Impulse Buying and what it’s costing us

I was listening on the radio yesterday to people talking about some of their crazy impulse buys, and it made me think about the many instances where we shop without thinking too much about what we’re doing. And I’m certainly not saying I’m immune, I mean, who doesn’t love shopping!

Be aware though of the penalties of endless shopping, and it’s not only the clutter it provides because the house is bursting at the seams and there’s no room to put the new stuff, but it also impacts us financially.

Here are some of the ways we shop, which can very easily become compulsive:

Online buying: it’s so easy to plug in your card number and have access to outlets anywhere in the world, and have goods arrive on your doorstep without even having to leave the house. And what are some of the things we buy, that become clutter rather than something we gainfully use: exercise products, diet pills that come with amazing promises, household goods, and clothes and shoes to name just a few of the hundreds of items you can now buy online. But are you always satisfied with what you have bought when it arrives?

The Sales!!! Doesn’t it seem though that shops have ongoing sales all year round now rather than just seasonal sales. It’s so easy to get excited about sales in our favourite shops, but perhaps we need to stop and think about what we are buying and do we really need it, and can we afford it or are we closing our eyes to that part and putting it on a card to be paid another day.

Retail therapy: I don’t know anyone who hasn’t succumbed to this one… feeling a bit down in the dumps, we grab a friend and go shopping together. And oftentimes in that frame of mind we don’t make the best decisions about what to buy and why we’re buying it.

Thrift shops: I’ve worked with several clients who say they can’t stay away from such shops as Hospice and Salvation Army outlets, and yes you can pick up some brilliant bargains. However I come back to my question – do we need more clothes, shoes, and knick knacks?

Multiple buying: have you ever found the perfect top and ended up buying the same top in several different colours? I definitely know people who do this. But what about variety of style, shape and colour rather than sticking to the same thing but in a different colour.

Shopping habits: some of us have regular times when we shop, i.e. when catching up with friends, or when we have some time to ourselves when the kids are at school. Maybe treat yourself to a wonderful coffee with that friend instead of actually shopping.

Joyful shopping: I can’t talk about shopping without thinking of my lovely sister Heather, who sadly passed away four years ago. Heather got absolute joy from shopping, and she didn’t hold back. I know my other sister Jan, and niece Jo, will smile when they read this as they will well remember many many such shopping jaunts with Heather, as do I. And Heather wasn’t just having a thoroughly wonderful time shopping, but she was generous as well and often said to me “Go on Angella, try that on and I’ll buy it for you”. I am of course a firm believer in finding joy in what we do, and I do know the joy of shopping but I suggest we can be just as happy with a tiny purchase whether it be a pair of fun earrings or even a CD of a favourite artist.

Excessive shopping, whether directly or online, can actually create more problems than what it’s worth and I have worked with many clients over the years who have regretted their shopping habits and compulsive spending.

I’ve mentioned here things to think about in many of these instances, and I would add another couple of ideas:

– Try for while to only replace items rather than buying because we want that item at that time. I shop to replace particularly when it comes to clothes and shoes, and keep in mind what I am going to pass on, or throw away, when I’m buying something new. So I am allowing the flow in and out of my home.

– And here’s one from my sister Jan, co-ordinate your wardrobe so you need fewer garments, keep your wardrobe uncluttered, and always have outfits that match and work together. You can do this through block colour, as Jan does, using one colour theme for the whole outfit. Or you can contrast type and colour as I do, using just two or three colours and fitting them together so that they work, or wearing something soft and feminine with a sharply tailored jacket.

See how you go with some of these ideas. When we shop less we often find more joy when we do allow ourselves to go and buy something special. We can relish our shopping then.

I wish you joy and blessings for a wonderful month ahead as we finally approach Spring. I’ve seen some magnificent trees in blossom which delights me every time.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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