Seven Steps to Break The Habit of Shopping Addiction

Seven Steps to Break The Habit of Shopping Addiction

For one whole year, Rachel Smith did not buy anything new or even second-hand. In doing so, she was able to save over $50,000.  

At the start of 2013, when everyone was making their New Year’s Resolutions like cutting back on drinking, quitting smoking or doing more exercise, Rachel decided her resolution was that she wasn’t going to buy anything new or second-hand for the next twelve months.


However, Rachel failed because she set herself up for failure. How? In the way she had phrased her resolution “I will not buy anything new or second-hand.” Her self-talk was “you are NOT going to buy anything”, so rather than feeling positive about what she was trying to achieve, it felt like a punishment, that she was missing out.   

Rachel said, "I bought a pair of trousers in Hastings Street, Noosa. Don’t go to Hastings Street if you are trying not to buy stuff. Ironically, it was an impulse buy because at the time I thought they looked nice but then I never really liked them. That was a good lesson not to impulse shop. But still, I was seeing everyone else buying stuff. I saw television adverts and billboards. I just felt like everyone else around me was shopping and I wasn’t allowed to shop.”

Not deterred by her failure, in 2014 Rachel attempted to go a year without spending again and was successful! What changed?

This time, Rachel made it an opportunity and turned her resolution from a negative to a positive.

The key was to see what she was gaining rather than missing out on. She was gaining a lot of money, more financial independence and not adding clutter that she didn’t really need to her life.

From things she and I have both learned, here are:


Seven Steps to ‘Break the Habit of Shopping Addiction’


Step 1. Make a budget and sort out your banking.

Set up different bank accounts. The one for everyday living items such as food, rent and electricity should never be drawn on to buy that winter coat on sale.

Step 2. Get people in place to help to help keep you accountable.

Tell your friends and family of your new goals and ask for their assistance to keep you on track.

Step 3. Identify your passions and priorities.

Are you saving for something in particular? Is there something you really want to buy or do, but never seem to have the money for? This money you save can be used for this big-ticket item.

Step 4. Inspect, assess and organise your stuff

Take stock of what you already have. Do you need that new dress? Is the coat essential, even though it is on sale? 

Step 5. Use everything you already have.

You probably already have that ‘must have’ item hiding somewhere in the back of your wardrobe or drawers.

Step 6. Get into swapping, sharing and selling

If you don’t have what you need, before you race out and buy new shoes for tonight’s big event, why not see if you can borrow them from your friend? Have you found things you never use? Sell them.

Step 7. Get out and have fun!

Stop trying to keep up with everyone else or the latest fad. Remember, having your own style and having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!

Rachel wrote a book about her journey, and she shares that journey with Matt Collins.

Matt Collins.png

Get the full ‘Coffee Chat with Matt Collins’ interview with Rachel Smith and learn more about how to not spend excessive money here.

Follow Coffee Chats with Matt Collins on Facebook here.

If you ask Matt about himself, this is the answer:

Drinks coffee and chats with remarkable people.

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