Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Shopping Addiction - Part 3 - Practical Techniques to Curb Spending Addiction

Now that we've learned about how shopping addiction works, and what types of spending bring more satisfaction than others, here are some practical techniques you can implement to try and reduce the temptation to spend.  

1)    Set yourself a goal - examples may include saving a small amount each week for a special purchase, such as a holiday, without using credit card or savings.  The more meaningful you make this goal, the more likely you are to stick with it.  Just remember to make this goal realistic and attainable!!  A small success will encourage you to set bigger goals.

2)    Delay consumption!  Next time you have a sudden urge to purchase a fabulous new bag or delightful pair of shoes, stop and reflect.  Often once we take away the emotion from the purchase, we realise we never needed it that much in the first place.  Try waiting 24 hours before you go back to the store/website

3)  Unsubscribe from shopping related mailing lists and newsletters.  Each day my inbox is flooded with emails about various sales, new products, fantastic deals etc….  Try removing yourself from online shopping mailing lists.  

4)  Unsubscribe/stop viewing "consumer blogs" such as fashion blogs.  If there are certain blogs which influence you to spend, try and avoid these pages.  Consumer blogs often project an ideal picture of what it's like to "have it all."
Bloggers may seem to have a new outfit every day, but stop and reflect - they're probably a) given these items from sponsors, or b) live out of their car so they can afford shiny things.
4a)  Note - if you can't kick your spending addiction following this article, you could also consider becoming a consumer blogger so you too can be given free shiny things!!
If you also find magazines are also motivating you to spend, trying eliminating these for a while and replacing them with reading a novel or interesting article instead.  

5)  Avoid spending time in shopping centres/malls!  If you don't see it, you won't be tempted to buy it!!

5)  When the urge strikes, engage in exercise instead.  A short walk or trip to the gym can help us to disconnect from the urge to spend.

6)  Examine the underlying thoughts that are driving you to spend.  Are you shopping to deal with feelings of depression and anxiety?  Are you lonely or bored?  Are you trying to boost your self esteem through material goods?  Once you understand the underlying motivation behind your spending, you'll be better able to deal with negative emotions in a healthier way.  

7)  Avoid shopping when you're feeling depressed.  You'll be far more likely to use purchasing as an emotional bandaid and potentially make impulse buys.  If you're having a bad day, try engaging in meaningful activity such as exercise or a hobby, or arranging a time to meet up with a friend or chat to them over the phone.  

8)  Use positive self talk when you feel tempted to spend.  For example "I can choose not to spend" or "imagine how good I'll feel if I reach my savings goal."

Did you miss Part One or Part Two of this Three Part Series?

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