Ways to Avoid Overspending During Sales

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

Are sales triggering you to shop?

There I was, relaxing by the fireplace and casually browsing the online Revolve store sale. So many lush sweaters, trendy boots, and winter accessories to be had at discounted prices! I clicked and clicked and added a few super cute sweaters and a pair of knee high boots into my shopping cart.

Like previous years in mid-February, I found myself longing to add something new and fresh to my already boring winter wardrobe, right in time for all the President Day sales to urge me on.

Spoiler Alert…I didn’t buy anything.

February 18th we celebrate Presidents day in the US and this means a few things….a day off from work, the start of the mid-winter school break for many parts of the country, and shopping urges that the BIG SALES are bound to trigger!

So how can we manage the URGE to shop a great sale?


I could tell you to unsubscribe to every retailer site that clogs your inbox, but that is not the full answer. I’ve done that and somehow within a few months THEY’RE BACK and ready to taunt me.

The better solution is to open up your email with you finger on the delete button. I just delete, delete, delete, delete before I even get a chance to read the subject line.

What has also proved helpful to me, is creating a specific email account to use for online shopping only. All the “retail shopping” messages sit in that inbox and I can access it on my terms when I’m ready…or I can just delete all the contents of the mailbox every so often.

In order to do this I did have to first unsubscribe my main email address from all the retail websites that might trigger me to shop. This is time consuming, but an effective approach.

If you can avoid even knowing about the sales you won’t miss anything!


You're probably tired of me writing about PAUSING, but I truly can not say it enough since it has worked so well for me to avoid impulse shopping. I can’t trust myself when I’m shopping. I will embark on a shopping feast, purchasing everything that appeals to me as if I’m on some game show called “QUICK BUY”!

Slow down, walk away, shut the computer…..do whatever you must do to allow yourself time to process. Remove yourself from the store or put the computer down. Walk away and go about your day.

Ask yourself, “Will I still feel good about the purchase a month from now?”

With the Revolve sale I browsed, clicked, put items in my shopping cart, PAUSED and repeated this scenario for three days. Sometimes the browsing is enough for me, and more often than not I never make the purchase, or go back to the shopping cart with a clear head more capable of making a mindful decision.


At one point during this shopping cycle I noticed two tops I had added to my cart were already sold out. I wasn’t surprised, as blogging influencers were all over the internet proclaiming their favorite Revolve sale picks.

What did surprise me was that I didn’t really care. Why wasn’t I disappointed? Could it be because I really had no need for another black sweater…no matter how cute, fluffy, or trendy it was?

Before shopping a sale, go shop your closet. Get some garbage bags or boxes and get to work purging your closet.

There are many resources out there offering great tips on the best way to do this and I am planning a future post detailing what I do, but for now just get in there and clean it out. Pay attention to what you have and what you want to add and create a wish list for yourself.

Now, if you have money in the budget, you can see if any of your wish items are on sale. This is mindful shopping.

Another result of going through your closet is you may find items you forgot you owned and haven’t worn yet. Or you may simply be reminded of all the great clothing you already possess.


Stop to think about what you really desire. What lies ahead for you that you might need to save your money for?

One the the third day of my click, pause, repeat cycle I decided it was time to make a purchase. As I pondered the items in my shopping cart, I began thinking about the new bathing suit and sundress I want to get for my Florida trip next month, the outfit I want to wear for my son’s graduation and also a dress I’ll need for a summer beach wedding.

Knowing this, did it really make sense to spend money on more winter items? It did not.


There are other ways to bring some new spark to your dreary winter days.

A new haircut, plans with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or try doing something different this weekend (visit a museum, take a short road trip and just have lunch in an interesting town). Check your local paper for different events that may be going on near you and pick one you’d like to try!

I took the plunge and cut a few inches off my hair recently and I love it!! I had been thinking about going shorter for many months and this was the perfect time to do it. It definitely made me feel refreshed!!

Bottom line here is that by simply doing something new and different you will feel uplifted. Sometimes changing our shopping habits requires us to move outside our comfort zone…try something new!

February is truly a great month to finally do all those things you said you were going to do as part of your New Year Resolutions!


If you have been patient and were waiting to buy specific items until they went on sale then that’s great…go for it…but BE CAREFUL…create that list of what you need and stay within your budget.

You will never get a bargain from using your credit card and NOT paying it off at the end of the month. In fact, with high interest rates you will likely end up paying more than the non-sale price!

Retailers want us to believe that every sale is a huge, can’t be missed, colossal event. Don’t be tricked. These end-of-season sales allow stores to move the "leftover" inventory off their shelves so they can load up with the next season’s goods.

A sale can deceivingly make an item you never considered before suddenly seem amazing. Remember, If you did not want to purchase it at the full price then it’s not any more special now. Save your money to buy items you absolutely truly love, even if you never buy an item on sale again. You may own less, but you’ll be happier.

Although I didn’t buy those sweaters or boots from the Revolve sale, a few weeks earlier I had purchased two new scarves to use both now and for transitioning into Spring. These scarves coordinate with several pieces in my existing closet to give them a “new look”. Sometimes adding a simple accessory is all you need to enliven an outfit you’ve gotten bored with. I have posted a few pics on my Facebook page to show how my new scarves will help "spruce up" some of my existing wardrobe pieces now and into the Spring.

Sales are a big shopping trigger and this weekend you are going to notice sales everywhere! If you find yourself tempted by the lure to shop mixed with the overall dull, blah, winter feelings then know you are not alone.

However, before you rush in for a quick, short-lived shopping pick-me-up, consider the big picture. What are your true needs and shopping goals right now? What is the current state of your closet? Are you willing to try something different to add some spark into the day besides shopping? If you do ultimately decide to shop, remember to take it slow and make it mindful!

Let me know your own thoughts and ideas on managing through the urge to shop a sale!

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