How To Stop Shopping Online — (and What To Do Instead)
We have all experienced the familiar thrill of adding new pieces to our closet, but this comes with a cost beyond the number on the price tag.
Shopping brings what we call instant gratification, which is happiness at the moment. Members of the research team at FinditHealth found that once this excitement fades, we are left just seeking more which leads to further impulse buying. With a few tips, this article can help you stop shopping online and have more free time for essential things in your life.
How To Stop Shopping For Clothes
Figure Out Why You Are Buying Things In The First Place
The first step to stop shopping for clothes is to figure out why you are buying clothes in the first place. Is it the temptation of a sale or clever e-commerce marketing?
It’s important to do some self-reflection and pinpoint the reason behind your online shopping habits. There are many reasons we might buy clothes we don’t need. We might buy because we want to feel more confident or are trying to convey social status. It could be from being addicted to obtaining new things or the thrill of bargain hunting. You could use shopping as a coping mechanism or not even remember what’s in your closet!
Figuring out your triggers and why you want to shop online lets you take back control and become more mindful of your shopping patterns and online purchases.
Declutter & Organize
Another step to stop buying clothes is to declutter and organize your closet. Decluttering allows you to see how much clothing you truly own. There are probably items with tags on or items that you have hardly worn.
Organizing allows you to create more space in your closet so you can easily find items. This will help prevent you from buying multiple clothing basics or items too similar. Embrace your inner Marie Kondo and donate anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
By decluttering and organizing you are limiting your impulse purchases and improving your spending habits.
Consider An Item For 24 Hours
Another helpful tip is to consider waiting 24 hours before purchasing an item. This will help you prevent impulse shopping as it gives you time to really consider if you want and need an item.
In addition, you can also keep a wish list of items you want and plan to purchase in the future. We all will need things here and there, and this tip just helps us plan. You can put a small amount of money aside from each paycheck and even wait for sales or coupons.
Only Use Cash
A great way to stop shopping online is to use cash envelopes to help the budget. A credit card is very easy to save and store on your computer and just easy to mindlessly swipe. This is a collection of envelopes for specific categories of your budget with a set amount of cash in each month. For example, you could have groceries, clothes, and household items envelope. This helps you stay on budget because once the envelope is empty of cash, it’s gone.
Online Shopping Anxiety
While there is nothing wrong with treating ourselves here and there and using the convenience of online shopping, it can cause a lot of anxiety.
We then start to use shopping as a coping mechanism to regularize our emotions or chase the excitement and “high” feeling. It could be emotions like low self-esteem, boredom, loneliness, and even stress. But what happens is most of them, you generally feel worse after buying because you are left with guilt.
Online shopping anxiety stems from our brain’s pleasure-reward system. Shopping online gives us a dopamine “high,” which makes it highly addictive. Research has shown that when we see pictures of things we’d like to buy, the region of our brain associated with dopamine release is activated.
Dopamine is the hormone that plays a crucial role in driving our behavior toward pleasurable goals. Basically, this is the hormone that is released whenever we experience something exciting or new, and it’s why online shopping leads to anxiety because it’s a vicious cycle of ups and downs.
Stop Shopping App
The easiest way to stop shopping online would be to simply not get online, but this isn’t realistic in today’s world. We get online for work, social connection, and, well, sometimes, just to unwind from the day or take a quick break at work.
The majority of us struggle with having the willpower not to be enticed by ads and products. This is where it can be helpful to use apps and chrome extensions to help stop online shopping.
Mobile apps, especially for dealing with a shopping addiction, will not only help you manage your money more effectively, but they can also help you get out of debt. Some favorite apps we found during our research are below:
- LeechBlock is a free app that works directly with a Firefox browser. You simply specify which website you want to block and when to stop them.
- Freedom is a productivity app that blocks your access to the Internet for a specified period. Freedom works with any device on any platform and costs $2.50 per month. The average user report shows that you gain an average of 2.5 hours of productive time daily thanks to the app.
- StayFocused is a free app that works with Chrome. Like LeechBlock, it enables you to block specific websites during specific times. However, StayFocused takes it one step further by allowing you to block entire genres of websites. This way, you can stop yourself from playing any game, watching any video, and any online retailers in this genre.
What To Do Instead Of Online Shopping
Catch Up On Life
Online shopping sure takes up a lot of time. When you stop online shopping, you will realize how much more free time you have. Use this free time to catch up on life and any activities that you are running behind it. It gives you time to truly declutter and organize your home and has more time for exercise. You can even use this free time to start a new project at work or even spend more time with friends.
Start A New Hobby
While a lot of us consider shopping a fun activity, we encourage you to find new activities or a fun hobby. Human beings are hardwired into acquiring shiny brand new things, but there are many other ways to infuse joy into your life that don’t involve buying things or even spending money.
You could start walking more and exploring your local neighborhood or even start hiking if this is available in your area. Get together with your partner and friends and organize a weekly dinner for everyone. Is there a new game or workout program you have wanted to try? Now is the time, and it could become a healthier alternative to shopping online.
Consider Renting Or Borrowing Items
Let’s face it we all will need things at some point but instead of buying, see if you can rent or borrow first. The library is a great resource for free books, magazines, and videos. Lowes allows you to rent tools and even heavy equipment and trucks. Last, there are now several companies that allow you to rent clothes. So you no longer have to buy a dress or suit for just one occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop an online shopping addiction?
To stop an online shopping addiction, get offline and consider what is driving your need to buy items. Then consider a cash budget, waiting 24 hours to buy something, and decluttering and organizing your closet, so you know what you truly own.
How do I stop wanting to buy things?
To stop wanting to buy things, it’s best to figure out why you enjoy something. It could be loneliness, trying to fit into society or boredom.
Why can’t I stop buying things online?
Buying things online is a very addictive habit and can be challenging to stop. This is because shopping online releases the hormone dopamine in our brains which triggers a short-lived “high” feeling. We keep shopping to keep chasing this feeling.
How do I stop shopping when bored?
To stop shopping when you are bored, it’s best to step away from the computer or phone and find something else to do. You can go outside on a walk, call a friend, or even start a new hobby.
Conclusion – Research by Findithealth.com
Buying things you don’t need is hard, but having the plan to stop buying stuff you don’t need will help. Team members of FinditHealth found that eliminating shopping online saves money and gives more free time for other things in life.
Enjoy the journey, and remember it’s all a work in progress. Stay committed and intentional, and every small step counts!
Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!