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23 Free/Cheap Things I Do to Stop Online Shopping Habit

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‘Stay at home if you don’t want to spend money,’ they say. ‘Hey I wonder what sale is going on out there,’ goes my head, conveniently forgetting how I wanted to stop online shopping habit.

Do you ever have moments when you’re bored at home, and the next thing you know you’re on Shopee or whichever online store just mindlessly looking at stuff?

Hello, we same same, we friend.

But no, this can’t go on, because…

I want to stop online shopping from becoming a habit

I don’t even have an excuse why I open up shopping apps out of boredom. While typing this, I was literally surrounded by a bunch of stuff I already bought but sparingly use.

Guess we all look for new things because new = exciting, but I want to get out of this mindset! I don’t need new things, I should be happy with what I already have!

Lusting for new items made me so annoyed with myself that I wrote a list in my notebook about other things I can do at home instead of spending money. Requirements:

  1. Must not require any extra money to do, at all,
  2. Must be doable at home or within walking distance, and
  3. If it uses up ingredients, then it must be ingredients I already have

It turned out to be a long list. Here they are:

1. Listen to music and podcasts on Spotify. I have a Premium Spotify account. There are years worth of content in there that I could listen to. Related: 3 Ways to Get Cheaper Spotify Premium in Malaysia

2. Finish my Udemy courses. Out of three Udemy courses bought in January, I have only finished two. I should tackle that last course soon. I also have tens of courses received for free.

3. Declutter and KonMari all my stuff. Not everything I own ‘spark joy’. I want to get rid of them and offer unwanted items still in good condition to the Beli Nothing Project. Why am I so lazy to take pics and post them up, why.

4. List things to sell. Similar to above, but for things that I’m too stingy to give up for free.

 5. Read books and ebooks. I have so many unread books…

6. Train my pets. I see videos of cats responding to basic instructions like ‘paw’ and I’m so jealous but still never train my own cats. If anything, they’re training me.

7. Clean my apartment. One time, I came across an article about sleepwalking and there was this one case of someone actually sleep-cleaning. As in, they clean their house while they’re asleep. Completely unconscious. Can you imagine waking up every day to a permanently clean house? How awesome, in a ‘be careful what you wish for’ kinda way.

8. Use up random ingredients in the fridge that’s about to go bad. Because EVERYTHING can be turned into stews and soups.

9. Curate who I follow online. I need to unfollow and unsubcribe people and companies that encourage me to do to things I don’t want to do, like making me feel like I don’t have enough and causing me to buy things I don’t need

10. Wear facial masks and facial serums. I try to wear them a couple of times a week, but sometimes I forgot. Need to be more diligent about this, I do want nice skin.

11. Practice my makeup skills. There are so many Youtube and TikTok tutorials to try. It doesn’t have to be glam style either, just practice to improve my basic everyday looks.

12. Condition my hair. My hair is very dry, I should use this time to put on a hair mask or something.

13. Practice speech to improve pronunciation.

14. Move about. I know that exercise is proven to help combat ageing, but I still don’t walk around, use the free gym or use the condo pool as often as I should.

15. Send tweets/emails/notes of encouragement to friends, family and other people I support. Make people’s day a bit brighter and all, you know?

16. ‘Shop the closet’. Ie think of new ways and combinations to wear clothes I already have.

17. Sort out pictures on my phone. And delete images I don’t need. Oh look, that’s where I parked the car at Sunway Pyramid… 3 months ago.

18. Learn to play the guitar? My partner’s guitar is just right there.

19. Digitise academic certificates and old photo albums. I do want to get this done because they’re heavy and bulky and getting yellow-y, but have been procrastinating on it for years. Something about throwing them out just seems really sad.

20. Track other aspects of my life to optimise it. The only thing that I regularly track is my expenses. I’d love to track my water intake, my sleeping patterns, things like that.

21. Make reviews of products, shops, restaurants and places I like. You know those online reviews that help people decide whether they should buy something or not? They are super helpful – all of us have benefited from them. I like the idea of contributing to that information-sharing culture.

22. Make tea or coffee and really savour the taste and experience. I have a mini beverage collection – there are at least 10 varieties of tea/coffee in the kitchen cabinet. I could make myself that tea that I haven’t tried in a while.

23. Make another list. I do like making them. A list of new income ideas? A list of new ways to monetise RoR? Lots of things to think about and jot down, so I can remember them (like this one).

Well, that’s a lot of things to do at home instead of spending money. I have no excuse to do online-shopping, do I?

What do YOU do when you try to keep yourself occupied while not spending money and stop online shopping habit? Is Shopee also your devil or is it another shop?


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10 Comments

  1. I keep a gratitude journal, it keeps me being content with what I have and happy when I read back and remember all the things that have brought me joy.

    Also help me to recall the “excitement” when I decided to buy something and turns out didn’t really utilise the item I bought.

    For example, I wrote about being thankful to find a good free e-book. It helps motivate me a bit more to read that neglected e-book 🙂

    1. Oh that’s a great idea! I like the part about recalling excitement – they fade away so fast when they should be savoured. Thanks for sharing Arvilla 🙂

      1. usually i will make use of their private sale to stock up things that i regularly use 🙂

  2. I window shop a lot and in a lot of cases I do end up putting things in my cart, but that’s about it. Going to move house soon so my excuse is “do you really want to pack it into *another* box?”

    Other things I do is read translated Chinese light novels (most are between 1,000 – 2,500 *chapters*), play computer games and try to use my journalling stash.

    Or I play Android mobile games to close the shopping window. xD

    1. !!! Perhaps the solution to stop accumulating stuff is to always move around!!

      Haha I kid I kid. Thanks for sharing your hobbies, some of them are new to me!

      1. Hehehe, have fun! Reading translated Chinese light novels for me are a great distraction on the go – read a few chapters here and there and done. I generally use them when I don’t want to sink into English books – they’re lovely but SUPER immersive and I tend to read too much, too fast that when it ends I am sad haha.

        Yes, because I am planning to move soon my thought processes about buying things is “do I need to pack it carefully when I move” and “how fast can I find it if I do pack it” and knowing myself it’s better to delay it.

        After I move house the biggest temptation will be to not BUY ALL THE THINGS because now I supposedly have space for them hahaha.

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