Last month I put myself on a budget and I spent less than I have in the past, but I am still way over budget. So anyone else who would like to stop being a shopaholic, or stop shopping as much can start this with me if they wish. Every month I will keep tabs on my shopping. What I buy every single day, clothing wise/ makeup/ anything besides food and gas because those things are necessities.
Things that have been helping me recently:
1. Tell others about your budget. this way others can help you stay away from buying things you do not need. This has helped me a lot this month, because most of the time I shop with my boyfriend and he won't let me go over budget, which is helpful.
2. Make a list of items you may want. Keep that list on your phone or in your purse etc. Keep those items on that list for at least a month, if you still want them and they are within your budget I feel it is okay to purchase them. I have a general list usually I see something like a denim vest for $35 and really like it but do not have to money in my budget. So I add the item to my list and try to find it for less. I recently got a denim vest for $16.
3. Write down your purchases in a log of some sort. Keep it where you are at most in your house so you are always updating it. I keep mine on my desk and everyday I write down my purchases for my budget and so I know no one else is using my debit card or credit card.
4. Delete all online sites from your favorites. Try not to visit any at all. The main one I visit is forever21.com and I haven't been able to delete yet but I hope to get there some day. That is the only site I go to pretty much. Besides eBay which I am a seller so I do have to check that regularly.
5. Avoid the mall. Something that is difficult for me sometimes. The mall closest to me I don't like very much so I don't buy much if I go. But I would plan trips with my boyfriend or friends or family to go to the malls a bit further away and make a whole day of fun out of it. I haven't been on a mall trip in about a month and only purchased about $25 during that last one. Previously I set my limit at $100-$150 per trip, something I seriously reconsider now when I do go shopping.
6. But I have money why can't I buy what I want? Well even if you have money that does not mean you should spend it. Saving is golden and can be very rewarding in itself. Seeing your bank account go up instead of stay the same is nice. And you may want this item now, wear it 2-3 times and be bored with it. This happens to me a lot. I either give to friends or sell it on eBay or to a place like Platos Closet and get maybe a quarter of what I paid...Just to wear it 2-3 times.
7. Before picking up items from the rack ask yourself these questions: Is it worth the price? Do I love it? (I do not believe fashionistas can ask the question do I need it, because the answer will always be no. You cannot be a fashionista and buy only things you need) Do I wanna spend my weeks budget on this? And is it on my list? If you answer yes to 3 of 4 or more than you can try it on. If not do not even try it on because you will end up loving something you cannot afford.
8.Think of the future. In a few years will you still be able to wear that? Will you need that in your career when you get there? Do you really want to rent a truck to move all your clothes, when you move out? I've been recently becoming more minimalistic and less of a hoarder. If you do not wear something for 2 whole seasons (like summer 2011 and summer 2012) then it is time to consider donating, selling, or giving to a friend.
9. Try to only replace items in your closet, not create more. Once you get down to a set amount of clothing (like 20 tank tops 20 sweaters 5 jeans 5 skirts 10 shorts etc.) buy something in those categories only if you sell or get rid of something in that same category. I have this issue. I have so many tank tops (because I live in South Florida) and I keep buying more and more each year and only wearing them 1-2 times. I can wear tank tops like 200 days out of the year, but if I have 50 I am only wearing them maybe 4 times.
10. And Last....we all have to start somewhere. Don't quit anything cold turkey. If you do you'll end up spending money and lying about it. Every process is gradual. If in a year I go from spending $400 a month on clothes to $50 a month on clothes I will be very happy and feel like the process is working. Do not expect to take that leap in one month. It is not possible, unless you very strong willed, but in that case you would not be in this situation.
Start this with me and we will become unShopaholics together:)