Whether you’d like to admit it or not, shopping is addicting. There’s something about seeking out the best deal, finding something you love and being able to purchase it. Nothing gives you that “high” more than buying gifts for the Christmas holiday because when gearing up for Christmas, you not only get to experience that “high” when shopping for yourself, but also your loved ones.
While buying gifts for friends and family is a good thing, having the desire to keep that shopping high going after the holidays can be dangerous for your bank account. In this post we’ll cover several ways that you can avoid over spending as you continue to shop online after the holidays.
After the holidays you may find yourself shopping online and feeling the itch to just buy everything. Even for casual online shoppers, we all have moments of weakness. We waste good money on stupid things that we really don’t need. It could be music, jewelry, clothes, tools, gadgets, you name it. How do you shake the urge to buy when you know you don’t need it? Here are a few tips that hopefully will help.
Set a Limit
Try giving yourself a budget for the week. Know that you only have, say twenty bucks, to spend online that week. As you surf through your regular online shopping sites, it will be a little easier to resist purchasing things you would only buy on a whim (like chopstick trainers) because you know you will probably find something else you will actually want and use later on in the week. And, if you end up with ten “I want” items successfully purchase only one, you will later realize that everything else really isn’t as cool once the crazed rush of online shopping fever wears off.
Step by Step
If you know giving yourself a budget just won’t work, try cutting down a step at a time. Set a goal to resist one purchase per week. Another trick is to allow yourself to put everything you want into your online cart, but then don’t actually complete the transaction. Somehow, seeing those images in your cart makes them feel like they already belong to you, but you don’t actually spend the money. Then, once the fever wears off, you can empty them from your cart, no harm done!
Another useful method is pairing up your goal of overcoming your online shopping addiction with another goal. Turn shopping from a regular activity to a reward. For example, maybe you are terrible at exercising. So, for every two days you exercise you can buy one thing online. Once you start getting really good at exercising, switch to another bad habit that needs changing or good habit you want to develop. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone!
Ask for Help
If you simply don’t have the will power to follow any of the above suggestions, ask for help. Tell a family member or roommate to keep an eye on you. Try your best to tell a friend before you purchase anything and they can help talk you out of it. Talk through purchases and they will help you decided if you should or should not buy. This will help you regain perspective and learn what is good to buy and what is not. You can even make a deal with a friend to make overcoming this challenge beneficial for you both. You won’t shop if they won’t sleep in past eleven. Help each other overcome your individual challenges and strengthen your relationship as you do! Win-win!
If you find yourself addicted to shopping online, then the chances are you have an addictive personality. For people who have addictive personalities, oftentimes the best way to overcome a negative addiction is to replace it with a positive addiction. For example you could replace the negative addiction to spending money online with the positive addiction of budgeting your money. Oftentimes you can get the same “high” from shopping by seeing the amount you owe on credit cards or cash advances going down as you work towards paying them off. If you are addicted to shopping online specifically, you could set up your banking so that it’s done online, so you have some place to go and look at your account balances instead of going to your favorite online boutiques to shop.
So try these tips (or any variation thereof) and kick that nasty shopping habit!