how to stop shopping (a guide to resisting labor day sales)

Somehow I forgot that Labor Day weekend, like every American holiday, is a harbinger of sales. So many sales. Everything is on sale! Like any devoted slave to capitalism, I have a very difficult time resisting a sale.

But sometimes, even a good deal has to be passed up. Sometimes you just have to resist. In the spirit of supporting all my other non-shoppers this Labor Day, here are my top tips for staying strong and keeping that credit card in your wallet even when the siren song of “deals!” is calling you.

  1. Close the tab. Just do it. No good has ever come from “just taking a peek.” The best way to resist temptation is to avoid it entirely. Delete the sale emails and certainly don’t click the link.
  2. Find a buddy. You’re probably not the only person in your life who’s trying to cut down on their spending right now. Not only will they be able to talk you down from ordering that Thing that you NEED, but you’ll help create a feedback loop of productivity. (My buddy and I have named our initiative “Making Good Choices Together”)
  3. Shop your closet. Obviously this won’t work for bigger ticket items, but I’ll bet that you have plenty of items tucked away around your house that you haven’t used in a long time or maybe never used at all. The dress you wore for one special occasion, then buried in your closet. The book that you got for Christmas and then never get around to reading. Some craft supplies that you bought for a long ago project and didn’t even use half of. Resurrect your forgotten treasures!
  4. Indulge in something else. Far be it from me to recommend that you eat your feelings, but sometimes it can help to do something else that you enjoy to get that little endorphin rush. A piece of chocolate, dancing to your favorite song…take your mind off the object of your desire.
  5. Shop small. If you really have the itch and can’t resist, bypass the big ticket items and buy something small. If I have an urge to shop that I just can’t seem to shake, something as simple as a drug store lipstick can satisfy that without doing much damage to my wallet.

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