A strategy is a series of steps and actions based on both internal and external representations performed consistently, in a specific sequence, in order to achieve a particular outcome. We all have strategies for everything that we do; happiness, sadness, shyness, gregariousness, wealth, cleaning, health, fitness, shopping etc.etc. etc. and much of this is unconscious. If we change the strategy in some way then we change the result.
When it comes to buying do you know what your strategy is, and how well does it work for you? Is it something you’d like to change?
I used to be a compulsive shopper and an impulse buyer, motivated by a need to improve myself esteem. As a result I ended up with a dysfunctional wardrobe, a load of guilt, a depleted bank account, and even lower self-esteem. By changing a couple of steps in my buying strategy I have changed the way I buy and the results I get.
These days instead of shopping without purpose I make a list of what I need before I set out. This gives me clarity and focus on my buying objective and I find I am less distracted by whatever else I see. I also take far more time to consider any purchase (no matter what the price is) and will often leave a garment on hold while I have a cup of coffee, or even for a couple of days until I’m certain it’s what I really want to spend my money on. Will it work with whatever else is in my wardrobe, do I really need it or would something I already have do instead? I also find now that I can satisfy my need for variety by simply trying on a few clothes, a scarf or some earrings just to see how they look without having to purchase. I also observe the rule of “love it madly, need it badly, or put it back”, which really stops me from impulsive action and means I generally “put it back.”
Having changed my buying strategy I am far more successful with clothes shopping. I have a more versatile wardrobe that mixes and matches well, spend far less money and time on shopping and get far more wear out of what I buy. This in turn means a healthier bank balance, and healthier self-esteem.
“A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.” – Sidney Carroll
If you can identify your buying strategy and find it’s not working well for you then consider changing it to achieve the result you want. Our strategies all differ, and perhaps your strategy results in your never committing to buy anything, or perhaps it uses too much of your time before you actually decide to purchase. Maybe you’re a random shopper buying whatever, whenever with unsatisfying results. Whatever it may be, if it’s not working well for you it can be changed once you are aware of it.
First of all think about what motivates you to buy; do you see or hear something, feel a certain way or tell yourself something that creates the motivation to go shopping?
How do you then make the decision to buy? What are the steps that you take to reach the decision to purchase something? Is it what you see, how it looks, what you tell yourself, how you feel or a combination of factors that ultimately influences your decision? How do you convince yourself that you want to spend your money ? How many garments do you need to consider; or how many times do you need to look at or try a particular garment before you decide to buy? Do you rely on what someone else tells you before you buy?
And how do you reassure yourself that the purchase was the right one for you? Is it the savings you’ve made or how it looks on you, what you imagine others telling you or how it works with the rest of your wardrobe? What is it for you?
If your shopping is causing you problems take a look at your buying strategy, and think about what you can do to change it for a more successful one.
“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift.The hangover comes the day after.”- Dr. Joyce Brothers