10 Tips for Fixing your Shopping Addiction

shopping addiction

Addiction is the cancer of the mind! From gambling to shopping addiction! There are many kinds of addictions that can surely destroy a person’s life, especially if that addiction is not acknowledged and not kept in check.

Even if you are not a shopping addict and know how to manage your money, knowing the following 10 tips won’t hurt!

10 Tips to Help with Shopping Addiction

1. Leave your credit cards at home.

Just carry cash you need for the day. So if I go to work, and need $10 for lunch, I will carry about $15 in my wallet. The extra $5 is for a minor emergency (i.e. gas. ). Many people who do not have shopping addiction usually carry credit cards mainly for emergency usage.

2. Make a detailed list of your expenses.

I use a ledger to keep track of all my spending and update it every night. I know there are some people who just can’t do this so if that’s the case I recommend Mint.com. Mint.com does a good job helping people manage their expenses. Take a look at their site. They have a smart phone app that help people manage their spending! Remember there are other smart phone apps out there so if Mint’s app doesn’t work for your, take a look at others out there!

3. Make necessity the priority.

Ask yourself before buying something, do I really need this? I myself from time to time buy unnecessary things but even though, the majority of my spending goes into groceries, utilities, and certain business investments. I’m still alive and growing because I buy what is necessary. My father always told me to spend money on things that will make you more money. Food, utilities, and investments help us grow in many ways.

4. Spend your free time where money is not really needed.

In other words, change your environment. Stay away from friends who like to spend. Also, don’t go to the mall or a shopping area. Stay away from shopping online. Drop your phones and computers and go to the park or the beach. Go to places that don’t require so much money. A $3 matinee show at the movie theater is a good idea.

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5. Budget!

In other words, set your spending limits and never go over them. I would recommend people make their own weekly spending limit and to religiously protect it. This is how it will work. For example, if my spending limit for the week was $200, that’s about $30 of spending in a day. Nonetheless, if I use a $100 in one day for something I just had to really get, with a weekly budget, I know that for the following 6 days I will have to use approximately less than $15 a day to stay within my spending limits. Setting such limits helps you discipline your spending…which is aka budgeting.

6. Do not buy luxuries.

I have to admit that some luxuries look very beautiful and tempting and it feels good to buy them at times, but you must ask yourself, do you really need it? For example, do you really need that luxury car, or that $160 dress, or that $1000 iPhone ??? No!  My used Honda Civic does the job of taking me from point A to point B very well. My wife who already has 12 beautiful dresses does not need another dress, and my used Samsung Galaxy Note which was given to me 4 years ago from my brother still works and functions primarily as a portable phone. Learn to buy cheaper things that do the job. You’d be surprised and very satisfied how much better some of the cheaper goods do a better job than many luxury items out there.

7. Ignore the “rich-looking” people around you.

Many of the real rich people I know wear average clothes and drive average cars.

You might never know it but the dude next door flaunting his BMW is probably living paycheck to paycheck and the lady across the street living in her $600K+ house is only earning $50K a year and is really struggling to pay for her house. Remember that when it comes to luxuries, most people buy them just for show. The real problem that “rich-looking” people have to my opinion is that they mostly buy what they can’t afford.

8. Say no to more credit cards.

I only need 2 credit cards. Yet, I get a ton of credit card offers every 3 months in the mail that come with promises of lower interest rates and better rewards. Most of these benefits are almost always conditional and short term. Furthermore, I am kind of a eco-friendly kind of guy so I get pretty ticked when the credit card brochures come in some kind of high quality paper. I mean have you ever seen the Amex black offers??? Wow. It’s such a waste of paper. The brochures with come in some of the best quality paper I have ever seen. It’s hard enough that it is so perfect for picking up my dog’s poop. I guess you can call it recycling in some way! I just hate to waste.

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9. Get rid of easy payment systems that enables you to pay with your phones.

Apple pay, Google Pay, Alipay, and other wallet apps that make life a little more convenient should be removed from your phones if you have a spending addiction. These wallet apps may be dangerous because it makes you spend your cash faster and easier! These payment systems basically work by linking the app on your smartphone to your credit cards and debit cards. It’s the same thing to using your credit cards, the only difference is that you are using your phone to pay and not an actual credit card. That is why I don’t recommend using wallet apps if you have a spending addiction.

10. Cutting up the Plastic and Joining Debtors Anonymous

If you still can’t control your credit spending after these 9 tips, I would strongly suggest you cut up your credit cards and join a help group such as debtors anonymous. Seriously!!! Cut up your credit card(s) and wait until the bank sends you a new one. Don’t worry… the banks will always send a new credit card a couple of months before your card expires so you can use that time in between to join a help group such as Debtors Anonymous. There is no shame in joining such a group and by the time you get your new credit card, you have no more spending problems. I rather join a self-help group than see my life and family get destroyed due to an addiction.

 

The above 10 tips are my tips based on my personal experiences and acquired knowledge regarding shopping addiction. I know that there are others out there who might have better ideas and if so, for the good of society, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

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