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How to Avoid Compulsive Shopping

– Posted in: Finance For Women, Managing Your Finances, Money Management

Compulsive shopping has always been a problem, but recent years has seen an explosion in the number of people suffering from it. Online shopping is certainly a contributing factor, making it easier than ever to whip out the old credit card and buy something shiny. Although the problem is a universal one, women have traditionally been more susceptible to the addiction. If you are a shopaholic and are struggling to overcome it, here are some tips to help you put it behind you forever:

How to Avoid Compulsive Shopping

Always pay with cash or debit card

If your method of payment is traditionally a credit card, you are making it way too easy for your addiction. Use cash and debit cards only and you will feel that overspending in a very up close and personal way. That will absolutely help you slow down with your excessive spending. In fact, destroy your credit cards entirely.

Leave your money at home

If you have nothing to pay for anything with, you can’t over spend. Window shopping becomes window shopping again when you have no cash on you. The worst thing you can do is go window shopping with money. That is like an alcoholic spending an evening with a liquor cabinet.

Always shop off lists

If you have a list and don’t stray from it, you are much less likely to impulse shop. Compulsive shoppers are constantly seeing something new that they must have. Focus on the list and only buy things that are on there.

Eliminate the shopping channel from your lineup

Literally take the channel off your favorites so that you have to literally replace it to watch it. At least that will make it a pain to do so. Those shopping channels are made for people just like you to spend money. Get rid of them.

Get help if it has gotten serious

How will you know if things are serious? If you have to ask that question, it is serious. Shopping when you don’t need things is a problem. Even if you have the expendable income to afford it, compulsive shopping is a serious problem. From hoarding and financial disaster alone, problems can arise rather quickly when you compulsively shop. Get some help. Ask around your local area for shopping addicts programs. Most local psychiatrists and psychologists can refer you as well.

Compulsive shopping is not something that you have to live with. If you truly are willing to make a change, there are resources out there to help you. The primary thing is to recognize that you have a problem and to commit to a change. The rest will come easily.


50 Comments… add one
Robin (Masshole Mommy) February 10, 2014, 11:10 am

My husband and I actually paid off our credit cards and cancelled the accounts about a year ago. It’s the best thing we ever did!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:06 pm

Yes! That was a great decision you guys made Robin! Life is much simpler ‘post-cards’ lol

Emily February 10, 2014, 11:22 am

So many people overspend simply because they’re trying to keep up with what so-and-so has. It’s nuts! I used to spend like crazy buying things that I didn’t need – or want. These days, I’m all about purging! I’m constantly cleaning things out and giving them away. I’d be very successful on a “no spend diet”!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:06 pm

I used to buy lots of unnecessary things in the past. But I have stopped now after learning some really hard lessons lol.. However, purging is something I still need to learn. I have to stop hoarding. Well, that’s a topic for another day to debate and discuss πŸ™‚

Beth February 10, 2014, 1:02 pm

Shopping off a list is my “must.” If it’s not on the list – don’t buy it!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:04 pm

Exactly! It is often as simple as that.. Well said Beth!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication February 10, 2014, 1:51 pm

These are fantastic tips. I actually got into some debt shopping because “I worked hard and I deserved it” so I can relate to this. But having to pay it all off made me never do it again!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:03 pm

lol good thing you realized this and put things into perspective at once πŸ™‚

Nicole A. February 10, 2014, 2:49 pm

Great advice! I always like to have a list with me so that I don’t buy things that I truly don’t need.

mel February 10, 2014, 3:32 pm

Shopping is something that I could do compulsively! Thanks so much for the tips!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

I guess women generally deal with Compulsive Shopping- so saying it loud here helps everyone, including me πŸ˜‰

Michele February 10, 2014, 3:40 pm

I only use my cards now when I absolutely have no choice-like when my brakes needed new pads and they would not put the inspection sticker on without it!!

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:01 pm

Good for you Michelle! Never fall into credit card limit extension traps either πŸ˜‰

Yolanda February 10, 2014, 4:59 pm

Awesome tips! One thing that helped me was unsubscribing from the tempting shopping related emails.

Vinma February 10, 2014, 5:00 pm

haha..spot on Yolanda! That will help a ton πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your tip with us!

Ashley B. February 10, 2014, 5:58 pm

All excellent advice! I used to be a shopaholic but not so much anymore.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 10, 2014, 6:28 pm

I used to have this problem but after working for years to clear the debt, I’ve fixed it. I’m very careful now. Debt free for over 7 years now!

Marielle Altenor February 10, 2014, 6:39 pm

These are some really great tips. Also, taking someone with you when going shopping (that will help you stop the crazy splurging).

Pam February 10, 2014, 6:48 pm

I always shop off a list. It not only helps me prevent impulse purchases, it helps me remember what I DO need!

Amber Nelson February 10, 2014, 7:53 pm

Our rule at our house is no credit cards unless it is a necessary purchase!

Lawna February 10, 2014, 7:57 pm

Believe it or not, I was spending thousands buying on Facebook. I had to eliminate groups so that I wouldn’t buy so much.

Jennifer Williams February 10, 2014, 8:41 pm

Those are great tips. Luckily I hate shopping so I do not have the compulsive shopping issue, I have however seen it ruin many lives when I worked in the bankruptcy court system.

Tough Cookie Mommy February 10, 2014, 8:47 pm

I think it is so important to not do anything in excess. Shopping is nice but there is a time and a place for everything, and that includes spending money.

Amanda Her February 10, 2014, 8:56 pm

Great tips! I am a complete compulsive shopper – I needed these!

becca February 10, 2014, 9:04 pm

Yes! That was a great decision you guys made Life is much simpler post-cards

Lady Lilith February 10, 2014, 9:21 pm

Great tips. Although I am not usually a compulsive shopper, when it comes to the holidays and toys I am out of control. I love give giving. I will keep this post in mind for future use.

Rosey February 10, 2014, 9:46 pm

Compulsive shopping can really catch up with you (in a bad way). This is a good list, and my favorite tip is to not bring money with you that you don’t want to spend!

coolchillmom February 10, 2014, 10:19 pm

I know you were writing for me and me alone!!
thanks for the great tips, will be using them

Melanie February 11, 2014, 1:06 am

I don’t like shopping anyhow so I’m good here. I always set my priorities first as well. With four kids I don’t have room to jump on something that’s not needed

Veronica February 11, 2014, 1:53 am

I don’t use credit cards at all anymore and I avoid the mall at all cost

kay adeola February 11, 2014, 4:39 am

great tips thank you,we always have a list and stick by it 100%.

Nikki February 11, 2014, 9:50 am

I had a friend who was a compulsive shopper. It was quite serious for her. I get a little over-excited when I actually have extra money, but most of the time, I’m very careful about my spending.

Tess February 11, 2014, 11:45 am

I’m thinking I could be one. When stressed, it feels great to go buy stuff. Not a good thing, but I never put the family in trouble over it. Ill keep the credit cards at home!

Annie February 11, 2014, 12:39 pm

I still prefer shopping with cash over a credit card! It helps me be accountable even though I don’t spend much πŸ™‚

Ashley Gill February 11, 2014, 3:23 pm

These are good tips! I am lucky to have my husband’s voice in my head so I don’t do much compulsive shopping.. but if I ever get to that point, this would be a helpful post!

Dawn February 11, 2014, 4:46 pm

I never watch shopping channels. I just don’t want to be tempted.

Eliz Frank February 12, 2014, 8:06 am

These are great tips Vinma! Now if only those ads and mags and deals would stop floating before our faces, we’d stand half a chance. πŸ™‚

Le-an Lacaba February 12, 2014, 9:01 am

We all have our urges at times, Luckily I don’t have a credit card, mostly because my family is traumatised of paying off debts on hospital bills.

Karen Glatt February 15, 2014, 2:04 pm

Stay away from the Home Shopping channels becasue they make it too easy to become a Compulsive shopper! My sister is a compulsive shopper and always wonders where her money is going. She uses a credit card, and this is where she is getting into trouble. I do not charge on a credit card. I know to well how this can get me into debt!

Rachel Cartucci February 15, 2014, 4:32 pm

I have finally learned how to manage my money and keep myself from buying foolish things but my husband really needs help…he wants to buy every electronic thing that exist. I have to manage the money these days to keep him out of debt.

Kathleen February 16, 2014, 12:57 am

Compulsive shopping – the weakness of (almost) women everywhere! It’s scary how much one can spend without realizing it. Thanks for the tips!

Wendy Collard February 16, 2014, 10:49 am

I got a bit naughty when I liked “hot deal” and “bargain” pages on facebook and subscribed to their posts. There was certainly a few times that I purchased on impulse before thinking it through with the “I don’t want to miss that amazing bargain before it goes” mentality. But I soon learned from my mistake and don’t rush into buying anything now unless I really have thought it through and decided if we REALLY needed it.

Judy Thomas February 16, 2014, 4:10 pm

I avoid any impulse shopping by not having a credit card but I do have a pre-loaded visa card that I can put money on and use on line if there is anything I need. It is a great idea because I don’t buy anything unless I can afford it and need it πŸ™‚

Shannon February 17, 2014, 5:23 pm

My doctor was always surprised that I didn’t have this problem since I am bipolar and that is often something that goes along with it. My mother struggles with this. Thank you for all of these tips. Have a lovely day.

Tammy Marie Markham February 17, 2014, 10:33 pm

when you have a job it is very hard not to go shopping way too much sometimes. for myself, i think that credit cards help create the problem, because sometimes people think, oh, we can buy now & pay later, yeah you pay later alright, especially if you lose your job. Thank you for posting this information.

Dorothy Boucher February 20, 2014, 10:10 am

yes i agree, these are all wonderful tips.. i to at one time shopped stupidly , buying crazy, for everything and for everyone loll learned the hard way.. thanks for share @tisonlyme143

Laura Brewer February 25, 2014, 11:19 am

I did the Dave Ramsey thing, and only use cash. I write my lists, but then forget them and leave them home lol.

Thia beniash February 27, 2014, 9:23 am

I am great at the store and don’t over buy….but online is tough. The emails on the clearance items gets me…most of the time. I really don’t ever pay full price, that’s my pitiful excuse.

Anne Marie Carter March 1, 2014, 7:29 pm

Thanks for sharing these money saving ideas regarding compulsive shopping.

Bev March 3, 2015, 6:13 am

Leaving the money at home definitely helps curb impulsive shopping. The only downside is that I end up buying not enough of what I really need. But it’s still cool. At least I still have money left.

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