Today I’m giving you my top tips for avoiding the guilt of retail therapy
We’ll help you stop emotional spending so you can stop feeling guilty for spending money on yourself – and make better purchase decisions.
When it comes to retail therapy, I definitely tend to do more of it when it’s the last thing I should be doing. It’s usually either financially not a great time to eb spending up – or there’s something else going on that I should be focusing on instead.
Because more often than not, retail therapy is just a distraction.
That’s why today I’m giving you some practical tips to avoid unnecessary retail therapy and the subsequent guilt that comes from it. You’ll also get some practical tips to help you make better purchase decisions so the things you buy are what you actually need, want and can afford!
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Looking back, it’s pretty obvious that the times I was doing the most unnecessary spending were also the times I was feeling the least happy and fulfilled.
The shopping was just a distraction, an escape mechanism.
It’s not really therapy!
We call it ‘retail therapy’, except it’s not actually therapy. It only gives you a temporary high – and then you’re left dealing with the bill and the guilt afterwards. And that makes you feel even worse!
So let me give you some practical tips to help you avoid getting into that pickle in the first place. Because we want to ensure that when you shop, you do it in a healthy way that makes you feel empowered and great about your choices.
Tip Number 1: Want vs Need:
Before you buy something, ask yourself, “Do I just want this, or do I actually need it?”
Because we say, “I really need this,” when we actually just mean that we really want it.
And it’s okay for you to want things. But the next question to ask is, “WHY do I want it?”
And that can be extremely illuminating!
Some more questions to ask yourself:
“What do I really want? What is it I’m really looking for? Is it validation, feeling more desirable, feeling rewarded or worthy? What am I actually wanting that I think this thing I’m about to buy is going to give me?”
Because if you’re looking for something else altogether, then this purchase is just a band-aid. And when it falls off, you’ll be left with an even bigger sore.
So the question of, “What do I really want? What do I feel is missing?” is very powerful.
The ease of online shopping can make quitting retail therapy pretty tough. Because it’s just too easy! There’s a million apps, free shipping & free returns. It feels like this effortless commodity – except you still wind up with the charges on your credit card!
So Tip Number 2 is: Set a spending limit!
The rule is that anytime you want to spend more than this limit, you need to wait 24 hours before going ahead.
This will give you some breathing space and helps you step away from the emotional state that’s driving that purchase. It helps you make a rational decision you’ll feel good about and consider your choice from outside that emotional space. Then you can decide whether you really need it – or if you just wanted it to try and fill a void.
It gives you space to step away from making an impulse decision based on emotion.
Tip Number 3: Imagine The Future
Another trick that really works for me is to imagine myself in 6 months time. I imagine having that item in my wardrobe or in my home. How do I feel about it now? Do I actually want to use it? Do I enjoy having it?
Example: I’ve been looking to buy some summer dresses. Now, I’m usually more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl but decided I’m going to make an effort to dress more feminine.
And as I imagined needing to leave the house wearing one of these dresses in 6 months time, I suddenly realized that none of them were a style that suits me!
So imagining yourself with it in the future is a great little trick – especially when online shopping. Because it looks great on the model when we ‘Click To Buy’. But sadly I’ve come to realise that still doesn’t help me suddenly grow cleavage…
Tip Number 4: Buy a round trip!
Last but not least, a really, really practical tip is to make sure you can get a full refund without having to pay shipping charges in your returns.
And a bonus tip is: When your items arrive, keep those tags on until you’re ready to wear them!
Make a note in your diary so if you haven’t worn it by the final return date, you can have another look at it. And if it’s still sitting in your wardrobe by then, chances are, you will return it. Because if it was perfect and you loves and needed it, you’d have found a way to wear it by then.
Which probably means you were looking for something else altogether…
Okay, so there you have some really practical tips to:
1. avoid the guilt of retail therapy
2. to actually make some really good empowering purchase decisions
Tell me, WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SHOPPING TIPS?
How do you avoid the guilt of retail therapy?
Share your top tips in the comments below!
I also highly recommend you get your money organized so you know where to find your fun money and how much you can spend guilt-free. It’s a massive help in avoiding emotional spending and the subsequent guilt.
My free workshop “Organize & Tidy Your Banking” will help you get started. You’ll find the link to get instant access below.
Enjoy & see you in the next episode!
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