Have you ever made your way home after a day of shopping at the mall…shoot, do people even shop at malls anymore? Well, be it the mall or a virtual shopping spree, most of us know that icky feeling that comes after we’ve overspent money on stuff we don’t really need. This usually comes after a long string of impulse buys. In the moment, we think buying that item will get us everything we ever thought we wanted, only to come to and realize we’ve made a huge mistake. If this all sounds too painfully familiar, we’ve put together 5 tips to help you stop impulse buying so you can avoid clutter in your home and debt in your accounts.
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Get help with shopping addiction
If you are no stranger to impulse buys, and have found yourself in so much credit card debt, you don’t even want to open your banking apps, Shopping Rehab is a great resource to help you kick that addiction for good.
Oftentimes overspending is seen as fun or normal way to exist, but for anyone who has ever been stuck in the midst of a shopping addiction can tell you, it’s anything but a good time. Drowning in credit card debt and filling your home with stuff are no way to live. In fact, both of these things can hinder you from living a truly successful, well-rounded life.
If you know you need help with shopping, click here to join Shopping Rehab and start learning the steps to empower yourself when it comes to spending!
Recognize your buying cues
If you haven’t yet read the book, The Power of Habit, it might be worth adding to your library list. Taking the time to read this book will help you better understand all of your habits especially that pesky urge to impulse buy.
The very first thing that happens before we get the urge to impulse spend is that we are given a cue. A cue is something we experience that kicks our body into full gear when it comes to our habits. Think dragging your tongue across your gritty teeth and then feeling the urge to brush them.
Spending cues might look like:
- Experiencing a negative emotion > urge to buy something to cheer you up
- A friend needs cheering up > you buy her something to cheer her up
- Mom wants to spend the day with you > you instinctively plan a day at the mall
- Boredom > you start scrolling your favorite shopping app for entertainment
There’s really no limit to how big or small a cue can be. In fact, clutter expert, Tracy McCubbin has shared that for some of her clients, all it takes is the clicking of the sound of hangers on the shopping racks.
In today’s world of constant influence, the urge to impulse spend can be as quick as seeing your favorite influencer show off a brand new purchase. This is where programs like Shopping Rehab can be especially helpful in encouraging you to be less influenced.
Quieting the inner voice
If you have struggled with impulse spending for a long time, there is a good chance that your body has learned that making a new purchase releases endorphins that make you happy. That’s how harmless impulse spending can quickly escalade into a shopping addiction without much warning. Our bodies begin to crave that hit of happy.
To make matters worse, when you stumble upon a cue that gives you the urge to start impulse buying, your inner voice seems that it won’t shut up until you’ve given it what it wants. This is why doing something as simple as snapping a photo of a potential purchase can suddenly work to quiet that inner impulse voice because technically it now “owns” the thing.
You can take this a step further by documenting or writing down the thoughts that are currently cycling through your mind. This distracts your mind, makes you more aware of your beliefs and can give you the realization that your urge to spend is coming from an unhealthy place.
Re-parenting the impulse mind
In his book Think Like a Monk, author Jay Shetty refers often to our “monkey mind,” AKA that part of our brain that just can’t seem to stop hopping around and demanding it get what it wants.
To help tame the Monkey Mind, Shetty suggests using a parent-type voice of reasoning with it. That might mean saying things like:
I’m saving for my vacation, that is more important to me.
If you don’t make this $50 purchase, you can afford that thing you’ve been saving for.
Remember, we set different goals for this month. You won’t want this thing next month anyway.
How about you take a picture and if you still want it in 30 days, we’ll come back. If it’s not here, that’s a sign it was never meant to be.
These are the types of re-parenting reasoning that we can do when our impulse buying desires seem to be winning. Also note that it is possible to create balance with spending and saving. Setting up a fun spending account can be a great place to start. This way, you have a designated guilt-free spending fund.
Remember, you don’t want the thing, you want the outcome
One of the first things taught in Shopping Rehab is that often times when we are feeling the need to impulse buy something it’s important to remember that we don’t really want the item. Instead of truly wanting a new banana peeler, your brain is trying to convince you that this banana peeler will somehow change your life. Most likely that you will save time…which could be a clue that you are feeling overwhelmed.
You have been feeling rushed in the morning and you “know” this banana peeler will help carve so much extra time into your schedule. If you have more time, you’ll feel less overwhelmed. Suddenly this banana peeler seems like a godsend that you just can’t pass up.
In reality, you could probably set your alarm 10 minutes earlier, pick an outfit. the night before, and avoid scrolling your phone in the morning in order to feel less rushed. But no, forget that…it’s the banana peeler. That will solve your problem.
Understanding these sneaky tricks of our emotions, is one of the first steps to not only dulling the urge to impulse spend, but to also help you better understand yourself.
Applied knowledge is power
The truth is, a lot of times we look for quick fixes to some of our biggest life struggles. We might even fear putting in the time and effort to make changes, so we keep searching for “hacks” and “tips,” to help us out.
In reality, the best way to create truly lasting change is to gain more information and then apply the knowledge that you’ve learned. This is why applying the steps above, creating a spending fund, and getting help can be some of the best ways to create truly lasting change.
If you believe you are struggling with impulse spending brought on by a shopping addiction, Shopping Rehab is one. of the best and only resources available online. By learning what causes these impulse buy urges, you give yourself power to finally take control for good.