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Simple Tips on Practicing Frugal Living and Avoiding ‘Blackout Shopping’

Money-saving expert Kate Kaden hopes to reduce some of the stress associated with money by making frugal living seem enjoyable and simple with her films.
Cover Image Source: Photo by Edward | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by Edward | Pexels

You know the sensation you get when you enter a store, buy a ton of unnecessary items, and then realize you forgot the one thing you truly came for? Yes, that is referred to as "blackout shopping." It's a huge no-no if you're trying to be frugal with your money, says YouTuber and money-saving expert Kate Kaden. Kaden is one of many people spreading the word on social media about saving money instead of splurging. Living within your means is the key to continually saving money, according to her. However, there are routine actions we take that undermine our ability to save money.

Take "blackout shopping," for example. You head out with a mission, but end up snagging all sorts of stuff you hadn't planned on because, hey, it looked good at the moment. "There was a trend for a little while where it was almost cute to overspend at Target, for example," she said. "You go in for a bottle of shampoo, you come out $200 later, you've forgotten the shampoo."

Image Source: Photo by Anna Shvets | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Anna Shvets | Pexels

You can find a ton of videos on TikTok if you search for "blackout shopping" or "blacked out while shopping," per Yahoo!News. According to Kaden, it's kind of a meme over there. She claims that things aren't as simple as they used to be. These days, as prices rise and finances become more limited, Kaden suggests avoiding blackout shopping. Having trouble keeping a roof over your head or putting food on the table is no funny issue. People are feeling quite happy about the US economy, according to a recent McKinsey research despite rising prices that are rapidly surpassing the Federal Reserve's target.

In March, retail sales increased by 0.7% over the previous year. The shocking part is that 40% of people, particularly millennials and members of Generation Z, are eager to indulge in the coming months. Kaden is well aware of the costs associated with temptation, having discovered this the hard way.

Image Source : Photo by Anna Tarazevich | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Anna Tarazevich | Pexels

Kaden wasn't a financial whiz when she first started. She became a single mother five years ago and experienced fear and overwhelm. She then went to YouTube in search of assistance and came across some content artists offering guidance to single mothers. She was able to organize her money, begin saving, and even take a tentative step toward retirement investment thanks to their advice. "I shared everything that worked for me, and things just took off from there," she said.

Among Kaden's most watched videos are ones that discuss easy methods to cut costs, items you really don't need to buy, and how to make a "frugal cocoon." "It's like wrapping yourself in protection from all the spending temptations," she explained. Kaden is a stickler for consistency; she frequently employs the same money-saving strategies. Knowing where your money is going is the first step, she explains.

Create a budget to keep tabs on your expenditures and determine what expenses you must pay each month. After you've calculated your costs, Kaden advises setting aside some cash. Like paying a bill, set away a certain amount each month. Next up, grocery shopping. Kaden recommends making a list and sticking to it. Try to shop just once a week, and if you can, opt for grocery pickup to dodge those impulse buys.

Kaden advises avoiding buying things for the person you think you are. Purchasing all those vegetables and gourmet stuff for meals you will never prepare, you know. Kaden advises having a close look at your belongings if you find that online buying is your problem. You can realize how much money you've spent on items you never use by decluttering. Many people discover they are broke only after their credit card is denied. According to Kaden, this typically occurs because we're either afraid to confront our financial situation or are living in denial about how much we spend.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

Budgeting as permission to spend

Kaden hopes to reduce some of the stress associated with money by making frugal living seem enjoyable and simple with her films. "For me, sticking to a budget isn't about restriction. It's about giving myself permission to spend," she said. Even if you love ordering in, like from DoorDash, Kaden says you can still fit it into your budget. Just set aside a certain amount each month for eating out, and you're good to go. Budgeting might seem daunting at first, especially if you're not a math whiz, but Kaden swears it'll change your life once you give it a shot.