Five Minimalist Hacks to Stop Impulse Shopping

30 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 bags

The impulse shopping season is upon us! Have you ever bought something you don’t need during an end of year sale? Have you opened your wardrobe months later to find unworn items with their tags still attached?

Here are five hacks to stop you from impulse shopping.

  1. Write a wish list. Buying sale items isn’t always a disaster, however you’re less likely to suffer buyer’s remorse if you prepare. Don’t ever leave for a shopping trip without a list. Seriously consider what you are searching for. Make the list quite short – pick only the things you want the most! A list of five items will help constrain your purchases. Bring the list with you and only search for the items on your list.
  2. Create a budget. Whenever you consider going shopping, reflect on how much you can really afford to spend. Make sure your budget suits your disposable income.
  3. Delay your purchase. Never buy something the moment you see it. A handy tip is to take a photo of yourself wearing the item in the fitting room. This way you can seriously contemplate the item as you take a break. Walking away for even just twenty minutes will help you make rational decisions about what you purchase.
  4. Avoid shopping sales. I often felt like I had nothing to wear when I shopped sales a lot. I got fooled into thinking I was getting a bargain, but the items I bought didn’t really fit into the bigger context of my wardrobe. My closet ended up being inconsistent and mismatched. Reduce impulse shopping by shopping only when you are capable of making rational decisions.
  5. Have defined shopping rules. Finally, give yourself some shopping rules. Pay attention to whether you favour certain fabrics, cuts or styles. Write down three top rules that will constrain your purchases. Whenever you go shopping, ask yourself if item of interest meets your rules.

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Below is a video discussing these ideas in more detail. Check out my YouTube channel for new videos about minimalism every week. Follow me on Instagram, where I record my minimalist outfits. Check me out on Facebook for resources and updates. I have also have a Patreon account, where for a small donation you can view additional content.


19 thoughts on “Five Minimalist Hacks to Stop Impulse Shopping

  1. To be honest, I despise the idea of Black Friday and haven’t participated in years. The best way to gift these days for me is with those little plastic gift cards. You look lovely in this video! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. #5 is so simple but it’s brilliant. I just drafted up my list and stored it in my phone’s notes (now I just have to remember it!). I didn’t have specifics on look/style because my wardrobe tends to be eclectic, but here are my new rules (a lot of which are already sprinkled in your other posts):
    1. Does the fabric look like it will hold up (not pill or pull, not shrink, fade, wrinkle, or lay weird)?
    2. Is it something that can be worn with more than one thing (I’ve been guilty of buying a shirt that only “goes” with one specific skirt I own)?
    3. Can it be worn in multiple settings (I once bought a sweater that I only wear to work, a shirt I only wear for “date nights”, etc.)?
    4. Do I need it, or do I just want it? And if I just want it, will it make me happier than if I had that money in my wallet? (since I thrift shop, I usually tell myself it’s OK to buy even if I don’t need it since I’m not spending a lot, but at the end of the day I should be focusing more on buying items that make me happy vs. ones that just satisfy my shopping urge in the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am working on planning my purchases and my problem is that when I see an item i plan to go on sale I have a hard time saying no. If I plan to buy it in a few months but it goes on sale now what to do? Save the extra money now and buy it, or wait and possibly pay more for it later?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s strange that you say that. I accidentally found a pair of shoes I love on sale, but I’m not supposed to be shopping for another month. I’m not going to be able to get them because I’m bound by making public statements about when I can and can’t buy stuff, and you guys keep me accountable… Thirty days isn’t a long time, who knows, maybe they’ll still be available when the shopping fast is over. Haha. One thing you can’t control is the retail cycle – if you haven’t made any massive restrictions on yourself like a shopping fast – which is about a lot more than saving $50, and you’ve thought about this item and genuinely love it – just get it. You don’t know if you’ll get the opportunity for this specific thing again.
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I consider myself a minimalist and I do all those things! haha Honestly I feel like avoiding shopping sales is key because whenever I’m in one of those situations I somehow end up convincing myself that I need to buy certain items. So it’s best to avoid it altogether in my case..hehe

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Number 4 was so me.
    I still shop during the sales but I actually take the time to think about the item and what I’d actually wear it with. If I know I’m going to wear it with a lot of things, I will buy it and if not then I’ll leave it.
    Great post with very helpful tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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