For many compulsive shoppers, their habits start out as something manageable and immensely enjoyable. Over time, it becomes second nature for them to turn to shopping and spending to elevate their mood when they’re feeling depressed, anxiety-ridden, angry or lonely. Regardless of where you are in the world, over spending can only mean trouble. It is so difficult not to give into the instant gratification that we have been programmed to satisfy but these 17 very useful tips should bring you successfully back to a well balanced lifestyle.
- Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
- Cash Is King
- Plan Your Money
- Power Of Illusion
- Save First
- Test Of Time
- Do Not Mix Alcohol With Shopping
- Engage Your Intelligence By Self Questioning
Stay away from your usual circle of shopaholic friends and family. You have no idea how influential they can be to you when it comes to the activity that you enjoy most. At least avoid them until you’ve found yourself a solid financial foundation.
Cut up all your credit cards for they only encourage you to spend what you don’t have. Counting out cold, hard cash when you want to make a purchase pushes you to think. Letting go of money becomes harder. With credit cards, you will not see your exact spending until the end of the month where you may get a shock upon receiving the bill. So… snip, snip! As an alternative to the only benefit of having a credit card, start storing away an emergency fund worth 6 months of your salary.
Upon receiving your money at the end of every month, plan ahead for the next month. After setting aside the sum for bills and payments, allocate a minimum amount for savings while assigning a conservative amount for spending. For example, savings should at least be 10% while shopping expenses, regardless if it’s for yourself or others for the entire month, should be no more than 5% of your total salary.
By conservatively planning your money, you are simply creating the impression that you don’t have cash available and that helps curb spending. You don’t feel so cash rich and are much less tempted to waste money on things you don’t need. As a matter of fact, this mind game that I play with myself works for me. It’s just like how credit cards work, creating the illusion of plenty, encouraging you to spend.
Don’t rationalize your purchases by saying you will not eat out for the next 4 weekends. If you truly want something, the simple rule is to save for it first, then buy.
We cannot deny it that from time to time, we will find something that we really like. Trouble starts when this happens too frequently. One sure way to filter out the temporary from the truly worth it is to sleep on it. Put it into your wishlist if you must. Let the world take a turn and then check out whether or not you really still want it. Sometimes if you’re paying cash you’ll have to sleep on it anyway cause you don’t have enough yet.
Never shop online after a glass or two of wine. Being under the influence of alcohol plays with your emotions and reduces your ability to think before you purchase.
Ask yourself :
- Can you afford it?
- How long will the thing last before it is made out-of-date by something newer and better?
- When will the newer and better version come out and will the current thing being considered still be impressive but at a cheaper price?
- Will the thing being considered take away precious time that could be spent better doing something else more valuable?
- Do I even have the time?
- Do you already have one?
By far the point that will carry the biggest impact. Stop going to Starbucks on the way to work. Stop dropping by 7-Eleven before class. Once you’re at trigger locations (eg: the mall), you will want to go back again. Avoid putting yourself in that situation.
Unsubscribe from all shopping/spending related mail/email newsletters and blogs. The less you know, the more you save.
Replace your shopping habit with healthy, rewarding activities like salsa or any other kind of dancing, mastering a musical instrument, volunteering for charities like helping out your local animal shelter, teaching in your local orphanage, etc. If you enjoy it, you will naturally commit to it and everything else that you are not focusing on (like the urge to shop) will fall away by itself.
Pick up these really excellent money saving habits applicable for indoor and outdoor. Keep your mind healthy by feeding them vitamins of frugality.
List out the things you intend to buy and stick to it. Bring only the right amount of money. If you do see something you like along the way, put it in your wishlist and implement the test of time.
Every time you buy something that falls into the ‘want’ category, even after you have slept on it for months, charge yourself an extra 20% from the total and put it into your savings. Imposing this on yourself makes your item ‘more expensive’ by 20%, automatically motivating yourself to properly plan your purchases.
One of the tactics supermarkets use is smell like for example, the aroma of freshly baked bread from the in-store bakery during strategic hours throughout the day. The smell of warm bread makes people feel hungry. When you feel hungry while shopping you are more likely to buy more items than you need.
Just ask yourself this.
Would buy this item if you knew you were going to be laid off tomorrow?
Once a month, fix a day where nothing goes out of your pocket. It gets your creative juices flowing, doing things like making your meals and bringing it to work.
Compulsive shopping is just 1 of 14 addictions affecting the world today.