How to stop buying unnecessary stuff online

Photo by Felipe Paes on

When you are locked up in your house for quite a long time, bored, and barely seeing anyone, everything in your phone starts to look like a game. And the challenging part is that spending money doesn’t seem difficult anymore. Paying has never been easy. Unlike taking out your purse and counting change, you can simply pay with just a tap.

There’s nothing so gratifying as having something you want whenever you want it. And regardless of where the items will be coming from, online shopping lets you have them without requiring you to bother and sort out the logistics needed to make the transaction happen.

But here’s a problem with the convenience you are getting from online shopping. You might end up buying things you do not really need. And, you might even start spending more than what you earn.

So how to stop yourself from buying unnecessary stuff online?

Be clear about your needs.

These days, needs and wants begin to blur. Especially when you are the type of person who craves for dopamine hits every after purchase. Don’t you only need so many clothes nowadays? If you’re honest with yourself, you even attend Zoom meetings only half-dressed. And what are you going to do about all the gadgets and the shoes you are planning to buy?

In this situation, you need to go back to basics. Have clarity about what you genuinely need to function in the day. You do not need so much to be happy. But if you think that true life satisfaction comes from amassing wealth, you might be on your race down to the bottom. And you will find yourself in a meaningless search for purpose in this short life.

RELATED: Our search for meaning in this short life

Track your expenses.

Often times, your ignorance keeps you from making the right decisions in life. And that also includes your spending habits. If you record your daily expenses, you don’t have to wonder where your money went anymore.

My boyfriend made a program with Excel to record and track his expenses. It works for him! But if you are the type of person who doesn’t care about creating your own expense tracker, I recommend Mobills app. To know more about the app, visit their website here. The app is available on Android, iOS, and Windows phones.

By the way, this is not a sponsored post.

The reason why I am recommending the Mobills app is that I have been using it since 2017. What I like about it is that it’s intuitive and smart. It shows you your remaining balance in all accounts (which you have to manually indicate upon setting up the app). It shows you your expenses by category too! Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like:

But what I have learned throughout the three years of using the app is this: access to data is utterly useless if you do not do something about your spending.

Do not just be informed, act.

If you can see that you are spending too much on food, then maybe you can trim your expenses there. If you’ve been spending too much on clothes you will only wear once or twice, then perhaps you have to think through about it the next time you want to click that ‘add to cart’ and ‘buy’ buttons.

Quit browsing mindlessly.

Do not check or browse your shopping app when bored.

We live in a world where we are trained and compelled to buy whatever is on sale. At an early age, advertisers taught us what brands to like that some of us end up becoming loyal to those brands.

But this goes beyond big brands. The internet actually enabled a lot of people to sell online, from baked goods to clothes. You can basically buy most stuff online. All you need to do is browse through online shops from various options nationwide (you can even buy from overseas). You can now buy with just a tap, and wait for the product to be delivered right outside your doorstep.

RELATED: How Fast Fashion Is Destroying the Planet

If you don’t need to buy anything urgent, then do not browse through online shops. Only go there because you are really buying something. Why? Because the more you keep on seeing stuff you don’t actually need, you will begin to convince yourself to buy them just so you can feel happy.

And what about the endless discounts online? When you are really going to buy something, it works in your favor. If not, then it sets like a trap for people who lack self-control. Why? Because you haven’t really saved money when you buy something you don’t need at 50% off. You end up spending an amount you could have allocated for something else (like your imaginary savings).

If you think that you can’t help yourself to buy compulsively. Then, my friend, you might be experiencing some form of addiction. Don’t believe me? Read this article to learn more.

Wrap Up

  • Be clear about your needs. You do not need so much to be happy. You only need to buy enough things, but the challenge is that you need to identify what your needs are.
  • Track your expenses. Knowing where your money goes is the start to spend wisely.
  • Quit browsing mindlessly. When you think buying stuff you don’t need at 50% off is a gain, you’re wrong. You ended up spending what you could’ve used for something else. Only visit online shops when there’s a need for it.

P.S.: I wrote this blog post from experience. I’ve already committed the mistake of browsing mindlessly in online shops just because I was bored. I may not have given in to buying stuff, but I sure did waste a lot of hours.

I hope this helps and see you next time.

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