You see it. And it’s on sale, in your size and you have to have it! Have to without a thought. The UPS, USPS, FedEx and any other delivery person knows your name because you have more packages of items coming in to your home than anyone else on your block. Every day is like Christmas and you’re not looking at the bigger picture which is your bank account or credit score.
Shopping can be an addiction. Sometimes it’s a lack of control to just have it. And sometimes it can actually count as an addiction, especially if there is underlying issue already there. Like any addiction you are seeking fulfillment from an outside source and it gives off a high. Every time you hand over your card and they hand back a shiny bag with the store name and your item. It’s a prize and you’ve won. And before you even think about what you’ve actually won, you don’t realize what you’ve lost. Your credit balance goes up or your bank account balance goes down. And then you’re worrying how am I going to pay for this. Then the cycle continues in a way, you want a pick me up so you buy that sweater or movie on sale and call it a treat to get your mood up. When all you’re doing is taking another hit for a high without thinking of the balance.
It’s a little bit of a lack of control, and a little bit addiction. The severity of your shopaholic needs can be mild or extreme. Their have been cases of people who are in debt to the thousands trying to feed the monster they’ve created. But you can help yourself. Small steps to not spend on things that are wants over needs is the start. Write out a list from your prior month’s purchases. Count how many were actual needs (you needed that to live, survive and thrive, i.e food, shelter and the like) and how many were wants ( purely pleasure, you could do with out). Which list is longer? If you bought more wants over your needs the next step is for you. Take the next month to go on a want’s spending fast, only buy your needs. And before a purchase ask yourself ‘ Do I Really Need this? or do I want it?’, If the answer is no, for this month pass it up and keep moving. At the end of the month see how much money you have left over from not purchasing wants. It’ll be a decent amount that you can use to add to your savings or use to put on your bills. Try this for at least 2-3 months and what’s left over. Buy yourself 1 want. One really amazing want that is your treat. But that is your only want purchase for that month. And you start over again. Saving and using the money saved for bills or saving to use on a want purchase at the end of the 3 month time frame.
This helps you from buying tons of wants in one month. And then when you have time to think of what you want to put your treat money to, you’ll find you’re not spending it on just anything but something that matters to you.
If your shopping addiction is too much for you to try to break on your own. Always seek help. Either professional or even a friend. Someone who can either do the money checks with you monthly, that you trust or even a health care professional who handles addiction that can work too. Just don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the cycle of spending, feeling bad and spending more, especially when you could do better with saving.