Are you a compulsive shopper?
Do you find you’re buying “irresistible” products you don’t really need?
Perhaps you buy too many items only to find that you don’t use them all. Or possibly you buy gifts for relatives or friends that you cannot really afford.
As a result, you are forced to resort to borrowing money until the next paycheck arrives.
But compulsive shopping varies in intensity.
Many people suffer from some forms that are less severe, but are a problem nevertheless.
There is a way out.
You can stop compulsive shopping in its tracks by following five easy steps that are outlined below.
They worked for me at a time when I needed sharply to rein in my spending or face the prospect of ratcheting up large amounts of debt.
They can work for you, too. All you need is determination and dedication to the task.
Remember: it will become easier over time.
Take the following steps:
Each step works along with the others, so be sure and use them all rather than select just one or two.
Here they are:
1) Shop only when you need to buy something
Avoid visiting the mall and going from store to store simply because it’s fun to see what’s new on the market, to seek out the latest clothing fashions or to discover a new piece of technology you simply must have.
Turn your shopping into a more worthwhile pursuit. Rather spend an afternoon going for a walk, visiting friends, playing sport, or engaging in a favorite pastime other than shopping, such as a hobby. They’ll do you far more good than a new set of clothes that you can’t afford or an exciting new product that you don’t really need.
Instead, wait until you really need something and then shop just for that and nothing else.
2) Make a list — and stick to it.
These two items go together. Like a horse and carriage, you cannot have one without the other. For this step to work successfully you must make a list and then keep to it with dedication and determination.
A list is most applicable when you are doing your grocery shopping, but it also is useful when you have a number of items that you need to buy at a variety of stores.
Prepare your list based on items that you usually buy regularly and, above all, that you need.
When you walk into the store head straight for the aisles on which you will purchase the items on your list. Avoid as far as possible buying more items than you have listed.
If it will help, take along a friend or family member who will help you to stick to your list.
Check out these tips on how to make a grocery list.
3) Shop at set times of the week
A major way in which you can avoid compulsive shopping is simply not to go to the store. Ever. But we all have to shop, of course.
So the second best method is to limit your shopping to set days of the week. You might decide to shop only once a week (yes, you can do this).
Go out and buy the items on your list in one burst of shopping. Hop from store to store until the items on your list are all taken care of.
Give yourself a limited time to shop so that you are not tempted to browse the stores.
4) Don’t be misled by bargains
You certainly should take advantage of bargains for the items that you need to buy.
But you should not be taken in by items that are on sale, but you do not really need.
Half off is still half off of something that is surplus to your requirements.
You are still spending real money, even if it is not as much as you would otherwise have spent on a useless item.
5) Use only cash
Never go shopping with a credit or store charge card. Take a set amount of cash with you so that you are not tempted to go over your limits.
When you run out of cash, your compulsive shopping habits might encourage you to apply for a loan until payday to obtain the items you need immediately.
But remember that payday loans should be used only as a last resort — and then they should be only from reputable websites.
6) Go without until you have the money
Say it is Wednesday and you have no money left to spend. You get paid on Friday.
You run out of coffee.
Resist the temptation to go out and buy more coffee.
Decide you will go without coffee until you get paid. Act the same way toward any other grocery items.
Of course, it is essential that you do not visit the local espresso stand or buy fast food to get around this tip. That destroys its whole effectiveness.
To be successful, put all these tips into action today.
They worked for me and I trust that they will work for you, too. If you like this advice, share it with others.
We would also welcome your comments on this tutorial.