4 Simple Tips On How To Manage Your Retail Therapy

Struggling to stop spending money on impulsive shopping? We’ve compiled a list of four simple tips to help students manage their retail therapy and money better.

Girl with purple hair posing

Not feeling too confident after that exam? Retail therapy.

Rough day at work? Retail therapy.

The person you like hasn’t replied to your last message in three days? Retail therapy.

We’ve all been there multiple times, that impulsive urge to buy something nice to make ourselves feel better. Don’t get us wrong, we love a self-care moment and are certainly  not against treating yourself but…. There comes a point when your Afterpay balance is at $500 or so and that life of living pay-check to pay-check just isn’t a vibe. Moderation is key. So, if you’re feeling like your occasional bouts of retail therapy are morphing into a full-blown shopping addiction, or even if you feel like it’s not too crazy but you just want to pull the reins in on it –  have a read of our favourite tips to resist shopping!

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#1 The One Week Test

If you’re just aimlessly shopping and have added a few things to the cart, give the one week test a go. A lot of the time when we’re doing a cheeky scroll through an online clothes website we see things that we may really like and want in the moment but not actually need. That impulse purchase is an instant mood booster, we totally get it but it’s not long lasting. Try leaving the items in a favourites list and let a week pass. If you’re still thinking about it and can justify it, then go for it! But often, what you’ll find instead is that you’ll either forget about the clothing or you’ll feel differently about them in a week’s time and may have a change of heart.

#2 Unsubscribe From Email Promotions

Temptations are hard to resist if you’re constantly being reminded of them and sometimes all these deals can fuel an urgency to shop due to fear of missing out. Like the classic ‘30% off sale for only 24hrs’ or the ‘Just in – New Arrivals! Selling out fast’ specials. If you’re having a bad day and one of those emails pop up, it’s difficult to not fall down the rabbit hole. By unsubscribing you are lessening your exposure and decluttering your emails at the same time. Remember, specials are always happening at least once a month with most brands. You’re never really going to miss out, so limit your intake and wait for massive sales like End of Financial Year and Black Friday instead.

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#3 Budgeting

This is a great way to avoid overspending. One of our favourite tips is using the ‘envelope method’. Before doing this, it’s important to set up a budgeting system for all areas such as food and transport so that you’re able to stay consistent with it. Basically, every pay-day you with-draw an amount of cash that you would like to allocate to the ‘shopping’ envelope. It should be the same amount each time. Then, at the end of the month or the next time you want to buy a piece of clothing you can open the envelope and only spend however much is in there. This is the perfect way to make sure that your spending isn’t impacting other necessities, especially when you’re feeling emotionally clouded.

#4 Check in With a Friend

Never be afraid to reach out to a friend if you’re indulging in some retail therapy to make yourself feel better. Getting to the crux of the issue and talking it out can do wonders to squash any urges. We recommend sending a screenshot of what you’re considering buying and asking for your friend’s opinion on whether it’s necessary. Describe your financial situation and your justification for the purchase. For example, ‘I’ve got an event coming up so I want a new outfit and I saw this was on sale but I also need to pay rent this week, what do you think?’. Usually, a friend can talk some sense into you with something like ‘what about that dress you wore to that birthday, you could re-wear it?’ or ‘what about that white dress you bought a month ago that you haven’t worn yet?’.


We hope you can make the switch to healthier spending habits when it comes to your retail therapy. Let us know how you go with these 4 simple tips!