3 Smart Shopping Resolutions to Make for the New Year

By Kaitlin Hurtado on January 11, 2018

With the arrival of a new year, there is often plenty of new years resolutions made. These resolutions can be related to health, such as finally going to the school gym or stop eating out on a daily basis, or something more material, like stop impulse buying unnecessary items every chance you get.

If you found yourself struggling to pay for things you actually needed, like rent or car payments, but still able to eat out with friends and buy whatever you wanted, you may want to consider making a few shopping resolutions to start (and keep) in the new year.

via Pexels.com

Start off with a clear budget 

Maybe one of the biggest problems you had last year was the lack of a clear, outlined budget for your spending. Without a budget, it’s easy to miss where you are spending a lot of money, especially if it is in little increments (like spending a few dollars a day on a small coffee). Start off with the larger, more obvious things you need to budget for that don’t change, like rent or car payments. This is the money you absolutely have to set aside and will need every month.

Next, give yourself a budget for groceries. Factor in how much you cook in relation to eating out. Don’t give yourself a huge budget for groceries when you know you hate to cook and you won’t make an effort to change that in the new year. Instead give yourself a realistic budget for groceries on what you would actually spend money on and consume, basics like dairy, proteins, vegetables, etc. Know when you can save money – skip out on buying junk food like chips or ice cream, which tends to cost more and fills you up less than more wholesome, healthier ingredients.

Make a budget for personal spending – set aside a reasonable amount for buying items you personally want, like clothes, makeup, or games. Doing this will help you think out what you really need versus want you want, and aid you in narrowing down the item you want to most and genuinely want to spend money on.

Stop buying things on impulse 

One of the worst things about online shopping is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. You can open up your laptop and browse your favorite online retailer during lecture, mindlessly adding things to your shopping cart. You can look at the total and think it really isn’t that much and those jeans are never on clearance, so you might as well go through with the purchase. Moments like these can happen weekly, and add up after a while and it’s something you can realize when looking at your bank account total and see it lowered drastically after all the “small” impulse purchases.

It might be hard to resist buying a cup of coffee here or there, adding a few chocolate bars into your shopping cart when at the register at the grocery store, but make it a habit to remind yourself to resist these impulse buys. Instead, make a wishlist as you see things you want to buy, but can’t fully rationalize spending money on. A new pair of headphones when you already have a pair that still functions. New markers when yours still work perfectly fine.

This wishlist will come in handy when you do have extra spending money, or a coupon to use. Remember those times where your loved ones ask you want for Christmas or your birthday only for you to come up blank? Your wishlist that consists of what could have been impulse buys can be handed over to friends and family when you can’t remember things you wanted in the past.

Learn the true meaning of treating yourself 

When you have a clear budget and are avoiding impulse buys, you deserve to treat yourself. When it comes to treating yourself properly, there’s a certain time and amount to think of.

If you treat yourself every day or every week, it loses its meaning. It turns more into meaningless spending when you can lose appreciation for something you expect, or you may get so used to it that you don’t think of it as treating yourself and instead think of it as a routine.

Instead, set goals for yourself. If you notice that you spent less on eating out over the course a month, get that extra money and spend it on a pair of shoes you’ve been wanting. If you’re struggling to stay on budget with so many new makeup or game releases, think of goals you can work toward in order to “earn” whatever you want. Spend time studying for an upcoming exam or put in extra hours at work, if you meet your expectations (a certain grade or an amount on a paycheck), treat yourself to whatever you think for.

In the new year, work toward saving your money, but also remind yourself that it’s okay to reasonably treat yourself when you feel like you fully deserve it.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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