Shopping is one of those things we all enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter if you like buying shoes, makeup, books, collectibles or clothes the truth is we all enjoy getting new stuff for ourselves. And while sometimes this might be a good way of spending our money, sometimes it becomes an obsessive action we do and repeat constantly that could become problematic. We call these type of people shopaholics because the word means someone who has an addiction to shopping. Having this condition could eventually lead you to lose everything you own, have a lot of debts and even develop a really low self-stem.
The first step you should do to figure out if you are a shopaholic or not is checking a few signs you might have not noticed before. For example, do you have lots of unopened or tagged items in your closet just sitting there taking dust? Do you feel a bit of a remorse feeling after shopping for something? Are you materialistic? If you answer yes to all of these questions, we are sorry to tell you that you might have become a shopaholic. But don’t worry, not everything is lost yet. That’s why we decided to bring you a few tips on how to spend your money wiser and start saving more than shopping.
1. The 30-Day Rule
You might have heard of this rule before, but since the day it was mentioned it has been one of the most logical answers to shopping addictions. The 30-day rule consist of whenever you see something you feel the impulse to buy, you shouldn’t buy it right away, instead come 30 days later. I
f you still like the item, you saw before then you can consider buying it, if you don’t like it anymore you would have saved some extra money and be proud of yourself for not wasting it on something you would have forgotten about in a few months. Another thing you could do if you tend to shop a lot online, add whatever you see you feel as if you need it to your wish list and apply the same rule.
2. Plan And Track
Having an expense plan and keeping track of it is a great way of stopping a shopping addiction. You could start by writing down everything you spend every day for a month and at the end of it reviewing what you spend. You can also categorize your expenses into those you really need for example rent, those that are not that essential but a luxury to you that could be a specific type of food that is a bit more expensive and those that are just considered desires from your shopping addictions.
Then sum up all the money you have spent and check all the spending patterns you have. that way you could realize if you need to cut out a little bit on some to start saving up.
3. Stop Asking For Credit Cards
It’s okay if you have just one credit card for emergencies only and by emergency, we don’t mean a new set of earphones or constantly buying a coffee at Starbucks. But if you have a compulsive addiction to shopping a credit card that is unlimited can be a very risky situation to put yourself thru. Especially since you can find yourself at the end of the month with a huge debt you weren’t aware of and know you don’t have a way to pay it.
Limit yourself to none or just one credit card that has a define spending limit and you use only for emergencies, for example, you had a terrible cold that week and didn’t have money to pay for the medicines, then you can use your emergency credit card. If you decided to have one, then be sure to pay is always on time.
4. Don’t Defy Your Limits
You might be addicted to shopping for every item you see and desire or just have a shopping addiction for a specific item. For example, let’s say that you adore buying CDs, then you probably spend a lot of time at the mall or in the CD section at the store. We recommend you to try and stop putting temptation right in front of your eyes. If you have a CD addiction, then you shouldn’t visit the music stores often or the isle at your local store where you often buy CDs.
Put a limit to yourself to just doing what you need and don’t stop at those places. Try to put this advice in practice every time you visit one of these places that trigger your need to shop. At the end of the month, you could review if you didn’t spend any bit of cash on the items you most adore and regard yourself with buying just one.
5. Set Financial Goals
Setting goals is a big way of achieving things in life, including financial goals you might have. you could want to buy a place of your own or travel the world, but when you have a shopping addiction this becomes a really hard thing to achieve since every cent you get you to spend it.
Try setting financial goals and encourage yourself in different ways to try an get there. You could start a piggy bank and at the end of a period of time you open it and the money you collect can go to a specific bank account where you keep your savings to achieve the goal you want to.
6. Ask For Help
There is nothing wrong with realizing you have become a shopaholic, on the contrary admitting you have this condition can be a great step toward eradicating it from your life and become a more stable person not only financially speaking, but regarding your own self too. Talk to a relative, a close friend, search for a psychologist or join a support club.
Know that you are not alone and that out there are lots of people suffering from the same condition. Breaking the circle of compulsive shopping can be a hard task, but you will feel very proud of you when you do it!