Get Help With Your Overspending – How to Stop Your Shopping Addiction
Are you trapped in a cycle of overspending? Have you developed an addiction to shopping that you cannot seem to break even though you are filled with guilt and regret after each shopping binge? On top of it all, have you maxed out your credit cards or find it impossible to save for retirement or a rainy day? Overspending has become a modern day addiction. Read these vital tips to control your compulsive shopping addiction.
ARE YOU A CHRONIC OVERSPENDER? ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
1. Do you fret about money all the time?
2. Do you have no savings?
3. Do you go on a big shopping binges, buying things you do not really need but telling yourself at the time that you do?
4. Do you have a wardrobe stuffed with clothes, shoes and bags and other items: some of which you haven’t even used?
5. Do you lie or avoid speaking to your family and friends about your money worries?
6. Are you spending more than you earn?
7. Are you missing key payments such as credit card bills?
8. Do you feel the urge to treat yourself by buying something even though you know you have no money?
9. Does your heart sink when another bill appears in your mail?
It’s been called the “affluenza epidemic”, the painful accumulation of debt and money worries caused by overspending, excessive consumption and consumerism. Modern society’s focus on material wealth, adverts telling us to dress better, look better, drive nicer cars, live in nicer homes, have nicer holidays had caused a huge social stress as we buy things we don’t absolutely need and don’t have the money to pay for them.
WHAT TYPE OF SHOPPING ADDICT ARE YOU?
There are different types of compulsive shopping addicts and you need to take a hard, honest look at yourself to figure out which type you are:
1. You are desperately trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’
2. You shop simply out of boredom
3. You consider shopping a way of giving yourself a little treat as you feel you deserve it.
4. You are buying what you think are ‘must have items’. The face cream that will banish away all items for example. Or the home bread maker since it will end up being cheaper and healthier to create your own bread. Or the dress that is the “IT” look of the season.
5. You are a compulsive bargain hunter, always adding more to your shopping trolley because of the ‘buy just 1 for $5, or for $7 you can have 3!’ upsells. People who look for the bulk discounts may also be over-eaters too as they buy more food that they need ‘because it was such a great deal’.
6. Because you hang out with a circle of friends who spend a lot too. You and your friends eat in fancy restaurants, order four courses, decent wine and follow it up with an after-dinner drink at the hottest bar in town.
HOW TO STOP YOUR SHOPPING ADDICTION
Make a resolution today that you will only buy things you absolutely need. Tell your family and close friends about it. If they are true friends, they will support you. Who knows, they could well be facing the same money anxieties themselves.
Think about which type you are from the above list and how you might go about fixing it.
If you shop compulsively because you are bored, or to fill an emotional need to give yourself a treat, think about free ways you might fill up your time and indulge. For example, you could set up a home spa day with your friends where you help each other do a manicure and create simple face masks from the contents of your fridge (an avocado and olive oil face mask always does the trick for me). Or go for a walk in a nearby park or wooded area.
Start by cutting up your credit cards. Only keep one debit card and then use cash for everything. Don’t have too much cash in your wallet at any one time. You might say you need to keep a credit card in your wallet ‘for emergencies’ but seriously, how often does an emergency happen in which a credit card on hand would make all the difference? If you do need money quickly, you could always phone a friend or family member to provide emergency relief.
Take a pause before you buy anything: consider if you absolutely need that item.
Analyze your spends: write down a spending diary. You will be surprised at all the little items that add up, such as the daily latte or the ‘occasional’ bottle of red to calm you down in the evening that has turned into a thrice weekly ritual, or the visits to the beauty salon.
Cut at least two-thirds of your non-essential spending. Start with the monthly non-essential commitments such as cable TV, gym/fitness memberships, magazine and other subscriptions. Then take a look at your other non-essential spends including eating out, alcohol, clothes, movie tickets, sports events and gadgets.
Tackle your debt. Get advice from a free independent credit association. Be very wary about the debt consolidation agencies advertised on TV or the internet.
Get a part-time job, or even a voluntary job for the evenings and weekends. Not only do you have a chance to earn a little bit of extra money, but this will stop you from going out and spending money.
It does not matter which of the above action steps you take first, as long as you take a step. Do something right now to tackle your overspending habits and break out of your shopping addiction and get your real life back.