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So much stuff I "need"

June 1st, 2022 at 10:40 pm

I've been buying stuff online at least twice a week.  It seems to be things I need: clothes (I'm sick of wearing hoodies at home, so I'm buying inexpensive tops from Walmart and other places on sale), bathroom cleaning stuff (Scrubbing Bubbles, extendable scrubbing brush), things for the home (plastic tablecloth protector) ...

Is this normal or have I succumbed to impulse buying? It is starting to bother me, but I can't seem to stop.  What should I do?

8 Responses to “So much stuff I "need"”

  1. Laura Says:

    To combat this, I created a list of things that I need and things that I want. Since we're in the process of cash flowing some major home improvements, I'm only shopping from the need list.

  2. Lots of ideas Says:

    Do you have a budget?
    If so, then if what you are buying online is in line with your budget, whether you go to the store or buy online is not significant. With the price of gas, buying online might save you money. Certainly, it is easier to compare costs at Walmart, Target, Amazon to find the cheapest price from your couch rather than going store to store.

    If you don’t have a budget, then you should set aside the time to make one, and the time each week or month to track expenses and make adjustments.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    I agree with the others. Having a budget for your expenses is really important to help you to make sure you are not going off the rails. Ask yourself why you are buying it. Are you buying food because it is a regular shopping trip or are you bored? Are you buying clothes because you need them or is it retail therapy? A shopping list, whether it is for your groceries or a home improvement project, is also important. I like to pick out what it is I want to buy from an online store and then let it sit in the cart for a day or so. Sometimes a sale or coupon code will come my way to help make it less expensive. Also, if you use a credit card, check if there are any special rebates for shopping at certain stores. When I buy something with a credit card, I have a game plan ahead of time of how I am going to pay for it and I make a line item in the check book for it so I don't forget. Good luck!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I put things on my Amazon wish list before I buy them. I let them sit a while, and if I still want them after a week or so, it's an easy matter to move them to the shopping cart. The other good thing about this strategy is that someone else just might buy them for me! Smile I have found that I often take things off my list due to waning interest.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    I don't really see anything on your list that are wants, except maybe the tablecloth protector, unless it was for one of those lacy, doily types. Better to just have one that you can wash off at the table for daily use. Make a list of the things you need and only let yourself buy them once a week. Don't just send off multiple orders in a week. It's okay if you have several websites on that day, but it is really easy to start getting into the habit of sending of orders once a day or more as you think of them and then stuff starts sneaking in that you want, not that you need. Think first and if it doesn't get on this week's order, it'll get on next. And budget for these things. I have a household budget for things like toilet paper, paper towels, Ziploc bags, cleaning supplies, replacement water filters for the fridge, lightbulbs, etc., just things I need to run the household. I try to have one on hand to immediately replace the one in use and then put that item on a list to be worked into the next allotment from the household budget.

    The clothes you could get carried away with if you aren't careful. Make sure your clothes are interchangeable so that you can put several outfits together from a limited wardrobe. Either by using complimentary colors, for example turquoise and hot pink, or matching, say you have turquoise shorts and a top that has splashes of turquoise in it, but that top also has splashes of green in it that could be worn with green shorts, but that top also has splashes of hot pink which can be worn with hot pink shorts, which also goes well with the turquoise pair of shorts. Then mix in a hot pink tank top. This is just an example from the summer wardrobe I just bought, plus I have denim shorts for the purple tank top that has splashes of pink which could also go with the pink shorts. The purple tank happens to compliment the green shorts well, too. So I have several outfits I can wear from 4 shirts, 3 shorts, and the denim shorts I already owned. I also own a tank top that only goes with the denim shorts, so that one is limited, at least until in the future I find other clothes that will go with it.

  6. plan2retire@55 Says:

    Thank you all for the great advice. It is really helpful.
    The good news, Lots of Ideas is I already have a budget setup like a cash flow statement that I update with Actuals a few times per month. I also automatically move funds each month to savings accounts.
    My problem has only started recently where I'm making online orders about twice a week. I seem to be buying mostly things I need, but I feel like a car out of control and I'm worried online shopping will become an addiction. It's just too darn easy.
    I'm going to start organizing the clothes I have, like LuckyRobin suggested, so I can mix and match what I already have. I find as I age, I want to look more polished and coordinated. At least I haven't gone bananas and spending big bucks. But I know the small bucks add up.
    I'm going to do as crazyliblady and CB in the City suggested and keep the things in the shopping cart for a while or move them to the Waitlist. I'll use this as the list suggested by Laura so that I am not shopping more than a couple times a month.
    I will also do better at Returns. I must have discipline! Thanks again.

  7. Amber Says:

    For me budgeting helps, especially when I find myself spending more. I also keep a running shopping list, this helps with combating impulse purchases.

  8. rob62521 Says:

    I was beat to it, but having a budget is vital. Going through your closet is worth the time. Then, making a list of things you honestly need would be helpful. For example, you may have 5 pairs of shoes, but if you are a walker and you need walking shoes, I would classify that as a need. But buying a pair of dress shoes simply because you like them or they were on sale or whatever, would be a want.

    I don't buy a lot of stuff online because it is way to easy, especially when some of the sites tempt you with...spend a little more and get...

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