With the possible exception of window shopping – and, let’s face it, who can do that for any length of time – then a shopping addiction can be a very expensive habit. It can lead to all sorts of problems if it gets out of hand. But how can you turn yourself from being a shopaholic into someone who doesn’t use retail therapy to console themselves?
Use a shopping list
This works in a few different ways, so long as you can stick to only buying what is on your list.
It forces you to think about what you’re going to buy in a reasonably rational manner and without the pressure of a retail environment or an overly helpful shopping assistant.
If you’re organized about it, making a list also forces you to do a double check on what you’ve already got. Which at some level should make you at least consider whether you need another whatever it is in your closet.
Think about it
Almost nothing that’s feeding your shopping addiction needs to be bought now, this instant.
And it’s highly unlikely that there is much truth in any claim about limited stock, unless the item is on clearance because it didn’t sell during high season.
So give yourself a cooling off period between thinking about buying something and actually going out and doing the deed of purchasing it.
So put your idea on ice, at least overnight and ideally longer. Often what seems a good idea at the time turns out to be anything but a good idea.
Beware sale signs
Retailers are getting increasingly cute about using sales and coupons.
Often the crossed through price is as much a work of fiction as a good movie. It’s an “in your dreams” price that the retailer would love to get but realizes that hell will freeze over before any rational consumer pays that price.
So big savings are often complete and utter fiction.
And coupons are even worse. There’s often a minimum spend that the retailer knows is higher than you’d normally put over the counter in one transaction but because there’s a discount, they know you’ll make an exception “just this once”.
Track your spending
You probably haven’t done this since you got pocket money each week and maybe not even then.
But writing down everything you spend is an excellent. idea. Either in a traditional book or more likely on a spreadsheet that can keep a scary running total, whichever works best for you.
Tracking your spending will allow you to see at a glance where the money is going. So long as you don’t try to cheat and “forget” to put some of your purchases on it. So get a friend to audit your journal on a regular basis until you can get yourself back on track.
Cut up your credit cards
If your shopping addiction really is bad, this may be your best – or even only – option.
It’s hard to do but it will stop you clocking up even more money that you can’t hope to pay back in this lifetime.