Is it me or are there more online sales now that we are quarantined?
Every day, there's a new email...actually, there are quite a few emails that land in my inbox with offers that are hard to refuse. 20% off, here. Buy one get one, there. My cart is overflowing with so many things that I don't need nor did I know I wanted until about...hmm...a few clicks ago. Seriously! We can't even go anywhere or do much of anything for at least another month and yet my cart is FULL! I literally had to put my phone down and yell STOP!
Anyone else experiencing the "Quarantine Cart"?
Say less! Here are five tips to help you shop mindfully!
1. Make a shopping list
I know. This is common sense. You've been doing this your whole life. Sure. I get it! Have you ever made a mindful shopping list? When shopping mindfully, your first task is to create a list of your needs (daily, monthly, and yearly expenses and requirements to sustain life) and your wants (things that feed your emotional desires and make life pleasurable). For example, your utilities and your groceries are needs. That dope pair of shoes, honey, that's a want. Now that you can distinguish between the two, devise a plan. You know what you need, you know how much you need, and you know where to find it. If you don't already know these things, do your research so that you don't become overwhelmed by things that may be wants.
2. Know Yourself
Though we are frequently told that "money can't buy you love, happiness, peace, etc.", many find themselves controlled by their possessions or what they are capable of acquiring. Unfortunately, in our society, people regard their statuses as higher depending on the things they own and the worth of those items. Make sure when you are shopping, you are able to separate who you are from what you possess. Should you choose to place what you own in the forefront, will you ever discover satisfaction?
3. FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)
Ahh...FOMO! An amazing marketing tactic built on the perception that if one doesn't act with immediacy, others might experience rewards, connections, things, etc., while others who waited are excluded. This tactic relies on insecurities, self-esteem, and jealousy to fuel consumer's impulsive decisions. I encourage you to wait. Again, do your research and assess your needs rather than acting out of emotion. Also, be patient. There's no need to rush anything. Everything happens as it should and as it is supposed to!
4. Treat yourself...but set boundaries!
Like everything else in life, you have to be aware of your limits and create boundaries. I am in no way telling you not to shop in this post. I am, however encouraging you to think mindfully before your next purchase. There are plenty of different ways to treat yourself and feed those emotional sensations. Talk to or meet up with a friend. Read a book. Take a walk in nature. Exercise. That isn't working? Try this! For every item you bring in, donate an item or multiple items. Or maybe try setting aside funding or "fun money" for the things you want with each paycheck. You should not go above the amount that you've allotted and if you do, it takes away from your allowance given to yourself with the next paycheck. Get it? Great!
Inhale. Exhale. Do it again. And again. And as many times as you need to control those urges. Take time to reflect on your presence, financial priorities, and that awesome shopping list you created. Gain consciousness of all of the feelings that may be experienced when you purchase that item. How does it make you feel? What does it look like? How does it sound? How does it feel? Have you taken all of those feelings in? Yes? Deep breath in. Exhale. Reflect. Do you need this item?
Save your money. Take care of your mental. Don't allow marketing tactics to put you in a position during quarantine that won't benefit you when all of this is over!