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How to Resist the Urge to Splurge

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This time of year the “shiny object syndrome” and the urge to splurge can be hard to resist, right? Whether you’re out shopping for Christmas presents, browsing for decorating ideas, or just plain tired of being cooped inside this winter so you go out for some fresh air, there’s temptation all around! Are you trying to save money, reduce clutter, or challenge yourself to shop less? Here’s my experience as well as practical tips on how you can learn to resist the urge to splurge!

If you’re bored or just browsing through stores it seems like new, beautiful things jump out at you. I mean, seriously, it seems like they’re jumping out at you, right?

There’s nothing wrong with shopping, but it’s dangerous to let it become the go-to whenever you’re bored, sad, or you just see something new you like. I’m really speaking to myself here!

When I first started fashion blogging I {inadvertently} used shopping as a way to cheer myself up or give myself something to look forward to. And I could justify it because, well, it was my job after all! I loved the build-up of shopping and thinking about what I was going to get. Then I loved the actual online shopping…sweats on, tv in the background, and spending hours scrolling through page after page of countless outfit ideas.

Don’t even get me started on the anticipation of waiting for your order! It’s all fun and exciting trying on the clothes and planning the outfits around them.

But…it never seemed like enough.

Suddenly, the clothes weren’t new anymore. The feeling of excitement wore off.

Does this sound familiar?

You feel like you have nothing to wear even though your closet is bursting. So you repeat the process again and again.

This was me and then it finally clicked that clothes weren’t going to bring me fulfillment, well, lasting fulfillment that is. Don’t get me wrong- I still shop and I love it! But I’m better at it now. I try to shop with a purpose and I try not to use it as a cure for a bad day or to fix a deeper issue.

Here are some things that I do that help me decide if this shiny new thing is going to be a good purchase or not. Because like I said, this post isn’t meant to condemn anyone that loves to shop, it’s just to help us shop better…and save some money along the way!

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First, whenever I have an idea of something that I need or want, I write it down on a note on my phone. Then when I’m out and see something I like, I see if it matches up to my list.

And I also ask myself these questions:


Have I been looking for something like this?


Have I been looking for something like this for a while now and I finally stumbled upon the right one? If so, I better snatch it up!

Do I have something like this at home?

Am I super attracted to the item just because I love the style and already have multiple copies at home? Yeah, I probably don’t need another…

Do I need this?

If I were to take this home would I wear it right away? Or would it sit in my closet? Would it help or improve my life?

Is now a good time to buy this?

Is my clothing budget already maxed out? Is right before the holidays a good time to get new shoes when I could save or spend money on Christmas gifts instead?

Could I find something like this again?

Is the item super unique, one of a kind, or irreplaceable? If I don’t get it now will I be struggling to find it later? Or have to spend way more because I passed up a good price?

Would I rather spend the money on something else if given a chance?

When compared with spending my money on something else, would I rather pass on this new scarf or does it confirm that I want it after all?

If I don’t get it now will I be sad?

Will I be kicking myself if I come back tomorrow and it’s gone? Would I be wishing I got it after all or will I not even miss it?

Will I actually wear this?

Sure, the snakeskin stiletto boots are cah-ute, but do they actually fit into my lifestyle? Once again, will they just sit in my closet or can I picture myself wearing them at least once a week?

Can I wear this more than once?

Can I get more than one wear out of it? Does it work for different occasions and events? Or will I be stuck wearing this once and never finding a place to wear it again?

I know all of these questions seem like a lot and it’s not meant to take the joy out of shopping! But once you start running these questions through your head it will become like instinct and you can quickly decide if something is going to make it home or not.

Being smart about your shopping purchases isn’t just about money. Sure, I hate buying something I don’t really need and then feeling guilty with the money just sitting in my closet when I could have used it somewhere else, but it’s about setting good habits and having a wardrobe with intention.

Plus, I’m a huge believer that a cluttered wardrobe=cluttered mind. The less you have, the less you have to remember, the less you have to take care of, and the more you actually wear your things!

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Related: What to Do When You’re Bored With Your Closet

Another money-saving tip for this holiday season (or really any season!)- temporarily (or permanently) unsubscribe from clothing company marketing emails. Nothing like a, “Hurry and act fast! This deal only lasts for 24 hours!” to make you feel like you *have* to shop. I don’t think the coupon code alone is worth it, as you can usually just go to their site and find it anyways. It will save you money and it feels better to unplug!

I hope this post has you evaluating some of your shopping habits and of course, saves you some money!

To learn other tips on ways to maximize your wardrobe and save money, check out the post below!
How to Maximize Your Wardrobe + Get The Most Out of What You Have!

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how to resist the urge to splurge
How to Resist the Urge to Splurge

photos by Christina Ney Photography

Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.