Shopaholics: they’re everywhere. The accumulation of stuff these days has become something of an epidemic. It seems to be that there is always some reason to go out and spend. Personally, my shopaholic tendencies have varied through the years. From clothes and shoes to the latest trending super foods. Somehow I have managed to make excuses to buy it all and let’s be honest, I never needed most of it in the first place. Now I am proud to call myself a recovering shopaholic and I have got the must read strategies to stop overspending dead in it’s tracks.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures.
You know that super exciting rush you get when you see those big red or yellow SALE or CLEARANCE signs? I do. In fact, I used to base my shopping strategy solely off of where those signs were in the store. Basically, if it was on sale, I bought it.
Then you know what I started to realize? After charging all these “sales” to my credit card month after month after month it occurred to me…there is always a sale.
That’s why I had racked up so much credit card debt!
Taking the time to realize you’re not actually getting in on some new, exciting thing is the best way to start overcoming your shopping addiction.
There is a really popular thing in the #debtfreecommunity. It’s called a no spend month. Which is where you challenge yourself not to spend money on anything other than your bills and necessities.
If you are struggling with credit card debt or a constant low balance in your bank accounts, this is a challenge you have got to try.
Create a basic budget, you can use my Fun Sized Budget Bundle to get yourself started! After creating a reasonable budget that you can stick to, try a no spend month and see how much better off you are financially at the end of the month.
Great get started budgeting tips:
As a recovering shopaholic, I know how crucial it is to have a little fun money to spend each month.
Creating a “fun money” section in our budget helps me stick to my other smart spending strategies and prevents me from overspending.
One of the best things I have learned how to do is slow down a little and think about my purchases.
I have let sales slip by and avoided big deals by reminding myself another sale would come up and I could make sure I really wanted the item I was about to buy.
Personally, I think at least 2 weeks is a great starting point for thinking through your purchases. It’s a great way of practicing self control and delayed gratification.
If you have an online shopping cart filled with things walk away from the computer for a while. Check your bank account. Read a book. Distract yourself and the next day come back to your shopping cart. Do you still need everything that you were ready to purchase yesterday?
When you feel that pull toward a clearance section or a big sale sign in that window, ask yourself if there is somewhere else you want to spend your money. –Not somewhere else you need to be spending it, like bills or gas money. –Is there somewhere or something else you want to spend it on?
Is there a trip you want to take? Have you been trying to save up for that dream purse? Did you really want to renovate your kitchen this year?
If you have some other area in your life that you want to be putting your money, it’s crucial that you remind yourself of this every time you feel the temptation to overspend without thinking.
Some great posts about finding what you want:
If you are desperately seeking a way to stop overspending but you still want to be able to splurge on occasion, then a great method is to create a smart saving plan.
Each month when you do your budget, set a specified amount aside into a sinking fund for your shopaholic self. Learn more about sinking funds.
If you set aside $25 per paycheck for 2 months, at the end of it, you’ll have a nice little $100 savings built up for yourself to spend on whatever you want.
Maybe you’re not great at setting money aside for yourself. I get that. Sometimes when the cash is right there, it’s hard not to scoop it up and head to the store.
If you struggle in this area, let someone else do the saving for you! There is an app called Digit.
Digit syncs up with your bank account, analyzes your spending habits and then saves money for you automatically! Your money is put into a “Rainy Day” account for you to use whenever you want!
It’s crazy to think that a top strategy to stop overspending would be to stop shopping sales, I know. But the thing is, when there is a sale your brain often begins tricking you into things you don’t really even like.
Maybe you passed a gorgeous sweater that you love because it’s wasn’t on sale. Instead you made your way to the clearance racks and bought 3 sweaters…what a steal! The thing is, you don’t love these sweaters. At least not as much as you loved that one you left behind. So they don’t really get worn and you grow tired of them quickly.
Isn’t it better to have one thing that you truly cherish and adore instead of 3 things you kinda like? Did you really gain anything other than some additional clutter?
There is a reason shopaholics get such a rush from shopping to the point of overspending. It’s because of the dopamine release in our brains. Just like our brain releases dopamine for things like chocolate, sex, gambling, smoking and other things that can easily become addictions.
So how can you replace this rush without starting another bad habit?
Here are my top three recommendations:
There is one super awesome way to slow your brain from constantly feeling like it needs more and that is through practicing gratitude.
My personal practice for gratitude is writing out a list of 5 things I am grateful for every morning. Doing this kickstarts my day on the right track and helps remind me of everything I have right away.
Now, this is some exciting stuff right here. Did you know for you savvy, sales shopping, coupon using, super savers, you could be actually making a profit off your mad shopping skills?
One family was able to start making over $100,000 per year by buying items at discounted prices and then selling them for full price on Amazon!
If you didn’t know this was a thing, I swear, it’s totally legit. Amazon FBA helps you sell items online, make money, and they can even take care of all the shipping, handling and returns for you! Learn how to get started.
I promise, shopping can still be enjoyable without causing you to go into debt. If you are currently struggling with debt, learn how our family paid off over $6,000 in 6 months and started getting our financial life back on track.
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