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Buying a new item gives us a rush of excitement, and that retail high is as addicting as HGTV. It blocks out any negative emotions we may have at the time, and when we get stressed out shopping becomes our foot rub.
Once upon a time I basically lived in the mall. I could not stop spending money and thinking about all the opportunities I wasted makes me nauseous.
It took me nearly a year to get my excessive spending under control, but I did it. If you’re trying to break your bad spending habits then you need these tips!
Set a goal
Once you know what you want to accomplish, write it down instead of keeping a mental note. This helps to move your goals from the daydream phase to reality. They’re put out into the universe so you’re forced to work towards them or suffer the embarrassment of not reaching them.
Tape your goals down somewhere you can see them, like at your workstation or on the refrigerator. You can even be extra and make them your screensaver (me ????????)—whatever works!
When you get the urge to spend, take a quick look at what you’re working towards to get yourself back on track.
Make a list
When you’re a recovering shopaholic, something as simple as making a list can keep your sober.
Write down exactly what you need to purchase before you walk into the store and abide by it as if your whole well-being depends on it…because it just may!
With a list, you are focused on going in and getting out quickly. The temptation to blindly throw items into your cart is lessened because you’re not roaming around the store in hopes of simply recognizing what you need.
If it didn’t make your list then it doesn’t need to make it to the check-out line either.
Avoid going to certain places
If you want to stop spending money then avoid going to places that caress your weak spot.
Of course, this sounds a lot easier than it actually is. It’s not possible to completely avoid someplace, like the grocery store, but limiting your visits will help to minimize your spending.
I could make it rain at Ulta…seriously! Because I know it’s hard to keep my dollar bills in my wallet, I don’t allow myself to visit often.
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Indulge in a hobby
Many people, including myself, shop due to boredom or as a way to escape unwanted emotions. When I was feeling down, I would grab anything that I thought would restore my happiness.
Then, once the newness of my purchases wore off I was right back in the store acquiring more stuff.
Getting a hobby helps to take your focus off of spending and puts it towards your newly found pass time.
For me, I blew the dust off my old notebooks and found a love for DIY projects. When I was feeling blue, I would find something around the house to spruce up or write down my thoughts.
Do some soul searching
Let’s face it, basically living in a store is not exactly normal. There’s a reason for your excessive spending, and the quicker you figure it out the quicker you can correct the problem.
Instead of putting on a new shirt to temporarily fill a void, take some time to identify what your triggers are.
I promise you, once you discover what is driving your spending it will be a lot easier to break your bad habit.
Press that unsubscribe button
When I finally got my shopping at physical stores down to a minimum, the problem with online shopping began. The vast amount of emails I would receive from retailers about new sales often sent me over the edge.
Pretty soon, I was scrambling for my credit card and impatiently checking the USPS tracking number.
This tip is simple: UNSUBSCRIBE!
Make a budget
This tip may seem to always be used as a cure-all for your financial woes, but creating a budget truly puts your finances into perspective.
Without one, it’s like you’re driving down a dark highway with no headlights and hoping that you wind up where you need to be. Sadly, you’ll end up in an unfamiliar place without knowing how you got there or how to get back.
Having a budget gives you the power of making your dollars work for you. Every dollar will have a purpose, and you will likely discover that there are not enough funds left over to support your habit.
Use the 24-hour rule
I discovered this rule a few years ago, and it truly helps me decipher if I really need my purchase or if it’s just impulsive. The trick is to leave your purchases in their bags for 24 hours to determine their value. If you could manage without them then chances are you didn’t need them.
When making online purchases, leave your items in the cart for 24 hours and see how you feel when you return back to them. By this time your impulses will have subsided, allowing you to make a more conscious decision.
If you lost your items to another buyer, even better. This way you won’t have to deal with the heartache of emptying your cart because it hurts…I know.
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