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8 tips to curb spending

May 11, 2020

I’m admist a self-imposed shopping ban. During this past month I’ve improved at controlling my spend. I haven’t bought any clothing online for almost two weeks, and don’t feel the urge to buy now. Here are 8 tips to curb online spending.

1. Find a new hobby

My former hobby was buying upscale clothing at a reasonable price. Over time, snapping up deals depleted my bank account and overflowed my closet. Eventually I realized my research skills could be put to better use. Nowadays I develop mobile apps as a hobby, because I know the importance of a good user interface in getting people to do what you want. I will blog more on my first Android app, created with react-native.

2. Try selling the items

I can always resell it was one of my favorite excuses to justify a new purchase. To experience reselling I’ve started selling items on Poshmark, and surprise surprise, clothes are way more difficult to sell than imagined. The many factors at play include the season, fit, trendiness, … Nevertheless selling clothes online is a new hobby of mine, because it is much more intellectually challenging and satisfying than buying.

3. Work on your body instead

Warren Buffet said: if you only had one car, you’d baby that car. The same thing can be said about your body. We each have only one body, it is the foundation of every outfit, so we need to take care of it! To stay fit while staying inside I’ve resorted to eating baby carrots (they are sweet and filling) and doing an hour of cardio each day including jumping jacks and pushups. I love exercising right after a meal because exercise necessitates smaller and healthier meals. If you want to look good in any outfit, work that bod!

4. Journal why you want to buy that item

Put the pen to paper and dig deep. For me, I digged trench coats with leather sleeves. Why? Because it stood out and exerted authority. Knowing that I want to stand out and exert authority, I amassed technical skills to stand out, and volunteered for leadership positions to gain authority. This exercise is very elucidating and can be more rewarding than shopping. It’s also free!

5. Realize the carrying cost of each item

Owning an item is not just coughing up the purchase price. Over the duration of ownership there’s cleaning cost, tailoring cost, mending cost, and selling/donation cost. With a large overflowing closet, the amount quickly adds up. Hence a small closet is good for your wallet.

6. Donate half of your closet

Take a large garbage bag and fill it with unworn clothes, donate it, then revel in the reclaimed spaciousness. Donating items is the fastest way to declutter, and decluttering feels great because it lifts weight from your closet, mind, and wallet (see previous point).

7. Prioritize buying other things

What can you do with $125 extra per month? Instead of shopping you can save for a trip, or buy other items such as books. $125 worth of books gives greater joy than most $125 worth of clothing, and books have lower carrying cost. They don’t need dry cleaning, and are easier to gift than clothes :)

Give these tips a try!

These are the tips I’m working with, and they are working. Now when I see a desirable item I examine why the item appeals to me, then prioritize the item amongst what to purchase. This means less purchases and a less cluttered mind and closet. Try these tips and they can work for you too!