10 Simple Habits For A Successful Shopping Ban

This post is all about 10 simple habits for a successful shopping ban. If you are buying things you don’t need it might be time to implement a shopping ban. I am currently on a yearlong shopping ban and absolutely loved it.

10 Simple Habits For A Successful Shopping Ban
Hello, Copenhagen

If you’ve already started your shopping ban then I am sure you’ve set up your rules, made your list, and asked yourself some tough questions.

I am extremely frugal and decided to do a shopping ban anyway. Why? Simply put, I see it as a great opportunity to promote frugal living. A shopping ban for frugal people makes total sense to me.

Simple habits for a successful shopping ban

Over the years I’ve adapted some pretty sweet frugal habits. This post is all about those habits that I believe could make your shopping ban a whole lot smoother. Let’s get started.

1. Plan all your purchases a year in advance

Why I Plan All My Purchases A Year In Advance
I plan all my purchases a year in advance

I hear you, that sounds like a lot of effort and trust me when I say that it isn’t. Why would anyone do such a thing you may wonder? It’s quite simple. I plan all my purchases a year in advance to get a better feel for what’s ahead.

Planning all my purchases a year in advance means that I know exactly how much money I need to set aside. Most importantly, I know well in advance which items I’ll need to save up for.

Planning it all out in advance has lots of benefits. It saves me money, it makes me more creative, it gives me peace of mind and it makes me a lot more intentional, among other things.

If you want to learn more about why I do this and how then check out Why I plan all my purchases a year in advance.

2. Keep track of all your expenses

How To Travel The World On A Budget
A sneak peek into my expenses spreadsheet

Keeping track of your expenses is crucial and I can’t stress the importance of this habit enough.

I keep track of all my expenses and have been doing so since 2014. It’s something that I absolutely love doing. Keeping track of your expenses, is in my opinion, the best way to get a handle on your money.

If you don’t track your expenses you don’t really know where your money is going. If you don’t currently track your expenses, give it a try. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

I use Google sheets and this is the template that I am currently using. I amended lots of the categories and switched things around to suit my needs. The template is 100% customizable. Previously, I used a plain google sheet without any graphics.

3. Create a retired items spreadsheet

My retired items spreadsheet

If you are a lover of spreadsheets, this one is for you.

At the end of September, I started my retired items spreadsheet. My retired items spreadsheet allows me to keep track of everything that I own, how long I have something for and when I retire it.

This new habit of mine is hugely inspired by one of you (you know who you are!). Although I keep track of all my expenses, figuring out how long an item actually lasted me, isn’t always that easy if a purchase was made years ago.

Having a spreadsheet that lists most things that I own and when I bought them gives me a much better idea of how long things actually last me.

If you want to learn more about this check out my super simple retired items spreadsheet for the frugal.

4. Always ask yourself if something is fulfilling a need or a want

10 Tips On How To Create A Successful Shopping Ban
Always ask yourself if what you are going to buy is fulfilling a want or need

This is one of the most crucial habits to get into when it comes to a successful shopping ban. Prior to purchasing something always ask yourself if the item in question is fulfilling a need or a want.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is what comes to mind. I am sure most of you have, at one point or another, heard about this five-tier model of human needs. The model consists of five levels.

At the very bottom are our physiological needs, these are biological requirements for human survival (think air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.). Once these are fulfilled we move to the next level and so on.

When you say that you need something, think again and take a closer at it all. Do you really need what you intend to purchase? If you take a closer look at the pyramid then the answer is probably, but of course not always, no. Being aware of one’s needs and one’s wants is crucial.

5. Make buying used your default

Over the years I’ve made buying used my default. Whenever I need something, I always look if I can find what I need used. If months go by and I am unable to find what I need used, then, of course, I’ll happily buy it new.

However, making buying used my default has made all the difference. In 2016, when I moved to New York City, I was looking for a blender to make smoothies with. I looked online and found a used blender for around $15.

In 2016 I purchased a used phone, and in 2017 I purchased a used laptop and camera. Every single one of these purchases saved me hundreds of dollars and replaced items that were no longer working for me.

Make buying used your default and see what it can do for you.

6. Cook your own food

10 Simple Habits For A Successful Shopping Ban
Homemade pizza

The truth is, I don’t love cooking. Don’t get the wrong idea here, I do like it, it’s just not my favorite activity.

That being said, cooking my own food is incredibly important to me and one of the key habits to get into when it comes to a successful shopping ban.

Why? Eating out isn’t always healthy and, regardless of where you live, it’s almost always more expensive than cooking your own food.

Learning to cook your own food will teach you what truly goes into a good meal, and what doesn’t. There’s no need for a million ingredients. Some of my favorite meals are the easiest to make.

My vegan banana oatmeal cookies are some of my favorite cookies and I recently learned that you can make pizza dough without yeast, what!

There’s always something new to learn, a new recipe to try and I feel incredibly good knowing what’s in my food, and what isn’t.

7. Exercise at home

I am a lover of ashtanga yoga and in May 2016 I started my home yoga practice and I am absolutely loving it. Ashtanga yoga studios can be hard to find and doing it at home allows me to do it every day.

Whatever exercise it is that you are doing, I would suggest finding a way to do it at home, at least some of the time. That way, chances are, you will end up doing it more often.

Getting into exercising at home is a great habit to form for a successful shopping ban.

8. Declutter your inbox on a regular basis

How to declutter your inbox
Going through your subscriptions on a regular basis is key

I used to get hundreds of newsletters every single month – no more of that. Today, my inbox only contains emails that I actually need and want to read.

Minimalism for me is about having things that add value to my life and I also use it as a tool to let go of an excess digital clutter.

Unroll.me is a website that I’ve used to declutter hundreds if not thousands of emails. It’s incredibly simple, free, and it takes less than one minute to set up.

To this day I use Unroll.me to declutter my emails because there are always random newsletters that find their way into my inbox.

In order to enjoy a successful shopping ban, you need to say goodbye to temptation and distraction. Decluttering your inbox is crucial.

9. Read great books

Get Your Life Together With These 10 Books on Minimalism & Simplicity
I love reading and could do it all day

Yes, reading inspiring books is in my humble opinion super important. Read books that inspire you. Better yet, read books that help you with making your shopping ban a successful one.

I embraced minimalism and frugal living back in 2014 and still greatly enjoy reading books about these topics. I’ve got 10 Books on Minimalism & Simplicity that are my absolute favorite that I highly recommend checking out.

Reading inspiring books is one of the best habits that I ever got into. The best part? I get them all for free through my local library.

10. Think long term when it comes to money

Spending too much? Here's How To Implement A Shopping Ban
Thinking long term is key

I think when it comes to money it’s important to have a long-term view. I am big of emergency funds and have had one ever since.

Having 6-12 months of expenses just for emergencies gives me peace of mind and allows me to live the life that I am living.

Thinking long-term when it comes to money can also save you a lot of money. Chances are, thinking long-term, will prevent you from spending money on items you don’t need and will make you a  lot more conscious of the things that you do spend money on.

Thinking long term when it comes to money is crucial, for a successful shopping ban and beyond.

10 Simple Habits For A Successful Shopping Ban

These were 10 simple habits for a successful shopping ban. Of course, all of these habits will help you greatly during your shopping ban and beyond.

A shopping ban is a great challenge that I can only highly encourage you to take up! If you are thinking of creating your own shopping ban make sure to ask yourself these questions and follow these tips on how to create a successful ban of your own.

Already super frugal? Here’s why a shopping ban might still be worth exploring.

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