Jessica Sommerfield on November 16, 2015 0 Comments Frugality as a general practice is a proven way to save money, discourage waste, relieve stress from living in a cluttered home, and help you appreciate the value of what you already have. Ultimately, being careful how you spend your money by avoiding impulse shopping helps you have more money to spend on things that are truly important to you and your compact lifestyle. When you’re living in a tiny home, it becomes even more crucial to watch what you buy. Every new item you bring home that isn’t consumed takes up space. Even if you’re not claustrophobic, a small home crowded with too much stuff can start to feel as if it’s closing in on your personal space. The problem many people encounter is that their shopping habits don’t change even when the size of their living space does. What didn’t cause an issue before now becomes a storage crisis. It’s difficult to change your shopping habits or eliminate a serious impulse shopping addiction, but the following tips are effective strategies for defeating the shopping bug and gaining control of your space and budget once again. 1. Determine the Why Behind the Buy If you have a problem with impulse shopping for things you don’t really need, the first thing to determine is where this desire comes from. Sometimes people who were financially-restricted as children or young adults end up binge spending just because they can. If this is you, remind yourself that spending power is more wisely celebrated by saving your money for important purchases and future goals, rather than filling up your tiny home with stuff. There are, of course, other motivations. Examine the “why” behind shopping sprees in order to pinpoint the actual problems in your thoughts and emotions that cause them, and deal with these issues so you don’t have to deal with the consequences of over-shopping. 2. Know Your Weaknesses Do you have a particular weakness for new décor, antique furniture, electronics, shoes, books, or clothes? If you’re not sure, take a look at what you own the most of in each category. This should be a good clue of where you have a problem. Steer clear of these sections of the store or retail sites, unsubscribe from magazines and email sales ads, and ask someone to help keep you accountable. What about particular times of the day or week? Do you shop when you’re stressed, depressed, hungry, or bored? These are common triggers for impulse shopping. Learn to recognize when you’re in these frames of mind and do something else to distract yourself from the urge to shop. 3. Don’t View Shopping as a Hobby If you were to perform a random survey asking people to name their hobbies, a many people would list “shopping”. This mentality shows us that many people consider shopping to be a recreational activity. While we do admit that there is some skill and sport involved in finding the best deals, as well as creativity in coordinating items to your home or wardrobe, but there are many other ways to have fun doing things you enjoy without the central temptation to buy more things you don’t need. 4. Shop with a Non-Shopper Is there one friend who sabotages your efforts to curb impulsive buys because they tend to be impulsive, too? As much fun as it is share an activity you enjoy with a friend, shopping when you have no agenda or room at home for what you buy isn’t a productive bonding experience. This is why it might be a good idea to take along a friend or spouse who has the opposite effect–the person who only shops for what they need, and is content to spend the least amount of time possible doing so. Watch their habits and learn to practice their inadvertent self-control. 5. Practice the Thirty-Day Rule Some people find that creating a mandatory waiting period before all non-essential purchases effectively curbs impulsive shopping. It can be two weeks, a month–however long it takes for you to reasonably assess whether an item is a need or simply a want that fades the further removed you are from it. If you shop online, translate this practice into your web browsing. It’s fine to look and even add items to your virtual cart (better yet, your wish list, a step removed from your credit card), but wait at least a few days before buying. Don’t let one-day deals or limited quantity statements pressure you into buying something you’re not certain you need. 6. Turn Something Old Into Something New If you’re truly addicted to the high of getting something new now and then, trick yourself by producing this feeling of excitement artificially. How? By repurposing something you already have! Quite often, simply using an old item in a new way, or displaying it in a new location, will be just the change you’re looking for. Before replacing a perfectly good piece of furniture, take a hard look at it. Is there a way you can make it look new again, perhaps by replacing the seat cushion, giving it an antiqued look, or switching out the drawer handles? Something as simple as rearranging furniture or reorganizing your closet often provides the real stimulation you’re looking for. 7. Join Barter and Swap Sites A common tip people follow when shopping for clothes is the one-in, one-out rule. This means that for every new piece of clothing you purchase, you should throw away or donate an old article of clothing. You can apply this rule to any type of item you buy for your home as well. There are many websites that can make this process easy for you through a swapping system. Swapping and bartering is a way to shop without any net gain because it requires you to get rid of something you have in order to get something new, maintaining the equilibrium in your possessions. A great perk of online swapping versus traditional flea markets is that you can do it from home. Membership in online swap groups (such as swap.com) is often free, and covers every category imaginable, from housewares to clothing, and books to hobby accessories. 8. Liquidate and Replace Another guilt-free way to indulge your urge for new things is to sell what you have and use the funds for shopping. Utilize the same swap sites, consignment stores, or host a yard sale to liquidate your assets. If you’re really bent on living with less, wait a while before replacing anything–you might just decide you enjoy the space more than the stuff.