Shopping addiction is a prominent issue in America that often leads to financial stress, excessive debt, social withdrawal, and other addictive behaviors. This time of the year can be particularly difficult for shopping addicts because of the upcoming holidays. Sales and the need to buy gifts create the perfect reason for a shopping addict to play into his or her urge to spend money – but that doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. In the tips below, we will help you fight holiday shopping addiction urges so you can make it through the season successfully.
Put Yourself On A Strict Gift Budget
Budgeting is a powerful tool for shopping addicts. If you can set spending limits (and stick to them!), you can prevent yourself from going overboard with your holiday shopping. There are several ways you can go about this:
- Set a specific budget for each person on your shopping list
- Set a budget for each gift you get in general (Example: “Don’t buy anything over $20”)
- Set a weekly or monthly budget for gift giving to spread the expenses out over time
- Set a limit for the total amount of money you can spend on gifts this year
No matter how you approach this, you have to be realistic with your budgeting. Don’t set a budget of $100 per person if you have 25 people on your list. Even if you are known for getting lavish gifts for people on Christmas, doing so will only fuel the satisfaction you get from shopping. That’s what got you addicted in the first place. Luckily, our addiction counselors in Metro Detroit, MI are here to help you every step of the way so you don’t fall back into old habits. We will help you get through this tempting time.
Don’t Think A “Good Deal” Is A “Good Excuse”
Many shopping addicts are naturally bargain shoppers. Their addiction is fueled by the desire to find a good deal. Just because you find a product at a good price doesn’t mean you have to buy it. By all means, look for bargains when you go out, but don’t use those bargains as excuses to purchase more than you need. Focus on the budget you have set out and the people you plan to buy to help you stay on track.
Avoid Credit Card Spending
Credit cards are incredibly dangerous for shopping addicts. It’s easy to swipe a card at a register and temporarily forget the debt it is creating. In fact, there have been a number of studies over the last few years that people spend less and are more conscientious about their buying habits when paying with cash instead of paying with a credit card. If you want to tie this into your budgeting plan, you can set up envelopes with cash for each week, each person, each gift, etc. Then you have a tangible amount of money that you can visualize for each transaction. The more accountable you are, the better you will be with controlling your shopping addiction around the holidays.
Choose Specific Days To Gift Shop
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of Black Friday specials or other sales going on in your area. The main goal here is to set specific dates for your shopping schedule, rather than looking for gifts at every store you go to. This controls impulse buying, which can become an addictive behavior all on its own. If you go to the grocery store, get groceries. If you go to an office supply store for staples, get staples. Save the gift shopping for the days you have specifically set aside for it, and you will learn to control your urges over time.