips will help you learn how to stop compulsive shopping from ruining your budget.

It’s not that you can’t have things that you want, it just needs to be in your budget and planned for.

4. Use The 30 Day Rule

The 30 day rule isn’t about deprivation or stopping you from spending your money.

It’s about giving some thought and intention to what you buy.

If you see something you want to buy, press pause for 30 days. This money saving hack is really helpful when you want to how to stop stress shopping.

You’re not telling yourself you cannot spend money, merely to pause the purchase. It allows you 30 days to consider whether there is money in your budget or savings for this item.

You will find that more often than not you no longer feel the same about that item. You can save the money instead.

The 30 day rule is a hard one to get going with but has the potential to help you save big time.

5. Lock Your Money Away

If you have too much cash sitting in your bank account it will get spent.

To avoid temptation, give every penny of your money a job to do and once bills are paid and some fun money is accounted for, lock the rest of your money away.

Transfer your money into retirement funds like a pension or 401k. Or long term saving accounts which require you to give notice of withdrawal.

I have organized our accounts so that our savings are on auto-pay.

They get transferred out on the day we get paid so no temptation to spend just a little bit too much.

6. Leave Credit Cards At Home

It’s one thing to have a budget but it’s another to stick to it faithfully every month.

It does get easier with time.

Leaving your credit cards at home is a trick that will really help you on your mission to give up shopping so much.

The problem with credit cards is that they tempt you to spend money you don’t actually have on something you impulsively want but likely don’t need.

And next month you realize you’ve got to pay for it. Leave them at home and say no to temptation.

Tip – go extreme and put your cards in a tray of water and keep in the freezer.

Related post: You’re Cutting Up Your Credit Cards…Seriously?

different size blue bags plugged into credit card

How To Stop online shopping for clothes

Buying clothes has been revolutionized by online shopping. No longer do you need to wait for your day off to go shopping, nor do you need to travel miles to your favorite store.

All can be done from the comfort of your armchair whilst you relax after work.

But buying clothes online is a recipe for overspending. When you’re tired you don’t make great buying decisions.

And you run a real risk of buying the wrong thing and making it worse by not returning this item – because you’re too tired and busy to parcel it back up.

If you are constantly saying to yourself ‘I need to stop online shopping‘ then you need to learn how to stop compulsive online shopping when you get home from work.

Related post: How to stop spending money on clothes: 10 Simple Tips for Success

How much does the average person spend on clothes?

The average expenditure on clothes is $161 a month in the US according to this article and £65 a month in the UK according to this article.

The problem with these averages are they take into account people who spend very little on clothes. People who are having a clothing ban or a no spend year.

More importantly you need to know how much you have previously been spending on clothes. That figure is the most important figure for you.

How much should you spend on clothes?

In theory you only need to spend on clothes if you have a need for a new item or outfit. Of course most of us don’t only buy clothes when we need them. We usually buy clothes because we want to.

Look at the clothes you have and see whether right now you could actually do better by having a total ban on buying clothes. Maybe for 3 months, maybe for 6 months.

woman holding bags and a credit card for how to stop shopping

7. Unsubscribe From Store Emails

We constantly check our inboxes and stores know this so they constantly send emails tempting us to spend.

Whether it’s a sale, the latest must-have item or something else, these emails are a marketing tactic to wear down your resolve to stop buying clothes online.

Unsubscribe from every store that emails you. It’s very easy to do as the bottom of every email has a very tiny link to unsubscribe.

Don’t read the emails, just scroll to the bottom and hit unsubscribe.

You can always find the latest deals from your favorite stores by going direct to their website, when you choose to.

8. how to stop shopping on Amazon? – Delete Your Card Details From Auto-fill

Amazon is for many people the ultimate one-stop shop for everything you could ever need or want. Which is a problem when to need to learn how to stop an online shopping addiction taking over your life.

But there are things you can do. How often do you delete your cookies and auto-fill browser information?

Now is the time to do so. Delete your saved card details from your browsers auto-fill function.

When you do give into a little online window shopping you will have to get up and fetch your credit card from your purse in order to make a purchase.

Better still, don’t get up, shut down your browser instead.

From now on, don’t let your browser or stores save your credit card information.

Say no to saving your card details.

9. how to stop shopping online? -Dump The Returns Habit

We make poor decisions when we are tired and stressed. Stress shopping is likely to lead to the wrong thing, the wrong size or multiple things being bought.

An even worse decision is the one where we convince ourselves it’s okay to buy something because you can always return it later for free.

That’s not a great reason to buy and chances are you won’t return it.

So kick the return item habit down the road.

3 paper bags on wooden table

how To Stop Shopping and save money and help The Environment?

We are all more aware these days of our money and the impact our shopping habits has both on our pocket and potentially on the environment around us.

Not only does constant consuming impact the environment, the knock effect is that we keep buying more stuff and ergo we chuck away more stuff.

Which is not good for the environment!

Changing our behavior by not shopping and not consuming as much helps to both reduce manufacturing AND waste levels.

Follow the Three R’s. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

  • Reduce how often you go shopping and how much you buy.
  • Reuse what you already have, especially if it is lying forgotten in your wardrobe.
  • Recycle what you can’t use by using it for another purpose or taking it to the thrift/charity store so someone else can make use of it.

How to stop a shopping addiction?

Are you a compulsive shopper?

Do you worry about how to stop shopping yet the next day you are in the mall shopping for a new outfit?

Do you tell yourself you don’t need to go shopping but find yourself in the grocery store later that day?

It may be that you have become a compulsive shopper, addicted to shopping in the same way you can be addicted to smoking and drinking.

A shopping addiction and impulse shopping are often symptoms of something else going on.

I call it stress shopping as they are your release valve, a way of making yourself feel temporarily better.

And it is only temporary because the things you buy are not answering the problem so the problem is still there.

How to stop compulsive shopping?

As with any addiction, you can stop shopping but it’s not always a walk in the park and needs you to take positive action. Following the 9 success tips above will help you get started.

I especially suggest you start with something like a no spend day challenge. For just 24 hours, don’t spend anything. It’s a chance to stop without feeling like you can’t ever shop again.

The more often you challenge yourself this way, the more successful you will be. Be kind to yourself though as a shopping addiction won’t be cured in 24 hours.

Baby steps and all that.

woman in grocery store pushing trolley

Stop Shopping And Save Money

When you are on a mission to learn how to stop shopping every little thing you do will help.

Apart from continuing to shop of course, that won’t help much!

When you stop shopping, you reduce your spending. And with less spending you have more money left every month.

Plan what you will do with the extra money you have each month once you kick your overspending habit into touch.

For more help in becoming more financially savvy and managing your money successfully, have a read of these posts:

7 Things To Do At The Beginning Of Every Month For Your Money

The Best Money Habits To Transform Your Finances

11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)

Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.


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Last Updated on 13th February 2022 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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