Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts

10 Tips to Stop Shopping

After reviewing our budget for the last year, one thing is clear - I need to spend less. So that will be my resolution in 2018 to cut out all spending on non-essentials. It will be a challenge to change my addiction to reading emails, feeds and facebook - but it will be worth it when I can add up our spending at the end of next year. That is the carrot on the stick.


But to achieve this goal will require changes, which have begun already. Here  are ten easy painless tips to stop shopping next year:
  1. Unsubscribe from all emails from retailers. Lucky for us, almost all emails contain a tiny little link on the bottom to unsubscribe from their email list. If they don't have a link, I just tag them as JUNK and hopefully it won't clutter my mailbox. Some companies state it may take a week to remove you from the list but it shouldn't happen. I happen to have a lot of emails all dump into one email box so I get multiples of some emails. You need to unsubscribe from each separate email. Its best to do this when you are feeling motivated to quit shopping online, just unsubscribe even if you are afraid of missing a deal, if its good enough you'll find out about it some other way.
  2. If unsubscribing isn't getting all your emails, you can use a free service call https://unroll.me/ and it will review your emails and you can unsubscribe with one link.
  3. Remove feeds from bloggers that promote shopping, spending and deals. I log in to Feedly every day and get hundreds of website update feeds. By unfollowing deal bloggers you will find you don't spend nearly as much time reading about deals and being tempted to spend money.
  4. Discard all mail from retailers - catalogs, postcards, flyers, circulars and deals. Don't even read them, straight into the garbage they go.
  5. Do not go to stores. Part of the no spending effort, also involves no shopping. Don't go just to watch someone else shop, or even to get your steps for the day in the mall. Walk outside to get your exercise. Stay out of stores.
  6. In addition to the money you save by not shopping, you will find it is a big time saver. Take that time and do something useful with it. Instead of reading emails, facebook and feeds, I will go for a 15 minute walk. Or read a book. Or write a blog entry. Try to make your new found time a new better habit.
  7. Delete retail apps on your phone. Retailers have found out we spend more when we are members of reward clubs. To spend less its really simple to just delete apps on your phone that make it easy to spend money. If you can order ahead to get your starbucks and jump the line and pick it up, and you've already paid on your app - you are probably spending too much. I know I did. I've deleted all reward club apps for restaurants, stores, and receipt logging apps.
  8. Delete payment apps on your phone. The easier it is to pay, the more you spend. You need to make it harder to pay and involve your conscience to realize you're spending. Your awareness of shopping and spending will increase if you have to carry cash, or a wallet instead of mearly swiping your phone over the register.
  9. If you think you need to shop and buy something, check around your house in your stockpile for the item. If you already have the item, you probably don't need another one. If its broken, fix it. Or try to find a suitable substitute. Can you borrow the item you think you need?
  10. Make your self wait if you feel you must buy something. At least a day or preferably a week. Justify your purchase, but don't research it trying to find the best price, maybe ask someone else to, or just get it from Amazon which is usually the best price anyway.
Good Luck!

Organizing Clutter

I haven't come out and publicly listed my resolutions for the year because I guess I figure they're actually lifestyle changes that I need to work on ALL the time, not just because its a new year. Plus it seems like they would be the same as last year -
1. lose weight (15 lbs) and win the battle with the evil scale
2. get all our groceries and household supplies for free using coupons, rolling gift cards and rebates
3. become more minimalist by getting by with less stuff
As the middle of the first month approaches, I've been dieting and have lost 5 lbs so far, unfortunately I continue to battle the weekend habits of drinking beer and eating chicken wings which makes me gain what I lost. So my NET LOSS is only 2 lbs. Its an ugly pattern that probably will always be my monkey, so I'm going to avoid the reality by just weighing myself once a week - forget that daily yo-yo crap. I think I'll pick Fridays to weigh in - should be a good day after biking and walking all week, but before the weekend splurge on wings and beer. Or I could give up wings. But that wouldn't be fun and I want life to be fun so forget it.
 
Anyway, my next resolution to get free groceries is off to a great start since we've only spent $42 in cash and have gotten all our $800 in groceries free, and $60 in gift cards already, so we're well on our way. We did it last year so its not going to be hard to do again.
 
The hardest thing for me to do is to become minimalist. I love the idea and the result (my new kitchen and bathrooms are there already!), but its really hard to organize and get rid of stuff. I just bought another PC last week (like I really needed it?!) so I needed to rearrange my computer station - it just can't handle 5 computers, a couple monitors and a couple printers, plus all the peripherals like speakers, webcams, external drives, itune chargers and other usb stuff. So as luck would have it, there was a cheap computer L shaped desk for sale on craigslist in our neighborhood and I got it. I've already spent hours cleaning off the desk, moving all the units, cleaning, putting up the desk and setting up the new area.
 
However, there is a pile of boxes in the middle of the room with all the papers that were in the file cabinet I had to move. I figured I might be able to just throw away all the paper in the cabinet and fill it up with the stuff from the bookshelf, and move that into the spare room for more stockpile space. So here's my criteria to review and toss
1. Do I need it? (This is the hard question - some things I want. If that's the case it needs to be either beautiful or functional and maybe I'll set it aside to decide later in the process.
2. Is it still relevant? (Easy one, if I don't own the equipment, or I already took the trip, or paid the bill its tossed) 
3. Can I get this information on the internet?
4. Do I need the original? If not scan it and put it on the computer.
5. Keep it if it meets all criteria.
I'm sure there will be stuff I WANT but don't NEED. Like do I need all the race numbers from all my 10K and Marathon runs with my time and place noted on the back? No, but it will be tough to toss them. It just wouldn't be the same to scan it and have it on the computer. Anyway, its my big challenge of the next couple days to get all those boxes emptied and the new area straightened out, then you can see the picture. The picture of the desk above is my current cubby hole corner - which is a mess, at least my box of coupons on the floor there is neat and tidy.