12 Tips on How to Stop Shopping

stock photo of a white woman holding 7 colorful shopping bags and sunglasses

Maybe you need to curb your spending because you’ve discovered you owe a big chunk of money on your taxes (surprise!), you’re facing credit card debt, or you’re trying to grow your savings account … and you’re wondering how to stop shopping. Or maybe you’re trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution to spend less. We haven’t talked about how to control your spending in quite a while, so we thought we’d share some tips today. If you’ve ever had to make a change like this, what were your strategies for how to stop shopping? What was your motivation — to pay down debt, put more money into savings (or investments, etc.), or redirect the money toward a goal, such as a down payment on a house? 

Here are 12 tips on how to stop shopping:

1. Use a paper chart to track your spending.

Budgeting programs such as Mint or YNAB can be useful (I use Mint), but I like this option because you can see the whole month at once and (ideally) watch those “zero” days accumulate. In the past, I’ve used this tracker from Frugal Mama. I randomly found it by googling “spending tracker” — and while I happen to be a mom, you can certainly find a similar non-parent chart if you don’t have kids!

2. Leave your credit cards at home when you go out

Leave your credit cards at home when you go out — and perhaps only use debit for a while. (The decision to do this rests on how dire your shopping/debt situation is). The age-old “cut up your cards!” advice doesn’t work for everyone; for example, you may want to keep earning rewards on your credit card (as long as you’re paying off the balance each month, that is!). Also, consider the envelope method for budgeting — with cash. 

{related: how to pick the best rewards card}

3. Make your money inaccessible

If you can, make more of your money inaccessible (or at least less accessible). If your financial situation allows it, increase your 401k payroll deductions at work and/or add a savings account to your direct deposit so that your paycheck isn’t solely going to checking. You can also set up regular automatic savings transfers or automatic investing.

{related: how to set up automatic investing}

4. Unsubscribe from store emails

Unsubscribe from store emails and emails from sale sites (e.g., Shopstyle). Either unsubscribe to each one as you receive their emails, or use a free tool such as Unroll.me

stock photo of woman pulling credit card out of wallet

5. Stop delivery of mail order catalogs.

DMAChoice.org charges $ 2 to remove you from mailing lists for certain categories, such as catalogs, or from individual catalogs. Catalogchoice.org is free but only allows you to unsubscribe from one catalog at a time. (I’ve had success with the latter.) 

6. Delete any store apps and shopping apps from your phone.

It’s even worse to have store apps and shopping apps on your phone than on your computer, because they make it so easy to shop from anywhere at any time — the doctor’s office waiting room, the coffeeshop, the long line at the grocery store, etc.

7. Delete your credit card information from store websites and from your browser’s autofill function.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite as effective if you, like me, have your credit card number memorized. (One of my cards was hacked recently, which was pretty annoying but had the hidden benefit of getting a new card number that I don’t know by heart. Yet.) 

8. When you want to buy something online, only put it in your cart at first.

(Or your wishlist — you should see my Sephora “Loves” list…) Then wait 24 hours. If you don’t completely forget about the item, which is possible, you might at least find that you don’t want it as much anymore and be able to convince yourself to skip the purchase … or at least delay it some more.

stock photo of woman holding piggy bank

9. Clean out your closet.

You’re more likely to feel good about what’s in there (and therefore feel fewer “I need new clothes!” urges) if you ditch the pieces you don’t really like — the ones you always skip over when you’re deciding what to wear in the morning. You can also shop your closet to try new combinations you haven’t thought of before.

{related: decluttering your wardrobewhere to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes

10. Try a capsule wardrobe.

You may gain new appreciation for the clothes you already have — and also distract yourself from shopping by having fun putting new outfits together. Also, consider trying our Work Outfit Challenge — sign up for the emails today!

{related: creating a capsule wardrobe for work}

11. Tailor your clothes to make what you already have work for you.

If you have clothes lying around that you’ve been meaning to get tailored, do that now. Sure, you’ll have to spend some money, but unless you’re asking for major alterations, it’ll still be cheaper than buying new clothes. (We’ve had lots of posts on getting your clothes tailored!) 

12. Organize a clothes swap with friends.

I’ve never tried this, but it sounds fun, and it’s a free way to get some new pieces — maybe some styles you never would have picked up at the store but discover that you really like. The Simple Dollar has some tips, and depending on where you live, you may have access to the events organized by ClothingSwap.com. I am kind of intrigued… (After their events, they donate unclaimed items to charity.)

What are your tips on how to stop shopping? If you’ve ever tried to cut down, what worked and what didn’t?

Stock photo (woman with bags) via Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia. Other images via Stencil.

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ICYMI: Shopping on Social Media, Leather Sneakers & Fact-Checking Natural Beauty Myths

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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4.9.19 Infant sleeping device warning; Ponzi scheme wire fraud; Watch out when shopping for health insurance

The Rock n’ play sleeper has led to the deaths of ten infants. Be careful; Private placements and exorbitant returns are a clue that an investing scheme is likely too good to be true; Watch out when shopping for healthcare sites that aren’t Healthcare.gov.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video

The post 4.9.19 Infant sleeping device warning; Ponzi scheme wire fraud; Watch out when shopping for health insurance appeared first on Clark Howard.



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The Grifters Are Coming: Laura Loomer, Louise Mensch, Sheriff David Clarke All Shopping New Books

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast

Some of the most outspoken political grifters of the Trump era want to sell you books—if anyone is interested in buying.

The success of political commentary books like Fox News reporter-turned-Trump-booster Greg Jarrett’s The Russia Hoax and tell-alls like Omarosa’s Unhinged have inspired B-list political media celebrities to take time out of their tweetstorms and attention-starved antics to pen the next great American rant.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that far-right political activist Laura Loomer, for example, has been trying to shop a book, and has told associates that there may be interest from major publishers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Here’s Why Shopping for Life Insurance Doesn’t Have to Be Such a Hassle

Getting life insurance seems like such a pain.

I mean, you have to jump through all these hoops — sign a million forms, go to a doctor’s office to get a physical and send a stack of paperwork to an insurance agent. The whole thing is probably going to take weeks!

Maybe you’re interested in getting a life insurance policy to take care of your family in case you die unexpectedly. But let’s face it: At this rate, you’ll probably never get around to it, because it’s a hassle that never quite rises to the top of your to-do list. Does it?

Ah, but what if it were way simpler than that?

If you’re stalled on the whole life insurance thing, try checking out innovative new options like Leap Life’s online marketplace. It’s like a personal shopper for life insurance. Its motto is brutally honest: “Life insurance isn’t fun. Let’s get it over with quick.”

Wow! The folks at Leap Life are not exactly holding back, are they? Clearly, this isn’t your dad’s life insurance agency.

Leap Life simplifies and streamlines the process in a big way. You can apply in minutes, and most healthy people can do it all online — no medical exam required.

Lickety-split, you get instant quotes from top life insurance companies like Prudential, Lincoln Financial, Pacific Life, and Protective, among others.

That way, you can compare them side-by-side to find the best life insurance policy matched to your needs.

Cheaper Than You Think

Leap Life uses your  information to predict approval and match you to the most affordable insurance policies to fit your needs. The company says it saves people an average of 50% on their insurance premiums.

The company says its research shows that 80% of Americans can pay 50% to 300% more for their life insurance if they pick the wrong life insurance carrier. The could mean paying hundreds of dollars more per month than you have to.

People overestimate the cost of life insurance, anyway. For instance, nearly half of millennials think life insurance costs about five times what it actually does, according to a 2018 study by the life insurance industry group LIMRA.

No Hassle, Free Returns

Leap Life is updating the old model. If you stuck with the life insurance industry’s traditional way of doing things, you might have to wait weeks to hear whether you’re approved.

You don’t have to wait any longer. And if you change your mind, you’ve got a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Leap Life’s pitch is that it’ll match you with a policy that fits your needs, your health history and your financial situation. “No extra fees, no hassle and free 30-day returns,” the company’s website says.

The company has an A-plus rating with the BBB. It operates in every U.S. state except New York.

You can choose a life insurance policy that lasts from 10 to 30 years, with death benefits ranging from $ 250,000 to $ 5 million.

It’s time to get life insurance off your to-do list and move it over to your “done” list.

Really, it doesn’t have to be such a pain.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He probably doesn’t need life insurance because he’ll probably never die.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Fashion to Fintech, OnApproval Makes Luxury Shopping Less Cryptic

From fashion to fintech, American fashion designer Alvin Valley partners with HauteLook cofounder Carlota Espinosa and Oracle-acquired InstantService.com founder Damion Hankejh to integrate OnApproval — the “first luxury payment service system” with Uphold in early January.
Having launched in 2015, Uphold serves more than 184 countries to deliver 30-plus currency types including traditional forms and cryptocurrency. Since its launch, it has powered more than $ 4 billion in U.S. transactions while offering “frictionless foreign exchange for merchants and members around the world.”
The partnership anticipates the formal launch of OnApproval, and it allows its members to “pull goods before paying — providing an in-store shopping experience at home” — by partnering as the alpha merchant with Uphold, the “Internet bank of money,” to onboard 1 million OnApproval members.
According to Hankejh, e-commerce is “ripe for remodeling.” In a separate interview with WWD, Espinosa offered that OnApproval “drives loyalty by reducing payment friction and eliminating the “shopping cart” paradigm, triggering in-store behavior in the home wrapped in personalized customer experience.”
Sometimes noted as the “king of pants” for his extensive design reign in the product category, Valley is in good company with his fellow cofounders of OnApproval. Espinosa is cofounder and vice president of the Nordstrom-acquired HauteLook and Hankejh is a chief

Follow WWD on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

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Americans are turning to dollar stores for their holiday shopping

Many Americans are looking to stretch the buck this holiday season by visiting dollar stores. A growing number of consumers — including the more affluent — say they will be shopping at dollar stores during the holidays, not because they are short on cash, but because the stores carry the merchandise they want, according to…
Business | New York Post


Holiday shopping: The best toys for kids make use of their imaginations, not a screen

The AAP recently recommended a more hands-on approach to playtime for kids.
ABC News: Health


http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Parents put nature in the shopping basket

In a world of vast consumer choice, ambiguous product descriptions and self-appointed experts, parents face a minefield when picking out food, toys or other products for their children. A new qualitative study indicates that naturalness is the current benchmark for consumer choice among parents.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily


Don’t miss the Fabled by Marie Claire Black Friday shopping event

You’re invited to an exclusive Black Friday shopping evening to stock up on all your beauty favourites…

fabled by Marie Claire Black Friday shopping evening

The Fabled by Marie Claire Black Friday Shopping Event will include 20% off in store for one night only plus a complimentary glass of bubbly and a goodie bag. Taking place at our 5,000 sq ft flagship beauty emporium on Tottenham Court Road, London, you’ll also be able to meet the Marie Claire beauty team for 121 beauty advice and recommendations.

fabled by Marie Claire Black Friday shopping event

Fabled by Marie Claire is the one-stop-shop for beauty junkies, with an extensive range of premium and niche brands, including Benefit, ghd, Urban Decay, NARS and Perricone MD. But here’s the game changer: now you can get the products you love, exactly when you want them. As well as our huge store, Fabled by Marie Claire is online at fabled.com to provide you with next-day delivery. You can choose an allocated delivery time slot, seven days a week, so you never have to wait for that all-important parcel again.


Thursday 22nd November


6.30-9.00 pm


Fabled by Marie Claire, 21 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 1BJ


£10 each; includes 20 per cent off in store, a complimentary glass of bubbly and a goodie bag, one per customer. You can buy your ticket here.

Terms & Conditions: Tickets are non-refundable. Goodie bag given with every ticket purchase, one goodie bag per person.

The post Don’t miss the Fabled by Marie Claire Black Friday shopping event appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


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Mystery Shopping Scams Are Soaring in 2018 — Here Are 5 Ways to Spot One

It seems easy enough: You get a message through Facebook or LinkedIn. Or you receive a cashier’s check in the mail out of the blue from a mystery shopping company. It instructs you to shop at your local grocery store and email a representative with pictures and details about your experience.

Then you cash the check, keep some money for yourself and send the rest to the company.

The only problem: That cashier’s check is likely a fraud.

Mystery shopping can be a legitimate way to make some cash on the side. But scammers are using the brands associated with many of those opportunities to steal money from would-be shoppers.

The Penny Hoarder analyzed the 1,000 most recent complaints about mystery shopping scams filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We obtained the data set through a Freedom of Information Act request that took five months to fulfill.

Unfortunately, according to our analysis, the problem appears to be getting worse — much worse.

The FTC logged 557 complaints about mystery shopping scams in its Consumer Sentinel Network database through the first three months of this year. That’s nearly 150 — or 37% — more than it received for the entirety of 2017.

Meanwhile, overall consumer complaints have fallen over the last two years, according to FTC spokesman Frank Dorman.

The increase in mystery shopping complaints could be due in part to state and local agencies reporting more complaints to the FTC or the public becoming more aware.

“There’s no way for us to know why complaints rise and fall,” Dorman said.

But with 2018 on track to log more than 2,200 complaints, it’s likely scammers are also casting a wider net.

In 2017, people reported losing $ 47,333 to mystery shopping scams, according to the FTC database. In the first quarter of 2018, the FTC received complaints about $ 468,897 paid to suspected con artists — a figure on track to easily break $ 1 million this year.

And these are probably low estimates, given that many cybercrimes go unreported.

How a Mystery Shopping Scam Works

One common mystery shopping scam involves “testing” a transfer service, such as Western Union, at a Walmart or other grocery store, according to the FTC. In this scenario, you’ll get a check in the mail and might even see money appear in your account.

Then, you send some of that money through one of those wire services. Or you might be asked to buy refillable gift cards and send the card to the scammer. Either way, the bank will eventually determine the check was fraudulent.

And the worst part is: You might be on the hook for the fraudulent check.

“Your bank may take several days to weeks to determine the check or money order you deposited into your account was counterfeit, even though the funds ‘arrive’ in your account after a day or two,” wrote U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Andrea Avery in an email to The Penny Hoarder. “You, as the account holder, are responsible for money deposited [into] and withdrawn from your account, so you may be liable when the check ultimately fails to clear.”

Most mystery shopping complaints revolve around cashing fake checks, but the FTC also reminds consumers that they should never pay a subscription fee just for the opportunity to become a mystery shopper.

5 Signs of a Mystery Shopping Scam

If you think a mystery shopping gig is too good to be true, you’re probably right. These tips can help you spot a potential scam.

  1. First of all, any time someone asks you to wire them money after depositing a check, it’s going to be a scam.
  2. Have you ever contacted this company or representative in the past? If this is an unsolicited opportunity, your scam antenna should be at attention.
  3. Does the email, letter or message look like it was written by a 6-year-old? If it’s littered with misspellings or grammatical errors, it’s probably fake, according to several narratives in the FTC data set. (Although one could say the same thing about the first draft of this article written by a data reporter.)
  4. Look at the company logo included in the letter, memo or check the supposed company has sent you. Match it with what you find on the company’s official website. One FTC complainant noted that materials sent from a firm called American Consumer Eyes bore grocery store ShopRite’s logo, but it was black and white, and out of focus.
  5. And it’s worth repeating: If you pay for a “subscription” to become a mystery shopper, you’ll likely lose whatever you pay.

There’s no telling where these scams are coming from, but the most common city that popped up was located far from the U.S. —  in the Greek isles. Larnaca, Cyprus, a city of about 144,000 with a tourism-based economy, was included 17 times.

Again, the FTC couldn’t explain the prominence of this city in the database. Nor could it explain the names of individuals supposedly representing the companies.

Brian Anthony and Alex Baker were the most frequently used names in these mystery shopping scams.

Con artists tend to use trusted brand names, according to the FTC database. Walmart and Kroger were frequently featured in fraudulent materials.

The Penny Hoarder even came up once in the 1,000 entries in this database. In fact, a complaint from a reader prompted this entire investigation. We responded to the incident in April.

The mystery shopping scams included in the database targeted victims as young as 13 and older than 80. Although millennials were actually targeted more, it was clear the elderly were the most vulnerable. People older than 59 were scammed out of a combined $ 317,645.50 since the beginning of 2017.

New Mexico had the most per-resident complaints — more than double the second-most targeted state, Texas. Again, FTC and USPS representatives couldn’t say why this is the case.

How to Report a Mystery Shopping Scam

If you were contacted through the mail, the USPS recommends reporting the fraud through its website or by calling 877-876-2455 and saying “fraud” when prompted. The FTC also urges you to file a complaint with its office, as well as your state attorney general’s office.

If you live in a city with a large population of retirees, like where I am from in Sarasota County, Florida, your local police office might have its own cybercrime unit that can make sure you file the correct paperwork with the corresponding agency.

Compile as much information as you can with the materials you believe to be a scam. What was the name of the potentially fictional representative or company that contacted you? What was the return address on the material you received?

This will help whatever agency you contact root out scams like these in the future. In turn, this will give us more data for future investigations. Win-win!

Both the FTC and USPS continue to publish information on their websites and through YouTube, and they’re even pounding the pavement across the country raising awareness about these scams.

The top piece of advice from both agencies: Always be skeptical at first for the best chance of staving off a scam. If you send money, it’s probably too late.

“If you try to get a refund from the promoters, you will be out of luck,” Dorman said. “Either the business won’t return your phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.”

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. His dream mystery shopping gig involves record stores and skate shops.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The most beautiful shopping malls around the world


When you go out for your weekly shop, or to buy your annual wardrobe (yes, I’m talking about you, men!) you probably just venture to your local mall, with your budget department stores and your food market. You probably don’t expect to be greeted with gondola rides, rollercoasters, or giant aquariums, do you? Well, in certain parts of the world this could be your local shopping mall. Bet you’re regretting your house location now. Let’s all move to Dubai!

Dubai Mall – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you’ve ever been to Dubai or the United Arab Emirates, you’ll know that they don’t do anything by halves. Everything is excessive, everything is elegant, everything is clean, and everything is beautiful. Including the shopping malls. As well as being one of the most beautiful malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is also the largest in the world and comes complete with 1,200 shops to its name, an Aquarium and Discovery Center, an ice rink, a theme park, a 22-screen cinema, the largest candy store in the world, an interactive children’s center, and one of the most spectacular indoor fountains on the planet! Not much, then…

The Grand Canal Shoppes – Las Vegas, United States of America

Don’t worry if you’ve never visited Venice because you won’t need to if you take a trip to the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas! This Venetian-themed hotel comes complete with its very own Grand Canal Shoppes featuring incredible waterways, which you can travel using Gondolas – with your very own Gondola driver who might even sing for you if you’re lucky. The mall offers 91 shops connected by cobbled streets and a moving clouded ceiling. And of course, no Venetian street would be complete without street performers.

Canal City – Fukuoka, Japan

Just like the Grand Canal Shoppes in Las Vegas, Canal City shopping mall in Japan has based its mall around incredible canals. The canals serve as the main event in this mall, with the shops built as if they surround the water. But these buildings aren’t your typical run of the mill two-up two-down buildings. Instead, they are all curved, with water features, fountains, and sculptures which have been designed and constructed to trick the eyes of its visitors. As well as some of the most prestigious shops and brands, the mall also houses art exhibitions, gaming centers, cinemas, a music stadium – and the piece de resistance is the fifth floor of the mall which is solely dedicated to ramen! Time to tuck in.

Berjaya Times Square – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Despite the fact the Berjaya Times Square shopping mall in Malaysia is Asia’s largest shopping mall, the grandiose mall is actually designed around the streets and bright lights of New York’s Times Square. With a makeshift subway station, big billboards and bright signs, you could easily mistake it for the Big Apple! The shopping mall offers its visitors over 1000 stores, as well as an incredible indoor theme park complete with roller coasters (yep, inside), a haunted house, and more. As if it wasn’t already pretty epic, the mall also throws in the extra awesomeness of a giant musical staircase to entertain you (and your kids) for hours.

West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Canada

The West Edmonton Mall is one of the most beautiful malls in the world because it is one of the most unexpected. As you walk through the doors, you’re bombarded with a huge area full of fun and activities. As well as the obvious stores and food halls, this mall offers the largest indoor waterpark in the world, complete with a wave pool and 83-foot tall water slide, an ice rink, a lake which features sea lions, a mini-golf course, a shooting range, bowling alley, arcade, music Stadium, a chapel and an indoor theme park! Could you need anything else?


The post The most beautiful shopping malls around the world appeared first on Worldation.