Avoid the feeling of being forced to buy something!
Whenever you go inside a store, it is normal to feel some kind of pressure or obligation to buy something. It doesn’t matter if you went there just to look around and see what products they have to offer, the feeling of leaving without a bag and being stared at by the shop assistants might make you feel uncomfortable. Of course, emotions shouldn’t win over the reasoning behind managing personal finances nor a self-created feeling should lead the way you invest your money.
To avoid leaving with a ton of products that you didn’t need in the first place or that cost much more than you can afford, you must establish certain habits that can help to tackle this shame you imagine in people’s eyes when you walk out of the store empty-handed. It is your right as a client: you can go there to take a look but it does not mean that you must buy something.
How to avoid the pressure of buying anything
1-Set a timer to shop
The ideal thing to avoid doing is to visit the mall whenever you have an entire free afternoon which allows you to visit every single store without a time limit. Be a little strict with yourself and set just an hour to shop for what you need (except that you go there once in a while and shop for everything you need in one trip).
2-Have a purpose before going to the mall
Do not make the shopping mall your place to take a walk or meet with friends. Just go there, to the multiple store paradise, whenever you really need something. Make sure to have a list curated beforehand and just visit the stores that sell the goods that you need.
3-Only buy replacements
If it is time to renovate your running shoes because they are way overdue for a change, then there is nothing wrong with buying new shoes to get rid of the old ones. What is actually bad for your finances is to buy three different pairs of running shoes just in case, without having the need to have that many (unless you are a professional runner, sure).
Of course, it is fine to buy things for pleasure. But write it down on your budget. If this month is when you want to buy new utensils for your BBQ because you grill every single weekend, then plan for it through your budget and allow yourself some indulgence. However, you must have a limit to spend within reason and as long as you can afford it.
5-Ask yourself if you already have something that fulfills the same purpose
If you are always tempted by cooking gadgets such as avocado peeler or egg boiler, is it really worth spending money if you already have a knife that can cut the avocado or a cooking pot that boils water for the egg? All those items might make things easier and faster but the truth is that is not worth the money paying for something that has only one function and that can be replaced but an already existent utensil.
Once you begin understanding your finances and you discover how managing them depends on your decisions, it becomes much easier to have some new habits around money without feeling shame nor feeling forced to spend money that you work so hard to earn.