Shakespeare is responsible for one of the most philosophical queries of our time: “To haul, or not to haul? That is the question.”
Indeed it is, Will. Indeed it is.
Okay yes, obviously I’m joking about the quote, but the “haul or not” question comes up in the beauty community a LOT. People have very strong opinions about how you should shop (or not shop), and it can be kind of overwhelming to accidentally step into the middle of THAT minefield without realizing the grave error you’ve just made.
I’m not here to give you The Gospel Truth about when you should buy that full cart you’ve been curating and when you should just close the tab. I don’t know your life.
What I DO know is that there are about to be sales on top of sales on top of deals from now until well after New Year’s, and it can be really easy to get caught up in the excitement and FOMO. I’m just as guilty of it as the next person.
There are about to be sales on top of sales on top of deals from now until well after New Year’s, and it can be really easy to get caught up in the excitement and FOMO.
If you know you’re susceptible to the hauling hype, then today is for you. These are tips that I use for myself when I’m deciding whether I should haul or wait.
1. Do a Mental Check-in Before You Checkout
When I’m reaching critical mass on my stress or anxiety levels, I’m way more likely to start browsing sale pages. Usually, I fixate on something that I’ve decided I “need” (y’know, like more sheet masks or black ankle boots), and I start shopping.
Once I realized this about myself, I’ve started pausing on the checkout screen to ask myself if I need whatever is in my cart, or if I’m shopping to feel better. If I’m unsure, I minimize the tab and come back to it later. Sometimes, I end up making the purchase later when I’ve had time to think, but usually I realize that I don’t even care that much about what’s in my cart, and I save myself some money and future regret.
2. Remember This Is Never “The Final! Really Big Sale!!”
Now more than ever, stores are trying their hardest to make every sale seem like “the best deal EVER that will NEVER happen again!”
But let’s be real. We both know that they will have the exact same sale in two or three weeks. Even Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t really all that special anymore. There are usually a few deals that are legitimately great and unique to that weekend, but honestly? No “amazing sale” is going to be the last of its kind (unless they’re going out of business).
So, when you’re madly throwing items into your cart because of a promotion, take a minute to decide if you’re buying this stuff because you like it and genuinely want it, or if you just feel like it’s “a great deal.”
There are usually a few deals that are legitimately great and unique to that weekend, but honestly? No “amazing sale” is going to be the last of its kind.
And remember too, it’s not inherently bad to splurge when there’s a sale! You might not 100% need whatever you’re buying, and that’s fine. The point is to make sure that you’re making a thoughtful choice about whether or not to take advantage of a deal.
3. Make a Plan of Action
I usually only do this around the holidays because I know I’m about to be bombarded with a mountain of sale emails and targeted ads, but it does help!
I make a list of things that I need, things that I want, gifts I plan to buy for other people, and things that would be nice to have but are normally not in my budget. (The list is flexible.)
Having this list on my phone or in my planner helps me to get less distracted by the “incredible deals!!” that pop up on my Instagram feed (even though I never can resist certain ones, ugh!), and it keeps me from wildly overspending when I’m buying gifts.
The list doesn’t have to be super strict! I deviate from it sometimes if I come across something that I think is worth buying, but it’s way easier to stay within my means when I’m focusing most of my attention on searching for specific deals that I’ve written down.
Bonus Tip: Set a Goal!
I typically do this for something that I consider to be a splurge (like new perfume or a nice weighted blanket). When it’s something that I’ll never technically “need,” but I know will make me happy, I make an effort to stash away a few dollars here and there so that I can treat myself without feeling so guilty about it.
The best part is that you can have as many “splurge goals” going as you want! That way, when a deal pops up, you can grab it and feel good about your purchase.
Only You Can Decide Whether to Haul or Not
Ultimately, my tips are just suggestions. I do think it’s important to only haul when you’re in a good frame of mind, but it’s up to you to decide that!
Lots of people have lots of strong opinions about no-buys, low-buys, and “minimalism,” but in the end, they’re just that: opinions. If you want to live a low-buy lifestyle, go for it! But if you enjoy hauling and have the means to do so, then don’t let anyone (even me!) tell you that you can’t.