A mild shopping addiction may not trigger massive debt, but it can reduce cash flow and create problems with your budget. So, whether you have a mild shopping addiction or a major one, it's crucial that you overcome your spending problem. And fortunately, this might be easier than you think.
1. Leave Methods of Payment at Home
If you want to get out the house and do a little window shopping, avoid the temptation to spend by leaving your methods of payment at home. A mild shopping addiction can escalate into a bigger problem, if you let it. If you don't plan to spend money, leave your credit cards, cash and checkbook at home.
2. Bring Cash, when You Need to Buy Something
Even if you're trying to control your spending, there are times when you'll need to make a purchase. To avoid overspending, determine how much you'll need before going to the store, and then bring cash. Here's the trick – only bring enough cash to buy the purchase and nothing more. This way, you won't be tempted to spend if you see a sale or discount.
3. Unsubscribe to Email Lists
Subscribing to your favorite retailer's email list is an excellent way to score deals and save on purchases. But receiving this marketing material might also stimulate the desire to spend money. Just because a retailer has a sale doesn't mean you have to make a purchase. The mantra out of sight, out of mind is highly effective when trying to control a shopping addiction.
4. Don't Store Your Credit Card Information Online
When shopping online, some merchants give the option of storing your credit card information online for a faster check out. This is a convenient feature, but it also makes it too easy to shop online. In three or four clicks, you can complete a purchase without ever entering your card information or expiration date.
5. Shop with a Buddy
If you're unable to control a mild shopping addiction on your own, get help from a friend or relative. Each time you step foot in a store, have a buddy with you. This is somebody who can encourage you to save money and be a voice of reason. Just make sure this person doesn't have a spending addiction herself.
6. Give Yourself a Splurge Budget
If you resolve to stop spending altogether, your plan might backfire. Rather than risk frugal fatigue, which can lead to overspending at a later time, give yourself a weekly or monthly splurge budget. This is money that you're able to spend however you want. It doesn't have to be a lot, it should be a reasonable amount according to your income.
7. Channel Your Energy Elsewhere
Depression or sadness might fuel a mild shopping addiction. Many people use retail therapy as a way to lift their spirits, but this is a costly habit. Look for other ways to boost your mood. Going for a walk or exercising can raise the level of brain chemicals that balance mood, and sometimes talking with a friend can improve your outlook.
Overcoming a mild shopping addiction may seem impossible, especially if shopping is your favorite pastime. But if you're able to overcome this problem, you'll have more money in the bank, which lets you save and pay your bills with ease. What are other ways to beat a shopping addiction?