MONEY MONDAY: Confessions of A (soon-to-be-Ex) Shopaholic

So last week we talked about getting Financially Fit and there was a huge focus on saving and planning – regularly putting something aside, shopping smart and making more money where possible.

I don’t know about you but for me, the biggest challenge for me is to control is my spending. I’ve got the savings part down and I plan well but let’s be honest, if I can’t curb that spending side, I’m basically in the boat with only one paddle.

Let me remind you of my New Year Resolutions from last week: SAVE MORE, SPEND LESS, STOP BUYING SHIT I DONT NEED, GET MY 5-A DAY & DRINK MORE WATER.

Today’s post is going to cover the SPEND LESS & STOP BUYING SHIT I DON’T NEED bit. Yes, that’s right kids – let’s talk about cracking the whip at the beast that is…… your SPENDING.

Just three simple tips today – simple but effective ways to control that inner Rebecca Bloomwood…
 (if you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I make several references to Confessions of a Shopaholic. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book, you should!!)

I digress – let’s continue shall we?

TIP #1 Turkeys not allowed.

That’s a weird-sounding tip isn’t it? My writing style works in funny ways on Mondays.. Unrelated to this post in anyway whatsoever, I actually have a morbid fear of turkeys but I’m actually talking GOING COLD TURKEY.  Just don’t do it. Don’t put yourself through it.

No, I’m not being the devil on your shoulder – there’s science to back this shiz up. At the beginning of the year everyone says “omgg, i’m cutting out alcohol”, “i’m giving up chocolate”, “i’m going to stop eating pasta” etc etc etc

First thoughts. These are all mental ideas. Giving up these amazing things is just crazy, but if you’ve really-reeeeally got to do it, then cutting it all out in one go is painful, and rarely successful.

It’s the same with spending – you can’t suddenly stop buying things in one go, cold turkey. If you cut down bit by bit, you’re going to more likely to stick to your new spending pattern in the long run.

So let’s take an example of, I don’t know – CRISPS EXPENDITURE. (I really love crisps) 

I’m not saying “i’m going to stop buying crisps”. INSTEAD, I’ll say “I’m going to only spend £10 on crisps in January and then in Feb and March , I’ll only spend £5”. Chances are that if I’ve managed to get used to the lower intake of salty crunchy goodness in my life by March, I’ll be able to hack this lower rate for the rest of the year, if not lower it further!

Tip #2: Jog on Groupon!

I read a statistic that 30% of the deals you buy on Groupon/Living Social/Wowcha actually expire without being used. What a total waste of dollarz!

I actually am a regular user of Groupon and honestly, I think the deals are really good value and convenient to buy and use (if you remember!!)HOWEVER. Let’s think about it……

Yes, a 3-course meal with wine for only £15 does sounds good and sure, the Shellac manicure for £15 is a bargain but…. if you hadn’t have bought it you’d basically have just eaten at home for ten pounds less and painted your own nails with the polish you KNOW you’ve already got. £30 spent when you could have done it for £5.

So what do I do?? I only go to Groupon when I’m looking for something specific – when I’m looking for something I need. I used to browse it to see if there are any good deals worth buying but now, I only go when I actually want something. I’ve had to unsubscribe from the daily email just to stop the temptation!

And this leads me onto my next tip…..


The amount of emails we get from retailers urging us to shop is verging on ridiculous. Most online retailers now send an almost-daily email. TOO MUCH. STOP FEEDING THE BEAST!

The answer to this is to purge your inbox! Purge your inbox of these serpents leading us into temptation and free yourself! 

Unsubscribe from everything – or, set up a rule that they get automatically moved into a separate folder so that if you really want to read them, you can do so. I recommend calling this folder “EXPENSIVE”.

If this doesn’t stop you from spending at least you’ll have an uncluttered inbox….

So there we go – three small changes you could make today which could end up saving you loadsa cash! Will you be making any changes? 

What do you spend most uncontrollably on?

Are your new year resolutions anything like mine?


Also – I’m running my 1st Birthday Giveaway until the end of January – enter here to win Soap&Glory, Benefit, Rimmel, O.P.I, Clinique and more!

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Zoe Bayliss Wong
Zoe Bayliss Wong

Zoe is a Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.

Find me on: Twitter


  1. Angie McDonald
    January 13, 2014 / 11:29 pm

    I love this blog post and will definitely be taking on board these tips!One of my resolutions is to save more so i can buy the things i need and i defintiely agree with the going cold turkey point.. trying to quit all in one go usually leads to caving in..

  2. beautyinjapan
    January 14, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    You make me laugh so much! You raised some good points though! :)Danniella x |

  3. hannah
    January 15, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    Oh Rebecca Bloomwood, I could so easily fall into her ways, I love both the book and the film! Love this post, and it's so true about all the online shopping sites sending emails daily – sometimes more than once a day! It's such a big temptation when they're flaunting sales or discounts or new season beauties in your inbox. I've already stopped browsing sites like Brand Alley etc because it was buying for the good deal rather than out of need. Must stop spending and start saving this year!! I have loads of things to pay for at the moment, so spending is at an all time low (there's no other way!). Good luck with your goals lovely xxx

  4. Megan Russell
    January 16, 2014 / 9:17 pm

    Reading this post today hits home, hits me in the heart actually! I'm living on one income in a house (with utilities and responsibilities) and life style that needs 2 or more incomes. I have to curb my spending! These tips actually seem doable for me. I am definitely going to try these. My biggest spending is on t-shirt-a-day sites. I'm going to use the "Turkeys not allowed" tip. Going to cut back to no more than 1 t-shirt a month and in a couple months none at all!! 🙂

  5. Nadja Baxter
    January 17, 2014 / 1:02 am

    I need to follow this too. My shopping addiction is INSANE. Literally ridiculous. I spend so much money on stuff – glorious lust worthy stuff might I add – That I need to crack the whip on myself, which sounds mighty masochistic! Haha. Love the cold turkey analogy. Its true. I couldn't go without a little bit of shopping in my life – I fall in love with things *cough-makeup-cough* too easily! Nice post. It has helped me think! Cheers for that xxThrowmesomethingbeautiful