Friday, November 23, 2018

3 Tips to Become a More Focussed Shopper

In the past, I was an extremely unfocussed shopper. I loved to browse for deals, and I was easily enticed by sales. I didn't know what I truly needed or wanted, and as a result, I bought everything I thought I wanted. Once the clutter started accumulating, I realized I had too much, and I hadn't truly wanted most of the things I had purchased. That's when I started taking steps to becoming a more focussed shopper. In this video, I share 3 tips on how I did that.



Tip 1: Unsubscribe from retailer email lists
Unfocussed shoppers can be very susceptible to fear-based sales or marketing tactics like "Limited quantities available!" or "Sale ends in 24 hours!" or "80% off!" These marketing tactics prey on your fear of missing out. Yup, your FOMO. By unsubscribing from retailer email lists, you can become blissfully unaware of sales you are missing out on, on things you don't need or want. I unsubscribed from ALL retailer email lists when I first started to curb my shopping. I've since re-subscribed to a few retailers, but I've started feeling a bit tempted by sales again, so perhaps it's time to re-unsubscribe.

Some of my friends have a dedicated email account for junk/retail marketing lists, and this can be a good strategy too.

Tip 2: Avoid window shopping and online browsing
One of my favourite pastimes used to be going to shops and browsing to see what goodies were available. This is a huge no-no for unfocussed shoppers. I ended up buying tons of stuff I didn't need. At the height of my unfocussed spending, I even knew I didn't want some of these things, but I bought them anyway. That was such a strange time in my life, and I'm so happy I no longer feel the urge to window shop.

In my (very old) beauty ban tips and tricks video, I shared a strategy that involved online browsing, where you go through all the motions of picking out items to purchase and putting them in your cart. The key to this strategy is to close the browser and walk away before confirming your purchase. Invariably, your desire for those items will fade over time, and you won't end up going back to make the purchase. Since I don't browse as much these days, I don't use this strategy very often anymore; however, I did a couple of times recently, and it still works for me. If you're someone who would continue through to the purchase and confirmation stage, you'll probably want to stay away from online browsing altogether.

Tip 3: Keep a well thought out list and stick to it
I never used to shop with a list, but now I always do. I try my best not to go off-list when I shop. Recently, I showed myself shopping at a Chinese supermarket and I went off-list to buy a jar of pickled vegetables. I even said, "I'm going off-list" in the video! I later regretted it because those vegetables weren't very tasty. It was only a $2.99 lesson, but it stuck with me.

In terms of online shopping, I still try to meet the minimum threshold for free shipping, but I don't look at off-list items like I used to--that's how I accumulated pineapple shot glasses and a whole host of other things I didn't need. Now, I purchase one or two more of the items that were already on my list that I know I will use up rather quickly, like tooth powder or dish soap.

***

Yesterday's journalling prompt was a lot of fun for me! I journalled for around 10 minutes on the things I'm grateful for that money can't buy. I felt warm and fuzzy afterward. I knew I hadn't journalled in a long time, but it was interesting to see that my last entry was on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! I'm glad I'm picking up journalling again, as this really helped me clarify my thoughts when I journalled daily at Grail Springs.

Today, I woke up to a slew of Black Friday deal emails, and I was momentarily tempted to buy a BeautyBlender set. I tend to beat myself up when I'm tempted by purchases that I know I don't really need or want, so I thought I should practice a little self-love. In light of this, today's journalling prompt is:

What traits do you love about yourself?
To go deeper, ask yourself: Why do I love this about myself?

Please join me as I'll be journalling on this at some point today. You can set aside a specific block of time to journal (it could be as little as 5 minutes), or you can add to your journal entry throughout the day each time you feel like buying something. If you don't like journalling, you can just think about the prompt instead of shopping.

P.S. I didn't buy the BeautyBlender set! I filmed today's video instead. :)

***

In each video, I'll also ask:

What's the best thing that happened to you today?

My former colleague (and friend) shared this question with me as it's a daily practice she implemented in her life. I loved the concept, but I've been off and on about applying it in my daily life, so I thought we could practice together. My twist for this 5-part series is that my answer can't involve shopping.

The best thing that happened to me yesterday was meeting up with a friend briefly. She texted me just before noon and asked me to help her pick out a coat. When I got to the store, she was trying to decide among three coats. I watched her try them on and tried to help her hone in on which coat she liked best. I started getting the sense that she wasn't 100% happy about any of them. We got to chatting and I told her about the video I had just filmed and the series I was working on, and she thought it was a great idea. I then asked her if I could ask her the 4 questions. She agreed, and by the 2nd question, she had decided not to buy any of the coats! I felt so happy and proud of her. We left the store empty handed and went to check out a couple of exhibits that she had on her list. We were only together for around an hour, but it was such a nice break in the day, and seeing her really lifted my spirits.

I suppose my best thing from yesterday does kind of involve shopping. But really, I like to think of it as involving not shopping.

Happy Friday!!

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