Do words like discount, sale, and offer make your heart skip a beat? Don’t worry! It just means that you’re one of those people who loves a good deal. On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who ends up buying everything you like, irrespective of whether you need it or not, just because it makes you feel good, you have a problem, friend! You’re a shopaholic!
Apart from digging a hole in your pocket every time you step out, it’s the main reason your Credit Card bills hit the roof each month. Sometimes, you try your best to give up this addiction, but as soon as you see an ad for your favourite brand, your resistance crumbles! Jumping to key in your card details online or offline is almost a reflex action for you. All signs of being addicted to shopping. So, what should you do about this? Firstly, determine whether or not you actually are a shopaholic.
Additional Reading: Online Shopping: Safety Checklist
How to check if you’re a shopaholic
If you still aren’t sure about whether you’re a shopping addict or not, here’s a list of symptoms most compulsive shoppers have. If something sounds familiar, you need to make some changes in the way you spend.
- You cross your budget limit every month.
- You feel guilty after making a purchase, but that doesn’t last too long.
- You overuse your Credit Cards.
- You suffer from anxiety if you don’t get to shop.
- You keep borrowing money from people just to shop more.
- You get into frequent arguments with your friends and family over your shopping habits.
Don’t worry! If these symptoms sound familiar, we have some solutions for you. But before jumping to the ‘how’ part, let’s see why you should consider reading this further.
But I love to shop! Why should I give it up?
Apart from shopping for necessities, pampering yourself or splurging on something, once in a while, is totally fine. But see how we said ‘once in a while’. You can’t be unreasonable and indulge yourself every time you see something you like. Here are some of the repercussions of your addiction.
- It affects your monthly budget.
No matter how hard you try telling yourself that you can balance your basic expenses with all your unnecessary shopping, somewhere deep down you know that it’s not true! Whenever you step out to shop like a boss, you feel the need to compromise on your basic expenses for the month, don’t you? That’s not done. You need to prioritise well or you could end up turning into one of the ‘Urban Poor’.
Additional Reading: How Budgeting Can Transform Your Financial Life
- It affects your future!
Wondering how excessive shopping can affect your future? We’ll tell you. The excessive amounts of money that you spend on shopping is equivalent to throwing your hard-earned money down the drain. You could invest the same money and reap good benefits from it. The best part about investing right is that it’ll continue to give you benefits, unlike that dress that won’t fit you after a while. What kind of benefits? Well, having a corpus and living well in your retirement years could be one of them.
Check This: How Much Do I Need When I Retire?
How to get rid of the addiction
Here are a few steps you can take to get your addiction under control.
- Find the reason
When you’re a compulsive shopper, there needs to be a reason, a trigger that makes you want to shop. It might sound funny, but there’s usually a reason that leads you to that online portal or that mall near your house. If you can’t seem to control your urge to shop, you’re suffering from oniomania or compulsive buying disorder. Yes! It’s a real medical term! It means that you suffer from disruptive anxiety if you don’t get to shop and it can be relieved only if you spend some bucks on your favourite brands. So, the best way to start working on your shopping addiction is to look for the triggers that push you to the stores.
- Get to know yourself better
Behind every compulsive shopper, there’s either the thrill of shopping or the desire to expand their collection of things. Try and understand what makes you shop. There has to be a pattern in your purchases. For instance, maybe you love to keep shopping for the latest gadgets as soon as they’re launched or you just want to grow your shoe collection. Most shopaholics are crazy for one or two things and their hunt for more variety never seems to end. Finding what gives you that thrill will make it easier for you to control yourself.
- Understand your feelings
If you’re a compulsive shopper, there have to be a couple of mood swings during your buying process. Try and understand how shopping makes you feel. Do you feel extremely ecstatic after buying something? Do factors like loneliness or anger force you to buy more? Unless you try to understand the emotions that lead to a purchase, you won’t be able to find a solution to it.
- Be your own captain
Whenever you feel like you’re about to go on a shopping spree, try and keep yourself under control. Keep yourself busy with other things you love. Your hobbies could be a great escape route and help you think about something else for a change! You could even earn a buck or two.
Check This: 7 Unconventional Ways to Make Money
- Put that Credit Card back in your pocket
The day you learn to limit the use of your Credit Card, a big chunk of your worries will fade away. If you keep swiping your Credit Card for everything, you’ll never be able to handle your shopping addiction. And if you aren’t careful, you might even fall into a debt trap. You really don’t want that.
Additional Reading: Tips To Use Your Credit Card Wisely
- Steer clear of temptations
Try to understand the fact that you can’t buy everything! The sooner you understand this, the better it will be. In case you find it hard to control your urge to shop, stay away from all those unnecessary shopping channels on TV and ads that keep popping on the right side of your Facebook News Feed. Even if you’re trying hard to control yourself, one tempting ad is all it takes to make the next purchase! The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ logic can work magic for you.
- Look for better substitutes
If nothing else seems to work, start looking for healthier ways to channelise your excessive urge to shop. This could be anything from taking a walk to talking to a friend, reading a book or even sleeping. If these small substitutes can help you fight this habit, why not give them a shot?
- Consult a doctor
When none of the above seem to be working for you, there might be a bigger problem that you’re unaware of. Nothing to worry about! Just seek counselling and let the doctor find out a solution for you.
It might be hard to try and make efforts towards fighting that shopping addiction, but once you get it under control, you’ll thank yourself (and us) later. So, the next time you feel like going on a shopping spree, bookmark this post and give it a read. We’re sure that it’ll help you stay motivated!