Online shopping is incredible. It’s convenient, quick, and easy, and it doesn’t even require you to get up off the couch – or out of bed! Moreover, entering a card number online became so ridiculously easy that no one thinks twice before clicking on “proceed to payment”.
However, online shopping can be extremely costly when you make unplanned purchases, go over the budget, or buy things you don’t really need or want. Even when you know there are many better ways to spend your time and money, it can still be hard to stop. As a result, you usually end up accumulating unnecessary things, along with guilt and regret. So let’s look at 5 strategies you can use to curb your online shopping habit:
Block the online stores
Scrolling through an online shop might give you a few minutes to unwind, but if you end up buying something you don’t need or can’t afford, it’s probably time to find a better way to relax. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help you, such as StayFocused or LeechBlock, through which you can block specific websites during specific times.
Delete shopping apps
While most shops also have websites, they’re typically not built to cater to the same level of impulsiveness as apps. Therefore, if you have shopping apps on your phone, it’s time to hit the “delete” button! By removing highly engaging shopping apps from your device, you limit the access brands have when it comes to your attention.
Remove your saved credit cards
Convenience makes us all easy prey to guilty pleasures such as online shopping. And since our devices conveniently store the passwords to our credit cards, buying anything is literally a click or two away. A good idea to avoid this urge is to “forget” your credit card details online. This can be as easy as clearing your cookies and caché or removing your saved credit cards from your browser.
Make yourself wait
Most people make unplanned purchases when they see an item has gone on sale or when something catches their eye while browsing. And while it’s OK to treat yourself once in a while, making frequent unplanned purchases can quickly affect your budget… and add to the clutter! To avoid making hasty decisions, try to implement a mandatory waiting period before you buy something online. You might find that, after as little as 24 hours, you no longer feel the urge to buy that item you wanted so badly!
Understand your urges
It’s helpful to remember that shopping is, quite often, entirely psychological. 90% of the time, we don’t even need the things we buy online. Instead, we make purchases because it makes us instantly happy. Buying something new is a way of distracting ourselves from uncomfortable feelings, and online shopping only amplifies this issue. Our immediate and easy access to online stores means we can make instant purchases and instantly self-soothe. Knowing this, the next time you feel the urge to buy something, pay attention to what is triggering you. Understanding the mental process behind this need can prevent unnecessary purchases.
Online shopping has many perks. It saves the time and hassle of in-person shopping, which is incredibly convenient if you have a busy life. However, many people frequently spend more than they planned, ending up with debts and an unnecessary accumulation of material goods that in no way contributes to a peaceful and clutter-free lifestyle. The trick here is to become more aware of our motivations and intentional with our spending. That is one of the most powerful ways we can create freedom in our lives. The more you remember this, the easier it will be to walk away next time you feel the impulse to “add to cart”.