I’ll confess I have done and been all of the above, and it took me years to really get better clarity on my triggers and patterns. Mine may differ from yours, but there are common triggers that are always at the top of research lists as being the biggest conduits to leaving you feeling a bit out of control.
Top Reasons We Overspend:
- Lack of confidence in our clothing and style
- Out of boredom or just as a fun activity
- Relieve Stress
Whatever your trigger is you’ll need to recognize it first, admit it may be an issue for you, and then change the pattern.
If you lack the confidence in your clothing and style:
First, you need to get to the root of why you’re not confident in your style. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Overspending on clothes you won’t wear, don’t know how to wear, or don’t even really want to wear is a never-ending cycle.
You’ll need to get clarity on your personal style. Meaning, what do you want your style to say about you? How do you want to portray yourself to the world? How do you want your clothes to make you feel?
No one has ever said they want to feel insecure, frumpy, old, etc. Think of words like confident, powerful, fun, creative, elegant, cool classic. These words help tremendously when we shop. They are your guide to becoming a wiser shopper.
If you shop solely out of boredom:
Try finding a new fun activity with a friend other than shopping (this will definitely save you money). Shopping when bored with no plan will almost always turn out to be a waste of time and money!
If you enjoy fashion, looking stylish and have a vision of your personal style and your clothes reflect that, try shopping your closet first. Have fun with putting together new outfits, which stimulates your creativity and overall feeling of accomplishment, and it’s free!
Shopping as a sport can be dangerous so always make sure you have an intentional list and budget, or you will always overspend, and chances are you will have a closet full of nothing to wear!
If you shop to relieve stress:
That can be a bit more complicated. We live in very stressful times, and life is always throwing curveballs unexpectedly, so shopping, as exciting as it may be temporarily, often leads to bad feelings afterwards on overspending.
Try finding something that will relieve your stress that leads to a healthier state of mind and not a fleeting emotion. Maybe it’s reading, cooking, exercising, watching a great show, or calling a friend. If it’s truly shopping for you, it must be intentional. Even shopping for something you need like new skin care, underwear, lipstick, just something small may satisfy your desire as opposed to overspending on frivolous purchases.
Questions To Answer Before You Buy Something On Sale
Sale shopping is a real sport, at least for some. The excitement of seeing your favorites on your wish lists and items in your cart go on sale is an adrenaline rush. It’s a thrill and you often tell yourself “look how much money I saved!” But, have you really?
Without getting too preachy because we have all made mistakes, me too, a lot, when it comes to sale shopping, please ask yourself these questions first!
- Would you buy it if it were full price?
- Do you need it?
- Will you wear it and how?
Taking a moment to answer these questions in your head before following through with the sale can help to prevent making purchases that you don’t need or won’t wear. Sales can be misleading; yes you are saving money, but you may be spending money on something that you wouldn’t otherwise buy.
More Sale Shopping Tips:
The best time to truly shop a sale is for pieces you know you need, look to see if there are discounts available. It’s not necessarily just at a specific sale time. If you live in a climate like South Florida for example, buying summer pieces at the end of the season makes sense if you love and need them because you can essentially wear pieces like that almost year round. Or, if you have travel planned and know you will need a new winter coat or boots, then absolutely shop sale first since it’s not for pieces you will wear often.
Caveat: As a professional stylist, I do buy special sale pieces that I know I will wear next season. I’m okay with something sitting in my closet unworn, a season old, if I know I love it and will absolutely wear it in the future. In fact, I have a few pieces I can’t wait to wear this fall/winter that are timeless in style, so I feel I did score on the sale price! That’s clarity.