I’m an impulsive person. If I see something I want, I make an effort to get it as quickly as possible, and feel a temporary dopamine rush when I behold my new thing. This was a problem for me when it came to online shopping. I’d continually order from stores with little restraint. It got to the point where packages would be at my doorstep but I did not remember what I ordered. Junk started to pile up in my room. I was wasting money for no good reason and knew I had to make a change.

After experimenting with various ways to solve the problem, I found one that works: only order items online once every four weeks on a designated day. Look at your calendar, pick a date four weeks from now, and only on that day can you place any online order, no exceptions. When the day comes, place all of your orders, then for the next four weeks, you cannot order a single item online until the next buying day arrives.

No exceptions mean no exceptions. You cannot buy anything until your buying day. If there is something you truly “need,” you’ll have to find it in a physical store. If the store doesn’t have it then too bad, you’ll have to live without it. You’ll be surprised how strong the temptation to buy a “necessity” becomes. Your mind will formulate a barrage of excuses to get you to buy the “essential” item, but once the temptation passes, you realize you didn’t even need it. Instead, you were merely bored, lonely, or in a bad mood.

The first couple of months you do this, you may actually spend more money per month. This is because you are aggravating your flesh and it is desperate for a “release” through big shopping days. Your impulsive nature is yet to be fully tamed, and is coaxing you to go hog wild at the next opportunity. This will pass. By the third month, you will not receive as much dopamine from the shopping, and actually be annoyed at having to open so many boxes at once, and your expenses begin to decline.

Another benefit of having one shopping day per month is that you can carefully deliberate whether you need an item or not. For example, I’ll place many items in my Amazon shopping cart that I “need,” and then a week or two goes by without buying them, and I realize I don’t need them at all. Waiting to buy something removes the impulsivity behind it, allowing you to use your logical faculty on the usefulness of an item. While I may pile my cart with 20 items in the four intervening weeks, I may end up buying only 8 or so.

Yet another benefit is that you become fully aware of how much money you are spending. When you buy a thing here or a thing there, you don’t know your exact monthly expenditure, but when you make all purchases in one day from multiple online stores, the dent in your pocketbook is noticeable and painful. I remember on my first buying day I spent close to $600. On what, I hardly remember, but I could not ignore that expense so easily. Now I try to make it a game to see if I can spend less than the previous month. Do I really need a third Bible? Do I really need a pair of jeans made by a company that uses transgender models? Do I really need another knit hat when I already have one? No, no, and no. But I would have bought all of these if I didn’t constrain myself to a single buying day.

But what if an item you want is on sale? If it’s not your designated buying day, you cannot buy it, no matter how great the discount. It has happened to me where I had to pay full price on my buying day for something that was just on sale, but guess what: I still spend less overall. The purpose of sales and free shipping is to increase corporate profits, not help you to spend less money. Paradoxically, by responding to consumer incentives and discounts, you end up spending more. I don’t exaggerate when I say that “free shipping” may have caused you to waste thousands of dollars over your lifetime thus far.

I became so pleased with the results of this tactic that I extended my buying day to every five weeks. I’m spending less than ever online even though I have to wait a while to buy anything. When my consumer desires can’t be immediately fulfilled, the desire itself begins to weaken.

The most immediate benefit of having a designated shopping day is spending less money, but I noticed a subtle benefit beneath the surface: I’m less dependent on new things to make me happy. Sometimes when we become upset, we look for novelty to give us a boost, causing us to go online and buy something we don’t need, yet that thing doesn’t provide us with positive feelings that last, and it becomes a piece of junk like most of the other pieces of junk we have in our homes. This tactic may sound easy enough, but you’ll be surprised how hard it is to execute if you frequently shop online. Try it out and see what happens.

Read Next: America Is A Dumping Ground For Junk

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Another good tip:

For bigger purchases (say $100 or $500, depending on your budget), wait a month before you buy to remove the impulse/temptation.

After the month goes by and you lived life without it, do you still need/want it? I can't tell you how many times I've wanted something real bad, nearly bought it, obeyed the rule and not bought it. Usually after I do more research to determine the real value of the item.

The trap of materialism and consoomerism.

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Buying stuff to feel good is a form of self-medication, one might consider saying a prayer as well before buying anything online, "How am I trying to comfort myself with this purchase? What wound am I trying to numb here?"

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But what if it's on sale and there are only a few left? And I neeeeeed it?! I don't like this plan at all.

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Buying stuff to feel good is a form of self-medication, one might consider saying a prayer as well before buying anything online, "How am I trying to comfort myself with this purchase? What wound am I trying to numb here?"

Buying a new dress I didn't even know I wanted isn't numbing a wound. It's buying a practical long, grey dress I can wear with platform sneakers!
I refuse to wait on something that is 50% off, and I really, really like.

I am incredibly frugal, but if I can clean toilets and cook dinners and dogsit enough to supplement my meager household budget and get something I am going to enjoy for less, I am!

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You got it on sale? Praise God!

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I suspect that this solution is no match for my book addiction.

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Good advice for impulsive shoppers!

(I should probably have a similar policy for baking... one day a month I can bake as many things as I want! Then turn the oven off and put the butter down.)

I'd lose too much purchasing power with a policy like that, though. A big part of how I help make ends meet is by scanning pretty much daily for deals from all my usual sources and suppliers (online and offline), and snapping up things I know we'll use when they are deeply discounted.

For example, I have to replace my general-purpose shoes every 3-4 months, and if I can find them for $50 instead of $100, I can't NOT take that deal.

I am blessed to also not be an impulsive shopper, so having freedom to pull that trigger at any time has not really worked against me.

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For example, I have to replace my general-purpose shoes every 3-4 months, and if I can find them for $50 instead of $100, I can't NOT take that deal.

Yes, I always look for stock-up prices, too. I also scour the internet and stores for the absolute cheapest bulk price on staple household items.

I also like to pretend shop. Fill my basket with the stuff I think I want, then let it sit for a few days, then most of the time never buy it at all. Just knowing I could buy whatever if I really wanted to scratches the itch somehow.

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Buying a new dress I didn't even know I wanted isn't numbing a wound. It's buying a practical long, grey dress I can wear with platform sneakers!
I refuse to wait on something that is 50% off, and I really, really like.

I am incredibly frugal, but if I can clean toilets and cook dinners and dogsit enough to supplement my meager household budget and get something I am going to enjoy for less, I am!

This article is Roosh' solution for his shopping addiction, and I guess if you can control your shopping behaviours well you don't really need to follow the advice given. As long as you're in control your good.

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I have the opposite issue, I'm frugal/cheap and rarely buy stuff new. If it's not free or a dollar, I don't want it. We always ask family members if they have something before we buy anything big.

I do pick up a lot of used books from book sales or thrift stores. I have a library app on my phone and I can put in an interlibrary loan request quickly, though, which helps me cut down on the clutter (even if it's not expensive, if I'm only going to read it once it's not worth the space). I think getting emails that my books are being held is a nice dopamine rush :-)

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I can't stop staring at the Christmas guy pic

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Yes, I always look for stock-up prices, too. I also scour the internet and stores for the absolute cheapest bulk price on staple household items.

I also like to pretend shop. Fill my basket with the stuff I think I want, then let it sit for a few days, then most of the time never buy it at all. Just knowing I could buy whatever if I really wanted to scratches the itch somehow.

I really like this idea to pretend shop.

I sometimes let it get to me that I'm always buying used clothing.
I would like this, to pretend I'm buying new...I love trying on new styles, it changes your appearance so much!

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Sounds good. I actually closed my entire amazon account last year because it got out of hand and I felt guilty. Now I have to go through my mother or brother to buy anything, and even then I regret some of what I got as too much.

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You're trying to tame impulsiveness with this method. Not only will it reduce your spending, but getting a hold of impulsive behavior will also improve your credit score. Impulsive behavior and high time preference mentalities are exactly what creditors look for as a sign of less credit worthy people:

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Pro tip: Don't have a credit card. Online shopping problem solved!

(I do buy a few things online, and have a credit card. I purchase online less than once a month, and I tend to purchase when there are discounts or promos such as a seasonal clearance sale on clothing).

Maybe I'm just "different" but I don't have "impulse" desires--I actually like the anticipation of waiting on a mail order item to arrive and prefered the times when it took "4 to 6 weeks" instead of 4 to 6 days. It made the purchase more meaningful to me, and allowed me to think about how I would use the item. I think the instant same day delivery thing is an awful idea which only gets people hooked on cheap commercialism and encourages them to buy more junk.

My shopping is mostly done in a real store. One thing I'll never do as long as I have two good legs is pay someone else to buy my groceries for me! It's emasculating.

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Mortification is a good 14th century word whose (non-medical) definition has been all but wiped away. This definition c.1800s is taken from Webster's dictionary:

In Scripture, the act of subduing the passions and appetites by penance, abstinence or painful severities inflicted on the body. The mortification of the body by fasting has been the practice of almost all nations, and the mortification of the appetites and passions by self-denial is always a christian duty.

We have since promulgated this modern Merriam-Webster alternative, as it's primary definition.

A sense of humiliation and shame caused by something that wounds one's pride or self-respect

This good word is overdue it's renaissance.

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Perhaps the question to ask oneself is: "Is this for the benefit of my salvation?"
If that expensive silent new panel heater means that I will be more willing to extend my morning prayers on a cold morning, then perhaps it is. (As long as I turn it down or switch it off when the room is warm enough.)

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Pro tip: Don't have a credit card. Online shopping problem solved!

We don't use credit for anything we are going to "consume." I had a terrible issue with using credit properly in the early 2000's. My dad was on my account, and my grandfather was on my dad's account, so my credit history was not really MY credit history. My first credit card had a 20k spending limit. Cringe. My dad argued with them on the phone until he could talk collections down to 3k on the 12k I spent on clothes and gas and books for school.
It took me until I was 35 to get a decent credit score, and now I don't work and I'm the only one on my account, so my one little nothingburger of a credit card has to do it for me. And we've never been happier!
I never spend more than $100/wk on anything online because I simply do not have it. I will, however, go out on my birthday and buy my best friend four new outfits at Goodwill because she's self conscious about her new Mom body. And a vintage Glow-worm still in the packaging. <3
My best friend belongs to a Facebook group that posts "deals" and added me to it.
I haven't used it once.
She buys almost every new thing I get. From my last swimsuit to a full extraction kit for teenage blackheads on very white skin. It's kind of how we bond across three hours of road. I send her stuff back with my brother when he can make it from the city to the farm.

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There are still some companies from which you can order the old fashioned way, via a paper order form mailed in with a check. Try it sometime if you really need something--it removes the instant gratification.

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