6 Ways to Stop Compulsive Shopping

Ways to Stop Compulsive Shopping | MoneywiseMoms

Too much clutter in your house? Do you find yourself digging deeper into consumer debt? You may need to consider that you’re a compulsive shopper. If you’re thinking about getting out of debt, or even willing to try, the first step is to stop spending on unnecessary expenses. These tips can help:

Unsubscribe From Deal Emails
Especially at the holidays, I liked receiving store emails to get the biggest coupon or discount they’re offering, Then I realized that I was ordering every time I saw a “Today only! Order now!” email from my favorite children’s clothing store. I’d justify it by saying, “but it’s 70% off,” and not spending much, but all those little bits add up! Take the temptation away by unsubscribing to store emails, daily deal sites, and other “buy now” pressures.

Curb Your Credit Cards
It’s easier said than done, but leaving your credit card(s) at home can keep the impulse buys at bay. Some families prefer shopping only with cash (using the envelope system), with the reasoning that it’s more painful to spend cash so you’ll be more mindful of your spending. Others refuse to have store credit cards; the high interest rates and constant incentives to spend can help you rack up consumer debt quickly.

Keep a Spending Diary
Just like a food diary, the simple act of writing down your spending can curb your “appetite” for shopping. Write down what you want and consider writing how you’re feeling at the time. Perhaps you’re spending because you’re sad? Bored? Many of us have used shopping as a distraction from feelings, but it is possible to overcome the habit.

Use Visual Reminders
If you’re working towards a goal, be it paying down debt, paying for a vacation, or purchasing a big-ticket item, having a photo or image in a conspicuous place (like the fridge) may help. Try sticking a mini post-it note right on your credit card, so you know where your money is going instead of shopping for impulse buys.

Change your Environment
When I was first home alone with my son after 10 years of working, one of our main activities “just to get out of the house” was walking the mall. It was great for rainy days, but the constant “buy, buy, buy” message was impossible to fight. Between snacks, lunches, the carousel and the inevitable impulse clothing buy, I lost a lot of money on those trips. By finding a new environment and activities to fill our mornings, that spending was eliminated. If boredom or comfort are your triggers (you’ll know from keeping your Spending Diary), you can identify new ways to deal with those feelings.

Get Some Help
If you realize that you cannot stop shopping by yourself, consider getting some help. Enlist help from friends or family or even a therapist. Solving this problem would be well worth the money, and in turn you’ll gain the confidence to dig out of debt and stay on course in the future.

 

 What suggestions do you have to stop compulsive shopping?


Original image from Annie Mole on Flickr

Comments

  1. My sister is a shop-a-holic and a clothing hoarder. I always tell her to get rid of the clothes she never wears and donate them! It’s an easy way to help the community. I also tell her to search around online and use cash-back websites for pieces she says she definitely needs so that she knows she is getting the best deal possible.

  2. I had to go to a CASH only budget…even a debit card was dangerous for me!
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  3. Great tips! I’ve moved over to a largely cash budget, as well, so we can get rid of our debt. So glad to have found your blog with all of its great tips. Stopping by and following from SITS Girls Comment Love Tribe.
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  4. Great tips! It is SO easy to overspend! Stopping by from SITS Girls
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  5. Those deal e-mails are killers for me – I can’t subscribe to any of them and I know it! I’m working on getting rid of some of the clutter in our house. Thanks for the suggestions!
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  6. Finding big sales is killer for me. Yes, I know I have a zillion black pants but these are my size and are 90% off! I just have to not go shopping. I blog about deals so I find good coupon codes but don’t go to the sites! Stopping by from SITS!
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  7. Deal email sits were causing me troubles. I had to unsubscribe from all of them. I check a couple now, from time to time, especially if we’re planning on going somewhere. But I don’t go through them every day looking for local deals. After buying and never using a couple I got smart and quit buying them!

  8. Great tips! The first one is SO true. That’s why all of those companies make emails like that, which I remind myself of when those alluring “get it today or else” sales pop up in my inbox. And we’re working toward a kitchen reno, so I may have to take your advice on putting a visual reminder of that somewhere. :)
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  9. Great tips! I’m working really hard this year on my budget and keeping spending in check! In 2008 I lost a business and I’m still trying to get out from under some of that. It feels good to see a dent in some of the debt! I have been very good about avoiding the mall, but removing myself from mailing lists for daily deals would probably be a great idea!
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  10. Great tips! It doesn’t help that I work in the retail industry. There’s a company store and I would pop in every day to see what’s new – everything I purchased there was an impulse purchase. So I just stopped going because it was getting out of control! Stopping by from #SITSBlogging :)
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