Cheap, fast and lots of it: that’s what we’re buying because that’s what’s for sale. Are you ready to take back control? Break these 10 habits to liberate your shopping life.
- AMAZON PRIME BINGING
Don’t make Amazon Prime your go-to. It’s the ultimate retail convenience, but when anything is this easy, there’s a catch. We all know what happens if we eat from the drive-thru every day. Overconsumption kills.
- BIG-BOX LOYALTY
Limit your big-box and warehouse club visits. Of course they carry items we need and in some communities, these are the only retail options. However, they are designed for us to consume non-essentials on a large scale, even if our needs are basic.
- TWO-DAY DELIVERY ADDICTION
Slow down. We’ve been conditioned to expect items to appear on our doorstep in a matter of hours. Just because they can doesn’t mean they should. Seeking out this convenience every time we shop online makes us less discerning about the products we buy.
- CLUTTER CULTURE
A saturation of cheap merchandise has shaped a “more is more” mentality for this generation. Quantity over quality is the prevailing wisdom and it’s burying us alive in our own homes.
- SHIP FREE OR DIE
The promise of free shipping is a marketing tool. Shipping costs are built into every product we purchase, even the things we buy in a store. Adding more to our cart to meet a free shipping threshold or shopping a site because they offer free shipping, rather than looking at product integrity, can often create a false sense of savings. Our appetite for excess responds to anything that feels like a deal.
- GIFT CARD FEVER
Gift card displays at the post office, the supermarket and all big box stores largely lead back to foreign manufacturers. There are very few, if any, American-made products available to buy through large-scale retailers. Gift cards for stores like Target, TJ Maxx, Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond, seem practical but they stimulate the overflow of imported merchandise, drowning out our local marketplace.
- EASY CREDIT
Don’t fall for the old ball and chain hustle. This one is so tempting, especially if you’re trying to score a discount on a big-ticket item. You’ll be sold on the exclusive discounts, free shipping and no finance charges for a limited time. You’ll be robbed blind by over-the-top interest rates and you’ll be locked into spending your money in one place to try and justify the cost.
- CRAMMED CLOSET
There’s a reason why pictures of minimalist closets and capsule wardrobes are trending on social media: the reality of overstuffed storage spaces is rampant. The mountains of fabric we acquire make life harder, not easier. It drains time and money and messes with our sanity. Check out this info from American Giant to get a real feel for the way overconsumption has inflated the average American wardrobe.
- TREND SPEND
Trendy items are mass produced quickly with the intention of having a very brief shelf life and we consume them at an insatiable pace. If someone described an investment to you as fleeting and disposable, would you be excited to put your cash behind it? A better buy: seasonal items that will serve you well for years to come.
- BRAND INDIFFERENCE
We tend to buy without a game plan, but a simple pivot from that approach can raise our consumer consciousness. Shop with a fresh pair of eyes. Getting acquainted with labels and products that are aligned with your spending values is one of the best ways to revolutionize consumption. Before you make your next purchase, do some online window shopping to identify brands that are made closer to home. The Fifty’s Guide to American-made Goods is an easy way to start.