How I saved $2000 by giving up shopping

FOR many of us, it can be hard to cut back on a what we consider to be necessities: clothes, smoking or takeout coffee.

But what about forgoing the act of shopping altogether?

Though a shopping ban might sound impractical, it needn't be a huge burden with some good decision making and planning.

Research group Canstar.com.au found that Australians spend a monthly average of $192 on meal deliveries, $74 on gym memberships and $46 on streaming services. Weight loss shakes and fake tan were also on shopping lists, it found.

Canstar.com.au spokeswoman Belinda Williamson said banning yourself or limiting your shopping expenses could help with your savings plan.

"Set yourself a monthly limit on the number or value of expenses such as ride sharing trips, clothes purchases and even beauty product buys," Ms Williamson said.

Yoga teacher Ashley Encantada says her self-imposed shopping ban helped her be content.
Yoga teacher Ashley Encantada says her self-imposed shopping ban helped her be content.

Tribeca Financial chief executive Ryan Watson said there were benefits to be gained from a shopping-free spree.

"It'll help alleviate any spontaneous purchases," he said.

"Challenge yourself to not shop for a month, and wear five pieces of clothing that you've worn for a year. Within 30 days you'll see a positive increase to your bank balance."

Yoga teacher Ashley Encantada saved almost $2000 after banning herself from shopping for three months. On her banned list were clothes, shoes, household decor and furniture, books and magazines.

"I learned to be content with what I have," she said. "Before, I was always thinking something could improve my life."

Ms Encantada still shopped for groceries, basic kitchen items and cleaning supplies. She used a pen and paper to track her monthly spending.

"The more you write things down, the more you realise whether or not you're happy with the fact you've spent that money," she said.

"Simply taking stock of what you own will help prevent more impulse purchases. I saved roughly $300 a month from not buying clothes online."

Ms Encantada mended clothes that, in years past, she would have thrown out. Instead of buying a tent for a camping trip, she borrowed one from a friend. "You may even stumble on a skill that you never knew you had, and you'll save money in the process," she said.


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