Three Reasons Shopping Is Not Making You Happy

I’m sure in your lifetime you’ve heard the phrase, “Retail Therapy”. It’s the act of shopping to relieve stress or frustration. It comes from the idea that shopping will cure your bad mood and make you feel better, make you happy.

The thing is this is becoming too much of a common pastime and it’s doing just the opposite of making us happier in life.

So today I’m diving into that statement and explaining three reasons why shopping isn’t actually making you more happy!

Let’s do it!

Three Reasons Shopping Is Not Making You Happy

ONE // You’re buying things you don’t want.

When you are out shopping in hopes of boosting your mood, or even going out as an activity rather than for a purpose of picking a specific item up, you end up buying things you don’t need. Most of these things, though temporarily give us some satisfaction, are ultimately next month's garage sale items.

Now, because that “new purchase” feeling is so temporary we quickly recover from it and are then looking for something else to fill that void again and bring that feeling back. The thing is, when you are purchasing with a purpose of boosting your mood, or getting that “purchase high” you are pretty much guaranteed to start buying things you don’t really need. This leaves you to clutter your house and life with unnecessary items that were a “good deal” but ultimately unnecessary. I don't know anyone who finds happiness in a house filled with things that don't really bring them joy any more. Quit shopping for that "mood booster" and instead start shopping for a purpose in your purchases!

TWO // You’re in a stuck cycle with your money.

Continually purchasing things in an effort to boost your mood or just because you think you can afford it is making you stuck right where you are with your money. I don’t care and it doesn’t matter how much money you are making if you are wasting it on unnecessary purchases just because you want to buy something. Ultimately you are setting yourself up for a future of working more in order to buy more, and not being able to take more vacation days or even go on an actual vacation!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, when you are working just to support your lifestyle and not living well below your means, you are setting yourself up to be working more and more into your future rather than less. You won’t be happy when you have to take your boss up on the overtime request because you need the money rather than being able to take the weekend off with your family or friends. You won’t be happy when your dream of traveling slowly starts disappearing along with the money in your bank account. Using shopping as an activity leads to unnecessary spending which leads to you working more. If you keep on this cycle you are completely stuck in your situation and life. Nothing about that brings ultimate happiness.

THREE // It’s all temporary.

Shopping and the things you buy are all temporary. You like them today. You had fun today. You feel good right now. Nothing about shopping promises something that will last forever or make you feel good a year from now, or sometimes even a month. Take inventory of the things you buy and how you’ll feel about them or if you’ll want/need them later. And be realistic. Don’t use “someday” as a reason to purchase something (or even to keep something you have), “someday” never comes, so stop acting like it does.

Make a point in your life to invest in things that are for you and your life and that will propel you forward, not keep you back. Spending your money on temporary things is not going to do that for you. The feeling you get from picking something up you liked is nice, but will not last you till next Tuesday. Spend on things that mean more, like an activity rather than an item. Save your money so that you aren’t tied to your job or your living situation. Save your money so you can go on trips and take days off without being worried you can’t pay your bills. If you use your money like that, what you get out of it won’t be temporary!

Those are just three of the reasons that I wanted to share as to why shopping isn’t making you happy. I’m definitely not immune to the “new purchase high” but have learned that ultimately I want to create a life of simplicity and continual happiness. Not just once a week blips of that happiness.

My hope is that you would strive for that too, and that this post helps you do that!

Best of luck to you! ;)

Lydia