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« Money worries: shopping smarter, by Rachel Green »

Written by Rachel Green. Your smart emotions coach: Helping people find positive outcomes from uneasy emotions and difficult decisions. Director of The Emotional Intelligence Institute. 

Money worries - shopping smarter

Anxiety over money is common. Many people have money worries. It is one of the biggest causes of anxiety in our society.

However, although money worries can seem really hard, there are ways to help ease the anxiety, and shopping smarter is just one of them.

But how can shopping sensibly or smarter help reduce anxiety? And, if I shop smarter doesn’t it mean life becomes even more boring or drab? It's bad enough feeling anxious, isn't it?

Shopping can still be fun. I am not a financial counsellor but here are some of my tips based on my own experience (but please seek help if you need it, don't rely on these tips alone).

Money worries and having nothing to wear

Managing money worries and your wardrobe can end up being fun.

I was thrilled the other day. I bought an absolute bargain. I felt fantastic, and far better than if I’d bought the same item at full price.

I wanted some new clothes for work. I work with clients who are expensively dressed and I know that it does matter how I look. However, I can’t see the sense in spending so much money on clothes, if I don’t need to.

What bargain did I get? I bought a brand new, red jacket by Anthea Crawford, (a much sought after and expensive Australian designer), for seven dollars fifty. Yes, seven dollars fifty.

How did I know it was brand new? It still had the spare button attached in a plastic envelope underneath the armpit, and all the labels on it.

What I also enjoyed was finding that there was a sale on in the shop. Everything was reduced by 50%. This new jacket had been reduced from a whopping $15.00 to $7.50! Normally, however, it would retail for around $400, yes four hundred. Now you can see why I was rapt.

It was my favourite colour of red and my size. Brilliant! Where did I find this bargain? It was hanging in the Good Samaritans Op Shop in the city centre. Op shops can be fantastic places to shop. You're helping others every time you buy, and you’re restocking your wardrobe and spending so little. Goodbye anxiety over money.

Why go and spend $400 if you can get the identical jacket for $7.50 and reduce your anxiety? By the way, while I was there I bought a brand new turquoise jacket for only $3.50. It was also a designer make. And I bought a nice summer blouse, again for $3.50 and a halter neck top in my favourite blue.

Altogether, four new items, all fabulous for $19.00. I felt great. My wardrobe looks good. And I kept my money spending to the minimum. No more money worries!

If you are finding your anxiety is wearing you out, you might like to learn how to meditate. If so, I recommend our "Happy not hassled" MP3 recordings to you. The meditations are the ones I used to help me overcome my panic attacks. However, only buy them if you can afford them.

MP3s $29(US) Add to Cart


Money worries: Shop in op shops!

When you are anxious over money and you must buy some new clothes, go and find the best op shops and buy the best bargains. If money is in short supply then why buy expensive clothes? It makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Instead buy bargains. Your money will go much further.

My absolute best bargain was in the op shop in Karratha in North Western Australia. Karratha is a mining town and people come and go. When they go it can be easier for them to leave their clothes and belongings at the local op shop than take them all with them. So it can be a great place to shop if you're visiting the town.

What did I buy? It was a brand new black leather handbag, made by Sachi, another designer. It only cost me a dollar. One whole dollar. It's a fantastic handbag and ideal for work, and I needed a new one.

Watch out for the "designer clothes" op shops. They can still charge you a fortune. Find the cheap op shops. They can still have good clothes in them. Whether it’s the Lifeline shops, the Salvation Army or the Good Samaritans, you'll discover who has the best quality clothes. Hang out there from time to time and you'll feel rich.

Money worries: Buy bargains but only when you need them

Become a bargain buyer and anxiety over money can diminish. But only buy bargains IF you really need them. Don't just buy something because it's supposed to be a bargain. If you don't need it, no matter how cheap something is, it's NOT a bargain and it will still fuel your anxiety.

Do not throw your money away on something that is "dramatically reduced" or has a "two for the price of one" special on it. If you didn't need the first item, having two of the same items for the same price is not a bargain. It's a waste of money and a cause of more anxiety.

Only when you truly, really, deeply need something buy it. Otherwise, save your money. In this way feeling anxious over money can become easier.

By the way watch out and resist the temptation to buy something just because "It is only $20", or "It's only $9" or even $2. If you don't need it, don't buy it. Every time you spend $20 you are spending $20. Every $20 you spend adds up - you only need to do that five times and you have spent $100. Then you have more anxiety.

Do you really need to buy anything other than food right now? If you do, buy a bargain and reduce your money worries.

Where will you shop?

If you are finding your anxiety is exhausting you and stopping you sleeping or thinking straight, you might like to learn how to meditate. If so, I recommend our "Happy not hassled" MP3 recordings to you. The meditations are the ones I used to help me overcome my panic attacks. However, only buy them if you can afford them.

MP3s $29(US) Add to Cart


NB: Any information contained in this article is not provided as an alternative to the obtaining of psychological or financial advice from an appropriately qualified practitioner. Rachel is not a psychologist, Dr or psychiatrist, or a financial counsellor If you, or people known to you, have significant anxiety or financial problems please seek professional help and do not rely on this for the diagnosis or treatment of any psychological or financial problems.