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Taking a break from online shopping

September 21, 2011

I’m trying to do without Ocado, eBay or Amazon or any form of online shopping for at least the next two months. It is just too easy for me to spend money online without thinking and lots of small purchases on eBay and Amazon all add up.

This means that if I want to buy something I will have to hand over money or my bank card in person in an actual shop or market. I will also have to carry whatever I buy back into the house myself instead of having things magically appear through the post. Hopefully I will spend significantly less money this way.

It’s so tempting to think, ‘I work really hard earning this money, I’m entitled to a few treats’ but I’ve decided I have to cut back on my spending. This is necessary because my credit card bill is consistently higher than it should be and over the last 3 years I’ve been chipping into our savings when actually I should be building them back up again.

So why am I telling you this? Two reasons:

1.  I want to be upfront about the fact that I am trying to be less of a shopaholic, as this will hopefully help me maintain my willpower in the face of lots of temptation. I don’t want to have to write a blogpost admitting that I bought something else online before my two months is up! (You will have noticed that several of my blogposts have been about purchases I have made online. I still have a couple more blogposts to write based on recent online purchases, but after that I’ll start to write about things I’ve found in actual shops!)

2. I read a very interesting post called There is no excuse to pay too much by Nicki Cawood on her Curly and Candid blog. Nicki talks about various things she is trying to do to avoid wasting money and I commented on her post. I then realised that my comment on her post might be a good starting point for a post of my own…

Photo by LipglossJunkie

The background to all of this is that my husband H stopped work when I went back to work full-time after our son was born, and this effectively means our income has halved. So I just can’t carry on spending at the same rate.

One good thing to note is that during the time I’ve been blogging I have spent slightly less time and money on eBay, Amazon etc. because I can’t blog and shop at the same time!

I’ll let you know how I get on with this attempt to completely give up online shopping for a couple of months. If it  doesn’t do the trick it may be that something more drastic is required, for example cutting up my credit card! But I’m hoping that sticking to real shopping will mean that I can still shop, albeit in a more conscious and thoughtful and less extravagant way.

What do you think of this? Have you ever tried to cut back on your spending? Do you have any tips for me?

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2011 5:35 pm

    Thank you for the mention. A brilliant post!
    Good luck with your quest, let me know how you get on with it x

    • September 22, 2011 11:03 am

      Thank you! Will do!

      And thanks for the tweet too – I think I had lots of extra people reading the post as a result. Which makes it even more public and gives me an extra incentive not to cheat.

  2. September 21, 2011 8:30 pm

    Good blooming luck! stay strong! lol

    • September 22, 2011 11:07 am

      If I feel a moment of weakness I’ll remember you told me to ‘stay strong’ – thanks!

  3. Sian permalink
    October 3, 2011 5:30 pm

    Good luck!!! I can relate to the online shopaholicism (word?!) – I’m a self confessed Asos.com and eBay addict, however since I’ve been blogging, I haven’t had as much time to go on them, which is a good thing! x

    • October 5, 2011 8:42 pm

      Yes I’ve found blogging helps me spend less money online too.

      I’ve never bought clothes from Asos, but the beauty section of their January sale was extremely dangerous to my bank balance this year 😉

  4. actuallymummy permalink
    October 3, 2011 9:31 pm

    Good for you! I find that actually if I do my weekly shop online I will spend less than if I go into the store and get seduced by all those offers, decide I need to spoil myself and end up spending a fiver on posh coffee! However, you are right that when blogging one cannot shop and it also distracts me from eating ice-cream which , lets face it, costs about £8 a litre if you’re into ben and jerry’s 😉

    • October 5, 2011 7:12 pm

      I thought shopping for groceries online would be cheaper too – but Ocado just offers too much temptation! In the supermarket it is easier to avoid the aisle with ice cream 😉

  5. October 5, 2011 8:08 pm

    Wow good luck! Its far too easy to spend online isn’t it.

    • October 5, 2011 8:44 pm

      Yes it is – especially with places where I shop frequently and don’t have to re-enter my details. Plus there’s all the special offers arriving in my e-mail inbox every day. So I’m deleting the e-mails and not visiting the websites to avoid temptation.

  6. October 5, 2011 9:07 pm

    Ooh, good luck! Sounds hard, but worthwhile. Keep us posted on progress.

  7. Elaine permalink
    October 9, 2011 10:04 pm

    I try not to use cards in shops – I make myself go to the cash machine so I can see the ‘real’ money I’m about to spend. I do shop online with cards though because its sometimes easier and cheaper to find things that way but I don’t spend a lot of time doing it – I don’t open those special offer emails either unless I was about to order from them anyway. I suppose I just don’t buy stuff I don’t really need – our house seems to have plenty of stuff in it already!

    • October 11, 2011 9:45 pm

      I’m impressed! I think it’s probably rather like dieting – different approaches work for different people.

      • Elaine permalink
        October 11, 2011 10:00 pm

        I forgot to mention the most helpful bit – every time I go to the cash machine with my debit card (I gave up using credit cards at about the same time) I get a reminder of my balance. I used to find it really hard to keep track and would forget about the expensive thing I’d mail-ordered a fortnight ago and then go and spend that money again. I felt like I was always living on next month’s money which wasn’t good as I was never sure how much next month’s money would be!

      • October 12, 2011 11:53 am

        Hi Elaine. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. It’s really good to hear from you and I hope life is treating you well.

        I often use the cash-only approach when I’m out shopping in shops and markets. As you say, it has the advantage of making it clear how much real money you are spending and it’s easier to set a budget and stick to it. Cards can be a very painless way to spend money, especially now that shops have chip and pin and most shopping websites I use either accept PayPal or already have my payment details.

        I’m now about half way through my two month break from online shopping (the blogpost was written a couple of weeks after it started) and it’s already having a positive impact on my bank balance. And, hopefully it will be the start of better shopping habits generally, and less clutter building up in the house. There are other ways of cheering myself up rather than buying a magazine or a book.

        Best wishes,

        Ruth

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