Shopaholics Anonymous: 10 Ways To Scale Back Your Impulsive Shopping Tendencies

by Alexandra Halley

There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy; however, maintaining a healthy budget will keep your spending habits in check without sacrificing the occasional indulgence (or two).

Impulse purchasing can adversely affect more than just your finances. As women, our concerns with image subconsciously dictate our decision-making processes, despite possible consequences. Statistics show that willpower decreases and pleasure-seeking increases when we are in a bad mood, which makes us susceptible to purchasing unnecessary products.

We might tend to overindulge when we feel stressed and anxious, but, fear not, ladies; there are ways to control the urge to spend.

Use cash.

When you use cash, it’s easy to see how much you are spending, which will force you to identify what is absolutely necessary versus what you simply want. Credit cards allow you to buy now and pay later — a blindness that racks up bills — while debit cards lead to an abundance of overdraft fees.

Wait a sec…

Put pricey items on hold. If you really need something, do research to see if another supplier has the same or a similar product for a cheaper price. You should really only pay full retail price on things you need for special occasions (or if you don’t have enough bathing suits when it’s already summer or sweaters if it’s already fall, etc.).

Shop above the influence.

The sights, sounds and smells at many stores can tempt you to buy, buy, buy! Avoid storefronts that overwhelm your senses. Say bye, bye, bye to the marketing mayhem.

Go solo.

Unless your gal pals are brutally honest, female companions tend to sell you on everything you wear out of the fitting room. Although this might be best for your friendship, it will definitely put a dent in your bank account.

Make a grocery list and stick to it.

If you go food shopping on an empty stomach, you will wind up with a fully stocked kitchen — with a lot of unnecessary boxed cakes and bags of chips.

Don’t be fooled.

Steer clear of in-store or online promotions that require you to satisfy a spending minimum. Free shipping or 10 percent off when you spend anything over $100 isn’t much of a discount; the supposed deal you are getting is really only worth it when you have money to spend. It is usually when we’re most crunched for cash that we’re the most vulnerable. 

Avoid online procrastination nation.

Surfing the web for goodies is fun and all, but stocking your imaginary shopping cart with everything you want won’t generate an imaginary bank account with unlimited funds.

Keep a splurge fund.

You will thank yourself when the money you set aside pays for that well-deserved spa treatment or designer handbag.


Remove yourself from the retailer’s email lists. You know better than anyone else what you need and when you need it without being clued in on new arrivals and end-of-season sales.

Think before you spend.

Ask yourself the following: Is it worth the actual cost? Do you have room to store it? Can you do without it? From where is the money coming?

Photo via We Heart It