I’ve had a shopping addiction since I was a young teenager and these are some of the tips for shopping addicts that have worked for me as I've overcome my need to shop. People use shopping as their crutch for a variety of reasons, so not every idea will work for you. Try a few of these tips for shopping addicts, what do you have to lose?
One of the best tips for shopping addicts: If you are going out shopping, leave all your credit cards at home. If you only take $20 with you, you can only spend $20. Keep an emergency ten dollar bill in your car in case you end up needing gas or some food while you’re out, but the plastic should be nowhere on the premises. Telling yourself you won’t use the card even if it’s in your wallet won’t work. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said I would only spend $25-30 at the store, then I end up finding something I “need” to have, and because that little plastic card is so handy, I end up spending much more than I had intended. Best not to be tempted.
Before you leave your house, make a list of everything you need. This applies to general shopping, not just grocery shopping. Need a pair of jeans and some socks? Write it on the list and do NOT buy anything else. Go directly to the aisles where those items are kept, then head to the checkout, don’t let yourself scope out new items because once you see all the awesome contraptions, you will inevitably find something you can’t live without.
A significant amount of shopping addicts shop to make themselves feel better when they’re sad, mad or just generally upset about something. The problem with this is that you aren’t thinking rationally, your emotions have taken over and you’re far more likely to overspend because “you deserve it,” and while that may be true...you don’t want to end up in debt because you went on an emotion induced shopping spree.
Do you have a closet full of clothes? Shelves that are overflowing with books, DVDs or Xbox games? Make a new rule for yourself: For every item you bring into your home, you MUST get rid of one similar item by donating it to a charity. This new rule will make you think twice before you buy that trendy new dress and all those accessories to go with it. Make sure you let someone know about your new rule so they can hold you accountable for sticking to it.
If it’s the browsing, touching, feeling part of the shopping venture that gets you giddy, leave your purse/wallet at home, bring NO money with you, then feel free to walk around the store examining any items you’d like. You have no way to purchase anything so there’s no way you can overspend (or spend at all). If it’s the thrill of the actual buy that gets you going though, stay away from this tip!
When you’re shopping in a regular store you are rarely keeping track of how much every single item costs and how much your total will be at the end of your shopping venture. I am an Amazon.com addict, without a doubt, but about a year ago I found a solution to the quick fix I would get by buying random stuff on Amazon. I spend an hour-ish browsing around in random categories for things I need and don’t need. I add everything to my cart and at the end I view my cart and believe me, seeing the total dollar amount usually makes me queasy! Then I simply delete everything in my shopping cart and go about my day, knowing how much I saved by not buying all that junk. This may sound absolutely ridiculous, but I’m telling you, it totally eases that “need” to shop feeling I get. You get to look at all the stuff and “pretend” you’re buying it…but you don’t actually spend any money!
My friend, Clare, introduced me to this, whether she knows it or not. In the city we lived in there was very little to do late at night and we would inevitably end up at Walmart at 1 or 2 in the morning because there were no other places where we could hang out and talk. As you know, it is nearly impossible to leave Walmart without purchasing SOMETHING, so that was a little dangerous for the both of us. I caught on to what she was doing after our first few trips. We would walk around, throwing awesome doodads and trinkets into our shopping cart…but before we’d go up to the cash register, she would go through the cart and put a bunch of stuff back. I started doing this as well and I still do it when I’m feeling the shopping bug start to bite. I walk around the store, adding a little bit of this and that to my cart until I feel satisfied with what I have. I then ask myself “Can I wait until next week to buy this?” and if the answer is yes, I put it back. 9 times out of 10 I’ll completely forget about whatever it was anyway and never end up buying it at all. You may look a bit silly walking around the store putting all your stuff back (do NOT just leave your full cart for a store associate to put back, that’s unfair), but at least you’re keeping your money in your pocket.
I hope these tips for shopping addicts will do you some good! I know they have helped me a ton. I used to get my paycheck and have it spent within 72 hours. I’m now fairly good with my money and I assure you, a lot of these tips have made that possible. Do you have any helpful tips for shopping addicts?
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