They are a little more impulsive…
/ Sale starts now
/ New styles added
/ Sales ends soon
Your favourite brands tease you on the gram and influencers lure you in until you finally can’t take it anymore. You click on ‘add to cart’ and ‘complete purchase’. Satisfaction guaranteed. Guilty pleasure.
It’s just so easy isn’t it? Online shopping. Even if you don’t have the cash, you can just use your credit card or BNPL option – everything is yours in just a few clicks and 3-5 working days. Voila!
And when the package arrives it’s just like Christmas! Presents for me!!!
But… There’s always a but isn’t there?! You don’t always get a happy ending do you? The dress is either too long, too short or it looks different IRL to the photo online. Kinda like online dating!
And even when it’s a perfect fit often something’s still not quite right about it.
Perhaps you’ve had your shopping hit and your fling with saying yes to the dress is over in less than a week. You don’t really want the commitment (or buyers remorse), so you pack it up and send it back from where it came. Also very easy, thank you The Iconic.
All the tingly feels are gone and you’re left with classic symptoms of a shopaholic – chasing a buying buzz, buying things you don’t need or just cause they’re on sale, feeling guilty about spending money you don’t really have, racking up credit card debt, living beyond your means, spiralling into more debt, etc, etc.
I’m sure you have a great wardrobe (invest in classic pieces!). But no doubt it’s come with a different kinda price tag. Lack of control can get you into a serious debt hole that can be hard to dig yourself out of!
If you’ve ever found yourself in over your head with credit card debt, it can leave you feeling as anxious as a really bad night out. You know the ones that I mean. They haunt you forever!
And watch out for those pesky BNPL options, they are the devil in disguise!
The good news? You can turn things around without going cold turkey!
Ready? Here are my 10 really simple (and totally realistic) tips to curb your craving
1 / Lower your credit card limit, or better yet, cut up your card!
2 / Beware of the ‘pusher’ – you know, that really encouraging friend who sends you links to something that would look great on you. Yeah, stay away from them. Or better yet, borrow their clothes!
3 / Set a budget – even if you don’t stick to it. Having a budget will at the very least make you think twice about spending money on something you don’t really need. Use a spreadsheet to track it, or your banking app.
4 / If it’s not a ‘hell yes’, it’s a ‘hell no’! Don’t just buy another pair of jeans or a top cause you have the spare cash or it’s on sale. And if you do, make sure you REALLY LOVE IT!
5 / Marie Kondo your stuff. You’ll be surprised at what you find and fall in love with again.
6 / Try it on. Go to the shop. Go on. Can’t be bothered? Then you don’t really want it that much do you?
7 / If you do make a purchase… What is it replacing? Has your top got a stain or did you tear a hole in it? Who needs 90 pairs of denim shorts (unless you’re Elle Ferguson)? Make sure it’s one in, one out, and get your cost per wear down.
8 / Invest in long standing staples. Like a classic white t-shirt. And when we say invest, it doesn’t mean you can spend more on it! Check out these luxe to less looks… is there really THAT much of a difference between The Row and the others ? I can only see a big price difference. And does anyone really spend $400 on a t-shirt? Ouch!
9 / You’re not saving money when you buy something you don’t really need on sale. Unsubscribe from those spammy emails that are going to distract you!
10 / The exception to the rule – buy the things you need when they’re on sale. There’s always a sale on! Get that Lego set for your kids when toys are 20% off and set it aside for Christmas or birthdays. How good is the Black Friday sale for Christmas gifts? Or better still, give a gift card and they can shop during the New Year sales.
Once you’ve got your habit under control use your new power for good
Sort out your relationship… with your financial institution and your accounts. It’s worth exploring your banking app features and checking out some of the newer players, like digital bank Up. It really is banking bliss.
Make sure you have emergency money, especially during the uncertainty of this pandemic. Have at least three months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. Ideally six or even 12!
Spend more time with your accounts, investments, and superannuation. Even experiment with crypto or whatever floats your boat. They are equally as addictive as shopping and can give you a different kind of hit. A smug one of your future self thanking you.
And if you really want to make a difference for your future self download your free superannuation report and save $100k* (yep, you know that we had to give it a plug!)
As with cracking any habit, ditching the compulsive shopping will take time. You can still have the occasional big hit maybe once a year (damn you Scanlan and Theodore!).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get support from your family and friends – or chat to a financial counsellor.
This blog is inspired by our fierce girl Kathy’s real-life feels and experience.
In 2021 she spent about $8,000 on clothing and accessories. About $650 per month. Yes, that’s including shoes! This year Kathy is setting herself a challenge to track her spending and limit her budget to $4,800. Or $400 per month. That’s the budget she wants to have in her Gangsta Granny retirement.
The rules of her challenge are simple!
1 / Spend up to a total of $4,800 on clothing and accessories in 2022.
2 / Top up her super by $250 per month (the difference between her 2021 spending habit and her 2022 budget). Instead of feeding Kathy’s shopping addiction, that’s $3,000 that will go into her super account. Kathy is 44 now and by the time she retires at 67 that $3,000 could grow to an impressive $75,000. Small sacrifice now. Big returns later!
Follow us on Instagram for Kathy’s progress. She’ll also be tracking what she’s spending her money on, her highs and lows, wish lists and other tips and tricks here on the blog. Stay tuned!