Did you know you could save $10,000 per year with only $27.39 per day? I didn’t think that. When I saw this floating around Instagram, I laughed. That savings was so easy to implement. And it certainly expanded my understanding to not buy things I don’t need. As a personal finance consultant and journalist, how was I not able to doit?!
The power of $27.39 a day: Motivation to stop buying crap!
All tea, no shade, my spending habits are sometimes not the best. I am human, too, and can justify $20 here or there at Target or eating out. I like take-out coffee more than any of my friends or family.
Little daily purchases can add up to a significant amount of money over time, and I think that’s probably why it stung when I did the math.
$27.39 multiplied by seven is $191.73 a week. $191.73 multiplied by 52? That’s $9,969.96! That sounds like a great way to stop buying junk. Indeed, setting aside $27.39 a day will result in nearly $10,000 a year!
15 Ways to stop buying stuff you don’t need
I provide suggestions to help you refrain from purchasing merchandise you do not require and help you save money. Here are my guidelines: Shop around before buying anything. Shop the interests of others. Look for bargains and discounts whenever possible. Cut down on shipping and packaging. Proceed with efficiency in mind by making use of loyalty cards and other savings programs.
1. Figure out WHY you’re buying the crap in the first place
The first step in not purchasing unnecessary items is to understand why you are buying them. I am not a stranger to buying the Target Bullseye Section. I also know that I had a shopping addiction when I was a teenager, and I have a mental toolbox to deal with it now.
Maybe you aren’t a shopaholic like I am, but instead, you suffer from the Diderot Effect. To prevent purchasing things that you don’t use, you need to realize what you purchase.
Do you have nothing to do? Lonely? Want to learn how to fix something but don’t want to look inside first? We may purchase items because they’re unsightly, but once we know how to repair and reuse them, we can work towards more financially sensible habits.
2. Choose a financial goal for motivation
You want to do something with the money you’re saving, and it shouldn’t involve spending more on useless items.
Instead of thinking about your goals for the day, consider making plans for a vacation, redecorating a room, or even making a larger purchase that you have been putting off, such as a new vehicle. Knowing that I am saving money toward something in particular, I can tell my Amazon shopping cart no.
3. Challenge yourself to take inventory of what you have
You would be surprised at how many pens or shoes you do not own. By analyzing the contents of your home, you will know what you possess and do not need in order to set up a pantry. It will also motivate you to do the next step on our list.
4. Declutter what you don’t need
Once you’ve inventoried the items in your home, start removing the junk that you no longer need.
Decluttering can be overwhelming, so I recommend beginning with the 30-Day Minimalism Game. Each day of the game, you eliminate that many household items.
For the first two days, you would give away one item and the second day, two items, and so on. By the end of this challenge, you would get rid of over 500 surplus items from your home.
You can also read our guide to six simple steps to declutter your life. You can donate items, give them away, or sell them on Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and more.
5. Apply cancel culture to your email box
Unfollow all email alerts from your Inbox. This includes offers from stores like Walmart and Kroger as well as online coupon sites, such as Groupon and LivingSocial. If you don’t know about a deal, you are unlikely to be tempted by it.
6. Find ways to fulfill yourself outside of shopping
Shopping takes time and ruins your mental equilibrium if you refuse to buy anything. Find a new pastime or activity to occupy those extra hours with something useful, so that boredom doesn’t take you back to the shops.
There’s no need to go shopping when you have time. For me, not shopping gives me an opportunity to use up craft supplies that I have been saving.
7. Give yourself a 24-hour pause
I’m not saying you should never buy anything, but if you see something you want to buy, you should wait 24 hours before making your purchase. Giving yourself a 24-hour window allows buyers to avoid impulsive purchases.
Write down what you need, and then wait and see if you still desire, or even need, it the following day.
8. Keep a wish list of items you want and plan for those
If you are unable to spend a 24 hour period out but still want to shop, put it on a wish list and plan for it. It’s okay to have desires and even buy them. It would be best if you buy them a smart gift.
Save a small amount of money each pay check and search for sales and coupons whenever you go shopping. In addition to unsubscribing from newsletters that tempt you to shop, consider carefully when making big purchases and shop with diligence. I know I previously recommended that you unsubscribe from all newsletters that offer deals, but I specifically ask you to try to save money on purchases you research carefully and make.
9. Consider minimalism
If decluttering encouraged you to buy less, then minimalism might be something to consider. Minimalism has different meanings for different people, but for me, it’s about doing more with less.
If you need to own as few items as possible in order to conserve time and money, it is liberating for you to have exactly what you want or need for everyday life.
Practicing minimalism may appear like buying fewer things for your home, so you will have more free time for cleaning. It resembles having a capsule wardrobe. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and this is the reason you can be free from throwing away items that you don’t require.
10. Stay out of stores
Online shopping is an efficient way to purchase groceries and necessities. You can’t buy goods if you aren’t enticed in a store. Use online shopping for everything you purchase. You can deliver groceries for shopping drivers if you drive yourself. If you load yourself, you can shop at Outpost 74 at Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
11. Utilize a cash budget
Zero-based budgeting, used with cash envelopes, is a timely and efficiently saving approach. By determining where your cash should go in advance, you can set up with a dollar limit and pull cash out for expenses that you had already planned for.
This makes it easier to stay on a budget because you can only spend what you actually have. And once it’s gone, it’s gone. $50 a week for household necessities may seem like a lot, but when you include incidentals like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, it may not be enough.
12. Barter with a friend
You can use this for clothing, cookware, and much more around your home. My friends and I sometimes switch out home decor and clothing. I have also traded home goods, furniture, and cat items.
13. Check out renting an item that’s needed instead of buying it
If you friends do not have items you can borrow, see if you can rent them instead. Home Depot and Lowes rent out tools, your local library has just about every kind of media-related item imaginable, and you can even get clothing for special events from Rent the Runway.
14. Consider a fun money budget
One way to maintain your spending under control and not get sidetracked from your financial goals is to make a fun financial plan. By setting aside a certain amount every paycheck, you can have fun without feeling deprived.
I buy my fun money at Starbucks and Chipotle for lunch and dinner with my friends, which makes me happy and enriches my life in a nonmaterialistic way.
15. Remember you’re only human
Your worst enemy is often yourself. If you fall off the buying ban, extend yourself some forgiveness. Imagine if your relative made an unwise purchase and purchased something they didn’t need.
Wouldn’t you go crazy if you were furious with them? Would you beat them up mentally and call them names? No, I didn’t think you would. Be compassionate in the same way to you.
If you have to shop, don’t forget these key things
Shopping is a necessity. Eventually, at some point, you’ll need an item or two that you just cannot do without or acquire through a barter or salvage method. We recommend the following if you have it.
Try to buy cheap items when they go on sale. You usually find out when you need to swap out an item ahead of time to be a thoughtful shopper and be on the lookout for deals. If you can’t find a yard sale locally, go to the web.
Visit your local thrift store to see if they have what you need before going to the store. Thrift stores can be hit or miss in terms of shopping pre-owned, so it’s a good idea to check this out if you are flexible about what you want.
You can also check out collateral shops for larger items, such as furniture. I bought a vintage room divider for $100; new ones are supposedly over $300 on auction websites.
Remember apps, rebates, and coupons
I can’t stress enough about apps, rebates, and coupons because these programs help me save a lot of money! Check your mailbox each week to see if any retail coupons have been issued.
Don’t forget about cashback programs for grocery shopping, such as Ibotta. Use those credit cards for cashback. My Capital One credit card only earned 8% back for my Sephora purchase.
You can stop buying crap you don’t need!
Purchasing trash you don’t need is difficult, but it’s less difficult if you make a plan to limit your purchases. It’s also a good idea to have an accountability partner that can keep you on track as you adjust your spending habits.
Remember, enhancing your funds are an ongoing process. Stay enthusiastic and diligent – you have this!