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Slowing the Shopping

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Personal

If you read my ADHD post, you know I have troubles with purchasing things. As it seemed that at least some of you found that post helpful, I’d like to share one of my biggest weapons in managing my shopping impulses, especially with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping coming up.

For me, the most helpful thing has been what I call anti-shoping mantras. These short phrases and questions let me pause my thinking long enought to reconsider what I’m doing. This extra moment is often enough to allow me to stop myself.

For this post, I’m focusing on pens, inks, and makeup, but most, if not all, of these mantras will work for just about any purchase.

I don’t need to buy it just because it’s pretty.

I’m pretty sure this one came from one of Angelica Nyqvist’s videos. The message is pretty straightforward.

I don’t actually want it, it’s just “new and shiny.”

I don’t actually want it, I just want to look at it.

These two are closely related to the previous one. But they’re about examining what is spurring my desire to own the thing I want. There are plenty of things I don’t truly want, they’re just the new, interesting thing and my crow brain wants it.

Or, sometimes, I don’t even really care about owning something, I just want to be able to look at it often because it’s really pretty. In which case, I remind myself I can save a photo and look at it whenever I want.

Will it make me happy to buy, or happy to own?

This one was my first mantra. I try hard to only buy things — expensive things, especially — that will bring me long term joy from having them, rather than the temporary joy of buying them. There’s no point in buying something that I’ll only enjoy for a short time.

We don’t buy [insert item here] for packaging.

This one comes from Charlotte Holdcroft’s You Don’t Need Any of That videos. I usually use this one for makeup — the packaging game is strong in the makeup world — but it can work for anything that has super pretty and tempting packaging.

I already have that color/material/model.

This one works better with makeup and ink, since we all know that one is rarely enough of our favorite pen model or material. But, what use is it, really, to have duplicate ink colors? If they’re the same — looking at you, especially, Montblanc — you don’t need them. You likely won’t make it through one bottle, much less, two.

I don’t need it just because everyone else loves it.

This one is hard. Because there is a sense — at least for me — that if “everyone” loves it, I will to, and I should get it to see what the hype is about. But, if I’m not interested before everyone starts praising it, why do I need it now? I can save that money for something I really want.

I don’t need it just because it’s on sale.

This one is also difficult. I’m a sucker for a good deal. However, as I’m reminded in a lot of the recent Black Friday deals YouTube videos, if you’re spending money on something you don’t really want and won’t use, you aren’t saving money, you’re wasting it.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope this post helps you save some money this holiday shopping season. Do you use mantras to help you stop doing things you want to avoid? Do you think any of these mantras may help you? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Chris

    I’m late to the party with this post … these are really good. I think the one I need most is “I already have that color/material/model.” TWSBI Ecos are the evidence that I need this reminder. I got a few that are so nice and neutral: Rose Gold and black, Rose Gold and White, clear etc … and still I tend to acquire more. Not every one but still, no prize. These mantras are now copied into my bullet journal! Thank you!

    March 22, 2023
    • I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me. 😊

      March 22, 2023

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