Shopping from your TV used to be revolutionary. It was so exciting that people began buying steak knives they didn't need just because they could buy them from the TV. Online shopping makes television shopping channels look archaic. But, it's not because you can shop at your own leisure. It's because there are so many apps and tools out there that you can shop like a professional.
Just like HSN, however, online shopping has resulted in many people buying a lot of stuff they don't need. It's not just steak knives this time; it's pretty much everything. From luxury products to bottom of the barrel sales, you can now buy whatever your heart desires. The race, the pressure and the thrill of buying can result in a shopping addiction.
Let's not demonize shopping. After all, we don't run the rat race so we can wear paper bags. But, let's be honest for a minute. If you go shopping to pass the time, buy something new or treat yourself to something new sometimes, you're probably just a normal shopper. But if it's 3 am and you've just bought eight new camisoles in colors you're not even going to wear, you might have a shopping problem.
When you have a shopping problem, you consistently buy things you don't need with money you don't have. You might take out store credit because your credit cards are maxed out, and your cash goes towards minimum payments. You do all this just so you can buy cat socks for Christmas in April because you'll know they come in handy someday. So, if you've had to lie about the fact that you own 47 pairs of Havaianas and live in Minnesota, check out these four tips for breaking the addiction:
1. Don't buy something just because it's on sale.
If you're the type who rolls through H&M or Forever 21 to pick up basics just so you can feel like you've bought something, you probably have a shopping addiction. The same thing is true for shopping the sales. If you've ever bought something just because it's hanging on the 75 percent off rack and then forgot to take it out of the bag for a week, you probably just wanted to buy something.
But, don't write off the sale altogether. The sale is an amazing tool for battling the shopping addiction because it teaches patience and value. Rather than browsing the sales just because, wait for the piece you love to go on sale. When it does, it's OK to snap it up. You've been planning for it, and after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
2. Change up your routine.
If you're addiction comes from window shopping on your way to work, consider changing up your routine so you can avoid that gorgeous display window. Shopping addiction is as addictive as gambling, and just as a gambler would be advised to stay away from watching the Kentucky Derby, a shopping addict should stay away from the shopping mall.
If you spend your lunch break shopping online, try taking a walk instead. If you hang out at the mall, consider meeting up with friends at a museum. Better yet, change up your routine entirely and go somewhere you've never been. Changing your routine will not only keep you from buying, but it will also show you new places and things you've never seen before.
3. Pick up the phone.
If you're online shopping on your way to work, school or even on your way to shop, think about using your phone for the purpose it was designed for: talking. So, close your browser. Call someone you haven't talked to in a while instead. It doesn't matter whether it's your mom, your grandparents or that friend you're starting to lose touch with. Not only will it prevent unnecessary purchases, but you'll also foster better relationships with the people you love.
4. Go shopping without money.
It may sound like the most counterintuitive thing you can do, but one of the best ways to break a shopping addiction is to go shopping without your wallet. When you walk into a store with no method of payment, you'll come to one of two conclusions. The first conclusion is shopping is really boring unless you're buying, which probably means you're just buying for the sake of it.
The second conclusion is you don't actually like half the stuff you find here. You'll notice this because you're not interested enough to look at it unless you buy. Both are big deterrents for your formerly merciless shopping habit.
If you spend too much money on stuff you don't need, but can still move around the house without a pulley system, you probably have simple shopping addiction. The best way to break it is to make little changes in your life that will help you improve your relationship with retail therapy.