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    Here's Everything You Should Stop Buying In 2020

    Kickstart those savings.

    Do you ever buy things online and forget to return them?

    Drew Angerer / Getty Images

    Do you ever clean out your closet and feel pangs of relief but also a hidden underlying guilt about money? Do you ever look at your bank account and think, Damn, I really thought I would have saved more by now. 😓

    Yes, this is all me. 🙋 And every day I get one step closer to starring on Hoarders, Season 39, Episode 2,832, sometime in the not-so-far future.

    Maybe 2020 is the year we resolve to stop much.

    It doesn't have to be about eliminating all joy and sustenance from your life, but just being mindful about the things we really need and the things that end of cluttering our lives later on. If you need a little inspiration, this blog post entitled "The Year I Stopped Shopping" goes deep into the no-buy plan that the writer tailored for herself. "It’s not a sign of poverty or weakness to be resourceful or frugal but it shows off your planning skills and creativity!"

    Here are some examples of the rules and exceptions she created.

    But if you have no idea where or how to even get started, here are some ideas.

    1. Let's start with all those beauty products we think we need. It's time to stop looking for your "holy grail."

    Whether it's dating or beauty products, we are always looking for the next best thing instead of appreciating what we already have. All it takes is for someone in the Amazon reviews to call something a "holy grail" and there I go again...mindlessly adding to cart.

    Resolve to always use up the entire product before replacing it, and if you want to get really wild, you can extend this into other things you can't seem to stop buying, like candles and hair products. And of course, you can make things easier on yourself by making exceptions, like "OK to stock up when traveling."

    2. Take advantage of book swaps and your local library. / Via

    You don't have to (and shouldn't!) stop buying books. But...there are some great tactics if you're the type of person who buys a lot of books you don't actually end up reading.

    One is to join a book swap group:

    "A good way I got around this was to join a local Facebook book swap and one with my friends via email. My friend swap group kind of have similar taste in what we are reading because of age and interests, and in the Facebook group, I get a lot of new and interesting reads! It’s like a pay it forward thing, and you can keep track of who has your book easily."


    Another is to borrow books from the library on your Amazon Kindle using Overdrive. You don't need to waste time going back and forth to the library — just get a library card and do the rest online.

    3. Stop with the new electronics and useless gadgets.

    Just because the new Airpods came out doesn't mean you need to own them, at least for now. Limit purchases to the replacement of truly vital things that get lost or broken, like your phone.

    4. And resist upgrades that aren't going to be a huge quality-of-life gamechanger.


    Yes, facial recognition is very cool and will save you a cumulative, oh, maybe 138 seconds over the next year of your life. But chances are you can live without it until your current phone dies a grisly death and you actually need a new phone.

    5. Cut out the source of your number one shopping addiction.

    Whether it's Etsy, Amazon, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, eBay, Ulta... We all have our one shopping vice. Let's see what it's like to live without it for a month. Remove temptation by taking yourself off of any e-commerce email lists that might be likely to entice you with a sale.

    Here's a great tip for impulse buys: put it on your wishlist and see if you really still want it in a week, or a month.

    "My trick to curbing my online shopping is simple: if you like an item, save it to your wishlist. At the end of the month, I go through and purge the items that —let's face it — I don't really need or have room for. Things that I keep coming back to on the list, I either buy/save for or move to a Christmas or birthday wishlist."


    6. And maybe actually just stop buying new clothes in general.

    Or limit yourself to no fast fashion. Or maybe you limit yourself to only the $$ amount that you're able to get back from your current wardrobe (if you have a resale shop like Buffalo Exchange in your area or have the patience to sell on a resale app like Poshmark or Depop).

    Some other helpful rules you could set for yourself if you're addicted to buying new clothing:

    1) Any new clothes must be on the French wardrobe list.

    2) Ask yourself questions like, "Will I wear this at least 30 times? Does it work with my other clothes?"

    3) If you don't wear it within a week, return it.

    7. Stop buying repeats of things.

    Maybe you love an item so much, you want it in every color. Or maybe you just never met a pair of plain black ankle boots that you didn't like. We all have that ~one thing~ that we can't get enough of, whether it's a certain kind of sneaker, a certain kind of black-and-white striped top, or a certain style of jeans. Resist the urge to keep buying the same things over and over again just because you like them!

    8. Stop impulse-buying things at the grocery store you're not going to actually eat this week.

    9. You can probably live without new stationery...for now.

    Stationery is delightful and not terribly expensive, which seems to be why so many of us are enticed into buying it. There's also this subconscious hope that that new pen, notebook, or planner is going to make us so much more organized, creative, and productive in life. That might happen — but it probably won't.

    10. Limit eating/drinking out in some way, shape, or form.

    Whether it's your everyday morning coffee, ordering delivery, or buying lunch at work, you can start by cutting out one regular habit that adds up. You could also resolve to only use the gift cards you've received in the past so you're not spending any new money. Or you could resolve to stop ordering alcohol with meals (but maybe BYOB is OK). There are so many ways to pull back on spending without completely depriving yourself.

    11. Utilize the "replace only" rule for cleaning supplies.

    It seems like every time I go to Target, there are hundreds of new cleaning supplies, tempting me with its new-and-improved millennial pink packaging or some promise of a groundbreaking new cleaning technology that is going to change my life forever. The rule is: you can buy them! Someday, when the ones at home actually run out.

    12. Let more time elapse between between beauty treatments like hair appointments, manicures, or waxes.

    Try doubling the time in between and consider the mountains of cash you'll have saved by end of year.

    13. Don't get suckered into new subscription services.


    Or...make it a rule that you have to cancel one before you start another.

    14. Only buy used for home decor and clothing.

    If you just moved into a new place, feel free to ignore this one! But for most of us, we're settled into our homes but we always feel like it could be a little bit better or fresher or what have you. Resolve to get creative by finding things at thrift stores or on Craigslist — you'll eventually find the item you want, or just completely forget that you ever wanted it to begin with.

    15. Remember that sales are not special.


    Sales have a way of making you think they're special snowflakes. This year, I noticed that many of the sales that happened during Black Friday happened AGAIN during Christmas. The exact same sales. Just remember that sales are not unique, they happen over and over again, and there's no need to impulse buy something just because it's on sale.

    Of course, the possibilities are endless, depending on what your lifestyle is.

    You could stop buying video games, records, lottery tickets, kitchen accessories, or single-use products like wipes. Maybe you want to make exceptions for things like school books or art supplies. This is a (hopefully creative and somewhat fulfilling!) exercise in seeing if we can learn to live without, and trying to get use out of the things we already own.

    Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.