Desperate to make a change
By - _fizzingwhizzbee
You need to do some soul searching to get to the root of the “why” before you can really solve the issue.
You can go on a diet, but you will ultimately need a philosophical reason to stop.
If you do curb your spending and buy a house, will it be ok to start over-consuming again? Of course not.
If you consider yourself an empathetic person: watch some documentaries on the exploitation of fellow humans making cheap products possible.
If you potentially want kids, maybe think deep about what kind of world they will inherit if consumer culture continues unabated.
Examine what you are feeling when you buy stuff. Anxiety? Insecurity? Boredom? "I don't know." is not an answer here. You have to be willing to think about your feelings and where they are really coming from.
Lastly, think about what *you* value. Society, led by advertisers and marketers, is always telling us what we should consider valuable. Thus, we end up working to buy things that we never consciously assigned value to because we let society do it for us. But a Consumerist Society is often full of bullshit. A consumerist society grooms their citizens to consume. So don't feel too bad for basically doing everything you are supposed to. But now that you are realizing that spending is taking you farther away from what you want, you have a chance to break out and look at how society runs with different eyes.
There are two things I truly value. My spouse, and my house. The feeling of security of having some one by your side who loves you and wants to grow with you, and a space to do that in makes the rest of life much less stressful and much less scary.
The next time you are out shopping, think about *what you truly value*... and what values you are elevating above others when you are buying.
>*If you consider yourself a empathetic person: watch some documentaries on the exploitation of fellow humans making cheap products possible.*
>Can you recommend any good documentaries?
>I don't want kids because the world is in such a state as it is, so I am a bit of a (a lot of really) hypocrite as I'm making it worse. Thank you for your help, I need to think more about what matters and less about what I think I need.
I'm sure others will chip in, but [this one](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxhCpLzreCw) is pretty good.
Added to my watch later list!
This sounds a lot like me before I went to therapy. One of the big things I wound up discovering about myself was that my compulsive spending was because of some things in my life that I wasn't letting myself confront or deal with.
Obviously everyone's different and I'm by no means qualified to diagnose anyone, and I'm certainly not saying that that's even what's going on here, *but* it might be worth paying attention to whether there's something happening emotionally/mentally to you when you buy things. Especially if you also notice buying patterns centered around certain emotional states (you have a bad day so you go on a shopping trip to cheer up) or you buy a lot of the same kind of products in clusters (for example, I had issues with my skin so I bought more makeup).
This is a really interesting thing that I need to explore. I am unhappy with my body so I buy clothing that makes me feel good so there's definitely something in this. Thank you.
Glad I could help! I think in general if we identify the patterns surrounding our habits we're better able to interrupt them and develop better ones. I still struggle with overspending but it's gotten much better!
Obviously professional help is best, but if that's not an option right now I recommend journalling. It can be very helpful with tracing patterns--I'm old school and like paper journals but even typing out a quick blurb in your phone's note app can be helpful. When you feel the urge to buy something, take note of what it is, why you want it, how it makes you feel and how you think it would make you feel if you bought it (this last bit was especially helpful for me in figuring out what the emotional drivers if my purchasing were). Then try and figure out if you really need it. Once I'd figured out why I was doing the things I was doing my doctor had me make a list of my goals that I wanted to accomplish but that my bad habits were preventing me from accomplishing, which I had to stop and look at whenever I felt the urge to give into those urges *before I did anything else* that would bring me closer to making the purchase.
I’m going to try and start doing this! Thank you for the tip
One things that helps me stay focused is to avoid any and all advertising.
Unsubscribe from ALL store email lists, use adblocker on your browser, skip all YouTube ads, unfollow Instagram accounts that are only popular because they are ‘beautiful’ (I.e. perfect homes, makeup, etc.), throw all mail ads in the recycling immediately.
I’m shocked by how quickly the FOMO and desire to spend come back when I wander off into fancy Instagrams or start browsing even the newspaper flyers!
When they are not always around, I instead can focus on the things I find I really need or want.
you could check out r/shoppingaddiction they provide support for compulsive shopping
Hot tip: don't go into stores. Just keep walking. Say 'no' to yourself, and keep walking.
The first step is that you are aware. Next time you want to spend take a moment and ask yourself why?
I would also recommend books on minimalism :)
Also research into how harmful mindless consumerism is to the environment, the Earth, everyone.
Can you recommend any good books that have helped you or someone you know? Thank you!
Read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline. It explores the human and environmental impact of fashion and clothes manufacturing, it's pretty horrifying.
I've joined a library to borrow this book rather than buying it... baby steps :)
I’m reading “Goodbye, Things” right now - I don’t agree with all of the author’s points but most are life changing perspectives and I have been incorporating them in my own life. The Netflix show with Marie Kondo is also a good watch :)
Reading into the devastating impacts of consumerism on the environment has also been eye opening. Look into environmentalism, sustainable living and a zero waste lifestyle. You can cut out a lot of spendings this way, while being a friend to the Earth.
My credit card bill has gone down by a good 50-60%. I have donated so many things I have mindlessly accumulated. My home and my mind are more free and peaceful.
I find that so many people do this because the small amounts are deceiving. When you add it all up the total can be shocking and you realize how much better that money could have been spent. So I would make that the first step. Go through your bank statements and total up how much you’ve been spending on unnecessary things that don’t add much value to your life. Add up the coffee, the takeout, the clothes, the makeup for the last three months if not the last year. The results will be a wake up call. Then you have some decisions to make. You don’t want to eliminate pleasure spending completely; you’re still allowed to enjoy life. But prioritize. What could you really do without? What would you really not miss that much? Saving is less about depriving yourself and more about knowing the value certain things give you and just not wasting money on things that don’t give you much if any.
When and where are you shopping? Do you do it on your way home from work? If so, take a different route home so you don’t pass those stores. Do you have to leave your house specifically to go shopping? Tap into your inner laziness and watch a movie instead. Find out where your triggers are, and plan to avoid them.
One thing I’ve been doing lately is challenging myself to not spend any money until, say, Friday. I know I have groceries, I know I have dog food, I have all the necessities to make it to Friday without buying anything else. So I challenge myself to switch up my routine and avoid spending. I’ll walk the half mile to the gym rather than drive so I can’t go shopping after I work out. I’ll avoid driving past stores that might be a temptation. When I’m really feeling the urge to shop, I’ll make a mental game to see if I have anything currently in my possession that could be used instead of buying something new, and if I can come up with a sufficient solution I tend to lose the motivation to go out lol. Of course if I have a genuine need, like running out of toilet paper, I’ll go buy it…. But then I have to challenge myself to leave the store only with the thing I need.
Online is harder, but I’ve noticed that often if I add something to my cart and then wait, I’ll get an emailed coupon a few days later. By that time the impulse has worn off and I can evaluate if I really want the thing or if I just wanted to shop.
I am definitely going to try lots of these ideas, thank you! I shop on my lunch break when I go for a walk so I'm going to start walking in the other direction or just not bringing any cash/cards with me, etc. I like the idea of not spending anything until Friday or something, I think hanging on with the stuff I have will make me not only be more reasonable with my spending but also let me be more grateful for what I already have at home. Thank you!
Purge your house of all the crap you have bought and don't actually have a use for. And, as you go, keep a tally of what all that unneeded stuff cost you. That may be enough of a shock to your system to make it easy to avoid replacing it.
I suggest a yard sale with profits going into the house-buying savings account, too.
This is something I can really get on board with, thank you! Top of my to do list.
You might want to consider whether you are sabotaging the house purchase and, if so, why. I have a friend who bought a condo and hated it. Just having a mortgage made her anxious. The day she sold it was the happiest she had been in years. Not saying that's what you have going on. But, it's worth thinking about.
Step #1 Awareness.
Step #2 Focus on what prupose spending serves for you (boredom, a quick reward for working, childhood family culture or trauma getting perpetuated, etc).
Step #3 Focus on why you want to change. Incentives are important.
Step #4 Be real that you as a human have habits. This can be great in some cases and bad in others. Habits take time to form. With this knowledge start with a small habit of change. Like the starbucks. Set a small goal like no Starbucks on Wednesdays. Have coffee at home on that day and then reflect the hell out of how it went throught the day and week. Next week go for a smaller greater goal. The key is habit chunking small changes.
Also, I strongly suggest you listen to or read atomic habits. It will provide you with valuable tools like making desireable behaviors easier and undesired ones more difficult (as touched on by you leaving your cards at home option).
Small goals definitely sound a hell of a lot easier than just saying right, no more spending at all. I do need to have a think about the why not just the fact that I am spending. I've ordered your book suggestion through the library too. Thank you for your help.
You're welcome. I love that book and it has helped me a ton! I listened to it on audible and it was good.
Yes small goals. The snowball effect (vs the avalanche effect). Start small and grow vs the pressure of "I should be amazing already." haha
making a list of all the items you buy and how much they cost or reviewing your credit card transactions is a good place to start. reflecting on it after the fact, after the item you so desired is sitting on the shelf unused and seemingly pointless...found this helpful myself.
Seems like a lot of people have it covered here with really good responses
I just wanted to send out some love and some empathy. I can compulsive spend too. The fact that you’re aware is great.
You’re gonna get through this, learn some new therapeutic and coping skills and be really proud of yourself :) <3
I agree with some of the commenters that you need a Philosophical reason to avoid spending money. One angle could be the environment. Perhaps if you care about the earth you can begin to view everything you buy under the critical lens of "is the world better for this thing having been made so that I could buy it?". I would challenge you that the truth is more often a very clear and loud no.
Whatever works for you, it only works if you make it hit deep. Good luck!
r/nobuy may help
You have to find out the "why." You sound like you don't want to shop excessively, but you feel some sort of compulsion to do it.
If it is a compulsion, your best bet is gonna be to use some of your shopping money on therapy. For some people (I'm not necessarily saying you), shopping is actually an addiction. Like drugs, booze, etc.
Compulsive behavior isn't something Reddit and documentaries can fix. That's a job for a trained professional.
It does feel like a compulsion and I know it is linked to emotions - both positive and negative. I think I have to tackle those in a better way. Thank you, this is really helpful advice. I am definitely going to look into therapy. Might tackle a few other issues too!
Listen to a bunch of YouTubers and podcasts about minimalism! Many of them are quite non-judgmental and talk about wanting, buying, and owning less in an inspiring way along with all the tips and tricks to make it happen.
I would recoment to READ book by Allen Carr "Easy Way to get out of debt". It is very good on anticonsumption, I found it best.
One tip I would recoummend is to use physical cash and only carry a card when nessesary.