An Australian woman who saved $52,000 in a year by quitting impulse shopping has shared her top tips so others can do it too.
In 2014 Rachel Smith decided she wasn’t going to buy anything new or second hand for the next twelve months.
‘I didn’t dramatically change my life to do it. I bought food, essential toiletries (tampax and loo roll) and ‘experiences’ – coffees, going to the movies, horse riding, massages, yoga and dinners out were fine. That wasn’t ‘stuff’,’ Rachel writes on her website, explaining that she was inspired by an Australian family who had only purchased ‘things and stuff’ from second hand stores for a year.
It wasn’t the first time, Rachel had decided to change.
‘On New Year’s Eve 2012, I decided to quit shopping – not something I had thought about or planned,’ she explains.
‘I pledged and promised to buy nothing new or second hand for one whole year (2013). I failed. I saw buying nothing as a hardship filled with doom and gloom, like a year of punishment.
‘My year of no buying lasted just four months. In 2014, I tried again. Second time around, I saw buying nothing new or second-hand for a year as an exciting opportunity, an adventure and a whole new way to live my life—a lifestyle experiment.
‘Positive thinking creates positive experiences. I succeeded. I didn’t buy anything new or second-hand for one year. I quit shopping for 365 days. It was one of the best years of my life. I saved 38 per cent of my net annual salary and I didn’t dramatically change my life to do it.
‘After that first year, I had saved over $52,000 and not long after, I was made redundant so I thought this is a great time to write the book and share my story, because after that redundancy, a lot of my colleagues were highly stressed because they had zero savings,’ Rachel explains in an interview with radio show Coffee Chats with Matt Collins.
Here Rachel reveals the 7 steps to breaking a shopping addiction
Step 1. Identify your passions and priorities
Don’t just buy things because they are on sale, make sure you need them.
Step 2. Make a budget and sort out your banking
Set up different accounts and put money into them for different bills
Step 3. Get people in place to help and keep you accountable
Tell your friends and family of your new goals and ask for their assistance to keep you on track
Step 4. Inspect, assess and organise your stuff
Take stock of what you already have. Do you really need that new dress?
Step 5. Get into swapping, sharing and selling
Before you race out and buy new shows for tonight’s big event, why not see if you can borrow them from your friend?
Step 6. Use everything you already have
You probably already have that ‘must have’ item
Step 7. Get out and have fun!
Stop trying to keep up with the Jones, fun doesn’t have to cost money!