How to stop buying so much

We buy a crap ton of stuff everyday. We buy: coffee, snacks, lunch, dinner, new gadgets and games to make us happy. But, with the start of quarantine, the demand for these luxuries would be believed to decrease, due to the restriction on outdoor, non-essential stores. However, for myself and many others, we can agree the need to buy has never been greater.

We all get bored. The urge for something different to our normal life gives an immediate influx of dopamine to our system, to make us feel happy for a time. For me, i would get this shot from moving my bedroom around; constantly as i ” wanted to give myself as much space as possible”. What was really happening was i wanted change in my routine, a change of location in my own home. This worked for a long time, until the furniture began to wear down, and i began to move it incessantly. It then became known as an addiction.

What does this have to do with buying? it gives the same joy as i had moving my bed. When we first buy the item on amazon, or eBay, we get all excited : yes! something new is on its way! But this joy can soon disapear when the item arrives at your house, and you wonder why you ordered it in the first place.

Our mind is very good at convincing us to buy something. “This will make you happier” or ” this will get you the grades you want “. This is not the case! The joy of waiting is what we want. EVerybody wants something to look forward to; every once in a while, but whether it is a smart decision to buy a £400 watch that tells the time, and alerts you when you’re exercising ( in case you didn’t already know) is the real issue.

So, what can we do to solve this issue? First look around in your living space, ask yourself why you need this item? If it is a new phone, why do you need it? If your old iPhone is broken and beyond repair, maybe it is a good idea to buy a new one, or pay for a refurbished one using your insurance. A friend once told me that ” we should only upgrade, or buy something new, when the action you require/ need is unattainable with your current product. When i say require, i don’t mean you need portrait mode on a iPad, i mean the features like being able to use it as a functional computer, to edit videos for your work. Valid arguments such as those will help justify purchases, in your own head that is.

As much as we enjoy spending, there is a joint feeling of buyer’s remorse. Sometimes the products we buy aren’t up to our standards, or the aforementioned ” buyer’s joy” has dissipated. Many times, we cannot get the money back ( unless returning it to the seller in the allotted time). To combat this feeling, certainty is needed when making a purchase.

Make a spreadsheet about your income, truthfully ask yourself:

Do I need it?

Why do i need it?

Is there any product i have now that could fill this role?

Can i afford it?

How will this affect others in my life?

Assessing the impact on others can result in a purchase, or saving the money. Buying is a choice, not a drug, do not fuel the buyer’s desire.

PS, don’t buy on Black Friday, just don’t.