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Stay away from malls/shopping centers to save money! | Don't Ever Look Back

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Stay away from malls/shopping centers to save money!

Stay away from malls/shopping centers to save money!

This is a guest post by Kirsty of No Place To Be. Kirsty is travelling round South East Asia with her boyfriend Poi. They started their trip in China and five months on call Chiang Mai, Thailand home with rough plans to travel Laos and Cambodia in the next two months – who knows where they will end up? They write about their adventures on their blog noplacetobe.com.

Girls ShoppingI am addicted to shopping, doesn’t matter what it is from stuff for home to clothes to toiletries I love it! For me it’s not just buying stuff, it’s the whole process going to find the perfect scarf or dress or jumper or necklace or bedspread or random ornament or anything!

So the biggest thing for me to do to save money was to simply stop going to these places! Ah so simple! A year or so before we planned to leave I changed my habits so that I didn’t go shopping after university (I studied a bit more, or planned to at least). At weekends when I would usually go shopping with girlfriends we would go and hangout in a bar or go for lunch out-of-town. It helped a lot that both of my best friends were also saving for something and we could help each other avoid the shops.

When bored, I still shopped online looking through Topshop or ASOS but found that I didn’t want the stuff half as much. Even when shopping in person I found that I kept comparing the prices of things to how much that would get me on the road. This £70 dress could get me a weeks accommodation in Thailand. Suddenly I didn’t really want that dress as much!

Saving is difficult and I did reward myself a few times with small purchases. However now, I made a new rule: it had to be something that ultimately I would take on our trip, like a long-sleeved shirt or some kind of travel gadget. That way I could still succumb every now and then to a shopping trip but not blow the budget!

Have you given up something you love (like Kirsty gave up shopping) to make your travel dreams happen sooner? Let us know in the comments!

Flickr Photos: Unlisted Sightings, Funkdooby


  1. Posted February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I’m doing it now for the very same reason. There are real challenges but in the end the travel and adventure are so worth it.
    Lisa recently posted..The joy of traveling

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Definitely – and if you need that shopping fix, you can get it when you’re on the road!

  2. Posted February 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I did the same thing. I used to be addicted to going to shopping malls and target on my days off. I decided I will only go when I need something. I ended up not going to the mall for over a year. It saved me a lot of $$$!!!
    Jaime recently posted..How much does it cost to prepare for a trip around the world

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      We used to be the same and went to malls just to kill time. You always end up buying something that you don’t need so the best strategy is to stay away unless you know exactly what you have to buy!

  3. Posted February 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    That’s a good one! But… what do you do when you LIVE somewhere, where there’s really not many alternatives (and its cold)? I mean, where I live in Switzerland… Sundays everything is closed. So you already feel the urge to go out and shop on saturday (because, also, during the rest of the week it closes before I leave work). Last time I just wanted to buy a shirt for work and ended up buying a aviator jacket, trousers, stockings… anyway, everything except the shirt haha
    There must be an alternative to that…
    Katherina recently posted..Photo Essay- Canals- Bicycles and Coffee Shops

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Haha shouldn’t it make it easier that you only have one day to avoid the shops? 🙂

      As we said in a comment above we used to go shopping to kill time, but now we either spend it indoors if the weather isn’t nice enough to go outside (video games, DVDs and books are all great options to waste some time) or we spend time at the gym. It’s all about having a strong mindset – good luck!

  4. Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Even since coming home I avoid the malls. I don’t miss the subversive ‘you aren’t anyone without this item’ or ‘you aren’t pretty enough/manly enough/sexy enough without this item’ messages AND I spend next to nothing! Feel better and more $ in my pocket…win/win!!
    Gillian@OneGiantStep recently posted..FollowFriday 18Feb2011

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Exactly Gillian – most of the things you buy from the mall are ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’. This is where so many people stray, they think they ‘need’ the latest fashion trend when really a basic piece of clothing will do the job just as well.

  5. Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Last summer I started following the same plan. I had a bad habit of going to Target after work or if I was bored and would buy stuff I could use, but didn’t need. I knew I would never reach my savings goal if I didn’t break my shopping habit! It takes some self-control, but it’s possible and definitely worth it.
    Kristin M recently posted..Things to do…

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Great to hear Kristin – it just takes a little self-control but the results and savings are so worth it! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  6. Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Definitely! You can’t spent money on something you don’t see! Seems a bit obvious, but a lot of people don’t make the connection.
    Connie recently posted..Response to This Darn Face of Mine!

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great way of putting it Connie – it’s like if you’re trying to diet but still have junk food scattered all around the house! Just stay away from those online shops haha.

  7. Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    For me the the biggest money saver was not buying lunch when I was at work. With just a little planning I could have leftovers from dinner or fixings for a sandwich and I saved loads.

    Just got back from a year abroad and now am gearing up for a trip around the US this spring and summer so I guess that budgeting worked after all!
    Briana recently posted..Danube Day 11- Drobeta-Turnu Severin To Cetate

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